Big game hunters, the next big thing in virtual hunting is heading your way in the form of Deer Hunter Tournament. Since the release of the original Deer Hunter, one thing the developers at SouthLogic Studios noticed was that the community of hunters were banding together to create their own tournaments. Following their lead, SouthLogic has made this next iteration all about the tournaments. The tournament system is built right into the game and the PC version will get actual licensed sponsors with prizes. Each player will run the tournament gauntlet in their own private area so you won't have to be fighting other hunters for the big prize. Scouting missions can also be taken on, giving the player an opportunity to study a particular area and its animals eating habits before diving in. World wide tournament results will be accessible through the game so players can see how they stack up against other hunters.
Deer Hunter aims to be the most realistic hunting game on the market and from what I saw, they are certainly meeting their goal. The animal AI is extremely intelligent and a lot of work has gone into studying the various animals to get the most realistic response possible. Everything from sight distance to smell distance have been included so if you're downwind of a deer that catches a whiff of you, you may find your target heading for the hills. "Dangerous prey" is also present so be careful when tracking and shooting that grizzly bear or cougar. One wrong move could see you getting mauled or worse.
This realism also extends to the equipment and accouterments for the hunters themselves, giving them the ability to track footprints plant grain and even drop animal urine for use in attracting certain species. Weapon caliber and points of contact have also been taken into strong consideration so be careful what you shoot and with which weapon. Big gun + small animal = no mounted trophy head for you.
Other elements at your disposal will be various modes of transportation (horses and ATVs among them), a UI compass that tells direction and weather and a hunter character creation mode. Players will not be limited to tournament modes either. An in depth tutorial mode and a free play mode where you can invite other players to join you will also be available.
Deer Hunter Tournament is set to release with a $39.95 price point for the Xbox 360 and a much cheaper $19.95 for the PC giving you quite literally more bang for your buck. Hunting season begins this Fall.