The Hunter

I am not really a “hunter” – more of a tree rat (and nasty r-a-t) sniper. OK, how about a varmint hunter. That’s the ticket. I do enjoy watching the occasional hunting show (at least everyone once in a while). The other night as I was flipping through the channels I came across Steve’s Outdoor Adventures and saw an advertisement for The Hunter.

While I have never been a fan of hunting games, I decided that I would give this one a go; free trail to hunt some mule deer. The Hunter is billed as the most realistic hunting game you will ever play. It has been a long time since I played a PC-based game, but I am strangely compelled to try The Hunter.

I searched for a review, and this one from GamePro (4.5 out of 5 stars) was the first returned in my results list.

When you do decide to hit the Evergreen Hunting Reserve, you’re in for quite a treat. You begin your adventure by selecting your weapons, ammunition, lures — even canned smoke so you can tell which way the wind’s blowing. After selecting a drop-point, the game is pretty much your oyster. Flexible to all styles of hunting, you can spend hours tracking animal droppings and noises, or lay low and try to lure animals to your location — it’s all up to you. The feeling of successfully tracking my first deer, even if it was about 3 AM in the morning, was fantastic; hours of watching for buck tracks, using my HuntersMate GPS system to analyze and locate the creature’s last known location… when I finally came eye to eye with the beast, it was simply fantastic, and a genuine experience that I haven’t felt in a game of any genre for quite some time.

GamesRadar also has a review (6 out of 10), but it is not very encouraging.

Of course getting close enough to take the shot is the majority of the game, and finding players willing to slink around through brush for hours at a time might be a problem. The game essentially drops you into the reserve with no tutorial and says “go for it”. While the Forum FAQ and PDF guide help, figuring out where you’re supposed to go on the reserve, where you should be looking for tracks, and where specific animals are is all left up to the player to figure out. On my first play, I was convinced the game was broken as I wandered around aimlessly for 15 minutes before finding a trail or any sign of life.

I downloaded the game, and attempted to play, but it does not look like it will work on my Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop which pretty much sucks for me. The game states that:

Video Cards that ‘The Hunter’ presently supports are:
– Nvidia: 7 Series (from 7600 and above)
– ATI: X1800 (and above)
Note: The Hunter does not support Intel / SiS graphics

Oh well. I did try to get into a PC game, and a hunting game at that! Kudos to me for doing something different. I need to get the kids a laptop for Christmas, so you can bet my next purchase is going to support The Hunter.

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