DIE DEER, DIE! The Hunt Trailer

Get him! Get that fucking stag bastard! HE KILLED MY CHILDREN.

Has anyone ever played a hunting game? I don’t mean in the world, ever. Clearly they have or there wouldn’t be twenty-seven of them released a month. But reading this – have you ever played a hunting game? And if so… is it any fun? Watching the trailer for Bass Pro Shops The Hunt (below), I felt guilty just sitting there staring at someone else playing a simulation of killing pretty animals. And please don’t get me wrong – I’ll tear the dead flesh off the bones of a baby panda along with any other human aware of his omnivorous biology. But there’s something missing when it’s a game about shooting. Aren’t the enemies supposed to shoot back?

I think there’s something over-celebratory about the presentation here. The slow-mo bullet ride as it finds the deer’s neck is a gratuity too far, maybe? I’m very aware that responsible hunters ensure quick and instant kills, and that to miss the right spot when firing at something like a deer is stigmatised. But this seems somewhat undermined when flying Matrix-style through the air. Oh, listen to me, I’m such an over-sensitive soul. It’s only pretend! But still, ick.

I think there’s two directions I’d like to see the hunting genre head in. And neither of them are Deer Avenger. Either I’d like to see balance restored: give the animals bazookas, make the fight fair. That’d be an interesting game. Saving the world from a crazed gang of armed wildebeest. Or I’d like to see it taken to the extreme: an endangered species hunting game. Take out the last of the white tigers, mow down the remaining pack of dhole with a machine gun, fish the final Asian arowana from the blackwaters, snipe the last pair of mountain gorillas only moments before they mate. In the meantime, we have this:

Oh, and in case that’s not enough, here’s the accompanying controller for the Wii version:

One for the kids!

65 Comments

  1. Ian says:

    “HIT!”

    Just like the way it happens in real life, I assume.

  2. Skurmedel says:

    I played Deer Hunter…. 2004 edition I think. I played it multiplayer with two others. It was surprisingly fun albeit a bit monotone sometimes. We had voice chat too (otherwise it’s pretty meaningless as you wouldn’t be able to coordinate anything) It could get pretty hilarious when everyone donned Magnum 44s and started blasting on the first buck they spotted…

    It’s not a game to recommend to vegetarians though, it feels pretty realistic, and at the time had quite good graphics.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      Despite being vehemently opposed to hunting (unless it’s for survival, don’t be a dick and shoot furry things), I do like hunting games.

      One I played a year or two ago cracked me up. I was aiming for a deer, moose… I dunno, something big and horny, and I shot it. All I did was anger it as it charged me and killed me.

      Funny as hell.

  3. faelnor says:

    The Hunter is a very pretty and atmospheric game. I loved the demo, too bad it’s an online subscription type of game, which I will never ever touch.

    • faelnor says:

      When I say demo, I mean free and unlimited play, tracking mule deer with only the default accessories and one rifle, which is guaranteed hours of a fantastic mix of contemplation and tension, natch.

  4. P7uen says:

    So, 13 guns then?

  5. Demon Beaver says:

    I’d like that Wii Controller with a good railshooter, I think… it’s quite something.
    But the thought of shooting animals disgusts me a bit… let me shoot humans, damnit! And preferably those who deserve it, I guess…
    Silly how those inhibitions go, huh? I wonder, if they made an FPS where every time you kill anyone, they flashed you a photo of them with their family, would it get the same effect?

    • SquareWheel says:

      “Why did daddy have to die?”, the little boy cried…

  6. Drexer says:

    I’ve played one of those hunting games before. Even though it had its fun bits before I gave up, it had far too many things that annoyed me.

    -The fact that it just seemed to easy. Sure, somethings might be hard, but when the enemy doesn’t fight back, it looses its challenge
    -The supposed boss fights moments which seem completely different from the rest of the game as it’s a manner of stepping aside/shooting/running away.
    -And above all the glorified redneck speech. Damnit, I took off my headphones every time someone talked.

    A game which I think balances this out much better though is Afrika. Much prettier, atmospheric, challenging and I don’t feel like such an asshole shooting animals for sport. Unfortunately it’s a PS3 exclusive. >_>

  7. kwyjibo says:

    I played Grizzly Bear Hunter years ago, it came on a Warez disk with Half-Life and Carmageddon 2 on it.

    It wasn’t very good, but Bears do not need guns. If bears had access to guns, we’d be extinct.

    —-

    Oh, and that Wii peripheral looks beautiful.

