UPDATE: We originally had the price of "Hunting Party" at $80. It is actually $70.
Yesterday, something totally surreal happened. A giant trailer – its sides emblazoned with art from Activision and Cabela's "Big Game Hunter" line of videogames – pulled up in front of my house. Before I knew it, there was a giant, anatomically-correct fiberglass ram in my lawn, and my neighbors were coming over to play hunting games within the belly of a trailer decorated like the great outdoors. It was totally weird – it was also completely awesome.
I should note that I'm not a hunter. I'm one of those guys that assumes his hamburgers just fall off of a magical hamburger tree, not harming any poor, defenseless beast. Still, I really like hunting games. Maybe it's the concept of stepping into an alien role, or maybe it's just all the time I spent pumping quarters into barroom arcade machines.
Either way, Cabela's has made a name for themselves in the console hunting-game market, thanks in no small part to Top Shot gun peripherals. Last week, Activision announced development of a Kinect-compatible hunting title, "Big Game Hunter: Hunting Party." There's not a lot of info on the game yet, but I can count myself as one of the few people to actually hold the related gun, the Top Shot Sport.
The Sport will actually interact with the Kinect, utilizing three light-up bulbs on the peripheral. They kind of reminded me of the top of a PlayStation Move wand, cut in half. The bulb at the end turns red when the trigger is pressed, letting Kinect know you're firing. In addition, the sensors will allow for gameplay in "Hunting Party" that has you moving your whole body.
Some of the ideas expressed to me included the ability to interact with the environment while shooting. So, let's say you're being attacked by a group of blood-thirsty wolves; instead of just popping caps in them, you could potentially kick the little buggers away. Another example could have you jumping over fallen trees while pursuing your trophy bear, or whatever. Sounds pretty intense, so luckily the gun is actually really light, noticeably more maneuverable than the other Top Shot rifles.
"Big Game Hunter: Hunting Party" is due for release on November 1, and retails (with the gun) for $70.
Be sure to check in tomorrow for a preview of "Cabela's Survival: Shadows of Katmai," a game that took me totally by surprise.