And no, that’s not a typo. It’s “theHunter” because screw your rules, man!
It’s from Expansive Worlds and Avalanche. There’s already a theHunter F2P online game from 2009.
theHunter: Call of the Wild is a full sequel on PC.
What will be the price and business model?
theHunter: Call of the Wild will be available at launch for $29.99. Please note that this price point may vary slightly depending on your region. The game is a one-time purchase without micro transactions. That said, we think it’s important to support it over time and will add content in the form of optional DLC packages.[/quote]
“Well, as a hunter, I’m probably a bit biased,” says CEO Pim Holfve," but in Sweden [Avalanche’s home nation], hunting is not very controversial. Out of the nine million people living here, 450,000 are registered hunters, so it’s very common here. We’ve also been running theHunter Classic for over seven years now, with over 6.5m registered users - we know there’s an audience out there.
"Of course, it is somewhat controversial but we’ve also aimed to go for ethical hunting. Fox hunting will never be part of our game, and we’re staying away from endangered or extinct species, so we’re trying to be on the good side. We’re also trying to highlight the positive things of hunting. For example, in Sweden we have a huge moose population and without the hunters there would be way more deaths from road accidents.
“You will never see screenshots where players are hunting Cecil the Lion. That’s not the type of game this is.”[/quote]
I love observing wildlife and going on safari. I would never ever consider hunting an animal in the real world, as I love them too much (I am not a full vegetarian and am aware of the hypocrisy), but I think this will partially fulfill the desire for more wildlife games. I just wish there was a biologist simulator where you explore forests/jungles/savannahs with trusty binoculars and a jeep. The goal of course being to try and track very rare species and observe their behaviour and perhaps take photos/video of them (pokemon snap style). Ahhh that’d be nice.
Until that’s made, I will keep an eye on this one.
I’m planning on buying this for my wife, assuming early impressions are ok. She loves searching for wildlife with a camera, and even though she doesn’t hunt, I know she’d enjoy the gameplay here. She spent days… no, weeks doing hunting in RDR.
So I have played this a few hours and really enjoying it. Some impressions:
The game is probably tied first the most beautiful videogame I have ever played (with the Witcher 3). It has the most convincing representation of nature in a videogame I have seen. The environments are completely open, are really large, and the graphics are visually stunning (at least on a 4k monitor with a 1080 video card, YMMV). Be aware that relative to the Witcher 3 it is a more demanding game.
As for hunting itself, it seems good so far where you track animals using their footprints, poop, and calls to try and get in a good spot to shoot it before it sees/hearts/smells you and runs off. I have managed to get 4 deer so far, 3 the easiest roe deer kind and one fallow deer. All female so no antler ones yet (although I have seen a couple of them).
I love wildlife, so playing a game where I track and shoot lovely looking animals has been an… interesting experience. I saw something small early in the game that was extremely cute, just sitting on a road and looking at me. I shot it as a knee-jerk reaction, thinking it might be a rare type of animal, before realising the game classes them as just random things around (like bunnies, birds, etc. which also populate at least one of the parks) and not a real trophy. I felt really guilty after about killing such a cool guy without even getting an ingame reward.
The game has an in-game camera which is fun to use (basically a screenshot tool with zoom levels etc.) although I wish it worked like the binoculars where they have a model of a SLR camera in your hand. My routine now is to try and get a good photo of the animal before trying to kill it. It does lead to situations, though, where the animal runs away between the photo and pulling the gun out.
The progression and mission systems look pretty good, can’t comment too much on that yet.
Be aware that it has bugs/quirks in the release build that will hopefully get patched out. Some vocal people are complaining about constant crashes (none here), whereas for me when I pull the menu up the fps drops to 10-20 for some weird reason and then goes back up in the game. That only happens when using 4k rez though, at 1440p or 1080p the menu works fine, so that might not affect you.
Just to add, one of the reasons I think the game looks so good and is taxing on the machine is the use of grass and foliage. Grass, foliage, shrubbery, and bushes are everywhere. Like, take skyrim and Witcher 3 as an example, to get the same amount of grass in those games as you get here you’d have to mod the ini to extreme values, and your fps would tank by 60fps (at least in Skyrim).
Here it is very important for the gameplay, as it’s part of the joy in finding animals and trying to get a good angle on them. Something else I love about the grass in this game is that it reacts to you or the animals stepping on it. When walking through grass look behind yourself to see the trail that’s been left, and similarly when you stumble onto trodden grass you know an animal has been through there.
