Deer Hunter: Reloaded (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mobile)

One of the biggest successes in gaming that you don’t hear about much anymore is Deer Hunter.  Back in the late 90’s, this game was huge and I reviewed a ton of its sequels and imitators back at The Dallas Morning News.  In fact, there were so many hunting games back then that I had to tell my editor to stop sending them to me, because I was getting tired of reviewing them!  And you know I hate turning down a game to review!  Heck, even my grandmother on my dad’s side played the Deer Hunter games back then.  And she was really good at them, too, and got the highest scores in our family!  And now Deer Hunter is back with Reloaded, available on the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and mobile devices (reviewed on PS4 here).

There are three locations where you can hunt.  Texas (yay), Colorado, and Alaska.  You’ll have objectives to shoot a certain number of game, and when you complete enough and gain levels, you’ll unlock new locations to hunt in.  When you shoot something, you’ll be able to view it in your trophy room along with the weapons you bought.  You’ll also earn money you can use to buy new weapons and upgrade them, as well as other tools like binoculars and thermal vision.  Just make sure you only shoot bucks, not does, or anything that doesn’t have antlers or horns in the deer or sheep categories or it won’t count for anything.  You’ll hunt all types of deer, wild sheep, birds, big game, and even predators!

Normally I don’t gripe about graphics, but in a game like this where visuals are important, I’m afraid I have to.  There are minor glitches that don’t affect the gameplay, like shadows of trees appearing and disappearing all over the place, but overall the graphics on the PS4 aren’t that good and it’s hard to tell which deer have antlers and which don’t.  Plus when the deer run away, they can get stuck behind rocks and just run in place for a few seconds while they try to figure out how to get around them.  Speaking of which, the game is in 3-D, but you’re limited to where you can walk and sometimes you can get stuck in rocks, too!  And the only noise that seems to startle animals are gunshots, otherwise you can make all the noise you want even if the game has options like crouching and such.  And the PS4 controller has motion capabilities, you think they could’ve used them here to aim better.  It’s a crapshoot sometimes to hit something, even if you know you aimed correctly.  But I guess that’s how it is in real life hunting, too.  I may not hunt in real life (I have nothing against it, I just don’t think I’d do very well with my vision impairment), but like I said, I have played plenty of hunting games in the past and I know what makes a good and bad one.  And unfortunately, this is not a good hunting game.

Kid Factor:

Deer Hunter: Reloaded is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Blood and Violence.  While you do shoot animals, I didn’t really notice a lot of blood, although predators can attack you later on in the game.  If you’re OK with taking your kids out hunting in real life, they’ll be OK with the game, too.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and younger gamers may get bored and frustrated with the game, as these types take a bit of patience to play.

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