ReviewsReview: Way of the Hunter

Review: Way of the Hunter

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There’s no denying it. Hunting is a divisive topic. Yet, no matter what side of the fence you sit on, you must agree that the participants are skilful and patient. Now, I’m not talking about those asshole poachers who have no morality. No, I’m highlighting the men and women who take part in hunting as a licensed sport. This group and anyone who is fascinated by the subject will be keen to try Way of the Hunter.

Developed by Nine Rocks Games and published by THQ Nordic, this is a sports simulation title. What’s more, it has some business management elements and a nostalgia-fuelled story. As such, it isn’t just mindless shooting and gory violence. Instead, it highlights the finer points of the sport while giving you the opportunity to see what makes the protagonist tick.

Way of the Hunter has a beautiful and expansive world to explore.
What a stunning world to explore.

Way of the Hunter is slow, methodical, and oddly relaxing.

The last thing I expected from a hunting game was a relaxing experience. However, the stunning environment is undeniably breathtaking. Set in either the USA or Europe, you get to explore a plethora of biomes and unique locations. Moreover, each has specific animals and natural areas of concealment. As such, you must use your surroundings to your advantage if you wish to hunt every species. Yet, if you want, you can ignore that and simply enjoy walking around the stunning world. With babbling rivers, death-defying cliff faces, and thickly wooded areas, it is mind-blowing.

What was particularly great about Way of the Hunter was how the story forces you to explore. Each region and map are pivotal to key moments in the plot. Whether it was finding a childhood viewing spot, hunting legendary beasts, or helping the local restaurant, it all plays a key role. Yet, if you so wished you can run free and hunt whatever you wish. This freedom was intriguing, and I adored the lack of rigidity in its approach. 

It’s all about the gear. 

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail! This is the ethos of Way of the Hunter. Accordingly, there is a vast range of weapons, attachments and gear that can be purchased to improve your experience. Furthermore, different weapons are more effective against selected prey. As such, you’ll need to plan ahead if you wish to complete a successful hunt.

Once you’ve picked the right gun, you must arm yourself with binoculars and an animal lure/caller. These handy tools trick the animals and make your job much easier. But this is only half the challenge. When out and about, you must use your hunter sense to find clues, listen to noises, and find trails. What’s more, you’ll identify resting grounds, feeding areas, and watering holes. If successful, you can create a map of key areas for future hunts or specific quests.

Make sure you hit the vital organs.
Were you accurate enough?

Perks, your approach, and picking the right target. 

Having the right gear is essential, but your approach is more important, still. You must learn to be stealthy while using your surroundings wisely. Whether it’s long grass, craggy rocks, or a hunting tower, it matters not. Instead, you must stay out of sight, keep upwind, and not miss your shot. Talking of shots, a professional hunter only shoots to kill. If you damage your target and don’t hit a vital organ, it will have a slow and painful death. Consequently, you must focus on the head or heart shots. As sick as it sounds, getting this right is enthralling and unbelievably rewarding.

Alongside this, you must pick your target wisely. If you run around killing animals at will, you’ll decimate the population and it won’t recover. Therefore, you mustn’t overhunt one species or one sex. If you do, the consequences are dire and your hunting will become much harder. 

Finally, the more you do, the better you become. You’ll improve your hearing, hunter sense, lung capacity, and more. As such, the further you progress, the easier things become. You’ll purchase new licences to hunt in different areas, new scopes and rifles will destroy each trophy beast, and hiding becomes much easier. 

Way of the Hunter looks awesome. 

Except for some minor glitches, Way of the Hunter looks awesome. I adored the grand maps, the realistic animals, and the detailed weapons. Moreover, the varied locations keep things interesting, as do the animal animations. Observing birds flying, or large beasts trotting, was incredible. Alongside this, your hunter sense highlights any points of interest without reducing the realism or difficulty.

The visuals were one thing, but the audio was incredible. We all know that silence is deafening, but Way of the Hunter takes it to a new level. However, when it isn’t eerily silent, you’ll adore the sounds of nature, the crack of your rifle, or the brutal hum of your car engine. What’s more, every sound has been considered! The rush of a river, the rustle of the long grass, and the cracking of branches are, to name but a few.

Use the Hunter sense to track down your targets.
Your Hunter sense at work.

Incredibly easy to play. 

I’ve played many hunting and fishing games, and I’ve found them to be convoluted and unnecessarily complex. Thankfully, Way of the Hunter keeps things simple. Now, purists may argue that it doesn’t go far enough. Yet, I think the balance is just right. Because of its lack of complexity, you can focus on exploration and the hunt. 

Thanks to the interesting story, massive maps and each species to track, this has plenty of longevity. What’s more, the vast selection of weapons and unique locations to explore ensure you have a lot to do to master this game. 

Way of the Hunter was uncomfortably good. 

I’m not happy about enjoying a hunting game, but Way of the Hunter is extremely good. Everything about it is intuitive, and every minor success is rewarding. Consequently, I couldn’t help but enjoy it, even if it bent my moral compass. However, I liked it, and I recommend you buy it here! Can you master the art of hunting? Study your surroundings, purchase the right equipment, and take home a well-earned trophy. 

SUMMARY

Way of the Hunter is a slow-paced but engrossing hunting simulation title. With beautiful scenery, stunning animals, and plenty of fantastic mechanics, this oozes realism. If you want a fulfilling and deep experience, then look no further.


+ Stunning graphics.
+ A lush world.
+ Phenomenal audio.
+ Intelligent controls.
+ Ultra-realistic.
+ Engrossing gameplay.

- Some bugs.
- It'll be too slow for some gamers.

(Rating: PEGI 16 Violence Release date: 16/08/2022 Price: £34.99)


(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC (Steam) and PlayStation 5)


Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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<p class="has-text-align-justify" style="font-size:14px"><em>Way of the Hunter</em> is a slow-paced but engrossing hunting simulation title. With beautiful scenery, stunning animals, and plenty of fantastic mechanics, this oozes realism. If you want a fulfilling and deep experience, then look no further. </p><br/> + Stunning graphics. <br/> + A lush world. <br/> + Phenomenal audio. <br/> + Intelligent controls. <br/> + Ultra-realistic. <br/> + Engrossing gameplay. <br/> <br/> - Some bugs. <br/> - It'll be too slow for some gamers. <br/> <br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(<b>Rating:</b> PEGI 16 Violence <b>Release date:</b> 16/08/2022 <b>Price:</b> £34.99)</p><br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC (Steam) and PlayStation 5) </p><br/>Review: Way of the Hunter