Cabela's Alaskan Adventures

Take that, Mother Nature! This one's for that tsunami business!

The Sikh temple massacre level in Hitman 2. Hot Coffee. Urinating in Conker. We've seen it all on Xbox, yet no one game has quite elected the same level of disbelief and horror as Cabela's Alaskan Adventures, which encourages you whip out a rifle and fatally wound a lady caribou by shooting her right in front of her calves.

Yup, it's Cabela's Random Hunting Expedition time again, and this time we're trotting around various parts of Alaska looking for innocent animals to murderise. One thing we need to clarify before we go into details is that this isn't the most technically accomplished game ever. It's developed by a small Romanian company and does it ever show. Although the snow-topped levels meant the artists only had one texture to take care of, they still managed to mess it up, and your hunter's gun/hand combo looks like it's made from chewed-up bubblegum. Still, you can pick this up fairly cheapish - but a number of bugs persist in irritating, and the AI is totally bizarre. We've never shot at reindeer in real life, but if we did, we're pretty sure they wouldn't react by first flanking and then killing you.

Cabel of a ride
Each hunt takes place over a large surface area, teeming with more wildlife than a tundra desert ever should be. Each mission requires you to shoot down a certain combination of animals - be it by gender or by species. Continuously shoot at the 'wrong type' of animal and you'll risk being pulled from the hunt. There's a certain element of satisfaction to nailing your prey, especially when you're asked to bring down faster, more elusive creatures (such as the lynx or game birds) as a large part of your success will be down to patience and a steady aim from afar. It's a warm, fuzzy feeling that's quickly followed by an overwhelming sense of OH GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE???

This would be a nice (if distasteful) stalk-'em-up, but it's so wretchedly broken in places. Animals identical to the ones you're supposed to hunt cost you dear far too often. Oh, the lack of feedback when a moose is chewing on the back of your head causing you to die suddenly and without warning. And let's not forget that your hunter runs out of breath after a mere five seconds of casual strolling - a fatal flaw in a game that's 95% aimless traipsing. So: rubbish.

The verdict

Videogames need to offer fun and escapism or some kind of unattainable lifestyle - this does nothing but bore.

  • Good for boosting your gamerscore
  • Very basic, functional at best
  • Slow, drawn out and unrewarding
Xbox 360