  8. Brumisator says:

    I played a hunting game last year, can’t remember the name of it though.

    It was very atmospheric and looked really nice.
    Tracking down a deer using a futuristic GPS PDA, find tracks, deer poop and the likes.

    It was a bit too easy compared to being in the woods IRL, but it was good fun enough.
    Tedious, of course, and very low on action, but that’s what hunting is about.

    Hunting simulators are pretty useless imo though. Hunting is about being in nature, the entire experience of it, and it just cannot be replicated in a videogame.

  9. Andy says:

    The only attraction I can see in this game is the simulation of the hunt and the (potential) skill in the take down. I can see very little else of merit in the hunting genre.
    Thing is, it’s quite easy to go out hunting. I mean for real, in the actual world. It’s not the cheapest thing ever I suppose (it’ll cost you about £600-£700 assuming you kill something) but if it’s those thrills you’re after then why bother with a game.
    Certain simulations I understand, I will never get to fly a supersonic military plane for example, but one’s that recreate something I can actually do if I really wanted….. don’t get it.

    • psyj says:

      Not everyone has legs or arms and not everyone can go out and legally hunt animals.

    • potat0man says:

      What about when it isn’t hunting season? Or if you live in a big city? Or if you are able to realize that actually doing something and playing a game that is loosely based on that activity are two completely different, barely even remotely related things?

    • Irony says:

      Not everyone has the option of real life hunting. Certainly very few in the uk. Not that I’d be able to stomach it in any case. Unless fishing counts; we all know it’s okay to eat fish because they don’t have any feelings.

  10. The Rev Owen says:

    I wrote a blog post about my thoughts on playing hunting games on the iPhone a few months ago.

    Short version: Feel a bit icky about it all, not entirely sure why.

  11. Skusey says:

    Yeah The Hunter was a good hunting game, it had a sense of seriousness about things. Like being reprimanded for injuring a deer and not finishing it off. I think I’ll go back to that sometime and pay for the whole thing, I’d be interested to see if hunting different species of deer changes the experience significantly.

    This on the other hand looks like it is aimed at 8 year olds. And stupid ones at that.

  12. MrPyro says:

    Maybe they could send those deer over to train with these kangaroos

  13. Carra says:

    Must be a yankee thing. What else do they need all those guns for?

    • Clovis says:

      The idea is that they are for hunting, protection, and revolution. I can understand not agreeing with this idea though.

  14. Juz says:

    How about combine the two? A game where deer armed with bazookas hunt the final few giant pandas? Just might be the best game ever…

  15. Clovis says:

    More RPS Hunting Games Coverage.

    I don’t think the challenge is supposed to come from the shooting part so much, but the tracking and stuff. I don’t understand being upset that the animals are at a disadvantage. Do you normally feel challenged by your basic goon in an FPS or a zombie?

    • Wulf says:

      @Clovis

      Both of those are human creations, one way or another, we make ’em and we break ’em, but it’s not so fair to do so with animals or their environment, especially since they were here before us. I mean, even I can be a dick, but I’m not grossly unethical or anything.

      I’d understand if people killed for food, too, but I’ve only met the odd British person who does that, whereas most of the people I’ve spoken to Worldwide tend to hunt for trophies.

      I’m not quite sure why but the virtual representation thereof baffles and off-centres me a bit, too. Not that I’m bothered by anyone else doing it, since it is virtual, by all means, it’s better than doing the real thing. But if it were me then my sense of ethics would have me feeling incredibly guilty for what I was doing even in a virtual sense.

      Though, then again… I suppose it’s not fair to say that I don’t even give people a chance. In Mass Effect 2: “Hello peoples!” *GUNFIRE!*” “WAK! Cover! Okay, these people aren’t interested in talking, so it’s a kill or be killed situation, then.” This often has my party commenting on my naivety, and that’s pleasing because naive, not so much gullible, but naive is a wonderful quality.

      Anyway, I’ll stop rambling, now.

    • Wulf says:

      (I admit that I’m taking challenged in a different sense here, such as ethically challenged.)

    • Clovis says:

      @Wulf: Haha, yeah, I meant challenged the other way. So, do you not play games like GTAIV or Saints Row 2? Does attacking a non-violent human bother you too?

      I must admit that killing animals does bother me more than humans though, to some degree. When I played Far Cry 2 I shot the first animal I saw, and got no satifaction out of it really. I’m pretty much required by my brain to shoot anything I possible can in a game to see what happens. I shot tons of dudes and that was fun, and I ran over a bunch. But the first time I hit a zebra, I was like, “Noooooooo!”. I even got out of the jeep and looked at it laying there. “Why!?!” It really bothered me. Weird.

