Cabela’s North American Adventures
Posted 2 years ago By - Jay Acevedo
Every year, hunting fans (and there must be some if Activision keeps putting these out, right?!) are treated to a new Cabela’s-branded game. True, hunting is considered a sport but by comparison, sport games always manage to improve and bring new things to the table. Hunting games, on the other hand, bring tiny and often improvements. In the case of Cabela’s North American Adventures, Fun Labs did manage to do a few things differently. However, the result remains the same: an experience best enjoyed by hunting fanatics rather than the regular gamer.
Presented as a TV show on the Hunting Channel (does that exist in the real world?), Cabela’s North America Adventures is all about you, your hillbilly co-host, and over 30 different species waiting to be taken down. The actual mechanics are no different than the other games in the genre and fans of the hunting series won’t feel out of place. Still, a few new features are being introduced in North American Adventures.
The co-host is tasked to capture your best catches on film. Once you’re done hunting the current target, that key moment of your hunt (the one where the bullet goes in and the animal dances painfully until it dies) needs to be captured on film. As every action in the game has points linked to it, the goal is to record the scene with the best possible angle for the best point total. Taking down the animal in one shot, the distance, the exact location of where the bullet landed, how perfect your bait call was prior to the shooting, etc... are all ways to acquire more points. Depending on how well the hunt goes on each specific level, a grade will be assigned and pieces to customize each one of your weapons will be unlocked, such as stocks, receivers, barrels and scopes. Sadly, no matter how many changes I made to my weapons, I never felt it influenced the overall hunting experience. 80+ yard headshots can still be done with a default rifle. A bit sad since the selection of weapons was rather good and it would have been nice to think I was making strategic changes to my arsenal. Then again, my expectations for that new feature wasn’t high to begin with.
While the weapon customization is a franchise first, North American Adventures packs yet another one: four player online play. Players can band together in an effort to out-hunt their adversaries by chasing multi-point buck or simply blowing off some steam in the shooting galleries. While it can set you up for some hysterical moments, lag issues make the experience simply unbearable after a few matches. Of course, that’s if you find a friend that you to play with. It’s rather surprising to see a game that uses fewer resources than your typical multiplayer game, yet still fail miserably with that component. It’s not like online play is a new thing; it’s been around for years now. Unlike the weapon customization, I expected quite a bit more from the online play and wanted it to be more fleshed out. Instead, it seemed like Fun Labs just tacked it on at the last minute and called it good.
The game isn’t pretty to look at, but since your attention is turned towards shooting animals, you won’t spend time admiring your surroundings. Although, considering the vast opportunities for beautiful vistas and eye-catching scenery, it still comes off as a bit of a disappointment. While the weapon effects are pretty standard, the environmental sounds are solid. Since hunting requires you to be subtle, quietly crawling around the bushes; the sounds of the quiet woods do a good job at immersing you into the experience. What do you call the sound of a dead rabbit again?
Aside from giggling like a deranged maniac while eliminating marmot infestations or hunting waskely wabbits with a shotgun, Cabela’s North American Adventures has a very limited appeal. I know, there are folks into these hunting games, but you will find yourself hunting for easy achievements rather than the big trophy buck.
+ Environmental sounds manage to sink you in for a bit
+ Online play and weapon customization...
- Online play is a mess
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Release Date : 2010/09/14
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : Activision
Developer : FUN Labs
Category : Sports
ESRB : T
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