Deer Hunter: Interactive Hunting Experience brings the thrill of the hunt to the computer screen, offering three diverse locales and seasons. Spot big bucks in the relatively sparse woods of winter-bound Indiana, a leafy fall setting in the Arkansas woodlands, and the thick pines of the Colorado Alpine meadows. Hone skills at the target range with a .270 caliber rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun or a compound bow. Hunting techniques include spotting deer droppings, rubbings, and bedding areas, as well as factoring in wind direction, use a deer call or antler rattle, and more.
Virtual hunters can spot deer through binoculars or a rifle sight, or use a top-down map view that offers an easy method for selecting new locations. Other features include use of a tree stand, attractant scents or a cover scent to mask human odors, and a Trophy Room where prize bucks are showcased. For players needing additional help, three codes are available that depict deer locations, lure prey closer, and accelerate movement.
Ripping up the PC charts for months, Deer Hunter by Wizard Works has become the most popular hunting game of all time. You're probably saying to yourself: "Was there ever any competition?" Well, not really. Originally designed as a Wal-Mart exclusive, Deer Hunter rapidly caught the eye of sport hunters and soon after, the entire gaming industry. It took the mighty StarCraft from Blizzard to knock this behemoth out of the number one spot. At one time, Deer Hunter and Deer Hunter: Extended Season held the top two spots. Not bad for a game whose production cost a fraction of the overhead of most popular games today.
Let's get things straight. Deer Hunter is not a "game." It's a hunting simulation. It simulates hunting. This is important, because real hunting is nothing like mowing down monsters in Quake.
Graphically, Deer Hunter does mother nature justice. The 360 degree head-cam portrays the winter scenes, forests, and meadows well. There aren't any breathtaking views, but no one buys this game to go sight-seeing. There is an overhead, square map that you actually move around on. Once you find a suitable spot, you can click on 'hunt' and the perspective changes to that of the hunter. This view only rotates 360 degrees. The animals look alright; no fancy 3D effects, but they look like deer.
Soundwise, Deer Hunter also captures the feel of hunting well. As you stand around waiting for deer, you hear the howling of the wind or the chirping of birds and gurgling of rivers. It's like one of those new-age, "sounds of nature" tapes. Quite relaxing. You also hear your buck call and antler rattle, which I guess sound real. Finally, the hunter gives you great, constructive advice while standing around. Things like "Nice shot. That's a good way to scare off all the bucks.", or "I'm getting cold."
The options in Deer Hunter are pretty much what you'd expect. There are the three aforementioned weapons and three optional hunting aids: a tree stand, cover scent, and deer attractant. Just picture yourself standing in the middle of the forest dressed as a tree with a bottle of deer cologne. While hunting you also have a compass, binoculars, buck call, and antler rattle. No heat seeking missiles or motion trackers.
Probably one of the most attractive points of Deer Hunter is the ease of the interface. Everything is mouse driven and the help menu gives you enough strategy to be a successful hunter. Computer users of all levels will be able to step right into the game without much hassle. Hunting was never this easy.
I had few (if any) problems with Deer Hunter. I did have a few wishes though. Instead of rotating the head-cam, I would rather have been able to walk around in the environment. This would make the simulation all the more real. It would also be more interesting and realistic to have other animals in the maps instead of only deer. Finally, after scoring a few kills, the thrill of it all kind of died. Killing a couple of deer was alright, but I won't be burning the midnight oil trying to bag the mythical Yeti-buck of the Andes. I'm sure hunting fans will get much more replay out of the game.
Deer Hunter is a must download for hunting fans. I don't hunt but I still found Deer Hunter to be a satisfying experience. It's an excellent hunting simulation and shows that you don't need big bucks to make a best seller.
People who downloaded Deer Hunter have also downloaded:
Deer Hunter 2: The Hunt Continues, Deer Hunter 3: The Legend Continues, Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2004, Rocky Mountain Trophy Hunter 3, Front Page Sports: Trophy Bass 2, Combat Flight Simulator 3: Battle for Europe, Driver (a.k.a. Driver: You Are the Wheelman), Destroyer Command
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