Cabela's Big Game Hunter Pro Hunts is a hunting game developed by Activision, the latest in the long-running Cabela series. Following several episodes which were criticized by fans, this game gets things back on track, although it sacrifices realism in favor of instant fun.
The US is an open hunting ground
Cabela's Big Game Hunter Pro Hunts has a huge playground: the entire map of the US. This means that you can choose your hunting ground depending on the type of game you're looking for, moving very freely in the open-world.
As you advance in Career Mode, you'll gradually unlock new territories and areas. Buy weapons, ammunition, and start hunting prey, which gets continually trickier to find. There's also a well thought out progression system that manages to keep you interested over a long period of time.
The game places a strong emphasis on the ethics of hunting and forces you to behave like a responsible hunter. This means that you can't just hunt any animal you come across. Subsequently, you'll need to be careful not to press the fire button until you're sure you can kill the animal in one shot: an injured animal which hasn't been hit in a vital organ will lose you a lot of points.
An arcade game with Hollywood-style bias
Cabela's is rich in content and its developers seem to have properly researched hunting methods and species. Unfortunately, the gameplay isn't always as realistic and tends to lose its way in a very arcade-y direction.
Sounds are indicated by a circle superimposed on the screen, while animal tracks are highlighted so that you won's miss them. Basically, everything is done to simplify the task for beginners. Although commendable as a tactic, this bias doesn't offer you the opportunities to change the setup: even in the most difficult mode, the game is too easy, especially when compared to genuine simulations like The Hunter.
Despite some very good points, like the movements and habits of animals and the ballistics, some details of the game are too disjointed to give a sense of realism, giving the impression that you're in a rustic version of Call of Duty rather than a true hunting simulation.
The sniper rifle that you're given at the beginning of the game, predators that roam nonchalantly alongside herbivores, and the ability to reload your gun in a split second while receiving advice via walkie-talkie are all a bit too unrealistic.
The bias of the developers isn't a failure in itself, but don't expect a highly realistic game. Also, be aware that the game menus, designed for consoles, are catastrophic on PC and will leave you wanting to hunt down the developers, as well as the animals.
Average graphics complemented by amazing special effects
This 2014 edition of Cabela's Big Game Hunter Pro Hunts is only average for a game of this genre, and especially for a product from a publisher like Activision. The scenery, vegetation, and animal animations are years behind the competition.
The publisher has, however, included some special effects meant to make up for it, although it's clear that not everyone will be a fan. For each bullet you fire, there's a Hollywood-like slow-motion effect that tracks the path of your bullet.
With a transparent view through the body of the animal, you'll get a very clear view of the affected organs at the end of each hunt. While this feature is pretty interesting, it may not exactly be in good taste.
A great hunting game for with a bit of flare
Cabela's Big Game Hunter Hunt Pro is a pleasant surprise compared to previous editions. The map is huge and there are tons of different weapons and species, but Cabela's lack of difficulty and its more glamorous side won't suit everybody.
While it's ideal for beginners and those who don't mind a bit less realism, others would be better off choosing The Hunter, which is much better suited for realists and fans of precision.