Cabela's Big Game Hunter: 2004 Season
|Cabela's Big Game Hunter: 2004 Season|
|Developer(s)||Sand Grain Studios|
|Publisher(s)||Activision Publishing, Inc.|
|Release||August 26, 2003|
Cabela's Big Game Hunter: 2004 Season is the sixth sequel to the original Cabela's Big Game Hunter. It was developed by Sand Grain Studios and released on August 26, 2003. The game was published by Activision, in conjunction with hunting supply company Cabela's.
Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2004 Season is an open-world hunting game. It consists of eight maps across North America, 26 big-game mammals to hunt, and a large variety of firearms, bows, pistols, clothing, and equipment.
The main menu gives the player the option to choose a quick hunt (limited to only one tag per hunt, progress in the career mode is not effected), or the career hunt, where players can unlock locations, embark on long hunts, and bag multiple animals on one hunt. The options, multiplayer menu, movie library, credits, and high scores list are also on the main menu.
Upon creating a profile, the player can choose their character, most of which are males and females of the mid-20s, mid-40s, and the mid-60s. Each character will have different levels of experience. For example, the mid-20s male is able to carry more items and run longer distances, whereas the mid-60s male will tire easily. However, the mid-60s male is more proficient in tracking and aiming, whereas the mid-20s male is rather inexperienced in the field. The player can also choose a log cabin setup where they can view their best trophies from the game. <Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2004 Season></Activision>
The career menu allows the player to pick a location and begin hunting, go to the target range, access the log cabin, save the game, and browse and change the settings. There are eight locations in the game:
- British Columbia - Canada's westernmost province, this location is known for its rolling hills, thick forests, a stone bridge over a waterfall, and a set of trails giving the player easy access to all four corners of the map. The game here is grizzly, mountain goat, Stone sheep, and Dall sheep.
- Alaska - The largest US state. This map features massive slopes and ravines, a river that bisects the map, and a glacier at the end of the trail. The game here is polar bear, Alaskan moose, and Sitka blacktail.
- Alberta - Known as one of Canada's "Three Prairie Provinces", Alberta features thickly-forested mountains and trails. Game here is wolf, woodland caribou, and bighorn.
- Arizona - The hottest map in the game, with a diverse amount of wildlife and landscapes. Game here is cougar, javelina, coues deer, pronghorn, and bighorn.
- Montana - The fourth-largest state, this map features open plains, forests, and a massive lake that freezes over completely in the winter. Game here is elk, Shiras moose, and mule deer.
- Northwest Territories - Being one of Canada's most sparsely-populated, frigid, and largest regions, temperatures are considerably low, forests are often too thick for vehicle transport, and wildlife is concealed by the vast valleys and foliage. Game here is brown bear, barren-ground caribou, and musk ox.
- Quebec - A large region with thick forests at sea level, but large, bald peaks. Upon spawning at "Bathurst Falls", a boat can be found directly behind the cabin, although there is not much water to make boat travel practical. Game here is black bear, Canadian moose, and Labrador caribou.
- Texas - A large state of thick pockets and trees and brush, amidst large plains and steppes. The rough terrain makes travel by the pickup truck difficult, but the large map and hot temperatures make walking impractical. Upon spawning at "Ash Fork", a boat can be found by driving up the trail, and walking off to the right towards the lake. There is a dock here, and another dock placed at the opposite side of the lake. A cast iron bridge seals this gap, and a broken bridge can be found at the bottom-left corner of the map. Game here is coyote, whitetail, and wild boar. <Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2004 Season</Activision>
The player is allowed to spawn at four spawn points in each location. In this game, there are four cabins in each location, offering themselves as spawn points. The player is given a vehicle that suits their transportation needs based on their location and selected season. Winter seasons, with the exceptions of Arizona and Texas, will give the player a snowmobile. Montana (in the three seasons besides winter), Arizona, and Texas will spawn the player with a pickup truck. All other maps in the seasons of summer, spring, and autumn, will spawn the player with an ATV.
The vehicle mechanics in this game have been subject to harsh criticism since the its release. The ATV is arguably the best vehicle of the three, in handling, acceleration, terrain handling, and size. The snowmobile is often cumbersome, does not accelerate well, and will often struggle to climb large slopes and maneuver around rocks, trees, and brush. The pickup truck has very erratic handling, being unpredictable in its terrain handling. The truck will often capsize when the player speeds it towards and angle, and it can become stuck quite easily. This makes travel through hot desert maps, that spawn the player with a truck, difficult.
