- Publisher: XS Games
- Developer: Piranha Games
- ESRB Rating: “T" for Teen
- Genre: Deer Hunting Sim
- Pros: Realistic tracking and hunting; minigames; no hand holding
- Cons: Poor graphics and sound; bad ATV controls; super slow walking; hard to see animals
Bass Pro Shops: The Hunt has your character in a hunting tournament where you jet off to exotic locales and shoot stuff. In a realistic touch, you can only shoot specific species, sometimes with specific weapons, and you can't shoot any animals you don't have tags for. This encourages you to really scout around instead of just shooting the first animal you see since you don't want to waste your tags on smaller animals that won't help you out in the overall tournament. By shooting larger animals, as well as following the laws, you earn reputation that unlocks new locations to hunt.
In addition to the career mode, there is also a free hunt mode as well as a wealth of minigames. There is a shooting range, ATV races, and a nifty duck hunting minigame that is pretty fun. Duck Hunting simply has you moving a cursor around the screen and shooting as ducks fly by, but it has an addictive and fun oldschool feel that makes it worth playing a few times.
Unfortunately, actually moving around the world and finding animals is pretty clunky. Walking is agonizingly slow, and entering "stealth" mode to sneak up on animals makes it even slower. Riding an ATV is much faster, obviously, but the controls are absolutely terrible and it is hard to keep your ATV on the trail. Not only that, but your ATV will get stuck on bits of the game world (rocks, bushes, grass, and occasionally nothing at all) so you end up slowly walking around anyway.
Perhaps the biggest problem is that actually seeing animals is remarkably difficult. They just sort of blend into the background. I know that is realistic, but is kind of a pain in the butt in a videogame. The solution for this is to enter stealth mode where the colors change to gray scale and the animals glow bright yellow. It makes it 100% easier to see, but at the expense of moving at a snail's pace. You do eventually get used to the methodical nature of the game and can have some fun with it, but other hunting games on the 360 are far more accessible and fun from the get go.
Graphics & Sound
The sound is also remarkably poor. Mostly just repetitive foot falls as you slowly walk around. For some strange reason, the animals in the game make a ton of noise. Wild turkeys or boar sound like they are stomping through the brush wearing army boots. The deer and elk and other animals are also just constantly grunting and calling and making all sorts of racket, which is completely unrealistic. It certainly makes finding them easier, though.