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Video Game / The Hunter: Call of the Wild

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The Hunter: Call of the Wild is a open world hunting Simulation Game by Expansive Worlds, and published by Avalanche Studios, released in 2017.

Not to be confused with The Hunter Classic, a game by the same company, nor The Call of the Wild, a book by Jack London about a sled dog.

The games provide examples of:

  • A.I. Breaker:
    • There was an exploit, possibly patched now, that involved driving a ATV back and forth over a section of railroad track in Layton. Angle it right and you can scare all the animals in the area into the opening of the tunnel were they get stuck, and you can massacre them all for easy XP.
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    • Turning the graphics settings down makes the game less pretty, but it can actually make it easier to see animals.
  • A.K.A.-47: Nearly every gun in the game has a real-life counterpart, examples include:
    • Whitlock Model 86: Winchester Model 1886
    • Solokhin MN1890: Mosin-Nagant
    • Virant .22LR Express: Ruger 10/22
    • Cacciatore 12G: Mossberg 500
    • Andersson .22LR: Ruger Mark III (hunter variant, with fluted barrel) modeled as "Roger Mark II" on the receiver
  • Animals Lack Attributes: Carnivores in the game have no genitals. Averted with herbivores, except pigs.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Tracks are highlighted (a color of your choosing), which takes a lot of frustration out of the game by making it easier to locate animals, so less time is spent wandering aimlessly and you're less likely to lose a animal that didn't die immediately when it was shot. They also can be turned off for players that prefer a more realistic and difficult experience.
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    • At night time, you can turn on a flash light so you can actually see what you're doing and don't have to stumble around blindly in the dark. Animals mercifully don't spook or react to it.
    • Need Zones. Animals visit certain areas each day within certain time ranges. This is useful when you are trying to hunt specific species, such as for a mission.
    • Many missions are location based. You can select them on the menu and it will highlight the relevant zone on the map. Being that the maps are very gigantic, this is almost necessary.
    • Often, if you accidentally spook an animal into running away, or if you kill one in a herd and the others run away, if you wait a minute or two and use a caller a few times, the animal or herd will return to the same area, especially at a Need Zone.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Much of this ties in with Anti Frustration Features
    • All animals except for birds occasionally let out mating calls, implying that all the different species' mating seasons are occurring simultaneously.
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    • There are no baby or sub-adult animals in the game, as it was decided that the time and effect is better spent elsewhere instead of a feature that serves little purpose other than minor ambiance/realism, and it would be time consuming and costly to add them for all 39+ species.
    • Animals do not react to the alarm calls of other animals, be it from the same species or not. This is for smoother gameplay as it would quickly get very annoying having to watch spooking every single animal in a area when you're only targeting one, but it does defeat the purpose of alarm calls.
    • There is no predation behavior programmed in. You can see animals such as bears and wolves standing right next to deer and other prey, and the prey will not flee. The predators also are not attracted to your kills. This is because it would quickly get very frustrating if you had to worry about them eating or spooking your trophies before you could harvest them.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Albino, piebald, and melanistic animals are in the game, but very rare.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Bears are one of the animals that are very likely to attack the player.
  • Bland-Name Product: What looks almost exactly like cans of Sprite appear in one map. Look closely, though, and you'll see the label reads "Spirit". Does that mean it's alcoholic?
  • Downloadable Content: More reserves, ATVs to travel faster, more weapons, tents to manually place save points, etc...
  • Early Game Hell:
    • You start out forced to use bad equipment until you can unlock better. You also start out with a very badly wobbling aim, which can be mitigated by spending Perk points. Perk and Skill points can also be used to mitigate other very important things affecting difficulty, like how visible you are and the amount of noise you make, and give you other crucial skills.
    • All of the high scoring animals of any type, and all large animals such as bison and moose, are very difficult to hunt early game until you get stronger guns and until you spend Skill and Perk points. You will need to play many hours before you can hope to possibly get anything better than does and low-level bucks.
    • Coyotes and foxes are also very difficult to hunt early game because of how skittish they are due to their good sense of smell and sight. They are also very hard to see in the thick vegetation.
    • Two early missions on Layton and Hirschfelden involve photography, which can make the early game hard because of how broken the photo system is.
