Saturday, April 10, 2010

Video game number ninety three: Cabela's Dangerous Hunts

Video game review number ninety three in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Cabela's Dangerous Hunts".

Ok, so I have to admit...for this weekend, I grabbed more than a few games that I knew I wouldn't like. The reason was simple: I'm behind in my 365 games, and I wanted to spend as much time as possible with Heavy Rain and God of War 3, both of which I rented using Gamefly.

This game was something I figured I'd pick up, complete the first mission of and move on from. Unfortunately, getting an achievement wasn't that easy. I beat the first three missions without unlocking one achievement. At that point, I searched for a guide and realized you had to complete EVERY objective in each mission in order to get the achievement for that level. You can't retry levels (without starting a completely new game save) if you miss an optional've got to start over. That made the game annoying, but that's not why I didn't like it.

This game makes me feel dirty just for playing it.

The Cabela games have always been about hunting, and somehow, they've appealed to enough people to warrant several sequels. I'm not sure who these people are, but I have a feeling they can be found on the People of Wal-Mart website. In this newest version of the game....they've tweaked the premise a bit. Now, the hunts are "Dangerous". Oooooh.

That's right, no longer will you sneak up on a deer with a high powered rifle and try to get the cleanest kill possible, in this sequel..the animals strike back.

In the first mission, you are minding your own business (and by minding your own business, I mean hiding out in Alaska trying to shoot a deer in the middle of a snowfield), when you and your hunting buddy (who is apparently your hunting mentor) are attacked by a bear. As the star of this video game, you're able to fight this bear off with your bare hands (bare hands, get it?)...but your buddy is not so lucky. He dies a tragic death, and you're left without a hunting hero to idolize.

After you've stuffed his corpse and mounted it as a trophy in your house (the bear, not your dead friend) you decide to seek revenge on the animal kingdom by becoming the best hunter on earth. You start your quest in Africa, where your mission is to "Become known". You become known by killing a bunch of endangered species, specifically...lions. Don't worry about that though, because these lions are BAD lions. They will attack you and you'll have no choice but to defend yourself. Sometimes instead of just shooting them, you'll get to have really cool fights with quick time events where you press the correct button to punch the lion in his junk or something.

Eventually when you're done killing nine or ten lions, you go back to your camp...and the lions come after you again. Even though everyone in the camp is holding a rifle, these lions charge in like the fucking grey gorillas in "Congo" and try to eat all of you. Lucky for you, you're now the best hunter on earth and can single-handedly kill em all. That's just mission one. I played through 3 more before getting my first and only achievement in this piece of shit game.

I've got nothing against animals being killed for food (meat is very tasty after all), but turning it into a game seems a little bit sadistic to me. Turning it into a video game....somehow offends me even more. It's like a video game where your job is to help elect Sarah Palin president or something. Much like that fictional concept, I had no desire at all to win this game.

I know video games are exaggerated. For some reason, I have no problem with the ones like Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, or the countless adventure games where you're on quest to save the princess who looks like a Playboy playmate. I know I can't rationally explain it, but this game just bugged the shit out of me. It's a fantasy game for hunters. In the world this game creates, the animals are all out to kill you. Instead of being a drunk with a flannel shirt and a pickup drunk, you're a "hero" who runs around the world saving people from vicious animals and collecting their bodies as "trophies". Never mind the fact that most real hunters kill their prey from 50 yards away, while the animal is usually standing still or chewing on some this game, everything is action. The lions are charging you and you have to shoot (or stab) them before they kill you. You're supposed to feel good when you do it, but it just made me grumble about the stupidity of the premise.

Instead of running away from you and your gun (as almost every wild animal would in real life), all the animals you meet in this game will charge and try to eat you. Even after you shoot them once, sometimes they'll chase you down and try to get another bite in before you get the kill shot.

In one level, a brown bear that you're hunting actually causes an avalanche that buries a helpless park ranger. Even though you're 100 feet above the ranger, you are somehow able to escape the avalanche. Having failed to murder you with his avalanche, the bear tries to eat the park ranger instead. I'm going to spoil the plot here, and say that you are able to save the ranger by killing the bear. After you save him, the ranger looks at the dead bear and says: "Is he yours". You pat the dead bear and say: "Yeah, he's mine". Most park rangers would probably just arrest you, but not in this game.

In another level, a plane crashes, and a hot chick with her top three buttons undone is about to be eaten by a giant anaconda. You get there just in time to kill the snake. Your next objective is to find her husband, who is about to be eaten by a jaguar when you finally find him. Luckily, you're there to kill that critter too. The whole game just makes me sick.

My overall score is a 0.5/10. I thought about giving it a zero, which would have meant it tied Blood Bowl as the worst game of the year for me, but that didn't seem right. As much as I hate to admit was still more fun to play than Blood Bowl was, even though I hated it while I was playing it. So yeah, there's where the extra half a point comes in.


The one and only achievement I will ever get in this awful video game:

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