Prior to the official launch of the game on 16th August, developers Nine Rocks Games and THQ Nordic‘s open world hunting simulation – Way of the Hunter is a game with realistic gun controls and ethical hunting, here’s our review on the game.
While Way of the Hunter is a simulation game, the game does offer its own story narrative which depends on its missions. Once you progress through the missions, it also progresses the story.
The game starts off with River Knox – the player who heads their way to the Bear Den Ranch lodge located in the forest of Nez Perce Valley. Upon arrival, you’ll need to find one of the spare keys to enter the lodge and equip everything in the safe storage. After getting everything, you’ll have to meet up with one of your old friend that you haven’t seen in 10 years, Echo.
Once you’re done, you need to head on to the hunting range to practice up your shooting skills and then your first hunt will begin. Your first hunt starts off with you hunting badgers behind the lodge, and you’ll have access to one of the mechanics that will be useful throughout Way of the Hunter, which is the Hunter Sense.
After reaching some point into the game, you’ll be able to unlock the story through comic form which is pretty cool in my opinion. From the comic strips, you get to see some of River’s backstory on how he came to love hunting.
Way of the Hunter features a lot of neat mechanics and let’s talk about the computers first. By using the computer, the player can receive emails which contains missions for you to complete and progress through the story. Players will also have access to the shop, storage and other features through the computer. Speaking of the shop, you get to buy guns, gears, attachments from there, so be sure to familiarise yourself with the computer because you’ll be spending a lot of time with it.
As of my review of playing through Way of the Hunter, one of the key features that will be your bread and butter would be the arsenal of guns available in Way of the Hunter. From shotguns to snipers, players get to pick up their choice of firearms to go on the hunt but unlike your typical shooters, there’s a lot of features that you have to keep in mind before you fire up your guns.
For instance, while using a sniper rifle, you’ll have to zero in your sights onto your prey. It can’t be too low or too high up, and you’ll also need to hold your breath to have your aim be steady or else you’ll miss your target. Not only that but you have to take wind direction and speed into consideration, so you’ll need to control the bullet drop of your weapons.
Not only do you keep track of your weapons but your bullets too because you only get a handful of bullets per day. For example, the Remington 783 only can carry up to 25 bullets a day, so you’ll need to make sure that each of your bullets count. To replenish the bullets for your gun, you have to go back home and sleep out the day. But you get to have two guns while on a hunting mission so make sure you’re fully prepared before setting out.
I previously mentioned it briefly but here’s a more in-depth analysis on the Hunter Sense. Before you start going on the hunt and track down your prey, you’ll need to first turn on the Hunter Sense as this mechanic, as the name suggests, will help you track down the animal you want. From footsteps, to animal sounds, your heightened senses will give you information and clues on their approximate location and how long that they stay in one place.
Once you analyse some of the spots that an animal have visited, you’ll notice an icon on the map which means that the in game encyclopedia have updated to the information of said animal. The encyclopedia carries tons of information of an animal’s behaviour like its life cycle and how frequent one appears at a certain time of day. Not only does the encyclopedia keep track of animals but also in game mechanics, firearms, types of ammo and much more.
Though my one gripe with the mechanic is how easy the colours for the hunter sense blends in with the surrounding environment, which makes it pretty difficult to find at times if it doesn’t have the indicator popping up.
Having a car to help you out on your hunt when you have to cover the ground from one place to another is extremely helpful because the map is just really big. And while you can’t just bring your car around to actually hunt down an animal since it’ll just scare them away, it’s still nice to have access to.
Through my time of review with Way of the Hunter, I actually got my car to be stuck in a pool of water as I tried driving my car over the river but have miscalculated how deep the body of water was. My car wasn’t able to move and I was stuck inside because I couldn’t exit out of the car. So if you find yourself being caught up in a similar predicament, what you can do is to go back to the main menu and enter back into the game, this is cause you to be outside of the car.
There are two ways of getting your car back, the first needing you to fast travel back to the lodge and open up the computer. Once inside the computer, you’ll need to search for the car option and choose from one of the three options. While the second option requires you to find a parking sign near you so that once you interact with the sign, it’ll bring you back to the same option of choosing the three cars as in option one.
You Had Me at Meah
In my review of Way of the Hunter, I played through the game on ultra settings and it looks stunning. The environment looks extremely detailed and realistic. To the details on the trees, the grass, the mountains and even the rocks, all etched with careful textures and modelling, all to which is very pleasing to the eye.
Nine Rocks Games have carefully made everything in the game look really realistic, especially with the animals even on the main menu being really detailed. Each of the models of the animals look really good and packed with detail in their features, such as the fur, their eyes and many more. When I take a closer look at the animal while claiming its dead body, there is just so much detail they put into the animal.
Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day
While it’s certainly true that I spent a lot of my time through wasting bullets, missing my shots, waiting through the right moments on tracking down and hunting my prey, the game is all about having patience and while it can be tedious at times, it’s oddly relaxing at some situations in my time of review for Way of the Hunter.
The shooting mechanics can be a bit challenging at times with the zeroing mechanics and additional factors that need to be considered such as wind speed and direction but it does play a part with adding in realism into Way of the Hunter, which is also enhanced with how beautiful the environmental design of the game is.
|Stunning Graphics||Game can be a slow drag if you're into faster paced titles|
|Crisp Sound Design||Visual Indicators like Hunter Sense blend too much into the background|
|Realistic Shooting Gameplay|
For more information on Way of the Hunter, do check out the official website here.