      I don’t think I’d like real life hunting. Does fishing bother people? Or are fish not majestic enough? Is fishing more fair? Maybe I should stop rambling too.

    • psyj says:

      Was it the act of killing the zebra or the way the zebra died with no animation and no blood (Intended by the devs)

  16. destroy.all.monsters says:

    I never got these kinds of games. I wouldn’t mind a well coded toreador game though – provided you could get gored anyway

    Wow, what does that Wii controller do? Is it a sterility or death ray?

  17. Mike_in_Ohio says:

    The best part of the game is when you string that bad boy up and slice it up into nice tasty steaks….

    A game most certainly not for vegans… hee hee

  18. Wulf says:

    I’ve never played one of these, but I played something similar; a humour game which involved a deer as the hunter, who roamed around shooting particularly unintelligent and passive humans. I doubt I’d want to do it the other way around, though.

  19. Alexander Norris says:

    Have you ever gotten an adrenalin kick out of playing a stealth game? Sticking to the shadows, sneaking up on the guards to knock them out and steal their stuff, getting out of tense situations where they spotted you for a fleeting instant and you’ve backed up as far back into the corner as the game will let you and you’re frantically praying that the guard will stop just short of touching you because if he does then he automatically detects you?

    Hunting games basically deliver the same sort of sensation for me. Wandering the map, trying to find the biggest possible buck so you get maximum points then sneaking around it and trying to find a vantage point to take it down from, knowing that if the wind changes or you forgot to put on a masking scent they’ll notice you and run off and you’ll have to spend another half hour looking for an animal remotely close to its size – that’s what hunting games are about; the adrenalin rush you get from fear of getting caught.

    Or in the case of some of the sillier iterations, it’s all about picking an African map, fucking with the population sliders so everything can kill you, then going hunting with nothing other than a .44 Magnum revolver.

  20. terry says:

    As usual in threads about hunting games on RPS, I wish to lament that the Hunter has such a monumentally bone-headed sub system. It’s depressing to see a company struggling because of ham-handedly trying to wrest a MMOG into what should be a single player game I suspect I’d adore.

  21. Hypocee says:

    I played the original FMV-based Deer Hunter once; it was surprisingly absorbing in a strategy-game sort of way, though I’m sure it was just a series of die rolls.

    Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts is a terrible but hilarious game. If memory serves, the first level is a series of fiddly first-person jumps down a dark, low-contrast cliff – when you touch the ground you get mobbed by (presumably rabid) wolves and started over at the top.

    There’s some dinosaur hunting game that I’d go so far as to call ‘good’, if only for the wonderful models and seemingly IK’d animations. My memory suggests that the AI was pretty good too. Of course I don’t remember what it’s actually called, I think the word ‘prehistoric’ is in the title.

    • Grey! says:

      Yes, it’s namedCarnivores. There are three games if I’m not mistaken. It was a great game I suppose. Hunting velociraptor never feels soo damn good!

  22. manintheshack says:

    @Hypocee:

    Carnivores & Carnivores 2. Both highly underrated games. Good partly due to the fear the raptors instilled. Being both hunter and hunted added a much needed sense of suspense and terror…

  23. l1ddl3monkey says:

    I am English and what is this?

  24. Jakkar says:

    Being as hunting in the modern (particularly western) world is almost exclusively for sport, I’m actually kinda glad people are shooting polygons rather than real elkflesh.

    I only hope it doesn’t encourage the sport and make it more popular.

    Cowardly bastards should do it with a homemade knife, unless they have the skills themselves to build a rifle >.>

  25. Kieron Gillen says:

    I remember actually liking Natural Fawn Killers, if only because of its penultimate level where you had to make Rabbits fuck so you could kill their swiftly-born kids to complete it.

    KG

  26. bowl of snakes says:

    The guys on the Gamers with Jobs podcast like this one. not a hunting really but i’ve always wanted to try it,

  27. newt says:

    I’ve used to play the original Deer Hunter as a relaxation game.. just stare into the woods for fifteen minutes, quit. Very zen.

  28. Nick says:

    No mention of Cavatina? =(

  29. tomeoftom says:

    I think there needs to be a melee-only hunting game, where you jump off cliffs and spring out of ice-cold watering holes to murder genteel ungulates with ice picks.

