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The Hunter review

A free online hunting sim that's one case of Coors away from the real thing

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.

While it’s really gratifying to take down your prey, it ultimately becomes a near identical process of creeping around through the woods before getting a shot at your target, and how long that can remain fresh is difficult to say. The addition of multiplayer, or at least co-op hunts, would go a long way in keeping the game interesting.

While the glacial pace is sure to put off some gamers, The Hunter is a serviceable simulation with some interesting online features that’s worth checking out. And if hunting is really your thing? You’re going to love this stuff.

Apr 20, 2009

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A serviceable online hunting sim for the patient gamer.

Release date2 April 2009 (US), 2 April 2009 (UK)