Way Of The Hunter

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Way Of The Hunter – Review

Have you ever wanted to enjoy the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest or maybe the beautiful late summer in Transylvania then Way of The Hunter is made just for you. Nine Rocks Games created this visually stunning hunting simulation and THQ Nordic has brought it to life so we can play it.

The story begins in the Pacific Northwest in your grandfathers hunting lodge nestled in the hills overlooking a nice grassland. You have just moved out there to help your grandfather who is ill in Hospital. There are two stories within the one with this game as you are helping your grandfather and the people around him all whilst learning of the relationship between your grandfather and father was not there. You start your hunting with your grandfather’s old rifle and scope he had locked in the gun safe. You receive emails from your grandfather about people around the area needing certain animals for recipes in their restaurants which you go and hunt for. Whilst hunting and completing the objectives you learn of your past and the skeletons in the closet with your family.

The difficulty options in the game are great for all skill types. You can play the “Explorer” mode, which is not easy by any means but makes things easier for people starting off in the game until they can work out things like bullet drop and how to handle the weapon’s a little better before changing the difficulty for a bit more of a challenge. The different modes consist of “Explorer”, “Adventurer”, “Hunter” and “Ranger”. In terms of gameplay, it’s what you would expect from a hunting game. You have the option to walk around the maps or you can drive around in your vehicle that can also be used for other things which I’ll be mentioned later in the review.

As for the guns, they kind of surprised me as you are able to use popular hunting brands like Remington (Guns) and Leopold (Scopes) as well as the textures & designs put into the guns looks next level. As for customisation, you can upgrade your scopes for those longer-range shots or a higher caliber of guns to take on those bigger game kills with ease. The movement and controls feel great apart from when you jump into multiplayer and get to see what the characters looked like whilst jumping and walking. The best way I could describe jumping is like a frog hopping down a hill and the walking animation gave me the chills as the character model looked like it was possessed.

As for the animals themselves, they look and act beyond realistic in this title. Everything from you making small noises like standing on a stick to you shooting the gun, the animals all act in a very realistic way by being startled as soon as they hear the bang from the gun. Even if they hear you lurking around or smell you with the direction of the wind, they will run off into the distance so you need to re-track them. As you play, you’ll unlock sections of the map helping you learn where the animals eat, drink & sleep so you can track the animals easier.

Way of the Hunter has added a feature called “Hunters Sense” which is more important than you might think. You can “Hunters Sense” to see where the noises you are hearing are coming from, and whether you are close enough to the animal you are hunting. “Hunter Sense” can also be used whilst aiming down the sight of your weapon which will show you vital information like distance and what their energy levels are to get an idea if the animal is calm or concerned.

While you progress into the game further you can unlock perks to help you on your hunting adventures. Each weapon has different perks for things like holding your breath longer and being able to hold the gun more stable. You’ll also see subcategories like Lever Action & Bolt Action section, so depending on the gun you use the most you would unlock more perks for it. Then you can use the hunting perks to help with being sneaky and quiet to your advantage to hunt better.

The vehicles in “Way Of The Huner” are generic “No Name” jeep-looking models which decide on their own when they want to go slow and fast, and if you are in a multiplayer session and decide you want to have a head-on collision, it looks like something you would see from Monster Jam. In most hunting games you end up walking around for the most part which is why you would not see these vehicles being utilised in the game as much as you would expect. I was also surprised by the fact you can damage them not cosmetically but if you hit enough things you will need to get roadside assistance.

The multiplayer aspect of the game opens the “Lobby” up to one more person which is great for when you are hunting together as you can take down more animals. Like I mentioned before it was creepy seeing the animations from the characters but the online function works great and keen to see if they expand the lobbies past 2 people.

Graphically this game is stunning, the environment you’ll spend your time hunting in has been done with such high detail and makes it feel like you are there in that moment. Though, the details in the animal’s fur could have been fine-tuned a little to make them look a little more real. I was having issues with the rendering distance where the grass was just randomly appearing or the trees got their high detail when I got closer which took away from the experience a little.

The developers also did an amazing job on the audio design. While there is always room for improvement, you can hear everything from the Deer’s clashing antlers to sticks crushing under your feet. It’s definitely a game you should play with the volume up and listen to nature at its finest. The gun sounds are so close to being real that it felt like I was actually doing everything, even down to how you reloaded the rifles or shotguns.

I was even surprised with the voice acting in this game. It was something I wasn’t expecting from a hunting game, as the storyline with the voice acting was unreal and gave it another great feeling. The only real issue I had with audio was at times I would hear a noise and it was in the opposite direction from where I was looking which was then nothing to do with the wind. I could hear running water like I was next to it but was nowhere near a running water source. That is really the only area that could do with some improvements and fine-tuning.

Anyone that loves their hunting games is in for a treat with Way of the Hunter. I’m sure more maps will be added soon with DLCs and Expansion Passes so I’m excited to see where this game goes in the future.

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The Good

  • Gun Physics and how the character reacts to shooting
  • Environment Feel & Look

The Bad

  • Rendering Distance
  • Some sounds being all over the place

Written by: Hayden Nelson


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