For the last few weeks, we’ve been playing around with an interesting new-ish game here at the GamesEyeView offices. We’re talking of course about Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2011. We’ve actually had a few writers spend significant time with the game and while the review may not be as relevant today as it would have been, oh say, a few months ago, we still wanted to share our thoughts with you, the reader, on this entry into the hunting game genre.
Right from the start players will take notice to a drastic improvement to the genre as Activision bundled this years game with their new Top Shot Elite peripheral. The Top Shot Elite is the new wireless gun controller aimed at making the hunting genre more immersive. The gun is surprisingly sturdy and comes with a detachable scope and an adjustable stock to help make aiming easier. While the functionality of the controller can be spotty it’s still a nice effort.
Our primary concern with the controller was the sensitivity we found in most games modes. If we sat or stood further than a a few feet away, the game exaggerated our movements to a point where the slightest movements meant losing our bearings. We also found that the gun was a bit difficult to calibrate accurately, mainly due to our entertainment set up not being conducive to sitting just a few feet away from the television. Our last concern with the gun was that we grew tired of holding it after a bit of time had past. While we not out of shape slobs (ok…who are we kidding…we are…) the process of holding a gun up to our shoulders for longer than 30-45 minutes made us tire out quickly. Some gamers may not experience this debilitating shot to their egos but our bet is that the majority will.
The game features a few primary game modes. Players will have access to a single player campaign, a shooting gallery and a survival mode that plays like a combination of Gears of War’s Horde mode and the games shooting gallery. The story mode is honestly fairly cheesy. The story, while it does feature better writing than the standard fare gamers will find in other hunting titles, plays out like a movie we’d find playing on Spike TV on a Wednesday afternoon.
Players take on the role of Cole Rainsford, and are tasked with hunting down the ‘Kaftar’, a mysterious monster who years earlier killed your father, Samson. Throughout the story, we found that the level of suspense we felt was astonishing. Part of this was due to the sometimes spotty movement with the gun, and part of it was genuine fear (not the ‘Oh no, a bear is coming! kind of fear one would get in the wilderness, but the kind where we felt like we stood a good chance of dying in game.) That quick tangent brings us to another point…players can expect quite a bit of frustration at times throughout.
With incredibly hard ‘boss’ battles coupled with frustrating checkpoints, we found ourselves going over the same areas time and again. For the achievement centric crowd out there, players can also expect a tough road to ho as the game’s achievements and trophies lean towards the difficult.
Overall, we found the game to be an enjoyable experience. It’s not without it’s faults. The graphics and sound are solid enough but we didn’t find either to be a primary selling point for us. We found that the most use we got out of the game was using the gun peripheral when friends or family came over, or just busting out the gallery mode during a party and letting people go at it for a few hours. Coupled with a serviceable single player campaign, we’d happily recommend the entire package to any fan of hunting games looking to expand their libraries. Those who don’t relish life in the wilds may want to sit out this round though.
Overall Rating : 6.5 out 10
**We’d like to thank Activision for providing review materials for this title**