Deer Hunter Tournament First Look

We take a look at the closest thing there is to a hunting massively multiplayer online game.


While popular sports such as football, manage to capture the public's attention with their intense team-based competition, lesser known sports exist where you can go head-to-head with others in ways you might not expect. Deer Hunter Tournament is looking to fill the competitive sportsman niche with a hunting simulation that features extensive tournament options and worldwide stat tracking. We recently took a look at this upcoming sim to see what interested hunters can expect out of it.

Before jumping into the tournament market, Deer Hunter has been one of the most popular hunting sims throughout the years, and the actual gameplay will feel familiar to those who have spent time with prior games. The key here is patience, as well as using the right techniques and equipment. You'll need to make several decisions in the field, like whether to bait, track, pursue on foot, or build a stand in the trees. You also need to consider the environment. If an animal is downwind from you, for example, you're out of luck because odds are it can smell you and doesn't appreciate your presence. If it's a particularly nasty animal, such as a grizzly bear, and you're not careful, you might meet your untimely demise in the form of a vicious mauling. To help you learn all the techniques, the game will feature nine different tutorials.

Of course, it's not just bears you'll be hunting. You can go after the likes of cougars, mules, caribou, cape buffalo, and even wild boar. A big focus for the developers this year was on improving the AI of the animals, which includes certain group mentalities, such as larger animals going after smaller ones and so on. The environments you'll be hunting in include the mountains of British Columbia, the frozen snow fields of Finland, and the dry desert terrain of Arizona.

While the hunting itself maintains the same attention to detail as in the previous games, the big new addition is in the aforementioned tournament options. We're told Deer Hunter forum dwellers used to assemble their own impromptu tournaments where the goal was simply to bag the biggest animal, with a high degree of gentlemen's honesty required due to the fact that there never used to be real tournament options. So to appeal to these dedicated fans of virtual hunting, developer SouthLogic Studios has gone in and implemented extensive tournament options. SouthLogic was looking to maintain a close hunting community with frequent, sponsored tournaments and online club options. So you'll be able to take part in the big, official tournaments or simply assemble your own with automatically tracked statistics and winners.

The game may occupy an especially niche market, but these community enhancements should appeal to those dedicated fans of the series, which realistic sim games have been known to garner. If you consider yourself one, you can expect Deer Hunter Tournament to arrive in the fall for the PC and Xbox 360.

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