I keep taking screenshots of the game through memorable vantage points, it doesn’t even need to be vistas just the way the light can go through trees sometimes after sunrise, or after rain you see reflections in wet areas and puddles in the road.
The sound design is also tremendous, you begin to be able to distinguish the mating/scared calls of the different animals, and there’s something about hearing them pierce the forest as you walk through. I got some thunder in the game that made me jump a little. Great with headphones.
I’ve held off on this because of reported bugs by quite a few Steam reviews (positive and negative ones) which the devs appear to be on, but my wife isn’t very tolerant of bugs so I’d rather wait until they’re mostly fixed. Otherwise it looks promising. I agree, it would be great to have a “non-violent mode” whereby you can earn a different set of rewards by shooting great pictures. Beyond Good and Evil: Wildlife Edition in other words.
I’ll wait for this feature.
Or they could throw a few Nazis in there and I’d be fine. [glances over at Sniper Elite 4.]
It’s funny; I loved the Hunting Unlimited series, especially the tracking feature. And the graphics looked abstract enough that I could get around my aversion to killing animals. But these days, everything is crossing into very realistic territory. I’m sad, because while I love the act of hunting, I just never could get behind the killing of an animal.
Also, yes I’m a hypocrite. I eat steak and wear leather stuff. Also, if an animal is to be killed, I’d much rather have a hunter do the killing rather than a slaughterhouse. I just could never be a real hunter.
If someone were to do a game based on “The Most Dangerous Game”, however, I’d be all over it, even though I couldn’t kill a human being in real life either.
I was going to suggest hunting a few boar and turning their meat into a fast travel pack, but then I realized I was in the wrong thread for that.
Yeah, this was my issue as well. Hey, cool graphics, nifty tools, a hearty progression system! Let’s go! Oh, look, an anatomical depiction of what my bullet did to the deer. Suddenly I’m not so thrilled anymore.
I think some of us just have a natural inclination away from harming vulnerable creatures. Come at me with a dinosaur or Nazi – as you mentioned – and I’m all for it. And I guess I’m okay with liberally harvesting boars for my fast travel packs and quiver upgrades in Horizon. But graphically killing a deer for no other reason than killing a deer? No thanks.
P.S. And I don’t mean this to be judgmental! Hunting culture is fine by me, especially within the respectful framework of wildlife regulation. But like car culture, gun culture, and comic book culture, it just doesn’t appeal to me.
Likewise. I understand the need for it, and enjoy the fruits of my hunter-friends. I just cannot do it myself. My father tried to teach me when I was young, but I already knew I couldn’t do it. Because when I was even younger than that, I came across a frog with a broken leg in our yard, felt bad for it, and ran in to tell Dad about it so we could get it to a doctor. Instead, Dad said, “You need to put it out of its misery. Go into the garage, grab a spade, and clobber it.”
I got the spade, and stood for several minutes with the frog at my feet, and the spade raised above my head, ready to bring it down. I was watching the frog hop in circles at my feet because of its broken leg. Tears were streaming down my face. I was 8 years old, and thought I must be such a wimp.
I could not do it. Dad came out, shaking his head, grabbed the spade from my hands, told me to stand “over there”, and as I was walking away, I heard the thud, and that was it. My hunting days were over before long before I ever tried.
Right, this is one of several preconceptions that I’m still wrestling with. Still chalking it up as part of the learning curve.
Pretty sure the way the designers expected players to move around, at least in the beginning, is super gradually and slowly as we hunt. They assumed we wouldn’t actually decide to walk from one side to the map to the other without spending a lot of time hunting along the way. Which is what I did; I just set out to explore the whole map right off the bat, and found that foot travel feels stupidly sluggish for that kind of whimsical exploration, especially when you don’t need to eat or drink or make camp, etc.
To be clear, though, fast travel is eventually possible between outposts that you’ve discovered. There are not as many outposts as you might expect in a game like this, however, and the distances between them are great.
Last note: the core of the game, the hunting itself, is extremely challenging at the start, in my opinion, and requires a ton of patience and commitment. The standards set for how your kill gets rated are super picky, IMO, and the tutorial doesn’t explain them in advance. Edit: Nor does it really explain the mechanics of using your smartphone to better track found prey (a feature that I eventually recognized as necessary and useful, but nevertheless feel is a little rp-breaking).