If you've never hunted in real life, games like theHunter: Call of the Wild or Hunting Simulator may immediately make you think that they're probably not for you. I was one of those gamers who thought so until I played Hunting Simulator 2, the latest entry in the franchise from Nacon. Nacon is known for publishing unique titles like The Sinking City, Warhammer: Chaosbane, and more.
Bottom line: Hunting Simulator 2 is an addictive open-world game, but it may have limited appeal due to its genre.
- Gorgeous visuals
- Accessible shooting mechanics
- Weapon variety
- Animal variety
- Limited appeal due to genre
- Runs at 30 FPS on Xbox One X
Hunting Simulator 2 objectives and shooting
Hunting Simulator 2 is exactly what the name suggests. You explore a number of open-world environments, tracking animals, and using the appropriate caliber weapons to shoot them. The game features a detailed encyclopedia to help you determine which weapon to use with different kinds of prey. This is incredibly important so you need to be familiar with this information.
The game comes together through a hub area called the lodge. There, you can buy licenses to hunt different animals, purchase new weapons, and modify them with different scopes. More importantly, it allows you to purchase companion dogs that can help you out during hunts. Hunting Simulator 2 is definitely more complex than what you would expect from the get-go.
The game features easy-to-learn controls and the shooting mechanics are accessible as well. Just aim and shoot just like you would in any other first-person game. However, the only element to take into account is the amount of sound you generate when approaching targets. Stealth plays an important role in the game because you have to approach wildlife cautiously or they run away. Sprinting allows you to cover large areas quickly, but when you're going in for the kill, you should crouch and slowly move through the bushes, trying to stay behind the animal's line of sight.
Hunting Simulator 2 environments and weapons
Hunting Simulator 2 penalizes you if you use the wrong caliber weapon because that's registered as an Unethical Kill. For example, using a gun that can take down a large deer to kill a duck is unnecessary and excessive. While you can do it, you're going to be fined $250 so it's not worth it. Unless you go for dangerous prey, it's a little difficult to make money in the game. You should always be mindful of what weapon you have.
The game has a lot of weapon variety and if you're having a hard time using a rifle or a shotgun, you should be able to easily find something you like. However, be prepared to pay a lot for it because purchasing weapons willy-nilly is a terrible idea.
|Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4
|Xbox Game Pass
Hunting Simulator 2 also provides a practice range where you can test out everything in your arsenal. There are close-quarters and long-range targets available at the press of a button. You can spend as much time there because the shooting range offers unlimited ammunition from my understanding. This is a great way to experiment and become a good marksman before you head out into the world.
Hunting Simulator 2 features three areas with different terrain and animals. While the shooting mechanics remain the same, exploring new regions and encountering new, natural obstacles is a nice change of pace. I would've been satisfied with one map, but the three elevate the game.
Hunting Simulator 2 graphics and performance
Hunting Simulator 2 features gorgeous visuals and lighting on Xbox One X. It's almost photorealistic. It also renders at 4K resolution from our analysis. Hunting Simulator 2 is definitely a crisp and stunning game on Microsoft's latest console. Unfortunately, it only runs at 30 frames per second (FPS) on the system even though it's a first-person experience. I would've liked to see a 60 FPS option because it would've tightened the shooting mechanics, but they're great even at 30 FPS.
During my playthrough, I didn't encounter any noticeable frame rate dips and it seems like the game is locked at 30 FPS. I was worried that it would be a "janky" game, but that's definitely not the case at all.
Hunting Simulator 2 final thoughts
Overall, Hunting Simulator 2 is a good game and one that is surprisingly addictive. I honestly didn't expect to be this into a hunting title, but this one is just so easy to get into and so forgiving that it's a lot of fun. I'm sure as I unlock more hunting licenses, the prey will be more challenging, but your first steps in a new world leave a lasting impression.
For me, Hunting Simulator 2 offered a positive experience. I also didn't realize I was into hunting until I played this game and I can't wait to dive back into the gorgeous world to tackle even greater challenges.
Stalk your prey
Watch out for bears
With your hunting dog by your side, explore the Texan desert and forests of Colorado and Europe as you track down 33 animal species.
Play more games
It'll last you a couple of months
Xbox Game Pass gives you access to over 200 games for one monthly fee. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also adds Xbox Live Gold to the package so you can play online with your friends.
- What is Xbox Game Pass?
- Best 4K TVs for Xbox Series X and S
- Must-buy Xbox One Headsets
- Our Favorite Xbox One Wireless Headsets
- Best Upcoming Xbox Games for 2021
- Xbox One X vs. Xbox Series S
The game was reviewed on an Xbox One X with a code provided by the publisher.
Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.