Backlog Quest II: Day 1 – Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2012 – Still hating big cats

01-01-13_bq_2_review_cabelas_big_game_hunter_2012

Dear Journal,

Today I became the ultimate hunter (that never went toe to toe with Arnold Schwarzenegger).

Much like my last go-around at taking on my backlog, I decided to once again start my quest with a Cabela’s game.  This time it is Big Game Hunter 2012, the sort of cousin to the Dangerous Hunts series. Only this time I have a plastic gun to shoot at the TV with!

Much like with Dangerous Hunts 2011, Big Game Hunter 2012 has you playing as one of the worlds top hunters, who, like most other top hunters seems to be part of a club of hunters that hunt big animals in competitions that you and other hunters finance. Apparently hunting is a pretty lucrative activity to take part in even in 2012. Unlike Dangerous Hunts 2011 though there is a lack of a deranged mountain man father type. Amazingly, for the first time in video game history, a game suffers for that lack of crazy unibomber father figures.

Check out that high res shotgun camo...

Check out that high res shotgun camo…

That’s mostly because the game is rather boring. The environments and variety of animals you hunt is pretty vast, but the game is incredibly linear and short. Basically, despite all attempts to create a story about a group of elite hunters partaking in some hunting competition, Big Game Hunter 2012 is really just a basic arcade high score seeking game. You get bonus points for accomplishing certain task, hunting from certain locations or finding the occasional hidden area, but by and large the game is about shooting an animal through the heart (or whatever other vital organ) for points. Once you’ve killed the set animals you need to kill, the level is over.

Levels are fairly vast in appearance and actually look pretty descent, but there really isn’t any wandering around except to the occasional hidden area. You may be able to see for miles in every direction, but you are walking on a path so laid out it may as well be a sidewalk. The human characters that appear in the cut scenes may be some of the worst looking of the year by the way.

This blury screenshot of the opening scene doesn't do the bad graphics justice.

This blury screenshot of the opening scene doesn’t do the bad graphics justice.

Gameplay itself is simple and a repeat of other games in the franchise. Much of the actual hunting will be done in a sort of “slowed down” time mode, and/or in the hunter’s sense mode which makes animals, tracks and other objects stand out more. Slowing down time allows you to aim for vital organs as well, important for taking down larger trophies. Only a couple of hunts provide any real challenge; with the most challenging moments coming in the form of areas you have to sneak past other animals to get a good shot on a trophy.

If you want a real challenge, play with the Top Shot Elite gun. I’m sure that the gun works great on some TVs, but mine was not one of them. After a couple of levels of dealing with the awkward controls and genuinely uncomfortable gun peripheral I switched to the much less interesting but easier to handle standard controller.

If this is how you normally see the world, consult a doctor.

If this is how you normally see the world, consult a doctor.

Much like Dangerous Hunts 2011 though, Cabela’s shows a surprisingly high dislike of mountain lions and other large cats.

Big Game Hunter 2012 basically plays out like most of the Cabela’s games before it, both good and bad.  It is just short enough that you don’t hate it before it ends, but you are still kind of happy to be done with it. Given the choice I would go with Dangerous Hunts 2011 over Big Game Hunter 2012, at least the story of Dangerous Hunts was more interesting, but if you find the game/Top Shot Elite bundle on clearance like I did it may be worth taking a look.
Tomorrow I question why anyone would ever make a game based on the for-hire private military/security group Blackwater.

Final Rating: 4.5/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On
: Xbox 360
Time to completion: ~ 3.5 hours
Gamer Score Earned: 520/1000
Price Bought at: $15 (Game with Top Shot Elite bundle)
Current Price: $64.99 (Amazon)
Recommend Purchase Price: $15 for the game and Top Shot Elite was fair, try to find it on clearance that that DH 2013 is out.
Why you should buy it: You liked the previous Cabela’s games.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: Bears give you flashbacks of that incident in Tijuana.

Check out all the Backlog Quest II journal entries!

Check out all the Backlog Quest II journal entries!

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About Tristan Rendo

I've made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.