The game is not particularly centered around vehicular travel. This has risen questions as to whether the developers deliberately programmed the vehicles to handle poorly. Some have speculated the developers urge the player to leave the vehicle and hunt realistically and stealthily. A common solution to circumventing long hunting times is to simply drive to the nearest beacon, and bag the trophy when in close proximity of it. The poor handling is said to be developers' "nod" to the player to not rely so much on the vehicle for hunting, as it defeats the realism. <Activision></Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2004 Season>
The player will notice HUD in the top-left, top-right, and bottom-left corner of the screen. The top-right displays the player's remaining tags for the hunt as well as a flag indicating the direction of the wind affected by the direction in which the player is facing. The top-left displays a compass that indicates the direction in which the player is facing. The bottom-left displays multiple bars and statistics. The silhouette of a human can be seen filled in with "camo" colour and outlined in green at the start of a hunt. The filling will degrade as the player takes damage, becomes hungry or dehydrated, or over-exerts themselves when low energy. This can be refilled by using medical kits, eating rations or self-heating meals, drinking water, or sleeping in a tent. The green outline will become yellow, orange, or red, indicating differing levels of damage severity. The player will take this damage from flipping their vehicle or being attacked by an animal. The player can heal themselves through all of the aforementioned means, although the medical kit is the most effective. Energy is represented by the blue bar. The player will lose energy when running or walking and will regain it by remaining idle or driving. The last three bars represent the animals' perception of the player. The red presents visibility, yellow represents the player's sound, and the third bar, which remains blank, represents the player's scent. The bar will turn green when the player applies scent cover; it will gradually lessen as the cover wears off. <Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2004 Season></Activision>
W - Walk/Run Forward S - Walk/Run Backward A - Strafe Left D - Strafe Right Q - Equip Last Selected Weapon Space - Open Inventory E - Mount/Dismount Vehicle, Exit Bullet Camera, Claim Trophy, Collapse Decoy X - Tracking Camera B - Refill Hydration Bladder L Shift - Run (can be held or used as toggle) L Control - Crouch (can be held or used as toggle) F1-9 - Equip/Use Item based on respective inventory slot Escape - Menu Mouse 1 - Fire, use item Mouse 2 - Aim, Zoom
The map layouts are extremely similar to each other in this game. Each map has four cabins in four corners of the map, where the player can choose to start the hunt from the menu. There are main trails highlighted in red on the player's GPS. Smaller, usually more tortuous trails, are drawn in thin brown lines. All minor trails do form complete circuits with either themselves, other minor trails, or the main trail. Bridges are seen in most maps. Texas has a bridge in disrepair at the bottom-left corner of the map. This signifies the trail's end, and the player will only fall through the open middle into the river below; the player can swim to a bank and resume hunting. Only two maps offer boat transportation: Quebec and Texas. Quebec does not offer water routes through the entire map to make water travel practical. Texas, on the other hand, allows players to travel between two areas of a large lake, which is beneficial during warmer seasons, as travel by foot is exhausting, and driving by truck can be dangerous given the terrain.
All maps, except Arizona and Texas, are thickly-forested maps. All maps contain evergreens, with some deciduous trees. The maps do vary in their landmarks and textures. British Columbia has brighter colours, while Alaska has darker colours and foliage, with rolling hills and glaciers. The Northwest Territories is the coldest map in the game in winter, along with some of the steepest slopes. Montana contains a large lake in the centre of the map, entitled "Springdale Lake." Arizona is a desert map, while Texas is a prairie-plains map with deciduous trees.
Players can choose from a variety of weapons: rifles, shotguns, handguns, and bows. Most rifles are bolt-action, with one semi-automatic. There are three shotguns, three handguns, three drawback bows, and a crossbow. Players can also choose their clothing based on terrain, climate, and surroundings. Tents, food, water bags, calls, decoys, lures, and other beneficial equipment, like tree stands, tripods, and rangefinders, are also available. The player can use the space bar during a hunt to access their inventory. Only ten individual items are stored in the inventory, clothing not included. Only four instances of one object, if it is an object of which multiples can be taken, can be taken. They each fill up one slot. Food, covers, lures, and water can be brought on a hunt in multiples of four.
Fines and Penalties
The player can violate hunting regulations by firing a weapon after hours (8:00 pm – 8:00 am), shooting a non-game animal (rabbit, lynx, snake, fox), shooting an animal they do not have a tag for, hitting an animal with their vehicle, or firing their weapon within 150 yards of an inhabited building. Upon the first violation of any of these rules, the player will receive a warning from the warden. Upon a second violation, the warden will fine the player $200. They will be fined another $200 upon a third violation, and upon a fourth violation, the player will be forced to leave the hunting area. A window will open giving the player to restart the hunt or quit to the main menu. If a player decides to restart the hunt, they will find their tags replenished and their trophies from the hunt cancelled. If they choose to quit the hunt, their trophies will be cancelled, and they will have to purchase any used tags again. The player can always return to the area at a different time. An area never closes to a player when asked to leave.<Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2004 Season></Activision>