Some excellent news for “virtual photographers” who have in the past loved the game TheHunter. TheHunter is a realistic open-world woodland hunting sim, which I first reviewed back in 2009. The news is that all the game’s hunting “reserves” (maps) are now open to “guest” (free) members of the game. And not just for a limited time, it seems. The official FAQ now reads…
“As a guest you are free to explore any reserve you like in single player mode”
This very welcome new change appears to have been introduced along with the new multiplayer mode, back in the late summer of 2013. Though the Wiki’s Membership Benefits chart hasn’t yet been updated with this new information.
The change is very generous to free users, but I guess it also makes sense in terms of…
* enticing new people to stick around when trying the game, by helping them find a terrain that suits their personality and preferences,
* helping to spread screenshots of the latest and coolest game reserves, and their weather/light effects,
* helping the game get better PC gaming magazine reviews,
* giving free/curious players a strong reason to stay away from the pirated version that was released in 2012. That, like the old official version, was limited to the official Logger’s Point starting area. Logger’s Point soon became rather dull, in comparison to the old and more interesting free area which used to be Whitehart Island.
There are now plenty of reserves to visit. The latest reserve added to the game is a huge wetland marsh area (sadly with no dinosaurs to hunt, nor Cthulhu-worshipping minions to stumble upon) called Rougarou Bayou. But you do get huntable duck in there.
For new free players, the way to setup the game is as follows…
1. Visit the website, sign up, set up a name and profile.
2. Download the small setup .exe for the game. Run it.
3. The setup stub will install a launcher, which will then launch a torrent for the full 1.4Gb game download.
4. The game will auto install, after the torrent has finished downloading.
5. Close everything out, then visit the website, sign in, then select your reserve. Free players also get a time-of-day choice. What you don’t get is the choice of which hut in a reserve you start out from / fast travel.
6. Then look for the “Hunt Now” button on the website. This launches (again) your new desktop-installed game Launcher.
6. In the Launcher, set your graphics levels. You can’t set graphics inside the game itself. I was formerly used to an Nvidia card, but found the following settings gave me a playable framerate on my new AMD A10-6700 APU Quad-core with 3Gb memory, and 6Gb DDR3 memory on the paired motherboard…
7. TheHunter’s in-game pocket digital camera has regrettably been changed, and is now quite ugly and far more obtrusive on the screen than it used to be. I guess the binoculars are now perhaps the best option for screenshot photographer-hunters, re: the zoom view. To get the binoculars up: on the keyboard press “I” for Inventory; switch the drop-down to Accessories; equip/drop the binoculars in a slot (4, 5, or 6); then press that slot’s number once in the game to equip them. Note that you can’t swop out your equipment after you set out from camp, so get your inventory sorted out at the start.
You need a live Internet connection while playing, as the game occasionally pings your statistics and achievements back to the website, and checks you are not cheating at the game by using hacks. I should note that the game ran fine for me on Windows 8.1, 64-bit.