The Hunter - BEST and FREE hunting and nature simulator ever

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MAVEN
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The Hunter - BEST and FREE hunting and nature simulator ever

My design work often involves travel. I can't help it but remember all the amazing places I've had the chance to visit, and not only that. Few years ago I used to go fly fishing while some of my family members went to hunt in the beautiful wild. In fact, my grandfather is unbeaten 15 year-long regional champion in both hunting and fishing, beating many records several decades ago. I guess it's in my blood to like hunting and fishing as well.

For years I favored Cabela's games as the most relaxing games ever, up until I stumbled upon this gem just today completely randomly.

The Hunter! Most gorgeously looking and realistic yet free to play hunting simulator ever made.

I will go short on the details and let the images/videos and information speak for itself...

Screens - http://www.thehunter.com/pub/screenshots.php
Gameplay Videos (gorgeous cryisis-like graphics!) - http://www.thehunter.com/pub/video.php
About The Hunter - http://www.thehunterwiki.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

Amazed? I surely am, from what I've seen and from what I've experienced in real life, this game is re-creating the hinting experience very well, will no doubt give this game a try soon, perhaps today even Biggrin

If you are a nature's fan, love guns but also living things, don't miss out on this one!

UPDATE 3: I downloaded the client, signed up, and got a look into the game and I also shot my 1st game (deer and pheasants). Here's what I think about it in short:

The good stuff:

-Gorgeous graphics! (Grass waves naturally, clouds cast shadows, timing has huge impact on colors, trees, rocks wood and buildings are detailed, sun rays come through canopies, water has realistic ripples etc) It runs on Avalanche engine (Used in Just Cause 1 and 2, also made by same company)
-Really well done sound effects that are in full 3D.
-Very live environment, everything moves, you can see butterflies, you can see birds, you can see bugs altho rarely.
-Realism.
-Satisfying set of options (a bit buggy though).
-There are skills, achievements, trophies and many other things, the game is online so you can compete with friends.
-Game runs smoothly and has surprisingly well detailed terrain.
-Animals AI is VERY smart, animals eat grass, follow trails, react to noise, follow your moves and scent then avoid you, jump if spooked then stare at you or simply run off (at my 1st deer encounter, deer slammed in a tree and got taunted, so I shot it again lol) etc, very naturally.
-Game has physics.
-Requires email address to sign up but DOESN't necessarily require you to verify it in order to play. You can also terminate your account completely at any time.
-Even in the free version you get to roam 8 different places for one same location (island) and each of those locations is really big and different, so big in fact that you use google maps in-game to browse the entire The Hunt world which is in US.
-You get an advanced gps device, it will show accurate data, help you track animals, log events, and even analyze their sounds (assuming you record them with the device)
-Unlike any other hunting game, once you are out of tutorials the game tells you NOTHING about where to go, what to do, or how to do it, which is perfect for realism and freedom of play, the only thing it tells you is your location via gps, which body part you shot the animal when you bagged it and what's your estimated shot distance.
-The game does require browser to launch, but you can log out and close browser once you are in-game, then later log in if you need more free ram. I'm not sure how that affects your scoring, you can even play offline once you are in-game but obviously you wont track your achievements.
-All animals are present in the world, you will encounter them naturally regardless of what license you bought (I saw a coyote run over a hill after it was sneaking up on me, surprisingly it ran very realistically and fast, in a flash I lost his tracks) however to shoot an animal, then "bag it" you need a paid license from the website, otherwise you won't be able to in-game.
-The game is perfect for practicing patience, you need to plan your moves, watch surroundings, place traps (and while you wait so, play a game on your advanced gps device, a game within a game GAMECEPTION :D) follow tracks of animals (they are prints on ground, droplets, squashed grass which you can also squash with your presence, shaking tree leaves if bird game flys nearby etc) and you are not the top predator, there are many dangerous animals that sneak on you like bears.
-The game has multiple stances and very minimal HUD, which helps you immerse in the gameplay.
-There are also competitions and challenges on the site you can enter and win free stuff.

The bad stuff:

-The game launcher is only 1 GB, but the game installation takes over 2 GB's, on top of that, the game will patch itself which will use additional 3-4 GB's, and the patch is painfully slow even with faster connections, perhaps because it uses torrent channels.
-Game launches via browser, there's no addon required (thankfully) but you have to use the website to start games.
-The game is free to download, free to register, and free to play, BUT, there are membership plans, with some being over 60 USD a year, which sucks big time. The guest aka free plan is unlimited but is restricted to one map, and only one animal.
-Equipment is not free, you have to buy it with games currency (which is possibly bought with real money only) as started you get basic clothing, a bolt action rifle, scope, some ammo, binoculars, a mini game, a camera and a map.
-The game forces anti aliasing, while not a bad thing, it can have impact on performance.
-The game patcher can get bugged up, leaving you with no other option than to start it again

So, to sum it up. It's a neat game, but has lots of issues. It's surely better than Cabela's series but overpriced. If you want to try something new it's a good choice (even with the limited guest stuff) if money isn't your problem then it's a very good game, but overall it could have been a lot better if it was pay-once play-forever kind of a game.

Still, I recommend it. Make sure that you have a decent system to see all the eye candy graphics though Smile

Speed, Precision, Experience, Endurance. General System Tweak Guide

XFactor
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Last seen: 5 years 7 months ago

I'm familiar with that type of games, although not that one you're refering to.
I've played "Deer Hunter 2005" in the past, quite dated, but i believe there's a new release, not sure... Shok
In this one u can even customize your weapons, choose between bolt action, pump action rifles, shotguns, bows and crossbows, scope types, choose ammo type, camo patterns, etc!! Pretty amazing, except when your looking for some hunt, and all you see are trees and not even one deer!!! its a cool game, but it gets boring a bit fast, unless your playing it in MP. Smile

Still cool for those who want to know how the predator (alien) feels just before striking down a victim!!! Wink

IMAGE(http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/760/xfactorlogolowres.jpg)

SAS_Yogi
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I meant to reply to this before but when I did it came back with "haha you're not connected to the internet silly" and I forgot all about the topic.

