Review: Hunting Simulator 2 (PlayStation 4)

With your hunting dog by your side, explore the Texan desert and forests of Colorado and Europe as you track down 33 animal species. Choose your gear from over 160 official weapons, accessories and clothing items.

Pros:

  • Decent realistic graphics.
  • 25.58gb download size.
  • Platinum trophy.
  • Tweak gameplay settings-animal calls, dead prey location, tracking assistance, hit markers, companion marker, companion states, head bobbing, metrics used, and compass.
  • Invert axis and sensitivity sliders.
  • Motion control support.
  • DS4 touchpad support for camera control. (optional setting)
  • Can rebind controls.
  • Male/female avatars.
  • Hunting gameplay.
  • 3 views-first person/3rd person/far behind.
  • Companion -you have a dog with you that can find and track animals for you.
  • Kills-you bag your kill then you can either sell them or turn them into a trophy.
  • 3 locations-Europe/Colorado/Texas.
  • Hunting Lodge-here you can buy licenses, guns, ammo, look at trophies, read the wiki.
  • Shop-licenses, weapons, optics, items, and companions.
  • Four weapon types-rifles, shotguns, modern sporting rifles, and bows/crossbows.
  • Items-range finders and binoculars, lures, caller, powders, etc.
  • All locations have rules like don’t shoot females, all kills have to be bagged.
  • Licenses play a key role as you can only hunt what you own a license for.
  • Bed-can set the time slot between, morning/afternoon and evening.
  • Customize your hunter with new clothing.
  • Unlock a lodge extension to show off your trophies.
  • Outside your hunting lodge is a set of events-shooting range, load out tent, and skeet range.
  • Shooting range tournament mode-3 difficulties-easy/medium/hard. Uses a local leaderboard against Ai names. You get to manually request a target to be pulled into action. All against a timer.
  • Locations will show what animals reside there and you can check if you have the license and you get told what the weather is.
  • Map-you can add waypoint and markers with specific stamps like animal types/tents/stands etc.
  • Tents-find them and they act as fast travel points.
  • You can level up your companion and they have 3 traits-expertise/drive/stamina and you earn EXP by praising them and using them often.
  • Spotting-look down your sights to spot and the game will tell you if you have the right ammo to take it down and what animal and sex it is.
  • Bagging a kill will show you-where you hit them, sex/age/region/district/weapon/distance. You claim the kill to get the animal stats like weight/size/time taken and score.
  • Hit markers when shooting.
  • Animal noises will pop on screen and tell you what animal it is.
  • Cabin- here you can claim your bagged kills, change loadout, refill ammo, change companion, and fast travel out or go back to the lodge.
  • Arcade presentation.
  • Full stats breakdown on the main menu.
  • All locations are open from the get-go.
  • Gorgeous locations.
  • Clothing can make you more or less visible and is categorized by weather type.
  • Bags- buy new ones to add more items and weapon slots.
  • Buy powders to show wind direction and speed.
  • Autosaves regularly.

Cons:

  • Slow to aim down the sights.
  • Pain in the ass to keep going back to the cabin to claim trophies.
  • Fast travel is so important.
  • Hard to track kills with your eyes as the blood is not that visible.
  • You rely so heavily on your companion for all things tracking.
  • Slow burner.
  • Starter gun is rather pants.
  • No dynamic weather or time changing.
  • The lodge just means you have a lot of unnecessary walking to do in order to change options.
  • Info on track points is not helpful, it doesn’t give any indication of direction, blood only says the color of it and not blood amount.
  • Doesn’t have an over-arcing story.
  • No help/clues on where other blinds, fast travel points may be.
  • Limited room for items like lures, callers, and binoculars.
  • No noise indicator for you and animals.
  • Can’t see the stamina but it’s short.
  • Constant juggling act with clothing and powders.
  • No preface on profit from selling a trophy over keeping it, with no info given when you do sell a trophy.

  • 8/10
    Graphics - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Accessibility - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Length - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Fun Factor - 7/10
7.4/10

Summary

Growing up in Bristol, I have been exposed to hunting and tracking animals since my early days, that’s how I wish I could start my review but in reality, the truth is, I grew up playing Cabela games and more recently the rather awesome Hunter Call of the Wild on Steam. Armed with basic but important information I jumped into hunting Simulator 2. Just that name alone, Hunting Simulator 2 would immediately tell me I am going to get the most realistic “simulator” experience. That’s not the case, Hunting Simulator 2 is an arcade approach to the genre. Sure you get lures, callers, and a pet dog to help you but outside of that, it’s all very arcadey. The gunplay is very basic and just point and shoot, tracking is just a case of asking the dog to look for tracks then boom, or you can make it even easier (without penalty) and have markers show up on the screen on top of tracks and blood. It’s a far cry from how Call of the Wild does it but even a comparison doesn’t stop the experience feeling watered down to the point of no brain power needed. Once you kill an enemy you can have it show the location on the map, or again your dog will go do the hard work. Blinds and towers are found on the map and act as fast travel points. Don’t see the point in blinds or how you are supposed to take them seriously as they are meant to be used so you can hide better and be quieter but with no actual feedback or Hud icon, you have no idea what noise you are making. Talking of stealth (a handy to have skill in the hunting game) you can only affect your visibility by buying particular clothes in the shop, as long as it matches the time of day and weather. It’s more frustrating and pointless but again maybe I have been spoiled in other games but then again this is meant to be the “simulator”. All guns feel the same and shoot the same with little recoil differences, you do get cool feedback on shots like the crosshair going red when you get a good hit. You can buy new optics and different ammo types for each gun if applicable. Licenses are the things you will buy the most as you need these for particular animals so you can hunt them, the license allows you to kill X amount (license states the number) of that animal. You get four locations and they are all different and look gorgeous but you get no help in finding fast travel points, this is a problem when all you can do is walk and occasionally run around the huge map. To further add ammo to my arcade sim gun, when you aim at an animal it spots them and gives info (really cool and helpful) and will then bang up in red writing if you have the wrong ammo, no license or if its a female animal (huge no no). It’s all just too hand holdy, you never feel like you are earning your kills, I didn’t like the whole bag an animal then cash/trophy it in at the cabin as it meant I had to always go to the cabin and then go back to the lodge to spend my money. Starting out is rough, no callers/lures and a very basic crap gun, progress is slow as the tutorials dry up and anyone new to the genre struggles to take in what’s needed to be done. I can play this game and I can get some enjoyment but it falls in comparison to other games as the design decisions hamper and damper the whole experience, on the flip side of you find the other hunting games too advanced or having too many steps this game will allow you to take on hunting in a much more streamlined experience. Overall its a watered down hunting game but it does play well and has a few standout moments and for a less hardcore experience its brilliant fun.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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