The Hunting God is the seventh and most recent walking simulator crafted by Tonguç Bodur, who has shown an ability to craft wonderful and brief experiences that allow you to wander through interesting stories without the need to commit to a several days long stay. As with Tonguç’s past games, The Hunting God is meant to be enjoyed in a single sitting. What I found while playing this game was a beautiful experience with an interesting story and stellar design. So, what about specifics? Well, here you go:
According to the Steam product page, The Hunting God is described as “a short walking simulator in which you play as Nodens the hunting god and listen to what he has been through accompanied by a white wolf named Draiochta.”
While this is quite apt, it really only scratches the surface of the telling such as it is. The story for this game was written by Simon Kolbe Strange and Stephanie Muscari, and features a jaunt through folklore and seems to specifically blend aspects of both the the Gaelic/Celtic Ulster Cycle (or Red Branch Cycle) and the Mythological Cycle. Perhaps it even pulls from the other two great Cycles of Gaelic/Celtic origin (Fenian Cycle and The Cycle of the Kings). Anyway, the fusion of different cycles creates and interesting story for sure. Essentially it represents the end of an era and an introspective look at how misunderstandings and blind decision lead to strife and chaos. By my mind anyway.
My only critique regarding the story is that it can be difficult to follow and you really need to pay attention to piece together some aspects of it. That said, it was still engaging and the writing style was more elegant that what you typically see in games.
8 out of 10
If you are familiar with true walking simulators and especially if you have played any of Tonguc’s previous games, then you know what to expect. You will walk a path, taking in the sights and sounds and interact with a limited amount of objects in the game. There are three puzzles in the game, easily solved by simply paying attention to your environment and the story as it is being told. This is a perfect example of how a walking simulator should function, suffered from no technical issues, and basically was flawless in its execution.
I would also like to note that The Hunting God pulls an idea from Tonguc’s previous best work, Drizzlepath: Glass, and breaks up the experience with a sudden, almost shocking and scary moment that allows you to re-focus and reinvest yourself, at just the perfect time during the game. I loved that moment and it really speaks to an awareness of what you, the gamer, are feeling and experiencing while playing.
10 out of 10
The Hunting God easily represents Tonguc’s finest work as it pertains to graphics. I don’t know what aspects of the Unreal Engine he was able to include in the development of this game, but this is a huge step up from his previous games, which were already pretty amazing in their own right. This is flat out a stunning game to take in. During the hour and twenty minutes my playthrough took, I snapped off about a hundred screenshots and could have taken much much more.
10 out of 10
The audio in The Hunting God was also immaculate. The voice work was pretty cool and fit the story perfectly. However, it was the orchestrations that really set this game on a whole different level that most other games. Each section and change in mood was represented perfectly by the music, and was perfect in every moment. The music was also eminently listenable outside of the game. You could easily play these tunes on your own time and enjoy every bit of what you are hearing.
10 out of 10
A lot of people play walking simulators because they are looking for quick, relaxing, and atmospheric experiences. The Hunting God is all of that. Me personally though, I play to witness the developers vision and the world’s being crafted, and The Hunting God did an amazing job of drawing me in and keeping my interest throughout. I would consider this a must own must play title.