At the beginning of the Corona crisis, many discovered online gaming for themselves. That's how it got me and I tried my hand at a hunter community as a virtual hunter. More than 300 hours of play later, the hunter simulator "The Hunter - Call of the Wild" still won't let me go. Find out why this game can be so addicting in this article.  

First of all, it should be mentioned that all the following statements refer to the PC version (Steam). The game runs similarly on consoles, but some users experience constant lag problems on the Xbox or Playstation. And unlike the PC version, DLCs are often delayed. "The Hunter - Call of the Wild" appeared after "The Hunter - Classic" and is not only different in price. Call of the Wild moves in the field of casual simulators with an easy entry, whereas Classic is much more realistic and more difficult to play.

How it all started ...

Last year the developer had invited Expansive Worlds to gamble on "The Hunter - Call of the Wild" for free. So a friend and I went on the prowl. The first steps seem very slow. Especially if you are used to shooters with a bit of action, "Call of the Wild" works like a rollator simulator. The hours go by, even though not much has actually happened.

The principle sounds simple

It's actually very simple: take a fully loaded gun, run through the countryside, and when you see an animal, you pop it off. This style of play is possible, but not at level 1. Walking around like a madman scares away everything that has ears and can also be read in the logs. In my case, there are a whopping 85.000 animals that I have driven away with noises (on the other hand I only have 2.000 kills). And then you have to shoot the right weapon with the right ammunition at the right animal and the right organs.

Call of the Wild is more of a walking simulator and can also be played with VR glasses. To get you started, I've summarized a few tips for beginners at the end of the article.

The explorer in me wants to explore and that can be wonderfully combined with friends. Our conversations on Teamspeak sound like from a religious community. We want to find hotspots, develop theories and, above all, look for one thing: diamonds.

The hunt for diamonds

In Call of the Wild, the prey you hunt is evaluated. The highest award is 'diamond'. In order to shoot an animal with the distinction 'Diamond', a number of parameters have to be matched.

  1. The animal must "be able to make" diamonds

Above all, this requires large males who can become diamond trophies. At the beginning you can tell by the appearance of some animal species whether it has a potential for a diamond, for example: from the antlers. If you have enough levels under your belt, then it is much easier and the binoculars indicate a range for each animal, which rating it can have after being shot.

  1. The launch "has to be right"

As mentioned, you have to hit vital organs such as the lungs, heart and liver with the right ball so that the animal quickly falls to the ground. Fortunately, a second shot is allowed, because every now and then you only hit that rear end because the animal just doesn't want to keep still.

And that's exactly one percent of the game that is really stressful, but also very rewarding. Imagine: You stroll through a beautiful landscape for hours and spot one herd of mule deer after the other, but there is never a great trophy among them. Just before you want to turn off the PC, it happens!

With one last look in the binoculars, you notice a man with a potential diamond rating. Now you can be sure that you will be busy for at least half an hour. Sneaking up and having a good view of the animal takes time.

As soon as you have the correct distance to the trophy in progress unnoticed, it is time to hold your breath and quickly pierce your lungs with the right ammunition. At this moment I am often torn apart with tension. Because that's exactly where things can go wrong: Another animal stands in front of it at the last moment, you are noticed and everyone leaves and so on.

A few diamond-rated animals that I was allowed to shoot:

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The moment of truth

Some animals fall immediately after the shot in The Hunter - Call of the Wild, others feel like they are still walking for miles in the pampas until they finally hit the ground. As soon as you stand in front of the animal, you can guess whether it will get a diamond rating and now comes the most exciting moment: The path of your finger, which slowly steers towards the letter 'E' on your keyboard. This click opens the harvest screen and immediately shows the rating.

It is immediately clear whether everything was given for a diamond rating. There can also be really disappointing moments when you fall victim to a troll. Trolls are animals that have a very high chance of winning a diamond, but ultimately just barely or far miss the top rating.

There is also a higher rating than diamond. This is called "Great One" and can only be reached by white-tailed deer and, recently, also by red deer. However, the chance of a Great One is so slim that I personally lack the incentive to even try. The chance of being struck by lightning is significantly higher.

The Hunter: Top Immersion, Less Top Stories

The remaining 99% are very relaxed. I keep catching myself enjoying a virtual view in this game. Sometimes the idyll is incredibly beautiful, even though it's just bits and bytes. At the beginning I kept myself a little crazy when I “drew in” an idyllic view with a full moon. It soon turned out that I'm not alone with this. In addition to trophies, Steam also has tons of screenshots of incredibly beautiful views. Whether in a Russian snowy landscape, in German forests or on the Rocky Mountains - each map has its own flair and the sound design adds a little bit more to the immersion. Incidentally, Call of the Wild is the only game from which I take countless screenshots. No other game tempts me to take that many screenshots.

