From hunting bison in the Yukon to lions in the Savanna, it’s no wonder that the theHunter: Call of the Wild game on Steam is beloved by many. There are over 120,000 positive Steam reviews, which is around the same as the game of the year cyberpunk title Stray at 118,000, and just behind the immensely popular Hogwarts Legacy with its 175,000 positive reviews.
Technically, it was released a while ago for players on Steam, back in 2017. And it has also moved to consoles. However, theHunter: Call of the Wild is constantly updated almost like an MMO so that the content is always fresh and new. Just in the past year we got updates with new maps, new hunting equipment, and lots of quality-of-life improvements to name just a few.
With a plethora of different locations to hunt, all with different species of animals, you will never get bored. The graphics are high quality, and the player controls are incredibly smooth. Furthermore, the scenery is just impeccable: tall mountains, green valleys, fast-flowing rivers, and picturesque lakes. If you want, you can just explore the environment and walk around for hours. My mother enjoys walking around the environment with her dog and admiring the trees while watching animals in their natural environment – with no actual hunting required if you don’t want.
The animal behavior in theHunter: Call of the Wild is quite realistic. They go to water sources at specific times, travel in groups, and their movements mimic that of real animals. Furthermore, theHunter: Call of the Wild also has a scoring system keyed to the value of each animal. It scales from none, bronze, silver, gold, and then the elusive diamond. The only diamond I’ve seen was one shot by my mother, a bison. There are other features that can make an animal rare, such as their coat. One example is the piebald moose, a rare, spotted variant. This adds a new level of difficulty and a fun challenge outside of the standard hunt.
Did I mention you can get your own dog in theHunter: Call of the Wild? Man’s best friend (in this case a bloodhound) can join you on your quest to take down prey. As you hunt with your dog more, you gain a stronger bond, and the dog becomes a better hunter and tracker. Furthermore, the dog is an incredible asset when tracking down wounded prey. It can track the blood of a wounded animal and lead you to them. Additionally, the new Retriever DLC (downloadable content) was released recently, allowing you to expand your collection of canine companions.
Speaking of DLCs, there are tons to choose from to add to your game to make it even more engaging. You can buy more reserves to hunt from, such as New England, Savanna, and the Taiga, and even trophy lodges to house your rare kills and to offer a cool place to hang out between hunts. One of my favorite DLCs is the ATV add on. It allows much easier transportation around the massive maps, which is helpful when everything about theHunter: Call of the Wild is so expansive. The maps are quite large, and walking can take a considerable amount of time.
The title can be played alone or with others in co-op. It can also be enjoyed on the PC with the standard mouse and keyboard, as well as a controller since it (and Steam) fully supports controller play. I play on a Windows PC with an Xbox controller, and it works great. I personally like to play with a controller, as most of the shooting games I play are done on console, and the controls are similar.
The maps are quite large, and there are a lot of unknown features imbedded in them. You never know what you may stumble across. I’ve found things as varied as a vast cave network and a lawn chair sitting on top a rock in the middle of nowhere.
All that being said, no game is perfect. I did stumble across a few glitches and bugs while exploring theHunter: Call of the Wild. These ranged from animals running in place and not dying no matter how many times when shot to the inability to switch or pull out a weapon. I’ve even seen floating rocks on the horizon. None of these are really game-breaking, but something to know before you set out on your hunting adventure.
There is also not much of a tutorial. When I first started playing, it was difficult knowing what to do and how everything worked, but over time it did get easier. The more you hunt in theHunter: Call of the Wild, the more your skills increase, both in terms of your character and your personal skills. For a new character, when they start, the scope may jump around, and they also don’t shoot straight. But the more they shoot, the better they get.
That goes for player skills too. For example, my mom has learned to take down a bison instantly in a single shot. A few tips if you are starting out is to use binoculars to search for animals, as it can highlight where they are, then switch to your weapon and try to shoot them. Also. take advantage of hunting stands and animal calls to make your hunt more successful.
Overall, theHunter: Call of the Wild provides hours of entertainment, and there is plenty to explore and do. I highly recommend it if you want to try a good hunting simulator or are simply on the hunt for a relaxing title that looks amazing. Also, theHunter: Call of the Wild is constantly updated by its skillful and very active developer Expansive Worlds.