Hunting is a marmite ‘sport’, especially in the UK. Some love it and others hate it which pretty much sums up feelings for the first game. Neopica have developed a sequel to Hunting Simulator with guns galore, 33 different types of animal to ‘bag’ and even your own canine companion to assist you in your hunt. Hunting Simulator 2 is an open world hunting sim where wild boar, rabbits, geese, red foxes are all out there…somewhere!
If you played the first game, you will realise not a lot has changed here. There are six areas to hunt in, two for each location which are set in Colorado, Texas and Europe. You are faced with woodlands, marshes, deserts and waste-grounds where learning the territory is key. The temptation is to grab your gun and start firing but this is not Doom. Stealth, patience, a good eye and ear is what is needed.
For those who are familiar with hunting in the real world (which I am not), Hunting Simulator 2 is fully licensed with firearms from Browning, Winchester, and Bushnell for example. There are a range of firearms to scratch every itchy trigger finger.
The tutorial shows you the basics. L control stick to move, LR to focus gun sight, R control stick to move the camera and ZR to fire. The aim (pardon the pun) is to find your prey and shoot them in a vital organ. With the help of your trusty companion – Retriever, Labrador, or Beagle – you follow tracks, urine, leftover foliage and droppings to find each animal. You cannot just choose to shoot at any animal though. You must collect licenses and make sure you have the right ones for the right areas. For example, there is no point heading out duck hunting in an area with little or no water.
You buy your licenses from the store located at the Hunting lodge. This is where you choose your weapon, optics and can either head out on the hunt or make use of the shooting range, which I recommend if you want to get your eye in. An optic with a 6x focal range is a must as anything less and you will find shooting is like taking a wee in the wind!
The look of the game is very crude in terms of graphics. The areas you traverse are bleak and the amount of pop-in scenery is off-putting at times as landscape materialises from nowhere. You can brush through trees and branches with no foliage movement. Even the animals look basic at best. You can hear the wind breeze past you, but the trees remain still (They must be made of concrete!). It is all just so static. The sounds in general however, are a plus point. The melody of birds singing and the gentle breeze are relaxing, and at least fit with the slow nature of the game itself.
Hunting Simulator 2 feels unfinished. Aiming and shooting are erratic at best and actually killing the animals feels more about luck than skill. For the first couple of hours play, there is a feeling of relaxation as you wander around looking for your next prize. The issues start to arise from hour three onwards as you start to feel you are wandering aimlessly and can go a long time without even a sniff of a result. Whilst this may be what hunting in the wild is like, it just doesn’t make for a compelling or fun game and by the tenth hour I had lost interest.
As a mobile game for a few pounds this might hold more appeal, but for nearly £45 you spend hours on end wandering around the large areas and in all honesty, there are better ways to spend your money and your time. As they say when it comes to gambling, ‘when the fun stops, stop!’
Hunting Simulator 2 Review £44.99
Hunting Simulator 2 starts off at a leisurely pace and continues in the same vein throughout. The areas are vast but the graphics are basic and for £45 you could have yourself a much more fun day out!