Hunting Simulator 2 launched last week on several platforms, namely PS4, XBO, Nintendo Switch and PC. It’s the latest hunting simulation by Neopica and Nacon, adding to the sports game genre.
The game comes at a hefty price, so we’re going to perform a detailed review to determine whether Hunter Simulator 2 is worth buying.
|Platform reviewed:||PS4 Pro|
|Release date:||25 June 2020|
|Price:||£49.99 / $49.99 / R949|
|Genre:||Simulation, FPS, Sports|
|File size||17 GB|
Table of Contents
Hunting Simulator 2 Story
When you start playing Hunting Simulator 2, there’s a tutorial to show you the ropes. It introduces you to the cabin in the woods, the simple gameplay mechanics, as well as your trusty canine companion. You’ll learn how to follow tracks and hunting your first animal.
However, we didn’t find any overarching plot or story for our Hunting Simulator 2 review. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any personal objectives that you can set for yourself. For instance, have a look at all the PS4 trophies available and start hunting down every type of animal or finding all hot spots on the map.
Once you’ve killed a beastie and make your way to the cabin, you can sell it or claim it as a stuffed trophy for your home. My wife and I are on a personal mission to see who can complete this objective first. While it’s fun creating your own missions, the hunting simulation game would benefit from some in-game missions for each region.
Speaking of regions, there six areas in three locations, namely Colorado, Texas and Europe. Each map has its own climate and conditions that will test your hunting abilities. Furthermore, there are different animals in each location, so make sure you take the correct loadout.
What we found amazing for this Hunting Simulator 2 review is the number of items you can buy. There are backpacks to carry additional weapons and items on your journey, over 160 weapons and accessories, as well as some tools to help you out in the field.
Playing Hunting Simulator 2 on the PS4
There is a definite learning curve in this simulation game. If you’ve never played a hunting game before, specifically Hunting Simulator 1, it may become frustrating at the beginning. We spent the first two hours of the game merely trying to spot animals. It felt more like a walking simulator than a hunting game.
However, as soon as you get used to the vital principles of the game, it becomes easier. By acquiring some additional tools, like the deer caller, finding the creatures isn’t difficult at all. You learn where specific types of animals like to gather and how best to sneak up to them without alerting them to your location.
After playing the game for for a few days for our Hunting Simulator 2 review, we found that it becomes progressively easier over time. Moreover, some regions are easier than others, having open plains rather than closed forests. The more you acquire new types of calibers and weapons, the higher your chances of getting that valuable kill.
Each animals has a different value when you sell them. The ones that are hard to acquire have higher monetary values. However, if you damage too many organs, the price drops. Additionally, there are fines for performing certain actions, such as killing females or shooting an animal one too many times.
Of course, there is the actual hunting aspect to discuss. You’ll start off from the cabin each time, searching the grounds for animal tracks, broken vegetation, urine or droppings. These will either be fresh or old. Even though the game indicates that it’s fresh, we’ve spent several minutes following the tracks of a single animal before actually finding them.
When you do locate them and shoot, one of four things happen:
- You miss;
- You hit, but don’t cause enough damage;
- You hit, causing it to bleed and limp;
- Instant kill.
When you hit but don’t cause enough damage, a white cross appears on your pointer. If there’s sufficient damage that damaged a vital organ, it will be a red cross. Either of these will cause a blood trail for you to follow.
I mentioned some frustrations earlier in this Hunting Simulator 2 review. While most aggravations died off with more time spent in the sports hunting game, there are a few unforgivable issues.
The first is getting stuck between rocks that we could easily clamber over in real life. In the first situation, the rocks were ankle high. Despite having no problem stepping within the stony circle, we couldn’t get out. It forced us to return to our home and receiving a fine for not claiming a kill. In the second situation, we entered an area with rocks in the water, but could not return the way we had come. the area was open, but we could not move through.
If anything, it’s taught us to mind our surroundings. Yet, it would have been better if there was a jump function or the ability to respawn at the cabin instead of returning home.
The other issue for our Hunting Simulator 2 review is the ‘Unethical kill’ fine when you shoot an animal too many times. In the image below, I had trailed behind this limping deer for about five minutes, before I gave up and shot it dead. Of course, I received a fine since I had already shot it and caused it damage. I’m struggling to work out how it’s more unethical to kill the suffering creature than to walk behind it for a long period, watching it bleed out.
One of the best features of Hunting Simulator 2 is your faithful companion. You can choose between three types of canines, depending on your needs. Here’s the list of breeds and what their unique skills are:
- Beagle: sniff out animals and bark at them to distract them;
- Labrador retriever: collect small dead animals and bring them to you (handy when their bodies fall in water that you can’t swim in);
- German shorthaired pointer: Good for finding animals and… pointing with their snouts.
There are three skills per canine that you can upgrade. Every time they find a trail on their own, their expertise increase. When you praise them, their ‘drive’ improves. Finally, running around upgrades their stamina.
In the first few hours of Hunting Simulator 2, we largely ignored the canine companion, since he felt rather useless. He would lose the trail, even though we spotted it ourselves. However, we eventually learned to go back to the previous trail and tell them to look again. Once your woofie is at maximum levels, you’ll spend less time following trails yourself.
There is a particular routine to playing Hunting Simulator 2. When you’re at home, buy new items and choose your loadout. Proceed to the door and select a location. Once you’re in the area, go out and start hunting. Come back after several hours and claim the animals you’ve killed. You can sell them or send them home as a stuffed trophy. As soon as you’re done killing, go home, rinse and repeat.
Once you’ve completed all areas and collected all trophies, there isn’t much else to do. You’ll only replay the hunting game for the joy of it. Fortunately, we enjoyed the game so much that we’re willing to do so. We’re just hoping that Neopica and Nacon add some more missions and a multiplayer competition mode in Hunting Simulator 2 at some point.
How Hunting Simulator 2 looks
The regions in Hunting Simulator 2 are extremely gorgeous. The lighting and shadows are superb, and there are some truly magnificent scenes to behold. Each weapon, item and animal has stunning designs and holds up well in 4K resolution.
There was only one moment where we found a small tree somehow suspended with its roots above the ground instead of in it. For the amount of work that went into the design of the game, it’s forgivable.
How it sounds
The sound element is another aspect of Hunting Simulator 2 that really stands out, especially if you wear headphones. At home, you can listen to the gramophone and change songs. In the wild, you’ll hear the sounds of nature, such as birds, the rustle of the wind in the trees, and the flowing water.
Of course, the sound really plays a massive role in listening to where animals are hiding. Furthermore, you have these calling tools to attract specific creatures to your location. Therefore, the sounds are as much part of the game mechanics in Hunting Simulator 2 rather than merely an enjoyable side-effect.
Hunting Simulator 2 – Final Verdict
When we spent the first few hours wandering around the forest for our first kill, it was really frustrating. We initially felt like we hated the game completely. However, that sentiment changed the longer we played Hunting Simulator 2.
In the end, the sports hunting simulation offers a wonderful experience for those who will never hunt in real life. Personally, I love animals dearly and will never attempt this sport in reality. However, the virtual experience in this game is enjoyable and gives you the activity of wandering around in nature during a time where we’re isolated inside our homes.
I recommend waiting until the price drops a bit. While the content does justify selling at the full price, there is more walking around and waiting for those kills than actual missions to complete.
Other Reviews and Guides
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Hunting Simulator 2 Verdict
The sound and graphics are superb. The story could do with some mission focus, but there's plenty of personal objectives to challenge yourself. Some minor gameplay frustrations, but an overall enjoyable experience.