As the name suggests, “The Hunter: Call of the Wild” is a first-person simulation video game dedicated to hunters, big/small game enthusiasts, and those who’d like to try hunting but aren’t ready to go into the outdoors yet. It is the sequel of “theHunter” classic and “theHunter: Primal,” developed by Expansive Worlds and published by Avalanche Studios in 2017.

This hunting simulation offers a vast open archipelago that would surely make your jaw-dropped as it perfectly captures both the ambiance and surround sound of the wilderness. With just the base game, there are tons to unpack already.

Two Beautiful Reserves In The Base Game

You can choose between the majestic sceneries of the hunting reserves of the Pacific Northwest or Europe.

Hirschfelden Hunting Reserve is a challenging hunting ground with steep mountain slopes and dense spruce forests. It’s difficult to keep a low profile because as you traverse the German farmland, the sound of the grass and leaves will certainly be detected by nearby animals if you aren’t stealthy enough. Nonetheless, a variety of big game animals, including fallow deer, wild boar, roe deer, European bison, red deer, and red fox, can be found here.

Meanwhile, the Layton Lake District’s hunting reserve in the Pacific Northwest is predominantly covered by spruce, larch, aspen forests, rocky mountain slopes, and marshlands in between. While technically still features challenging terrains, this would be ideal for beginners and a place to hone your tracking and stalking abilities. Here you can also find the favorite, sought-after game animals like moose, black bear, Roosevelt elk, whitetail deer, coyotes, and blacktail deer. In 2021, the Layton Lake District Hunting Reserve was hailed as the most favorite reserve in the game.

Additionally, there are 82 animals available to hunt in the current version of the game and DLCs. Speaking of DLCs, you can expand your reserve options by adding the Medved-Taiga National Park (based on the Siberian taiga), the Vurhonga Savanna Reserve (based on the African savannah), Parque Fernando (based on South-American forests), Yukon Valley (based on Alaska), Cuatro Colinas Game Reserve (based on Spain), Silver Ridge Peaks (based on the Rocky Mountains), Te Awaroa National Park (based on New Zealand), Rancho del Arroyo (based on Mexico) and Mississippi Acres Preserve (Based in the swamps of the southern United States), and the latest addition, the Revontuli Coast (based on Finnland). Just take your pick.

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Layton Lake District Hunting Reserve (Screenshot from theHunter: Call of the Wild)

Beginner’s Quick Guide

Beginning your hunting journey, the game will give three primary weapons: the Ranger .243 with an initial chamber of .243 Soft-Point bullet; Caversham Steward 12G; and a Focoso 357 as a sidearm, a single-action revolver using the .357 magnum ammunition. The Ranger .243, Caversham Steward 12G, and Focoso 357 are all modeled after real-life counterparts Winchester Model 70 Ranger, FedArm FTS Over & Under, and Smith & Wesson Performance Center Model 629 Hunter, respectively.

As you progress, you can upgrade your weapons and ammunition, which in turn, help you hunt more reliably and score higher trophies.

theHunter - Scope
(Screenshot from theHunter: Call of the Wild)

Like real-life hunting, players can use different utilities, such as lure callers, binoculars, and scent eliminators. Movement is also slow-paced to keep players from getting detected to a bare minimum. Running is also an option, but it can repel targets and attract predators. Did I mention you can get hurt by bears and coyotes in the game? Yes, just like in real life. Likewise, the surrounding vegetation can be used by hunters as visual cover, though bushes and tree branches can also make noise when ruffled, so watch out for that.

“theHunter: Call of the Wild” focuses on three main objectives: tracking, stalking, and harvesting animals (assuming you got the shot). To start tracking, players can either listen for vocal calls, use the lure tools, or look for areas with animal footprints, droppings, and other “need zones” such as eating, drinking, and bedding. Using the GPS Device also increases tracking efficiency, so make sure to use that.

hunt details
After retrieving your hunt, you can check out the details on how effective your shot was and which part of the body. (Screenshot from theHunter: Call of the Wild)

Aside from noise and movement, animals in the game could detect you through smell, just like in real-life hunting. So, take note of the wind speed and direction, or use the Scent Eliminator to avoid scaring away your hunts.

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These are just the basic things to know about the game, and there is a lot more to learn as you go on with your hunting career.

It would be more fun if you could get up to eight more buddies of yours to grab and play the game to stave off boredom because the game can get really, really boring. It’s a waiting game that needs a lot of patience if you don’t want to blow your cover and lose your target. Nevertheless, the graphics depicting the wilderness as you hike around is just so magnificent and makes the slow-pace worthwhile. In addition, the game will provide you with a camera that you can use to shoot around and share your finds online.

System Requirements:

(Minimum)

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: 64bit OS – Windows 7
  • Processor: Intel i3-4170
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 660 / ATI HD7870 – 1GB VRAM
  • Storage: 60 GB available space

(Recommended)

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: 64bit OS – Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel i7 quad-core
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVidia GTX 760 / R9 270x – 4GB VRAM
  • Storage: 60 GB available space

Personal verdict

While I utterly fell in love with the semi-realistic graphics of the vast game landscape (not to mention the surround sound that transports me into the wilderness), the slow-moving pace is something I have yet to get used to. It’s such a weird transition for me from the brisk FPS (first-person shooter) games like Call of Duty and Valorant to this one. Don’t get me wrong. I understand it has to be slow because you have to be precise and methodical to get a good shot, but it is not working for me and my short patience. Maybe I just need to get used to it, and I will because I would like to continue getting immersed in the scenic game. Overall, I’ll give it a 10/10. As a non-hunter, it taught me the basics I could probably use when I step into and hunt for the real ones. If you don’t want to take my word for it, the Hunting Expert below can give you a more insightful opinion about the game.

Check out the game here