I may check this out in the future, as I come from a family of hunters and that's kind of how I got into gaming in the first place ;).

I still enjoy the sport, it's just not too fun to sit out in freezing cold temperatures lol.

MAVEN
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Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago

This is the most realistic hunting simulation. Check this out:

On my 2nd hunt, I was able to track a deer, found it, lured it with bleak call and the deer was standing still on a field near a bush turning head around and flapping ears, listening to my bleak lure call and looking for deers, I took my time, aimed properly from some 100 m and took the shot...the deer stumbled a bit and then fell on the ground. What I didn't expect gave me chills literally and struck me unexpectedly. All from nowhere, a young lamb, or at least it looked like a lamb hopped out from that thick bush and stared at it's mother, made few pitched calls, ran away then returned, stared a bit more, called its mother and then ran off in nearby forests...

On my 3rd hunt I was tasked with hunting a big buck. I spent hours tracking a buck in forests, he always somehow managed to get lost in bushes and thick foliage, however, after I got tired of it, I just sat down, made myself some coffee, and stared at the screen with my headphones still on while having my coffee. All off a sudden a loud deep bleak came nearby, it caught me off guard and I didn't expect it to be close, but the foliage was so tall and thick i could barely see anything, so I layed down not to scare the buck off, after some 2-3 minutes I heard loud but slow stumps, then from that little bit of view through the foliage I had spotted huge horns and a buck that stood still and stared around, I prepped my gun, aimed for the head but the buck saw me (right when I had my crosshair on his head) and raised it's ears up, took a stand up stance as if it's going to rush with it's horns toward me, I took the shoot and puff, huge bloat on the ground and trees...the buck fell on the spot, when I tagged it stats said I shot it at its brain and from under 5 meters lol

On my 4th hunt I ended up chasing deers for a hour without any catches.

On my 5th hunt I wounded a deer, and had to track its blood and tracks for over a half a hour, only to be attacked by a hog and then a coyote... I managed to scare them off and later on find the deer and tag it.

So yeah, best hunting simulator, so hard to predict, and even harder to hunt anything. However if you do apply some hunting knowledge you can hunt animals. I recommend it, at least the free demo Smile

The terrains are beautiful, I can't remember which map it was, but there's a hanging bridge cross between two mountains, a valley bellow and a lagoon in distance, that scene alone beat anything Crysis had to offer.

Anyway I uninstalled the game as it simply brought too much nostalgia and full game equipment requires cash to purchase. I also don't have high-end gaming system to run the game maxed out so I left that for some other time when I do have a system that can run it maxed out, perhaps by then they will add more terrains, animals and equipment.

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Ryan
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Last seen: 5 years 3 months ago

Looks like they still haven't done anything with ballistics? No windage, so on. If they added that, I'd be all over it but it just looks like a pretty place to shoot virtual animals.

My idea of CQB is running in with a sword.

MAVEN
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There are ballistics for all weapons, most noticable shotguns, action rifles, bows and pistols. It's hard to notice because most of the shots on animals occur within 300 M which is close. In fact, longest shot in the game by far is around 280 m far (from the scoreboard).

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SAS_Yogi
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Sadly, this game seems to require a monthly subscription for the good stuff :(. There's nothing worse than paying money each month just to play a game when there are plenty of other games to play for free or one-time pay.

The free version limits you to one area, one gun (.243), and one animal (mule deer). I probably won't pay money for continued access, but I will at least try out the free stuff Smile

MAVEN
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Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago

Yeah that's the sad stuff:(

However I do understand why devs did this. Their game is used by less than 20k people and it's the best hunting simulator made in 2011.

The free demo is good when you look at it. Lots of freedom. You can still explore ALL areas, however you can't hunt all species without paid subscription. It's sort of like purchasing a license to hunt animals for real lol.

For what the game offers, paying is worth it even annually, but not with the current pricing, that's too high and there's too little choice. Perhaps in a year-two they will improve.

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SAS_Yogi
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I just don't like monthly at all, ever.

If I played for $5/month for a year, it would cost $60.

I can buy a new game for $60 and play it FOREVER.

Take a game like Raven Shield, which I've been playing for at least 5 years; I'd have paid $300 to play...ridiculous!

MAVEN
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Yep. That's the sucky part. However compared to some free games like BF Play4Free where players buy items, ammo and other stuff daily, it's not that bad. Many developers that lack funds choose this way only to later release a game that is paid once and kept forever.

Game publishing costs money, specially for bigger products. The main reason why I stopped selling my 2D games for Windows was because it was too expensive to publish them back in the day (some of my releases costed well over 3k euros to publish, and that was publisher, copyright, trademarking, salespoint and without local legal paperwork, licensing and tons of other oddjob things, I did take the money back but over a lengthy period of time and there was little to no revenue) people still didn't buy games like nowadays where Steam sells them super cheap and has larger user base, but today it's so easy to publish games, the new problem is competition not publishment, and hardware as well. I however did switch, so I'm adapting for games on iOS, BB and WP now.

The point is, monthly fees suck, but sooner or later this game will be much better and more affordable to play. They actually added several animals and new terrains only recently and closely listen to their small but dedicated community.

Speed, Precision, Experience, Endurance. General System Tweak Guide