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