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Hunting Unlimited

Score: 75%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Arush Entertainment
Developer: Sunstorm Interactive
Media: PC/1
Players: 1
Genre: Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

The landscapes in Hunting Unlimited are quite big and nicely detailed to represent their respective locations. I can almost honestly go around telling people that I've seen places like British Colombia or Arizona. Each level is populated with various native wildlife and shrubbery, and though you won't be staring in awe over the details of the plants and bushes, they don't look bad enough to gripe over. As for the animals, if you have seen one, then you've basically seen them all. Yes, each species looks completely different, but you only hunt one species at a time, leaving you to look at what seems like the same deer over and over. The only distinguishing marks between the males are their antlers, and the females all look almost exactly the same.

There are absolutely no in game cut scenes, CG movies, or even FMV to speak of. The only music in the game can be found at the menu screen, and let me tell you, that is some powerful hunting music. It is indeed a very interesting tune. It's just the right music to pump you up before the big hunt. Just don't listen to it for too long, or you might try to rip your speakers out of their sockets.


First off, a note about Hunting Unlimited: it may be a first person shooter, but this is by no means an action game. If you didn't catch on from the title, this is a hunting game, and hunting isn't known for its fast paced action. You can expect to spend a typical mission crawling around and waiting for an animal to get close enough for you to shoot instead of running around the level with guns-a-blazing. This isn't to say it's a bad game, oh no, on the contrary, this game is actually quite fun and, dare I say, addictive. There's nothing quite like shooting your first moose, only to have him take off into the wilderness and forcing you to follow his bloody trail. It's quite an experience.

From the beginning of the game, you get to choose between 6 different campaigns; 5 different animal campaigns and 1 tutorial campaign. Easy enough. Each campaign is separated into 8 different episodes with 5 missions per episode. I don't have to do the math for you. As you can see, there is plenty of replay value here.

Though there may be a lot of levels, the memorable ones are few and far between. Most levels start you off a hundred or so yards from your quarry and only require you to put the sights on the target and pull the trigger. Yet there is the occasional mission that requires a bit of stealth and a little cunning. The game tries not to recreate the boring aspect of hunting (waiting for hours in the woods with a thermos full of coffee) and concentrates more on the killing, which is good.

If you're worried about poor weapon design plaguing this game, fear not. There is a deluge of weapons (12 to be exact) and they each act accordingly to their real life counterparts. Yes, these are real weapons, and you have to fire them like real weapons. No Quake II rail guns here boys and girls, you're going to have to compensate for wind and distance, and each weapon acts differently.

If you've ever wondered what real hunters use to lure in their unsuspecting victims, look no further. Apart from the weapons in HU, there is a multitude of items you can use. Most missions equip you with a pair of binoculars and a map, along with a few other items including animal callers, your very own hunting stand, and sometimes bait when you have to use the animals' stomach against them. These items aren't superficial. There are missions where victory is determined on how well you can implement these various items.

The enemy AI is unexceptional at best. Yes, I said enemy. More than once was I killed by a rampaging moose. At times the AI seems to fluctuate between super smart animals and animals that seem to be suffering from brain damage. On one such mission, I started off about 50 yards from a group of deer. Two seconds into it, they scattered like kids in a toy store. Another such mission ended when I casually strolled up to an elk and shot him in the side of the head from almost point blank range. Go figure.


There is no difficulty setting in Hunting Unlimited, and although I'm not a fan of the things, I would have liked to have been able to make a few of the levels a little harder. It would be wrong to say that this game is easy, though. Real hunting isn't easy, and neither is HU, for the most part. The hardest parts of the game are actually finding your prey and then, if you successfully hit them, tracking the dying animal to it's final resting-place. But like I said before, most missions are generally easy, with only a few exceptions. The tutorial campaign does a good job at showing you the basics of hunting and shooting. You should be slaughtering defenseless animals within half an hour of opening the box.

Game Mechanics:

A very major plus to Hunting Unlimited is it's simplistic control interface. You can take three positions: standing, kneeling, and prone. Items are selected with the number row at the top of the keyboard, while pressing the spacebar draws your weapon. Zooming is done via the plus and minus keys, or your wheel mouse if you are fortunate enough to own one. A wheel mouse is not essential, but it helps to not have to take your hand off the mouse when you're trying to aim at something. This is not a very complicated set of commands, and we shouldn't expect anything less from a hunting game.

Probably my biggest complaint about HU is it's lack of multiplayer capability. How can you make a hunting game multiplayer, you ask? If you've ever seen Surviving the Game, you'd know what I was talking about. Ah well, we can always hope for a sequel.

Hunting games have never been main stream, and I doubt they ever will be. But for that niche of people out there that truly enjoy these types of games, this is a must have. I would even recommend this game for anyone who had even a remote interest in hunting. It's not going to give you the trivia to win at Jeopardy, but it might teach you an interesting thing or two about the Alaskan moose that might break the ice at parties.

-Snow Chainz, GameVortex Communications
AKA Andrew Horwitz

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 95/98/ME/2000, 266 MHz processor, 8mb RAM, 4X CDRom, 120 mb hard disk space, 8 mb video card

Test System:

Windows 98, 56X CDRom, 256mb DDR RAM, 1.4 AMD Athlon processor, 40 gig hard drive, GeForce 2 mx 32 mb video card

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