Video Game / Cabelas Dangerous Hunts
Cabela's Dangerous Hunts are a series of hunting-themed first person shooter games, developed originally for PC and consoles but later only for consoles (though Dangerous Hunts 2013 was ported to the PC). The game series consists of:

  • Cabela's Dangerous Hunts
  • Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2
  • Cabela's Dangerous Hunts: Ultimate Challenge (A re-release of Dangerous Hunts 2 for the PSP)
  • Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2009
  • Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2011
  • Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013

Despite the Cabela's brand name, the games after the first are not actually hunting simulators, and after 2009 became pure arcade-style shooters. Essentially, they're Call of Duty, only the enemies are animals instead of humans. Two of the games in the series were developed to be playable with a light gun, and feature a combination of first-person shooter and on-rail light gun mechanics.

The games are notable for featuring a story mode with a relatively in-depth plot, usually involving the main protagonist losing a friend or family member to an Animal Nemesis, then traveling the world To Be a Master hunter, before finally confronting and killing the Animal Nemesis in the final level.

The games feature the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Cole's father, Samson, isn't physically abusive (at least, not from what is seen in the game), but his extremely strict and demanding personality always made it difficult for Cole to get along with him. He is shown as being very harsh, and never hesitates to make it clear to Cole that, if he doesn't live up to the family name, he will disown him. Near the end of the game, he even confesses to Cole that, when his brother Adrian died, he always felt like he lost the wrong son. Also, depending on your interpretation of the game's events, he may actually have been the one truly responsible for Adrian's death when he commanded the wolf pack that lived on his land to attack both his sons so they could prove themselves. Subverted in that, by the end of the game, he realizes how much of a terrible father he was and tried to save Cole from the Kaftar before dying.
  • Animal Nemesis: Usually serves as the final boss of each game.
  • Animals Hate Him: Stepping into a region causes every carnivore bigger than a corgi and dangerous herbivore to despise you.
    • Bears Are Bad News: Black bears, grizzlies, and polar bears. Often the boss animal for North American levels.
    • Full-Boar Action: Both of your normal and "Hogzilla" variety.
    • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Nile crocodiles are pretty much guaranteed to show up in the Africa levels.
    • Panthera Awesome: Lions, tigers, leopards, and pumas; oh my! Final boss of 2013 is a pride of black lions.
    • Rhino Rampage: Reoccurring picks for boss fights in Africa levels.
    • Savage Wolves: Common mooks and Zerg Rush battles in North America and north Asia levels. Replaced by Spotted Hyenas for Africa settings.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Dangerous Hunts 2011 features survival horror-style journals just lying around.
  • Darkest Africa: The African continent is visited quite often, and it is usually the home of very lethal predators. A good portion of the storyline in Dangerous Hunts 2011 and Dangerous Hunts 2013 happens here, and it is here too that the Final Boss of said two games is confronted.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: On top of the more understandable predators, you'll occasionally have animals like vultures attacking for no good reason.
  • First Installment Weirdness: The first game actually is a hunting simulator, with management of gear, purchasing of tags, money you had to purchase everything with, enforcement of poaching laws (exceptions are granted when using "self-defense" weapons like pistols and knives), tags being in/out of season, random animal placement, etc. Excluding the Action Zone (a mode that returned in Dangerous Hunts 2009), it feels more like one of the early Big Game Hunter games than it does its own series. There was a story mode, but it was more of "do specific challenges that you wouldn't do in normal gameplay, like shooting a bear at point-blank instead of far away like a smart person."
  • Heroic Mime: Zigzagged in Dangerous Hunts 2011, where Cole gives entire speeches in-between levels, but during regular cutscenes and gameplay is in full-on mime mode. Averted with Jacob in Dangerous Hunts 2013, who regularly talks in both cutscenes and gameplay.
  • It Can Think: In Dangerous Hunts 2011, it's implied this is what makes the Kaftar so dangerous. It may or may not be the product of selective breeding and chemical conditioning by a military project attempting to produce trained animal super-soldiers (though the memos found inside Project Nightfall seem to imply they were attempting to duplicate the Kaftar rather than having originally created it).
  • The Mockbuster: Especially Dangerous Hunts 2013, which most people jokingly refer to as "Call of Duty: Animal Warfare" due to its overabundance of quick time events and scripted sequences.
  • Made of Iron: Zig-zagged. Most of the animals die after a few shots. The bosses, on the other hand, are able to take an enormous punishment before they go down, even resisting several shots aimed directly at their vitals.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The plot of Dangerous Hunts 2011 revolves around a seemingly supernatural force that is able to control predators into attacking humans. It's unclear whether this force is the Kaftar, an even more sinister supernatural force, or some kind of secret scientific weapon developed by the Dharma Initiative-like "Project Nightfall".
  • More Predators Than Prey: You'll be mobbed by an insane number of predators in each level. Apparently a single half-mile track of Alaska is home to several dozen wolves and an equal number of mountain lions. Zig-zagged in 2013, which does have a good number of herbivores like cape buffalo and rhinoceros attacking you as well, but only in the large numbers during the stampede level.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: That damn Kaftar.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Cole's father in Dangerous Hunts 2011 is an amazing caricature of manliness, with massive amounts of facial hair, derisively referring to his wife with her shopping malls and tofu, and when Cole shoots his first elk, his father has him cut out its heart and eat it.
  • The Theme Park Version: The recent games are not hunting simulators, but rather arcade-style shooters. Think Call of Duty or Halo with real-life animals instead of the military.
  • Tranquilizer Dart: Two missions in Dangerous Hunts 2009 involve tranquilizing animals instead of killing them. The first has you tranquilize four escaped tigers that were supposed to be relocated, and a later one has you tranquilize and put radio collars on Asiatic black bears.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Dangerous Hunts 2011 features "Marksman Targets" that the player can shoot throughout the game for bonus XP. In the first stage they're hanging fruit, but in the second they're beehives.