Hunting Simulator 2
The true joy of hunting, setting off on long hikes with your dog through six different nature reserves. Game big and small, waterfowl and predators... the game's AI means that every animal comes with realistic behaviour! But don't mess around! You'll need to earn your hunting permits and you'll be penalised if you shoot the same animal twice.
Ah... hunting! Some are for and some against, but we're not going to try and settle that debate. When it comes to video games, there's fans of shooters, and there's fans of hunting games... and they are rarely hunters or gun fanatics in real life.
One to the best things about the hunting game genre is the sense of peace and being one with nature. And we've got you covered.
We liked the graphics that give the natural environments a bit of a glow up (especially for Colorado) with lakes, endemic species, the rustling of leaves you move out of the way, and the snapping of twigs as you walk. Here, nature is all around and very much alive. Especially when you turn the music off.
As the name implies, Hunting Simulator 2 is no action game. You'll spend most of your time keeping your eyes peeled or following tracks. You'll often need the eyes of an eagle to spot potential prey, and we really enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere where you fire as few shots as possible.
You're allowed two shots per animal, and that's all!
The rest of the time you'll spend in your beautiful hunting lodge that serves as your HQ. It's there that you'll display your trophies and store your weapons, outfits, decoys, and hunting permits.
These permits are the foundation of the game, which sees itself as an environmentally conscious game above all else.
Best be clear: don't think you'll be running around shooting anything that moves with whatever weapon you fancy, and not even a hunting permit. You are free to do so if that's your thing, but it's not really the aim of the game, here, all the more so given that you'll incur hefty fines as a result.
It's not wise, for example, to shoot a duck with a large calibre weapon... in addition to the fine, you won't even be able to sell what's left of the duck!
Our advice? If you've wounded an animal and run out of ammo, just let it escape. It won't die, and you'll save yourself a £250 fine.
And always bear in mind that you aren't allowed to kill females (apart from ducks and geese), or that will be another fine. You'll also be penalised for killing an animal with the wrong calibre weapon.
And, of course, you have to pay for your hunting permits. But the more you play, the more money you'll earn from selling your kills. So before you return to your majestic lodge, remember to stop by your cabin to sell your game.
Game big and small, waterfowl and predators... the game's AI means that every animal comes with realistic behaviour!
And if you want to stack the odds in the animals’ favour, you can even hunt with a bow!
Each of the regions boasts different prey, as well as dynamic weather conditions. This means that you'll need to bring the right equipment for the day, especially clothes.
Our favourite part? Your loyal dog. You get a cute beagle in the tutorial, but you can buy other gun dogs, like Labradors, to retrieve your kills.
And that's what makes Hunting Simulator 2 so enjoyable. We loved roaming the countryside with our doggo and its keener than keen nose, upgrading it as we go. This is a game for fans of peaceful games that aren't too demanding.
A simulation rather than an arcade shooter, it's still easy to pick up and play, and will remind you of the hunting sequences in Red Dead Redemption II.
Now, any of your screens can be a game console
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