Sir, You Are Hunting: No Return

No Return isn’t ready for primetime yet, which is why I’m writing about it while eating couscous during a drab Monday lunchtime. The open world survival game has a build available but it’s not so much a demo as a proof of some features and engine capabilities. The game has still managed to grab my attention though because despite the phrase ‘open world survival game’ in the previous sentence, there isn’t a zombie in sight. No Return is a hunting simulator set in the real world, with an optional mode that has the player limping away from a plane crash, seeking food and shelter. Harsh climates, trapping and other forms of crafting are planned. If you’re not scared of starvation and frostbite, you can even add a few mercenaries into the mix to increase the threat level.

A few videos have escaped into the wild and I’ve tagged a couple with my crosshairs of embedding. The first is naught more than a slideshow but it’s preferable to the unnerving timelapse speed of the actual footage.

Prepare yourself for this next one. The best way to do that is to discover a mindset where the idea of people drifting across the planet’s surface at 60 miles per hour, with barely any animation to explain their motion, is anything less than terrifying. Around thirty seconds in the video jumps to a third-person perspective and the player character is attached to the screen in a manner that suggests he’s being carried from an actual first-person perspective. He’s like a tiny gun in the shape of a semi-naked man.

As I said – ‘not ready for primetime’. But if I can shoot zombies, then I can shoot rabbits. In a hunting survival game – as opposed to a monster survival game – the act of killing is intrinsically tied to bodily needs. Hunt to kill to eat to live to hunt to kill to skin to tan to clothe to live. I guess what I really want is a first-person take on The Unreal World. Or, fuck it, maybe I just want to play Unreal World as it exists right now. There’s no couscous to be found during the harsh Iron Age winters of the far north.

Final note – for those who can’t abide the idea of an open world game without zombies, undead hordes can be added. The developers already have a working zombie AI, which is presumably far easier than haivng working AI for just about anything else in the game, including the trees.


  1. tumbleworld says:

    Gods. That gave me some serious flashbacks to Julian Sands in Warlock. Boiled baby-fat, go!

  2. PopeRatzo says:

    Oh, I like the idea of a real-world looking survival game in a modern engine. A real-world, non-jokey Don’t Starve sort of thing. I’d buy it.

    Grappling hooks that shoot out of your arm would be a plus, but not absolutely necessary.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Grappling hooks that shoot out of your arm would be a plus, but not absolutely necessary.

      And in the game.

  3. JB says:

    First-person Unreal World would make me so happy. In the meantime, regular UrW makes me happy.

    • MrFinnishDude says:

      If it would be set in iron-age Finland too, there would be mountains of jizzm.

    • Shiloh says:

      I’m quite happy with good ol’ 2D UrW. I’ve got my cosy log cabin on my island, a cellar full of food, a dog called Triskele and I’ve just killed my first Njerpjez warrior in the deep dark forests.

      Now if I could just rustle up a bit of sisu, I’d be all set for winter…

  4. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Anyone ever play that Cabelas hunting game? Was it any good?

    • frightlever says:

      Universally panned but what do critics know? I have one or two on my Steam wishlist on the off-chance they become dirt cheap.

      Meantime there’s an Indiegala bundle – the greenlight bundle – that has “Hunter’s Trophy 2 America” for $1.89. Along with a million other games. 7. Not a million. Seven other games.

      link to

    • Behrditz says:

      So far the best hunting game ive found is that f2p online one, The Hunter. Sure, if you want to hunt more than mule deer with a single rifle, youll have to pay money, and kind of often, but its something. It IS open world, so its not like cabelas where you can just bang out a hunt in 4 minutes because its a stage.

  5. BlackAlpha says:

    He should be focusing on the tree AI, in my opinion.

  6. TaylanK says:

    Thanks for the MSP link, hadn’t listened to that one in a while.

    And… umm… If god made man they say rabbits made him equal?

  7. rexx.sabotage says:

    SEE! No Dinosaurs, zombies or homeless trouser-snakes! I wonder if the absence of gimmick in a sandbox survival simulator becomes a gimmick in itself…

    Screw it, I’m just going to go play UnReal World and you should be playing it too,


  8. SuicideKing says:

    Loved the music. Slight Borderlands (2) vibe.

  9. sinister agent says:

    For those who can’t abide the idea of an open world game without zombies, GO AWAY. PLAY ALMOST LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE.

  10. Bart Stewart says:

    Dangerous Rays is another indie 3D survival game, though it seems inspired more by STALKER.

    I am pleased by this trend. More of these, please!

    Also, more games for which the tag “Scotland3D” can be applied. I would hunt for games, wallet at the ready, on the strength of that tag alone.

  11. SkittleDiddler says:

    Why was there a big-ass roof over the tiny-ass roof of that shed in the video? WHY DOES THAT SHED NEED TWO ROOFS?

    I am so confused right now. Survival confuses me.

  12. Strangeblades says:

    I don’t come to RPS for the news, facts, lies or prophecies. I come for this -> “There’s no couscous to be found during the harsh Iron Age winters of the far north.”

  13. bstard says:

    Survival in Helsinki, on a Saturday night, among the boozed up plonkers that shamble the streets part of this game?