By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman
t was inevitable, I suppose. After the first Deer Hunter became one of the best sellers of the year, a sequel was well…expected. I should, of course, point out here, that I didn’t care much for the original.
The original Deer Hunter had some major flaws…for one, you couldn’t walk, you were limited to a single standing point, and all you could do was turn (and even then, only on a flat plane). And then of course, there was the fact that graphics wise, it was pretty outdated. So, when I heard Deer Hunter II was going to support 3D acceleration and be in "3D", I wasn’t exactly psyched, per se…but I definitely was curious, to say the least.
Well, guess what? They’ve done it. They’ve actually managed to make the first game look better.
I know what you’re thinking…it’s just not possible! How could they have done that?
I just don’t know. It doesn’t make any sense to me. But the first game is actually better than the sequel.
Let’s start with the system requirements, for one. The original Deer Hunter was one of those games that met all of my Bargain Bin requirements: it’s cheap (below $30) and it runs on just about any system you’re likely to find. The sequel is still cheap, but it requires…a p133, and they recommend a p200. Now for a game that could be running on the Build engine for all I know, that’s a bit on the high side.
Okay, okay. System requirements aside, the game has some other major problems. The fact that the game allows you to walk around in "3D" (more on this later) turns out to be a bit…problematic. While in the first game you inevitably found yourself scratching your butt waiting for a deer to walk into your sights, at least you had a reasonably small area to worry about. Now that they’ve added the ability to walk around, you’ll find yourself wandering for hours before you actually find anything, and even then…you’re probably just hallucinating (or maybe that’s just me).
And the game’s much lauded "3D" engine, really does look like a 3DFX enhanced version of the Build engine. I’m not knocking it, mind you, the build engine made some fine games, that’s for sure, but this is not that engine. This one’s got some major clipping problems (although admittedly not as bad as Trespasser).
The AI, like the first game, is pretty good. Or at least, I assume it’s good, because the deer were smart enough to stay away from my gun totin’ ass. Hey, that’s the only reason I can come up with. Maybe I didn’t rub enough deer droppings on me. :)
In all seriousness, Deer Hunter II isn’t more of the same it’s less of the same. They threw in all kinds of new locations, weapons, and gizmos, but they never improved the gameplay. If anything, they made it worse.
How? Well, my point is this. In Deer Hunter II, the most obvious innovation is the ability to run around…but if you want to actually catch anything, you can’t do that, because all the deer will run away. The only way you’re actually going to find anything, is just to wander into some random area, and sit there for a loooong time.
Sound like fun? It’s really not. :)
My beef with Deer Hunter II is basically the same one I had with the first game: if you’re into hunting, you’ll find it mildly amusing, but if you’re not, well…don’t expect much of anything from this game. Since I for one couldn’t care less about hunting…well…naturally I’ll be using Deer Hunter II as a doorstop.
The funny thing is, that with Deer Hunter II, I tried to enjoy playing. I really did! I sat down, open minded, with some strategy I pulled from a web site, and really tried my hardest to enjoy it. I even belched a few times for authenticity.
But I just can’t do it. No matter how much I try to like this game, I can’t do it. It just screams annoying to me. And heck, I finished Myst! You’d think I’d be able to do something with Deer Hunter, but no dice.
What made things worse about the game, is the fact (and get this) that it ran slowly on my PC.
Let me repeat that.
It ran slow on my PC. My uber-PC. My Pentium II 450 with 128 megs of RAM. It ran slow. A game that uses sprites ran slow. What is this world coming to? Waiting for a level to load in Deer Hunter II was surprisingly like Sin before the patch was released. Hey, at least with Sin I knew it was doing hardcore stuff behind the scenes…what the heck was Deer Hunter II doing?
I’m not going to recommend the game obviously, even to die-hard hunting enthusiasts. I’m not even going to recommend that anyone download the demo. I’m actually going to suggest that you please, for the love of God, try and forget that this game exists. I’ve played some bad games in my day, but man…few of them have irritated me as much as Deer Hunter II has.
And it’s not like I find the concept of the hunting game offensive. In fact, I’ve got a copy of TNN Outdoors Pro Hunter around here somewhere, and I plan on giving that a go. That one uses the Unreal engine…which should be interesting to say the least.
In the meantime, do us all a favor: don’t buy Deer Hunter II. Just say no.
- Jason "loonyboi" Bergman is the editor-in-chief here at loonygames.
|Credits: Bargain Bin logo illustrated and is © 1998 Dan Zalkus. Bargain Bin is © 1998 Jason Bergman. All other content is © 1998 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited and like, in poor taste, dude.|