Here are a few screenshots of idyllic landscapes in Call of the Wild:

[foogallery id = ”32690 ″]


Call of the Wild scores with a very successful immersion. The stories are a bit flat though. They barely kept me going and exploring with friends was just more fun than experiencing it through the story.

Warning spoilers: Maybe it's also because there isn't a single NPC in the game - for free play, it doesn't need one either. The Vurhonga map is on the trail of poachers and the plot is quite exciting. The spokesman suggests that the poachers are dangerous and very close by. If you have seen through that the game has no NPCs, then there is no danger of being gunned down. It is much more likely that a buffalo will trample you down. Simply mark the text in front of it to make it visible!

Call of the Bugs ?!

What the game does really well can really screw it up again with the bugs. There are tons of bugs and new ones are added with each new release of a map.

Have you played hundreds of hours of The Hunter - Call of the Wild and exhibited a number of trophies in your lodge? That's nice - until one day an update deletes all your trophies and your lodge looks like a desert. The answer is then “Thanks for nothing, Expansive World!”. Also happens: diamonds that don't count, travel fast to places you didn't want to go, quad drives at night without lights, tracks that simply disappear, geese that cannot be found, are thrown through the air when two players want to spawn at one point and a lot more. Crashes and strange animal animations are also part of it, but are not among the most annoying mistakes.

Many of these bugs are mainly found in multiplayer mode. By far the most annoying is a special sound bug that scares animals away when colleagues switch weapons. “Hey, I found a herd of red deer. Come on, let's thin out this zone! ". Fast travel, trailing to the said point and when changing weapons, a shot (sound) is triggered that you cannot even hear yourself. "OLD, WHO HAS JUST COOKED ???". Well - nobody shot and everything that has ears with fur is long gone.

Fortunately, some bugs in The Hunter - Call of the Wild can be used for farming when animals get stuck in an area and cannot escape. Fortunately, some bugs are also entertaining and make the hunter's heart laugh.

The bugs keep annoying the community and with every live stream from Expansive World there are quite a few who tell about it. This is exactly where a big problem lies: There are few alternatives for the players and as long as there are none, Expansive World can "afford" a lot. The developers can at least benefit from their openness to social media.

Here are a few selected bugs that I encountered myself:

[foogallery id = ”32653 ″]


Despite the bugs, it is a solid game that can easily cast its spell through its good immersion. The spark has to jump over there first. I was fortunate enough to be able to participate with an experienced hunter community right from the start. A lot of things go easier when you can ask questions.

Call of the Wild rookie mistake

Here are some tips for The Hunter - Call of the Wild to make it easier for you to get started:

You start with a difficult map

According to the evaluation by Expansive World, 'Hirschfelden' is the most popular map, but that is more likely due to the fact that it is also the first and included in the base game. The 2020 map 'Silver Ridge Peaks' with Rocky Mountain Flair is much more beginner-friendly. You are much more likely to spot animals because of the many open spaces and the population of animals is larger. In Hirschfelden, on the other hand, there is a lot of forest and that doesn't make hunting really easy. Especially when you have to look for a wounded animal in the thicket.

You won't find any animals

Either you are walking too loudly, you are seen because your cover is bad or you stink the animals in the direction of the wind. You can roam the prairie and as soon as you hear a fresh trail or a call, you engage stalking mode (stand and crouch). Unfortunately, walking is only quiet on the street. It could also be that you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. The animals have certain times when they sleep, eat and drink. Once you have found out the drinking times of an animal species, this applies to the whole map.

You do not come across great distances

A real (virtual) hunter would soon know why, but for beginners it should be said: The ball loses height at long distances. Therefore just aim a little higher and you will hit the animal properly. With more levels, assessment also becomes easier. If an animal is too far away for you, you can even lure some animal species with pipes etc.

There are also things that you only do twice - once and never again:

  • Swimming: You can't swim in Call of the Wild. You will simply be spawned back in the country. How many times have I wished for a canoe? Maybe my wish will come true one day.
  • Shoot outside the map limits: Do not hunt too close to the outer borders, because if the hunted animal runs out of the map, you may not be able to get it at all. You only have a few seconds until the game moves you back within the limits. With a Quad (DLC) you can cover further distances outside of the map.
  • Reset benefits: In the course of the game you get advantage points that you can distribute on a skill tree. Think carefully about which skills you want. You can reset the selection, but it is very expensive. You don't really need the following skills: Predicting wind, predicting weather, 15 percent more health.

There is so much more to Call of the Wild, but I'll let you find out for yourself in The Hunter - Call of the Wild.


  • Michael Zelenka

    Michael studied applied game research (Master) and is the founder of the free print and play games platform He is also a professional game tester and mainly deals with game UX.

Last updated on 1.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API