Do you know what I really, really, really friggin’ hate about theHunter: Call of the Wild? I’ll tell you: the way it shits all over grammar with its name. And that’s my biggest complaint, so read on to see why I’m strangely addicted to shooting cutesy animals in the head.
theHunter: Call of the Wild – from here on out to be referred to as ‘The Hunter’ as I refuse to write that abomination any more than I have to – is one of those weird simulator games that Germans just adore to death. You’ve got your Firefighter Simulator (shit), you’ve got your various Farming Simulator games (various levels of good/shit) and just about everything else. Now I know that there are other hunting sims, but this is my first, so it’s special to me.
The aim of the game is to orphan as many animals as possible. Sounds a bit mean when I put it like that, doesn’t it? But seriously, that’s the goal. You’re a hunter, damn it, and you’re going to hunt! However, if you’ve got mad visions of your running through the game like a deer-hating Rambo-like action hero, think again as it’s nothing like that. It’s the complete opposite.
Hunting takes time, patience, and skill. There’s a degree of luck to it, too, or at least that was the case for me. I’m not sure how much luck comes into the real life killing game, but I got lucky a few times.
Animals won’t just pop up and wait for you to shoot them. This isn’t Call of Duty: Animal Warfare. No, you need to track them using your tracker skills which, thankfully, are pretty much automated in The Hunter. See, you’ll find a bit of animal crap on the ground and it’ll glow. You go over it, tap a button and you’ll know what animal it belongs it and how fresh the turd is. Lovely. From here you’ll be able to tell the general direction the pooper was going in, and you’ll follow the highlighted clues until your soon-to-be trophy is within shooting range. That’s only half the battle won, I’m afraid, as actually pulling off a killing shot ain’t so easy.
Once you’ve spent however long it takes to track your nameless victim – it took me a good 20 minutes to score my first kill – you need to actually shoot the thing dead. This isn’t as simple as pointing your super-duper-red-dot-enhanced-noob-tube at the flea-ridden creature and firing away. You need to take into account distance, bullet drop, wind-speed, and even your own heart-rate. If you ran after the animal (not recommended) then your heart rate will be higher than normal and you’ll have trouble holding your weapon steady enough to land a decent shot. Trust me, it’s best to wait for the most opportune moment before pulling the trigger, otherwise you may end up shooting the animal in the bum, allowing it to run off. You can still catch up to the bum-bleeding animal and finish the poor bugger off with a pistol shot to the skull, but you won’t be scored so well. Oh, yeah, I didn’t mention that, did I? You’re scored on your kills, so if you want to be the perfect hunter, you need to kill those innocent creatures in one shot. I find a well-placed bullet to the heart does the trick quite well. Aaaaand that’s not creepy at all…
The Hunter’s gameplay is quite unlike anything I’ve experienced before in a first-person shooter. It’s so far removed from the norm when it comes to the genre, I’m hesitant to actually call it a first-person shooter.
So the gameplay is tight, that we have established, but what about the game world? Pretty good, actually. I didn’t expect much going into it – I never do with this simulator games – but I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in a lush, crunchy German wilderness. There’s an American map, too, but I found the German one to be a bit more to my visual tastes.
Performance isn’t a bad area, either, with the game running smoothly throughout. That being said, I do believe it’s running at 30 framer-per-second, so bear that in mind if you’re “allergic” to non-60fps shooters.
I can’t really say anything negative about The Hunter, in all honesty. I guess the controls could have been a little less awkward when it comes to getting around your inventory, and that the on-screen text could have been much larger and I wouldn’t have minded. It was actually very difficult to read the on-screen messages, but if that’s my biggest complaint then you’ve got nothing to worry about with theHunter: Call of the Wild.
theHunter: Call of the Wild PS4 Review
Overall - Fantastic - 8.9/10
The hunting genre is super niche in this day and age, and with theHunter: Call of the Wild being my first foray into it, I wasn’t expecting to be so impressed. The fact is that this is a fantastic game, even more so if you’re actually an animal murdering maniac. Just be ready for PETA to hound you on Twitter when you’re gushing over the game.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Slim.
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Chris has been writing about gaming news for far too long, and now he’s doing it even more. A true PlayStation know-it-all, Chris has owned just about every Sony console that ever existed. Trophies are like crack to this fella. (Bronze trophies, that is – he only has one Platinum.)