Let’s not beat around the bush: if you already own Hunting Simulator 2 on PS4 or Xbox One, there’s no point buying this next-gen version unless you’ve changed your console allegiances.
While most developers and publishers are offering free next-gen upgrades for their games, Nacon instead wants you to part with your cash for a second time. So, if you want to play a version of Monster Truck Championship or Hunting Simulator 2 that makes more use of the power of your next-gen console, you need to buy them again – there’s no free upgrade path for those who already own them on PS4 or Xbox One.
That in itself is disappointing enough, but then there’s the fact that they’re not even massively enhanced. Though at least Hunting Simulator 2 has a bit more going for it than Monster Truck Championship if you’re playing on PS5.
So, Hunting Simulator 2 on next-gen consoles is exactly the same as its last-gen counterpart when it comes to content. You get six very different locations to explore, each filled with its own array of animals for you to hunt. Before you get to the act, though, you need to prepare. Buying licences for the animals you want to hunt is a must, and you’ll also need to procure a gun with the required calibre ammunition. Fail to prepare, and you’ll either find yourself getting fined because you didn’t follow the rules, or simply walking around for hours on end achieving very little.
While there’s scant DLC available for Hunting Simulator 2, it would have been nice if it was included in this next-gen version as standard. Instead, you need to pay extra if you want some additional guns and other guff. Even more irritatingly, there’s a new DLC launching soon that adds what’s basically a story mode to the game. Why isn’t that included? No doubt it’ll also be something you have to buy if you want to make more of your Hunting Simulator 2 experience.
You might be wondering what is new in this next-gen version. Enhanced visuals are obviously one of the perks. I’ve been playing the PS5 version of Hunting Simulator 2, and it certainly does look gorgeous. It also looked gorgeous if you played it on PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, however, and so if you already own the PS4 or Xbox One versions of the game and have a next-gen console, they’ll look and perform great thanks to backwards compatibility. The visuals certainly aren’t improved enough to warrant double-dipping.
One of the best enhancements is the reduction of loading times. You can now move from your base of operations, a lodge, to one of the game’s numerous hunting grounds pretty much instantly. And then there’s the DualSense support. The PS5’s wonderful DualSense controller allows you to feel the plodding of your character, rumbling left and then right as you walk or run. The adaptive triggers are made use of, too, and you can enable motion aiming if you wish. It all helps to immerse you in the action better than ever before.
Basically, then, the next-gen version of Hunting Simulator 2 is only worth considering if you’re buying it for the first time – especially the Xbox Series X/S version. It’s perhaps not the best hunting game ever made, but those into the activity will find that the hours will fly by as they attempt to bag themselves some epic trophies. And thanks to the power of next-gen, everything looks better than ever. The picturesque scenery makes even just taking a stroll through the wilderness enjoyable – if you don’t like hunting, consider it a dog-walking simulator instead.
Hunting Simulator 2 Review: GameSpew’s Score