A wild boar Antlers of a black-tailed deer. It’s an elk named Roosevelt. Bison from Europe. A semi-realistic hunting simulator, The Hunter, takes place in two huge rural areas in Germany and the United States’ Pacific Northwest. But you can’t simply go about blasting your gun like a Call of Duty character: you must be meticulous and patient if you want to get one of the numerous furry prizes on offer.
The success of a hunt isn’t just a matter of aiming your rifle at the first animal you see and killing it. Tracking an animal down in the woods might take a long time, so your first task is generally to find one. You’ll see footprints on the HUD as you make your way through the woods. It’s up to your character to utilize his magical hunting senses to figure out which way the animal is headed. Finally, you have to wait calmly for the train to pass, making sure you don’t disturb it too much. However, this is just half of the battle’s victory.
The animal will become aware of your presence if you move fast or through dense vegetation. You should stoop down and walk gently if this occurs. Nevertheless, The Hunter is a game in which you spend most of your time crouching and edging your way through the forest at an excruciatingly sluggish speed. Slow-paced games are something I appreciate, but this one is too ponderous for me. And if you scare an animal, it will run away and stay on high alert for a long time, making it very difficult to locate them again. The game has a good feeling of suspense and is actually tough, but patience is required—no, demanded. The moment has finally come for you to shoot your victim. However, even this has its own set of difficulties. Running raises your pulse rate, which makes aiming more difficult since your hands will tremble. Accuracy might also be affected by the wind. In the worst-case scenario, if you do manage to strike the beast, it will flee in terror. Following the blood trail is a bad idea since it lowers your ultimate score. A swift shot to a crucial organ is the greatest way to get the upper hand in The Hunter.
In addition, there are additional things to consider. As soon as an animal senses your presence, it will emit a warning cry, which will make them more inclined to escape. The rustle of trees and shrubs will keep your prey at a distance, but it will also help you avoid detection. In addition, the ethical suitability of the ammunition you employed in the decapitation of an animal affects your score. Even though there’s a lot going on here, this isn’t a very accessible or enjoyable simulation because of it. The Hunter, for the most part, is a really dreary experience due to its lack of actual amusement.
Strangely, it wasn’t the actual hunting that I appreciated most in The Hunter, but rather the setting. In my opinion, it’s one of the most beautiful PC games I’ve ever seen. The engine’s global illumination technology makes the fall woodlands seem lifelike, with leaves waving in the breeze, motes of pollen floating through the air, and realistic lighting and shadows. From the crunch of dry leaves beneath your boots to the delicate chirp of birds, the sound design in this game is just excellent! Isn’t it a pity that you have to kill animals with a pistol to disrupt the tranquil, quiet atmosphere?
However, I’m a huge fan of strange, specialized sims like this, but I found the game’s gameplay to be tedious and uninspiring. You’ll have to determine whether you’re the sort of player who can put up with extended stretches of idleness in exchange for a few tasty prizes. Nonetheless, there is a good deal of space for expertise, and hunting and shooting harder species like black bears is a true test of ability. The actual test, though, is the ability to avoid becoming bored.