Cabela's Alaskan Adventure
Hunting games have always had a stigma to them, dating back to the universally loathed Deer Hunter released in 1997. This is partly due to key elements of the sport such as patience and endurance that don't translate very well to the digital medium. Cabela's Alaskan Adventure makes a decent effort at producing an enjoyable take on the sport, but it ultimately fails to some predictable problems.
The premise of Alaskan Adventure is simple, you'll travel from region to region of Alaska participating in hunts and various other competitions such as dog sled racing, ice fishing, fly fishing and water fowl shooting. It sounds interesting, but the hunts are clearly the focus of the game and everything else plays out like a dismal set of minigames.
Hunts task you with taking down a certain type of animal while obeying a set of rules such as restrictions on the type of weapon you can use. The hunting has a very methodical feel, leaning far more towards simulation then twitch shooting. Tracking your prey without alerting them to your presence requires some very slow creeping and careful attention to factors such as your scent. In the same vein, placing shots requires a lot of attention to bullet drop and wind direction. It can be satisfying to bring down an animal but most gamers will likely find that the pacing is just too slow to be enjoyable. While the game admirably tries to remain authentic, key factors such as fatigue and the skittish nature of your prey translate more into frustration then immersion. Alaskan Adventure also attempts to vary things up a little by providing a wide array of other events to participate in, but every last one of them suffers from overly simplistic and completely un-engaging design, exacerbated by the fact that they all tend to drag on far past the point where they stop being entertaining.
Graphically Alaskan Adventure looks more at home on an Xbox then it does on the 360. The environments don't look bad, but they suffer from a monotonous feel and certain areas can bog down with frame rate issues. The audio is also similarly unimpressive, though the gunshots do sound pretty good.
All in all, while occasionally entertaining, the hunting sequences of this game just aren't fun enough to appeal to most people and that's all this game really has going for it given that the minigames aren't even worth mentioning. Even with the relative dearth of hunting titles and this game's reduced price, 40 bucks is still pretty steep. Unless you're absolutely dying for your next virtual hunting fix, you'd be well advised to pass on this title.