We’ve all walked into an arcade and seen that cabinet in the back. A hunting game, complete with plastic guns and 2006 graphics. Maybe you weren’t a fan of those, but even so, Hunting Simulator 2 is your chance to give these games another shot (pun intended). Hunting Sim 2‘s developer, Neopica, has a recent track record of gorgeously designed games, with titles like FIA European Truck Racing Championship or the first Hunting Simulator under their belt, both flaunting bright, photorealistic graphics. Hunting Simulator 2 is no exception – developed in Unreal Engine 4, its landscapes are vibrant and stunning, from Colorado to Texas to Europe. Within the game’s world, you have no shortage of animals to target – from mellow deer to raging bobcats. Not all animals are for hunting, though – you have a canine companion who aids you on your expeditions, helping you sniff out your targets and find tracks.
You can obtain new gear – like animal calls and scent-masking sprays – by selling the animals you successfully hunt. Bigger targets mean bigger payouts, and the thrill of the hunt is also its own reward. Once you have a good amount of money on hand, you can also get your hands on better weaponry and licenses. The license and money system contribute the most to the game’s realism – did you take down a deer without a license? Use the wrong caliber on a bear? You’ll be fined, like any real hunter. Strategizing your hunts and carefully picking the right equipment is a big factor in your success.
However, its realism is also what makes Hunting Simulator 2 quite the chore for players looking for a quick hunt. Find some animal tracks? You’d better be prepared to follow them for at least an hour, moving slowly and quietly to avoid spooking other nearby animals. Did an airborne target land in water? You need a special type of hunting dog to retrieve it. Even with this tedium in mind, there’s no denying that Hunting Simulator 2 is a unique and strategic challenge for those with patience and a steady hand.
Hunting Simulator 2 is out now for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and will be released on Steam July 16. You can check out both the Standard and Bear Hunter editions here.