    • One of the early missions on Hirschfelden is to hunt a fox with a bow. Unless you've been grinding or playing another reserve, this often comes at a time when the player has yet to spend Perk and Skill points affecting visibility and noise stats, making It potentially difficult depending on luck.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: All this game's vaunted realism goes up in smoke if you try to drive an ATV across a puddle, in an entirely literal sense, because it will explode.
  • Fake Difficulty:
    • The early game wobble when aiming is less a fair challenge and more needlessly frustrating.
    • The photographing missions are only hard because of being badly designed, not because of fairly challenging the player's skill.
  • First Person Snapshooter: There are some missions where you take pictures of animals for a reward instead of shooting them, though you can do so afterwards if you wish.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • The nasty lose your progress/corrupt save bug, which is especially bad in this game considering this is a very long, slow paced game that expects its players to spend dozens or hundreds on hours on it, many players have a collection of rare or valuable animals to lose, and there is a lot of DLC so some have invested quite a bit of money into it. It also only keeps one save. And, the glitch can happen randomly to anyone- at the time of writing it's not known what triggers it. It's recommended on the official forums that players manually back up their save regularly, ideally after each session until it's fully fixed.
    • The photography missions are badly bugged; you can meet all requirements for the picture, and the game still fails to accept it and you're completely prevented from progressing. Some players struggle for hours to get it to work.
    • At the time of writing, the skill tree reset is badly bugged. Players are reporting the game not giving them all their earned skill points back.
  • Herbivores Are Friendly: Averted depending on the species. Some of them such as such as bison and especially cape buffalo (in real-life, one of the most dangerous animals in Africa) are likely to attack the player in self-defense. Deer will run away most of the time, but they are also able to attack the player, especially when in close proximity.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: You can rest at a save point and choose what time to wake up. This is useful because animals are likely to visit Need Zones at certain times of the day. Also, some animals such as boars are more likely to be up at night or certain times of the day. It's also useful if you just don't feel like wandering around the whole night, so you can set the time to day again.
  • Mercy Kill: There is a mission on Hirschfelden where you are sent to kill a couple diseased bison.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • The missions are fortunately optional, but some are hard and/or time consuming to complete.
    • Getting an Legendary, Mythical, or Diamond ranked animal is extremely difficult, as are rare color variants such as albino. You can play dozens of hours without ever seeing one.
  • Panthera Awesome:
    • Lions are huntable on the Africa reserve DLC, and as expected are one of the most difficult and dangerous animals in the game.
    • Cougars are also in the game, and are realistically dangerous, and also realistically skittish.
  • Savage Wolves: While most of the animals are depicted fairly realistically, the wolves were deliberately made to be more aggressive in-game than they are in real life
  • Scenery Porn: One of the draws is how lush, realistic, and beautiful the scenery is, and how relaxing it is to wander in it in the gigantic maps, though obviously you need a powerful-enough computer to enjoy it properly.
  • Simulation Game: The game prides itself on being the best hunting game ever made.
  • Shoot Everything That Moves: Unlike real hunting, you are encouraged to kill females and low-point males.
  • Skill Point Reset: If you decide to want to try different skill points, you can spend (game) cash to reset them. This has been known to trigger a bug where some stop working, however.
  • Useless Item: It's debatable how well the Scent Eliminators work. While they do appear to have a effect, they are more of a waste of money than anything as you can easily go through the game only needing them very, very rarely, especially if you pay attention to the wind direction. There is however, at least one mission that requires using one.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: This is a hunting game where you are essentially let loose in reserves to massacre as many animals as you can in whatever way you please. Wanna herd a bunch of animals into a dead end with an ATV and blast away? Be my guest. Wanna try hunting down a Cape buffalo with the 22LR rifle? Go right on ahead. That said, you are given a higher score if an animal dies quickly as opposed to suffering, and this is just a game.
  • Warp Whistle: You can fast travel to any outpost you've already visited. One DLC lets you place tents, which lets you place a fast travel point anywhere on the map.
  • We Suck Less: The tents bear flavor text that brags that the built-in mosquito netting is guaranteed to reduce user blood loss by 5% over the previous model.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: The game is divided into different reserves, each of which are absolutely gigantic (to the point of taking real-life days to cross) and you are free to go anywhere you wish. There are missions on each one, but they are optional.

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