  30. Lemon scented apocalypse says:

    How could anyone forget:

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    It all went tits up from there.

    Also I NEEDa game where I can hunt dhole with a self-propelled howitzer

  31. wat says:

    Played The Hunter, even became a paying member during their Introduction / “Beta even though it’s already out”-Days. I love games that let you stalk through huge, open terrain, and The Hunter was the best since the good old sneaking missions in Operation Flashpoint

  32. Chaz says:

    You could turn the game on its head and make it a survival game, so that you are escaping from a valley filled with murderous mutant wildlife ravenous for human flesh. You would use all the same skills in trying to keep the beasts unaware of your presence, only this time it’s because you are the hunted.

    • Chaz says:

      Or you could hunt people instead, a bit like in that Ice-T movie with Rutger Hauer.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      so that you are escaping from a valley filled with murderous mutant wildlife ravenous for human flesh. You would use all the same skills in trying to keep the beasts unaware of your presence

      That’s basically STALKER with a few difficulty mods installed.

    • RaptorRed says:

      Or a thought occurs, a game where you play as the deer, avoiding hunters and going about your deer business, don’t know about anyone else but id play that.

  33. Centy says:

    Compared to the Hunter all these “pay for” games look terrible.

  34. Jahkaivah says:

    Did anyone else honestly think that Wii extension was supposed to be a pair of shades?

  35. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Weapons of moose destruction?

    :thumbleweed:

    :grabs overcoat, goes for the exit:

  36. Joflar says:

    They should make an option for all hunting games where you can play as a biologist and hit the deer with tranquilizer darts and tag their bodies with tracking chips to appease the wimps.

  37. JonFitt says:

    Hunting games logically shouldn’t be as stigmatised as they are. Take for example:

    Sam Fisher neck-snaps a guard who just happens to work for the wrong company.

    Agent47 strangles a repairman who’s only mistake was to be alone and wearing useful clothes.

    Play a GTA game as honourably as you can and you’ll still mow down pedestrians crossing the road at the wrong time unaware that they shouldn’t be going about their day while you have a timed date with a hooker.

    Many shooters also delight in showing you your kills.

    I don’t recall them post-fixed with an “ick”.

    Is it because you think you’re playing something completely divorced from acceptable behaviour when you play the above games, whereas the hunting games portray a real event that IRL you would find distasteful?

    As games though, surely they’re actually less horrific than the above situations?

    • Nick says:

      It doesn’t help that almost all of them are utterly dreadful as games too.

    • JonFitt says:

      @Nick
      Well yes. That can’t help their case. If it was Deer Hunter X with Crysis 2 forests, perhaps we’d see Korean Army mods for it!

  38. JonFitt says:

    Also on a related note, I was disappointed when the Far Cry 2 devs never released their wild animals patch. I wanted to be chased by a lion, or eaten by a crocodile!

  39. hoff says:

    The best looking and feeling hunting game is still good old Deer Hunter 2005.

    Seriously, that game is as good as a simulation game will ever get. I love sneaking around for an hour to get that one trophy kill. The environments are beautiful (better looking than The Hunt… is that the Wii version?). You can really “smell” the forest and the grass. Online multiplayer is great, too. It’s surprisingly fun to hunt with a more experienced fellow on a kilometer-sized map. Sneaking on together, learning… very relaxed.

    And no, I’m nowhere near the target group you would expect for hunting sims.

  40. IvanHoeHo says:

    I’d gladly pay money for Forests of Finland: 1940; but in lieu of that, The Hunter seems like a pretty good alternative.

  41. malkav11 says:

    I don’t have any idea why I’d be upset by the simulation of killing wildlife for fun. Much better than the unsimulated variety, as is true of doing the same with humans, aliens, and whatnot.

    That said, I can’t imagine actually getting any fun out of such games.

  42. The Great Wayne says:

    Hmmm, to me hunting games are like submarine games: it’s simulation niche. It can’t be bubble bobble or pacman fun, so it’s true that the trailer is maybe a bit too celebrative, but not because of subject, more because of the genre it appeals to.

    However, I see no problem in playing those, or I’d be layered with hypocrisy considering I shoot people and whatever living creature tend to pass by in a lot of nowaday games.

  43. oddparity says:

    There’s already a whole series of endangered species hunting games. It’s been out since 1996, and it’s called Tomb Raider.

  44. Chris L says:

    Any chance at all of someone out there creating a spiritual successor to Carnivores 1 & 2 that looks as good as The Hunter?