I want to start by saying that I received this game as a review code. While I am very grateful for the opportunity, I will not let that sway my opinion. This will be an honest review of the game. I stream every game I review on my Twitch and Youtube. Check out my Twitch for an up-to-date schedule.
I played this game on PC, but it is also available on PS5 and Xbox. Way of the Hunter is a hunting simulator game that aims for realism. You can track animals, pick up job requests, and there is an overarching story that you unlock as you play. It is easy to get lost in this game because it is so beautifully immersive.
The graphics in this game are pretty solid, but it is a few updates from being perfect. I encountered a few visual glitches like floating rocks and trees that affected immersion, but none of them was game-breaking. Someone in my twitch chat mentioned the art was too grainy, I didn’t have a problem with it but keep that in mind. My only issue with the visuals was the grass would get too busy, and I would lose myself trying to find the kills. My playthrough is littered with countless unclaimed carcasses because I couldn’t find them in the brush. This seems like a personal problem, but it is something to keep in mind.
The game has a story, but it acts more as flavor. You can also accept jobs to make more money that requires you to hunt specific animals. Gameplay isn’t limited to quests. You have free reign to hunt whatever you like, granted you have the right equipment. Make sure you use the money you earn to purchase the appropriate tools.
The map is huge and will involve a lot of driving and walking to unlock all of it. There is fast travel available to keep you from making the long treks twice. My favorite part of this game was the sound. It is incredibly immersive. You can hear bugs zip by your ear, the babbling brooks, the birds in the trees, and other animal calls in the wild. I now know what a mule deer sounds like, and I can track it by just its call.
Hunting is fun, but it requires a lot of patience. If you spook the animals, you will have to spend time tracking them down or waiting till they come back. There is a detective mode that helps with tracking, but a spooked animal can easily disappear in the tree line. I have zero patience and as a result, this game became a hiking simulator. This isn’t a criticism because I enjoyed my virtual hikes. I had a favorite spot I would go to just to listen to the stream and the birds while I waited for prey. It is easy to get lost in this game as you relax and enjoy it for what it is.
My one complaint about hunting is that not all of the AI is perfect. Some animals are smart, and tracking them is fun. Others will get stuck running loops or stop making them easy targets. Some animals didn’t leave blood splatter or trails, making them impossible to track. These cases were rare, but they are something I can’t overlook.
Way of the Hunter is one of the most relaxing games I have ever played. I recommend it if you like simulator games and don’t mind waiting around for hours. I am very impatient and still enjoyed every minute. One of my favorite parts of this game is the tips you get as you play that give the players practical hunting advice not just for the game but also for real life. This game goes out of its way to teach sustainable hunting practices, and I appreciate the effort.
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