Way of the Hunter

As a guy who’s read a bunch of Henry David Thoreau and John Muir, I have this romanticized view of the wilderness. I sometimes fantasize about moving out into the middle of nowhere, growing out my beard to a length that would make ZZ Top feel envious, and living off the land. But when I’m being honest with myself, I’m just a city guy at heart. If I actually attempted to live out my wilderness fantasy, there’s a strong chance that I would end up falling into a ravine, or being mauled by a bear, or going mad and gnawing off my own arm (though I suppose I could still fall prey to this last one in my apartment).

So for me, video games have served as a nice middle ground, where I can explore a romanticized version of the wilderness from the safety of my own home. During the pandemic, Red Dead Online was a safe haven. I’d set up camp near Little Creek River and just while away the hours hunting various animals and building a trade empire from their pelts.

And then came a goofy little hunting game called Open Country. This is a game that adds classic survival features to the hunting genre, letting you set up camp and cook food, all while trying to bag that elusive buck. I got pretty into Open Country, but eventually the jankiness was just too much for me and I bounced off (and I’m still bitter that they wouldn’t let me murder Gary).

But even after leaving it behind, Open Country did leave me with a hunger for a survival/hunting hybrid game — one that would let me explore nature and be one with the forest, while also spraying lead at everything that moves. If only something would come out to fill that void…

Enter Way of the Hunter, by Nine Rocks Games.

This one has the backing of THQ Nordic, who also published Biomutant and Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning (among many, many others). I assume this means there’s some real money behind this project, which hopefully will bring us something Open-Country-ish without all the jank. And that’s a prospect that has me licking my chops.

Of course, we haven’t really seen much in the way of gameplay, as the trailer mostly just shows sweeping shots of the game environments. We do see a few moments where the character is holding binoculars from a first-person perspective, which leads me to believe this will be a first-person game rather than a third-person one (Open Country was third-person).

I also haven’t seen anything in the game’s features list that suggests this has survival or crafting elements. It does, however, feature two open-world environments, each about 55 square miles in size, and THQ has boasted about the game’s simulated ecosystem and extensive range of gear.

Way of the Hunter

It also sounds like there’s a story mode, with what’s described as a “compelling story,” as well as a free-play mode. Plus, this does support co-op.

It’s far too early to get my hopes up for Way of the Hunter, because it was just recently announced, with no release date (not even a year) in sight. We do know, however, that the plan is to launch this on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. Until we get more information, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.

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