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No Fan Of PETA
Who thought that a wide-open hunting game, with excellent graphics and an extremely slow pace with no other players around would constitute as an MMO? This review of The Hunter, an MMOFPS, will explain. Perhaps it’s the social networking aspects of the game that warrant it as the classification of an MMOFPS, but clearly anyone who plays it will be doing so alone. Not only that, but the “free-to-play” model is vastly exploited if this game even qualifies as “free-to-play”, mainly because all the fun is to be had after subscribing for the monthly plan.
Nevertheless, for those of you who see the thumb pointing up, it’s there for a reason because this game definitively deserves a recommendation. Although, this game certainly would not be recommended for the broad audience of casual gamers out there, but mainly for die-hard hunting fanatics.
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Concept in The Hunter MMOFPS
The most realistic hunting simulator ever, that’s about the best way to describe the concept of this game. Much like other MMOs out there gamers will also have cash shop items that must be purchased with real cash in order to further the experience, including various guns, outfits and hunting gear. That’s not to mention that the only way to hunt additional animals requires a more advanced membership card, otherwise players are limited to hunting the mule deer.
Another thing is that even though there is no other hunting game out there like this, I found it a little difficult to get involved with the community considering that all community oriented activities take place outside the game. What does this mean? It means that players will never get to hunt with their buddies in the actual game.
Now the upside to the design concept of The Hunter is that it is a one-of-kind MMO and there are no other MMOs out there sporting any of the features quite like the kind found in this game. I also have to give the developers props for designing a game that focuses more on pace and patience than quick-fingered, mouse aiming skills.
Another highlight to the game’s conceptual design is that it’s running on an action-oriented game engine (i.e., namely the same engine that Avalanche Studios’ used for Just Cause and Just Cause 2). This helps give the game a more realistic feel as players go out on the hunt.
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One of the strong points of the Avalanche Engine is that it houses the capabilities for designers to make amazing, streamlined games with large open worlds. The exact same thing applies for The Hunter; it’s a game that focuses heavily on environmental details to drive the gameplay, in which players will have to rely on tracking animals based on sight, sounds and a few other attributes.
There is no static HUD and gamers will primarily have to rely on skill and a handy tracking device to help inform them about nearby hunting prospects. The control scheme is fluent, and the weapons behave about as realistic as one might expect in a game of this kind.
The technical aspects of the game hold firm and there is nothing to fault the developers for when it comes to the actual in-game play. If this were a typical first-person shooter, there wouldn’t be anything to complain about regarding the gameplay and I really have to tip my hat off to Emote and Avalanche Studios for accomplishing this feat.
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While playing the game may be as solid as solid can get, actually having fun in the game is an entirely different matter. This is not a game for those short on patience or who would prefer downing enemies every few seconds with the click of a mouse button or a squeeze of a trigger. No, instead there will be a lot of pacing, a lot of walking, plenty of crawling, tons of crouching and not a whole lot of running. If you’re feeling bored with this game already, then you would probably do better heading on over to a game like Operation 7 or Cross Fire if you want something more fast-paced.
The hook for the fun factors of The Hunter falls in line with the game’s realism. Hence, if you don’t find the waiting, the tracking and the stalking of helpless animals fun in real life, I doubt you’ll find it anymore exciting in this game. The “thrill of the kill” is something I found to be anti-climatic. This rings especially true after tracking a female mule deer to a few other deer who had gathered to drink from the lake while one of them stopped to rest (and yes, the game has an eerily realistic eco-system present), I waited and then took a few shots and downed two of them, which left me feeling like I had just rudely interrupted a family gathering. I can’t really say I was having fun at that point.
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Graphics And Sound
This isn’t just the most realistic hunting simulator available on the market, this is almost one of the most realistic simulators, period. The graphics are just astounding, featuring all the latest in visual, next-generation enhancements, which makes it a top contender for one of the best looking games to come out of 2009. It's funny how this game looks better than the visual juggernaut, Alliance of Valiant Arms. In fact, the game, on its highest settings, is almost on par with Crysis…yes, it looks that darn good. The trees have impeccable detail with all sorts of dynamic light sources, real time sunray effects, day and night shifting and excellent water and foliage detail. Literally, game graphic connoisseurs will not be disappointed.
With the graphics receiving such high praise, it might seem like the sound would fall by the wayside, but not so with The Hunter. The game’s audio is about as high-quality as its graphics and it actually plays a heavy part in tracking animals within the game. The only other game that I think has sound effects as distinctive as this game, in the MMO genre, is Combat Arms. Nevertheless, the ambient sound aesthetics are executed with almost spot-on realism. Turning the volume up on a high-def surround sound system would almost give most gamers the impression that they’re actually out in the wild, hunting game and being all sportsmen like.
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Overall Review Conclusions about The Hunter, MMOFPS
The Hunter pulls no punches in realism and technical gameplay design. I don’t think there’s any other hunting games out there quite as immersive or technically competent as The Hunter, and fans of sport-hunting will probably love this title. If you have a weak stomach for shooting near-realistic looking animals (with very realistic results) then I doubt you’ll want to invest any time or money in The Hunter.
Aficionados of realistic graphics and sound might want to give the game a whirl just to test out their hardware, but anyone who doesn’t have a fairly up-to-date PC (and I’m talking about something from 2008 on up) then you might have a tough time trying to run the game. I can’t recommend any MMOFPS alternatives for a game like this because they don’t exist. But for gamers who are brave enough to try this game out at the risk of losing a little bit of something special inside, then by all means take The Hunter for a spin.
Want more MMOFPS action? Be sure to check out the full list of action games with the Bright Hub MMOFPS Game Directory.