Game Review: Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2012 (360, PS3, Wii)

The biggest name in hunting games is ready for this year’s installment. Shoot big game on a tournament in Story Mode, or try some fun arcade shooting gallery modes with the included Top Shot Elite gun accessory (360 version reviewed here).

In the Story Mode, you play as a hunter competing in an elite tournament. Each day of the hunt is like a stage level, and you must nab three big game each time. You’ll move freely around all sorts of hunting grounds, using blinds and bushes to hide your cover. When you come across the target animal, you can use your sights to get better aim, and press the A button to hold your breath for a steady shot to the lungs for a more humane kill. Also, sometimes you might have to lure a buck away from does with a deer call, and use other items and tools to help you bag the game.

As you walk from one big game to the next in Story Mode, you can shoot at small game with your rifle, like fowl, foxes, rabbits, or other varmints, to help boost your score. Find hidden areas with rare animals and take pictures of them for bonus points, like an albino deer. Always be on your toes, though, became sometimes an animal can dart out in front of you, and you have to take a quick shot for a bonus. Money you earn from the hunt can be used to upgrade your guns and other items.

The only bad thing about Story Mode is that if you miss one of the big game, you have to start over at the last checkpoint, and this can get pretty annoying, especially if the checkpoint is far away and you only have one shot or a fleeting moment to nab the target. Plus, it can take a little time to get used to the gun controls, as there are so many buttons!

The arcade modes are much more fun, too bad there aren’t more of them. You can do these in multiplayer, too! In the first mode, you must shoot enough animals to reach a certain score to move onto the next area. Each consecutive shot you make without missing boosts your score multiplier tremendously, so you want to be as accurate as possible. Switch from shotgun to rifle to kill game on the ground and birds in the air. Another mode requires you to shoot certain animals shown, and earn a bonus if you can get them in the order presented. Finally, there’s a shooting gallery mode with cardboard cutouts to challenge your aim.

Probably the best part of the game is the gun controller that comes with it. It’s easy to use and set up, and will work with future Cabela hunting games like the upcoming Survivor: Shadows of Katmai. The only other problem with the game, aside from the Story Mode quibbles, is that while the graphics are great, the animation can get a bit choppy when there is a bunch of movement on screen. But if you like hunting games, you may want to check this one out anyway.

Kid Factor:

Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2012 is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Blood and Violence. While you do shoot animals and track trails of blood, the violence isn’t particularly grisly, and most of the bad stuff is shown off screen. Some parents may have problems with their kids using guns and shooting animals, though. But when I was at the Cabela’s “Adventure Starts Here” Tour last week, I saw bunches of kids playing this game and having fun together. So I’d probably be OK with kids younger than teens playing this, with some light adult supervision maybe. Some of the arcade modes could be considered educational, too, as they enforce memory exercises and show different types of animals.

One Response to “Game Review: Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2012 (360, PS3, Wii)”

  1. If I have 2 guns can I play multiplayer on WII

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