Features of Virtual Hunting – theHunter: Call of the Wild Review

Hunting is a hobby that is foreign to me. It is a whole culture, to access which one must definitely have at least a grandfather’s shotgun and thick mustaches above the fireplace, and I don’t even have a fireplace, let alone all that. I have never come close to it, closer than picking mushrooms in the Siberian forests, and I probably never will for a number of reasons. One of them is theHunter: Call of the Wild.

The new iteration of the once free simulator offered a visually appealing and not too expensive way to get acquainted with the charms of hunting skills. According to the description, it’s all the same, minus the accompanying inconveniences. So, sit in a comfortable chair with a cup of tea and enjoy the process, while your avatar fights off mosquitoes and wets their pants in the reeds. Perfect, isn’t it?

Rocks in the wilds of theHunter

Finally, we arrived! As soon as we arrived at the place, the handheld radio starts crackling with voices, the most persistent of which advises taking a walk around and finding something to shoot. Just then, as if on cue, there is a rustling sound from the nearest clearing. It must be a large animal. Trying not to make any unnecessary noise, I approach closer – and indeed: right in the center, a bear is discovered, leisurely trampling on the grass in peculiar shapes.

Alright, now just as we were taught. Aim. Hold your breath. Slowly squeeze the trigger. Fire!..

…And nothing happens.

The brown wanderer turns around and freezes with a bewildered look on its face. No, it was impossible to miss. The bullet simply didn’t hit anything vital. It happens, for sure. Just a few more seconds, and we can collect the prey.

Precision shooting with a scope

After three minutes of mutual staring, I finally decide to approach the stubborn prey – only to discover that it had long since died, forgetting to play the corresponding animation beforehand. And off in the distance, it turns out there was another bear sitting there, meekly observing all of this, unafraid of the rifle’s noise or the sudden collapse of its fellow. Hmm, that didn’t go well.

Well, yeah, this simulation isn’t very stable. The aforementioned case is not unique – many things here malfunction more often than acceptable. Animation glitches are not a big deal, however, the bugs in the animal behavior model blur the impression. You suddenly stop feeling like an experienced hunter when coyotes literally disappear in three pine trees, and deer’s brains shut off completely at the sight of a player. “Buy a decoy, otherwise you won’t achieve anything in life,” suggests the local expert, but meanwhile, the fauna is actively proving the opposite:


If we set aside these mishaps, Call of the Wild excellently portrays hunting as a full-fledged craft. It’s not enough to learn to shoot accurately and run fast, this is not Counter-Strike anymore – animals are smarter and more agile. You need to pay attention to the wind direction so that your repulsive human scent doesn’t reach the wide nostrils of a moose; stay in the grass and try not to move; look for tracks, wait at watering holes and favorite resting places; and finally, use decoys. Patience, resourcefulness, and attentiveness are crucial – and the higher the hypothetical level of the animal, the more effort you’ll have to put into capturing it.

It’s especially nice that all of this is accessible to any layer of players. Beginners are supported by a detailed interface that explains, helps, and highlights where necessary – it’s simply impossible to get lost with such a system. More experienced players can easily disable unnecessary clutter, as the game world is informative enough on its own, thanks in no small part to the amazing sound work and graphical details like crushed grass and leaves being picked up by the air currents.

Challenging missions in theHunter

In some storyline missions, it is impossible to get rid of the feeling that you are playing Firewatch for a nitpicker.

In general, there are no noticeable complaints about the sports side of the issue: spending 20 minutes camping in the bushes, pursuing your own land-based Moby Dick, turned out to be surprisingly interesting. It is much more difficult to derive pleasure from the actual shot. From killing.

Perhaps a little PETA activist is growing inside me, who will feel the urge to splash blood on passers-by in fur coats tomorrow, but even in virtual form, hunting carries some repulsive emotional color. Call of the Wild invites you to a beautiful, peaceful world, only to destroy its idyll. It sprinkles statistics of hits, savors details about a pierced intestine, revels in bleeding, and counts the seconds until the animal’s death. Yes, everyone here calls for the humanity of the process, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

And until we start talking about animal cruelty and calls for veganism, I will clarify – this is excessive for interactive entertainment. A game that emphasizes the naturalness of the committed killing does not allow you to treat yourself with the same carelessness with which you send tigers, for example, to the other side. Far Cry 4 And it can no longer be called entertainment in the true sense of the word.

Tracking stats in theHunter

Certainly, no one prohibits living in harmony with nature, but there is a desperate lack of means to make a pacifist’s leisure time exciting. And yet, the solution is right under our noses – or rather, in the player’s arsenal. Based on a camera, which in its current form simply replaces the screenshot button and is required for a couple of boring tasks, a whole sphere of virtual activity could be organized.

Why, for example, doesn’t the magical cabinet, which exchanges money for weapons and ammunition, trade gadgets for wildlife photography? Snap some sparrows, earn money for a new lens with insane zoom, improve your stealth photography skills – and off you go to capture a herd of deer dancing around a yawning buffalo. You don’t even need to invent another bicycle: the mechanics, up to shooting, are all the same, except that the click of the shutter doesn’t rupture your lungs. Well, you would just have to add some kind of “Instagram” for naturalists.

Binoculars for wildlife observation
Archery in the wilderness

After all, the very nature of the game, captivating and diverse, demands it. Whether it’s the sun rays breaking through majestic pines, raindrops hitting the surface of an ordinary swamp, or the moon hanging over the mountains – everything looks so beautiful that you want to create dozens of compositions, play with exposure, focus, and filters in pursuit of the perfect shot. But it’s not provided for. Not even a shabby “Ansel” from NVIDIA was found.

However, the engine has its own beauty. Just Cause 3 He does not give it for free. If you are willing to tolerate the “staircases” that are so eye-catching in blood with such an abundance of vegetation, then at 1080p on ultra settings, everything goes more than decently. Otherwise, you need to forcibly enable smoothing through the video card driver or increase the resolution – obviously, both options noticeably affect the frame rate.

Majestic mountain vistas

Despite what has been said above, it is not worth seriously criticizing Call of the Wild. Realism and attention to detail are the true signs of a good simulator, and Expansive Worlds aimed for such a result.

It is much more important for the developers at the moment to focus on fixing technical roughness and filling the game with content that its F2P predecessor has accumulated over the years. If they add a companion dog in the next free update, confidently add about five more points to the rating.

theHunter: Call of the Wild
Multiplayer, Simulation
Avalanche Studios
Expansive Worlds
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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