I will be the first one to admit that I was a little hesitant about reviewing this game.  While I am no member of PETA, I am not a huge lover of hunting unless you are using the animal to survive.  I can’t even watch those charity commercials where the sad one eyed dog is staring at the screen asking for your donations.  When Activision’s Cabela’s Big Game Hunter landed on my doorstep my eyes opened wide like a kid on Christmas morning with a “That’s a big freakin gun!”shout.  Cabela’s comes as a stand alone title this year or you can purchase the bundle that includes the Top Shot rifle.  Of course, if you are a fan of the series you will already have one but a second gun will only increase your hunting power.  My spouse and her family have been hunting since birth so she naturally loved the idea of the game and off we went to set it up.  Let’s check out what we thought was cool and what we thought sucked.

What We Thought Was Cool

Variety Of Animals:

Big Game Hunter 2012 offers a wide variety of animals to hunt as you progress through the game.  You start off by hunting smaller game to hone your skills until you are ready to step into the big leagues.  As you progress further you find yourself stalking and hunting exotic animals that only a real hunter would want mounted on his living room wall.  Have you ever gone face to face with a grizzly bear or a rhino?  Big game Hunter allows the hunting fan to live out all their dreams without getting torn into a million pieces.

Replay Value:

The saving grace in Big Game Hunter is the replay value.  There is loads to do and it is easy to jump in with a friend for some gallery shooting fun.  Once you actually get the game setup, it’s a simple few button presses to jump into the hunting action.  Any hunting lover is going to get hours of enjoyment out of jumping right into the weeds time and time again to hunt their favorite animals.  Big Game 2012 lets you decide how little or how long you actually want to be hiding in the trees waiting for your kill to walk by.

What We Thought Sucked

The Set Up Experience:

Just to get the game to work correctly while using the gun was a pain.  Not only do you have to pair the light gun with your Xbox but you also have to set up a little sensor bar.  I am not quite sure why the light gun doesn’t work with Kinect as adding another little bar to my already crowded entertainment systems was irritating.  The sensor bar runs off of two double a batteries and for the first few times I could not get it to detect the gun at all.  After several attempts it finally worked and I was off to hunt in the game, or so I thought.  As I said previously, you also have to pair the light gun with your system.  Normally, this is a quick and easy button press but in this case the gun took several attempts to pair correctly.  After several hours of trial runs I was finally up and running leaving a soured experience and an already bored spouse.


Let’s put it bluntly folks, if you are looking for a realistic hunting game then Cabela’s is not for you.  Big game Hunter is almost o much of an arcade game with an arcade feel.  I find it very reminiscent to those buck shot games you find in bars next to Golden Tee.  The disappointing part is that I was really expecting a hunting sim that might change my outlook on the spot.  Instead I found a ton of hand holding and easy to kill animals.  I am pretty sure it is not that easy to kill a Grizzly in real life as it is in Cabela’s.  The light gun is clunky and the Top Shot scope is nothing more than a gimmick.  If you are just looking to trigger blast animals with no skill involved than Cabela’s is the game for you.


Big game Hunter is one mean and ugly looking game.  For a game running on an Xbox 360 I expect at least decent graphics and frame rate.  Big game Hunter suffers from some of the weirdest looking animal models I have ever seen on a current gen system.  The movement of the animals looks blocky and almost like they are decoys being pulled by a rope.  The gun models are not much better as they look to be made out of cardboard.  When  are finally able to shoot an animal it simply goes away like it was plucked out of thin air.  At least show the corpse of the animal on the ground so you can celebrate your mighty kill!  The only positive out of the graphics are the environments.  You really get the feeling like you are out in a lush wilderness but the rest of the graphics issues pull you out of that quickly.

The Final Word

If you are a fan of arcade style shooters then Cabela’s may give you some fun replay value with the gold medal Top Shot mode.  However, the game as a whole is just not worth the price tag for a full buy.  Horrible graphics, boring gameplay, and the extended set up time scream rental all over this one Shogunites.  Personally I’d rather go sit in the real woods and wait to be eaten by a Grizzly Bear than play this game again.


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