Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my!
This Fall, Activision is releasing two new hunting games: Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013 and Cabela’s Hunting Expeditions.
Both titles are set to launch on the same day, Oct. 23. It’s an odd choice since the release date ostensibly pits the two Cabela’s games in competition with one another.
Cabela’s Hunting Expeditions focuses on recreating the feeling of a safari. Gamers hunt across North America and Africa, collecting trophies. Hunting Expeditions gives hunters access to a wealth of diverse animals. Instead of just hunting bucks and birds, players will also be able to hunt lions and elephants as well as rhinos.
The game rewards players with Gunsmith points, which allow you to upgrade your weapons. For players who are familiar with rifles, this will offer an added opportunity to customize your weapons to get the best kills.
Newly added is a Strategic view, which gives you a top down view of the area. In some of the past Cabela’s games, exploration has either been restricted or the domain of on-rails gameplay. But, the new Expeditions game will give gamers an opportunity to plan dynamic hunts, picking their ideal target.
Players will also be able to utilize their hunter sense to tell the difference between male and female prey. Hunter sense highlights your prey in a blue-green outline so that you can better target them. Well-aimed shots are shown via bullet-time animation.
Dangerous Hunts 2013 has a broader appeal. The game includes a story-mode, similar to the 2011 release. However, Fringe and Arrow scribe, Andrew Kreisberg, wrote this story. The narrative centers on two brothers who lost their father to a bear. Ten years have passed since the father was killed and the two are reunited for a hunt.
Animals now attack with a pack mentality. If you creep up on a pack of lions and shoot the male lion with a heart (or lung) shot, the pack will disburse. However, if you shoot one of the lionesses, then the pack will surround you. The game goes for a balance between realism and playability. The pack won’t immediately rush and devour you. Instead, the pack surrounds you. Animals typically attack you one or two at a time, giving you the chance to take them down. There is a small reset time between each lion’s attack so you never feel too overwhelmed. Players can also hold down a button and flick the thumbstick to dodge the lunging lionesses.
This game can be played with a controller or with the new Top Shot Fearmaster. This wireless controller is designed like a shotgun. The Fearmaster has two metal plates, one positioned below the barrel and the other by the trigger. These plates read your pulse. Gamers will have to learn to control their breathing. Once your heart rate is steady, your sniper scope will zoom in closer to the animal’s lung, giving you a better chance at a kill shot. The developers designed the gun’s software to adapt to different users. So as you play, it will become easier to control your heart rate. However, if you hand the gun over to a friend mid-game, he or she will have a more difficult time trying to regulate their heart rate since it has already adapted to your own.
Dangerous Hunts 2013 comes with a new Maneater horde mode. In this mode, you and a friend can team up to take down waves of attacking animals. It’s a nice addition to the standard Cabela’s shooting gallery. Typically, Cabela’s games are all about the rifle and shotgun. Having a chance to use a bow instead was a joy. Plus, the bow lets you kick butt like Legalos in Lord of the Rings.