|System: X360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Activision||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 14, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4 (online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Caleb Newby
Allow me to share a little about myself before we get started, if you dont mind. If you do mind, please skip ahead to the next paragraph. First things first, I am not a hunter or an outdoorsman. Not in the least. But thats not to say that I am unfamiliar with the culture.
I grew up in Po-Dung Western Wisconsin where half of my high school class would take a week off of school in November, excused by the teachers no less, to go hunting. Fun fact, I actually took a week off of school my senior year to go hunting as well, and by going hunting I, of course, mean stay home and play games while sleeping in until 10am. My dad is a big hunting guy who enjoys telling me of his latest exploits and the new areas hes found. Every year at Thanksgiving my cousin and uncle would share with the family stories of the buck or doe they tagged that morning. All this to say, while I may not be a hunter myself, I am more than familiar with the hunting culture. Yes, I even know the lyrics to Da Turdy Point Buck. With that out of the way, on to the review!
Cabelas North American Adventures is the latest in the series of Cabela games released by Activision. You may be asking yourself who is buying these games. Particularly, who is buying these games each year? That is a fair question. Something to which I know the answer and will provide once I can find the most diplomatic way to say it. Regardless, there is enough of a market apparently for this to be a regular release. Instead of building up the anticipation Ill let the cat out of the bag early: this game is pretty terrible. But Im not telling you anything you didnt already know.
The premise of North American Adventures places you in the midst of a hunting show on The Hunting Channel. You are tasked with goals to complete as you strive to give viewers what they want: bloody kills! (Just kidding sort of.) You maneuver around the map, whether the setting is Pennsylvania or Alaska, to accomplish your mission as directed by the network. For example, the first outing has you hop in a deer stand to take aim at a buck before moving to a blind to shoot some ducks. Note: It would me more fun if Nintendos Duck Hunting dog were there to laugh at you when you missed. After shotgunning some birds, you are sent to trek into the woods to get a 9-point buck, either by rifle or by bow, and capture it on camera. Should you manage to take down your prey, you are then switched to the role of the camera man and tasked with capturing the kill for the viewers. You earn points throughout the entire process; points for making a clean kill, for successfully calling the animal youre hunting, and for capturing it all on film. Doing well will unlock new parts for your customizable guns. Unfortunately, the customization didnt seem to have any in-game effects. Maybe youre mileage will vary. I wouldnt doubt it, actually.
So with that as our premise, its time to dive into the games play and presentation. The controls are fairly intuitive because theyve kept the standard first-person shooter layout to the controller. That said the sensitivity for aiming is wonky and seems to jump around the screen. I understand incorporating the human factor and nerves as well as the swaying scope, but this is too herky-jerky for my taste.