Belgian studio Neopica brings us Hunting Simulator. In this game you will need to hunt 37 different animals in big locations like Alaska and Colorado. I wish I could be a little bit more proud about this game, I’m from Belgium too, even the same location (Ghent) but not much positive can be said… read why in this review!
- If you actually enjoy the gameplay you are in for a long experience. The campaign features hundreds of objectives with quite a few different animals and environments.
- One thing that developer Neopica did really well is the sound design, they don’t use high quality sound pieces but its decent enough to make a great deal of the game much better. It works well with the indicator that shows when an animal is aware of your presence.
- Talking about the indicator, animals can notice you by sight, smell and noise. Each animal is completely different, some might see or smell you sooner giving a realistic feel to the hunting. One thing that you should keep in mind is that when a deer runs away the other animals will get spooked too.
- Hunting Simulator isn’t a bad-looking game, while playing in third person the character is decent looking and the environments are detailed and especially the lighting engine give some nice looking visuals. What drags it down a little is the blurry visuals while scoping and the obvious popping of trees and objects. It’s a real mixed experience, hunting at night is really beautiful but during the day all the visual bugs scream for attention.
- I will leave out what I actually think about real life hunting but as a simulator you will have to do the same things. Track animals, seek out foot prints and eventually sneak for taking the perfect shot. That reads pretty exciting but the actual gameplay is very, very repetitive and not really rewarding. You run around hoping to find some kind of lead to eventually, after minutes of searching get a hold of your objective.
- Developer Neopica came with the neat idea to add online multiplayer, it is a lot more fun to play with friends because you can chit-chat a little while searching for your target. It would be more fun if the netcode is actually a little bit more decent, half of the time you will have lag or other network issues.
- For a game that is so much focussed on animals you would expect much more attention for detail, and honestly just love for animals in general. A fine example are the disappointing animations. All animals seem to be intoxicated by some kind of weird drug, they just don’t act normal. They get stuck in the environment, teleport or simply disappear in thin air. The playable character is a little better but still obviously outdated when you compare it with other games.
- I couldn’t get rid of the impression that for a full priced game, Hunting Simulator feels like a budget game. That wouldn’t be a bad thing if it actually was a cheaper game but that’s not the case. It feels like an unfinished product.
- You will need a lot of patience while playing Hunting Simulator, that’s the concept for a hunting game. The thing that makes it frustrating is the list of bugs and glitches that make the search for animals harder or even force you to restart the game. Animals that simply can’t be found, no matter how many hours you search, falling through the level, animals that see you while you are behind a big rock, I can continue but you get the point.
I know that comparing Hunting Simulator with Cabela is like comparing Call of Duty with Battlefield but you are better off buying Cabela’s African Adventure. Hunting Simulator has way to many bugs and frustrating moments to be really fun. I’m sure it will have a small community that plays it daily but for me and most players this will be a waste of money and time.