|Pardon the dust!
This page includes some jargon that hasn't been added to the site's glossary yet. I'll be around to fix this later, but sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime.
Review: theHunter: Call of the Wild
At a Glance
|ESRB Rating:||T - Teenagers|
|My Rating:||Ages 13 and up|
|Genre:||Sports / First Person Shooter|
|Review Published On:||August 31, 2018|
Most things, like places you've found, experience you've gained, money spent, or bullets remaining, are saved automatically. However, when you resume the game later, you'll always start at the last outpost you visited. Any animals you were tracking will also have disappeared.
As this is a hunting simulation, you'll be shooting various game and there's some blood involved. When collecting your kill, you'll be presented with a detailed, x-ray breakdown of how you killed the animal.
As you can guess from the title, theHunter: Call of the Wild is a game about hunting. To be more specific, it's about trophy hunting; various species of deer are the main targets, though you can also hunt a number of other species like moose, coyotes, foxes, rabbits, and bears. However, don't think you're going to wander around and just shoot random critters. This game attempts to be more realistic than that.
Most of the time, you're going to need to study your intended prey to learn where they go to drink, eat, and rest at different times of the day. These areas are called "need zones", and once you find them, they'll be marked on your map for future reference. One of the easier ways to find these locations is to scout around for animal tracks, and once you've located a track, just follow it until you either spot the animal or come across something else interesting. To help you out, there's always a pile of poop at the midpoint of every long track. Examining the feces will tell you more about the animal that left it -- in particular, this is how you know if the animal is actually still around or not. Tracks remain for a long time, so finding old droppings means that you're looking at a very old track, and whatever made it is probably far away by now. On the other hand, if the road apples are fresh, then there's a possibility that your target is in a nearby bush, watching you as you stick your face against its excrement.
Of course, this is only part of the gameplay. This is something of a stealth game, so you're going to need to be aware of how much noise you're making and how visible you are. Being still helps you hide, and if you can find a spot in some foliage, you'll be hidden even more. But, there is a downside to hiding in plants though: the more plants you're around, the more noise you make when you move. If you're spotted, animals will run away and you'll need to track them down again.
An alternative to stalking prey is lure hunting. To do this, find a nice spot, hide yourself as much as you can, and then use one or more lures to attract the attention of local animals. Once they get close enough, ready your weapon and aim carefully. This tends to work surprisingly well, as you can often get spooked animals to come back a few moments later. The only drawback is that you need to match your lures to the species you're trying to attract. For example, the antler rattler does a really good job of drawing the attention of fallow deer, but it doesn't really work with anything else.
After you've successfully killed something, you need to go collect your trophy (ie, the body). This is a simple matter of walking over and picking it up, but once you do, you're presented with a nifty x-ray vision report of what you did to the animal, such as which organs were damaged by the bullets. This screen also tallies up your score for the kill, including various bonuses for things like killing the animal quickly or using the proper equipment to fell it.
And that's the basic game. There are missions to complete and a little story that goes along with them, but for the most part, you're on your own in a huge world teeming with things to hunt, objects to collect, and places to explore. Personally, I found the tracking mechanic somewhat boring, and I didn't really care for killing the virtual animals. I'd rather shoot zombies, demons, or something else instead. But, it's clear to me that this game is pretty popular among its intended audience, so YMMV.
Points of Interest
Concerns and Issues
It's also kind of gross, but injuries are also depicted somewhat realistically. For example, a broken jaw will just dangle there, and if your shot crippled the animal, then they'll limp as they move. Note that bad shots like this are discouraged: you get fewer points (and thus less of a reward) for letting the animal suffer.