Hunting Simulator 2 Review (Xbox One)14/07/2020
The Hunting Simulator series first saw the light of day back in 2017; developed by Neopica and published by Nacon. As the name implies, the game is a hunting simulator where players, as a nameless protagonist, roam around various North American areas to hunt and kill your prey. The game’s PS4 version averaged 58% on Metacritic; the other versions didn’t gather enough scores to score an average. Fast forward to 2020 where Neopica and Nacon are back with Hunting Simulator 2. This time players will hunt through the plains of Colorado, the Texan desert, and the forests of Europe. All settings are open-world settings leaving players free to roam around. Once again, the main goal is hunting and kill 33 types of animals. Here are our thoughts on it.
Hunting Simulator 2 is a slow-paced game. Considering the “sport” it’s based on, don’t expect to be going in guns blazing. The initial tutorial is well designed to help players, either newcomers or returning ones, to feel comfortable with the hows of the game. While not intricately detailed, the tutorial gives the basics on how to hunt and how to use your faithful companion. Unfortunately, it doesn’t not into full details about weaponry and caliber of bullets.
Hunting Simulator 2 requires players to only hunt animals for which you have purchased a licensed for; meaning that if you’re looking for en Elk and you come across a Red Fox or a Goose, if you don’t have the required license you won’t be able to shoot them as it’s “illegal”; much like hunting in real life you can’t hunt whatever you want willy-nilly. If you happen to fire, accidentally, or not, you will be financially penalized. Players will have to climb the proverbial hunting ladder. The more prey you kill, the more money you will receive thus consequently allowing you to purchase additional licenses for other animal types along with more efficient firearms and bullet types.
Thankfully, you have a faithful companion to help you. Being dropped in the middle of an open world, the first thought can be that it’ll be daunting trying to find tracks of a specific prey. But you can select a dog to accompany you (and yes Hunting Simulator 2 lets you pet the dog). You can ask it to find something; more often than not, it’ll sniff out any possible traces from a prey; urine, tracks, or even the last spot it ate. Once you analyze it, you can ask it to track it. At first, it’ll feel a bit cumbersome, but the more you use the dog, the better it’ll get at helping you finding prey.
In between hunts, when you have enough money to spare, you can return to your lodge. This is where you can purchase additional firearms, types of bullets, and even other dogs. As with real-life hunting, not all ammo types work on every target. For example, Male Elks require a specific type of caliber to take them down. Each area has cabins and towers to find; towers allow players to get a bird’s eye view of the area and try to find targets from afar. While cabins allow you to refill your ammo, change weapon/companion, and get paid for your kills but you cannot purchase new weapons or change your caliber types.
Overall, Hunting Simulator 2’s presentation is spot on. The outdoor environments are well designed and detailed; it’s a beautiful virtual representation of hunting environments; and also diverse. Some areas are more flat and plain where you can see as far as the eye can see, while others are more filled with trees and such to provide animals with a better hiding environment making hunting a bit trickier at times. The game’s audio is faithfully representative of what you heard while hunting/in the woods: birds chirping, typical animal noises. Paying attention to the surrounding noises is key to finding a target as it can be an indication as to what is where, but it can be just as peaceful as taking a walk in nature.
Hunting Simulator 2 is a very slow game; it’s the kind of game you’ll play in order to relax when coming home from work from a stressful day or an hour or so before bed. While casual players can fully enjoy it, it takes a bit of knowledge and time to know the intricacies of the weaponry. This game cannot be fully enjoyed in short bursts as you won’t feel much progress; if any. While it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, if you have the time and patience, you won’t regret it.
*This Review Code was so generously provided by the publisher for review*
Developer: Neopica Publisher: Nacon
Release date: July 16, 2020
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
Platform Reviewed on: Xbox One