I found The Hunder: Call of the Wild by accident while a steam balance was burning a hole in my virtual pocket. I then, of course, purchased it blindly based on the screenshots and a few good reviews, ignoring most of the gripes about the original game and its plague of microtransactions. I had high hopes, being that the game was based on a “New” Apex engine much like Just Cause 3 and Mad Max, so I knew at the very least it was going to look pretty decent.
To say that I was surprised by this game would be an understatement as I have already surpassed 60 hours of gameplay in the last two weeks and can't wait to log back in. The landscape is absolutely beautiful, filled with amazing mountain top views to sweeping valleys, all looking like something from my last journey into the local Oregon forest. Being from the North West, I was blown away by how accurate the terrain was in the Lake District map, from the trees to the reed fill draws, it looks like the woods I grew up enjoying with my family.
This alone is not enough to justify my crazy number of hours I have put into this game in the last few weeks, basically neglecting my new addiction that is PUBG. It was the addition of a true multiplayer mode that really sold this for me, the fact that I could get my friends (trust me it took some convincing to get 6 buddies to buy the game) together and go on a group hunt was appealing to me, and as it turns out, to my friends as well. The game really lends itself to being a kind of hangout, with challenges you can put to the entire server and a leaderboard that keeps track of your friends' biggest trophies.
This is not to say there are not a few issues, sometimes animals get bugged, or your ATV might be invisible, and some of the animal spawns could be worked on, but that is not the biggest issue for me. My friends and I agree unanimously that the biggest shortcoming of this game is its lack of integrated voice comms. The community in the game is amazing with little to no toxicity, but the game itself does not lend itself to using the integrated text communication system while playing, it becomes inconvenient to talk to randoms that join your server, which I think is a big misstep.
Being that you can't copy and paste from the game it also becomes a burden for those people that join your server and want to hunt with you to join your discord. While this seems like a very small issue, in reality when you are hunting a herd of animals it is important to time your movements and shots, and that is just not possible to do effectively through the text communication system. With a game that does such a great job of being a blast to play with your friends, it does a fairly poor job of helping you to grow your friend list.
Overall this game is a solid buy if you like hunting, with the recent announcement of a new map and possibly new types of game to hunt, I see a bright future for this game. This combined with the developer's apparent correction of their previous “micro-transgressions,” I am very happy with my late night impulse to buy.