There’s an odd sense of serenity and tranquility to The Hunter: Call Of The Wild, a game primarily about stalking and hunting your prey. This comes due to the thoughtful and methodical nature of how the game plays out. And also due to the visually stunning landscapes that you pursue your hunts in.
Unlike most first person shooters, The Hunter: Call Of The Wild is a slow paced affair of tracking animals by their hoofprints and sounds. You need to be careful while making your approach, and make sure to stay low and hidden to avoid alerting your prey. The animals themselves are acutely aware of their surroundings, and will flee at a moment’s notice. Finding them after that can be tough, since the underbrush and the woods are rife with hiding spots.
The HUD elements are presented really well, and so is the missions tracker. The initial tutorial section familiarizes you with the game’s mechanics, and slowly adds more. Since most of your time will be spent moving slowly while staying low, things can start feeling wearisome. And that’s why this game is not for everyone. It’s enjoyable if you are able to appreciate the quieter moments, taking in the sights and the sounds of the wilderness.
The Hunter: Call Of The Wild looks and sounds absolutely fantastic. Foliage is dense, with the light coming through them looking utterly gorgeous. If you can really get into it, a sense of calm just washes over you as you take it all in. The rustling of the leaves in the wind, the sound of birds and even those of your prey are all designed really well, and add to the immersive nature of the experience.
When you do finally come upon your prey, you need to consider in multiple factors before you pull the trigger. Wind direction can affect the trajectory of your bullets, and your heart rate affects the aiming. You also need to be careful pulling the trigger, aiming for vital organs for a quick kill. You can be sloppy, and kill your prey with multiple shots, but it does negatively affect your final score, and also feels nowhere near as rewarding. Given all the time you put into tracking, it’s worth taking the time to get a good shot.
There’s also a fair variety of ammo and rifles, and picking the right one for the hunt offers more depth in terms of gameplay. ATVs are also available to get through the massive regions quicker. You can also play the game co-operatively or competitively in the online modes. While I mostly enjoyed my time alone in The Hunter: Call Of The Wild, the multiplayer is a refreshing change, as having someone with you offers a very different experience.
The Hunter: Call Of The Wild is a fascinating simulation, and unlike most games I enjoy playing. I had a lot of fun stalking, hunting and being immersed in the game’s massive regions. There were times when I would boot up the game with the intention of just exploring for a bit before I actually did any hunting. And when it finally comes to pulling the trigger, the gameplay has enough depth here and offers a valuable experience to those who seek it.