With the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles only being a few months old finding brand-new games to play on them has been pretty tough. In the meantime, publishers have taken the opportunity to release updated versions of their last generation titles to entice previous players to come back or to try and convince those who never made the jump in the first place. Publisher Nacon has been one of those as they’ve already released upgraded versions of WRC 9 and Monster Truck Championship and now they have another in Hunting Simulator 2. Originally released in July of last year, an upgraded version is now available for the hunting sim but is it worth anyone’s time?
One of the most important things to note right off is that unlike most other publishers Nacon has been skipping out on offering free upgrades for their games. In my review of Monster Truck Championship, I mentioned that those who had already played the game would have little reason to pay for the PlayStation 5 version because the improvements wouldn’t be worth paying full price again. Hunting Simulator 2 is the same case where if you bought this game on previous generation consoles last year then I can’t really recommend you pay full price again for this upgraded version. I’ll go into what’s different about it below but there definitely isn’t enough here to warrant a double dip. If there was a free upgrade or maybe a small fee to upgrade it might be worth checking out for previous owners but as it stands you can safely pass on it.
I would best describe Hunting Simulator 2 as a relaxing first-person shooter. A tutorial at the start will teach you some of the basics before you set off to explore and hunt dozens of animals across several locations in Europe, Texas, and Colorado. Before you start off your hunt, you’ll need to prepare everything that you’ll need including your guns and ammo and licenses for whatever animals you’re going to be hunting. You need a license because if you try and shoot an animal while out and about that you don’t have a license for then you’ll get big red notification on the middle of the screen that you can’t hunt it. Bringing along your canine companion is also a must in my opinion both so you don’t feel lonely out in the wild and also because the dog is very useful. They can find tracks for you as well as other signs of the animal you may be hunting. Oh, and yes you can absolutely pet the dog in Hunting Simulator 2.
All six of the areas that you can hunt in are quite large and the environmental variety between them is quite nice with dense forests, rocky ridges, and more. I said earlier that the game can be quite relaxing because you’ll be moving about a lot and listening to the sounds of the wilderness such as chirping birds and rushing water. Movement is generally pretty slow at most times as if you go too fast, you’ll scare off whatever it is that you might be hunting. When you do find your deer, bear, or other type of animal you need to take it down correctly, such as doing so with shots in certain places, in order to get credit for it. As you play your earn money that you can use to buy new weapons, clothing, and other items from the 150+ items available. Animal trophies can also be displayed back in your lodge which starts out empty but won’t stay that way.
Now something that I didn’t like is that there is previous DLC for this game that isn’t included in the PlayStation 5 version. With there not being a free upgrade for previous owners you’d think that they could at least throw the DLC in to try and make it worth double dipping for but that isn’t the case. Not only that but there is a new story mode DLC that just released that you have to pay more for as well. It honestly just feels like the publisher is being a little greedy here with how they handled this.
The upgrades in Hunting Simulator 2 on PlayStation 5 are noticeable but not a game changer. Resolution from the previous version has been bumped up to 4K and the game runs at a smoother 60 frames per second now. It isn’t up there with the best-looking games I’ve seen but much of it looks really good with a special mention going out to the lighting and the animations on things like the weapons and animals. Load times have also been improved a lot letting you move between your lodge and a hunting area in seconds. The audio work was also solid and while I’m no gun expert I thought the sounds of each one sounded really satisfying. What wasn’t satisfying is the lack of DualSense support on the PlayStation 5 as the game seems to just have some basic rumble functionality and nothing more. It would’ve been cool to get some adaptive trigger support and some sounds coming out of the speaker but that isn’t the case. That kind of just plays right back into how there isn’t enough here to warrant buying this again if you played it already.
Hunting Simulator 2 on PlayStation 5 is an enjoyable time out in the wilderness so long as you haven’t been here before. While the graphics, performance, and load times are improved a lot those things alone don’t justify paying full price again if you owned this game before. Had the team included the DLC or offered some kind of upgrade path then I could recommend it. New buyers who are fans of more realistic experiences will find a lot to like here with some beautiful areas to explore, a variety of game to hunt down, and many weapons to hunt them with. Head out on the hunt if this sounds like your type of thing.
*Hunting Simulator 2 is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, and PC. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
Hunting Simulator 2$49.99
- Realistic locations to hunt in and good variety of animals to hunt
- Beautiful visuals and relaxing atmosphere
- Lots of guns and customization items to buy
- Super fast load times
- No free upgrade for previous owners
- Not enough of an upgrade for those previous owners to buy this again
- Previous and new DLC isn't included
- No DualSense support