Browning African Safari: Who's Hunting Who?
Windows - 1998
Description of Browning African Safari: Who's Hunting Who?
Browning African Safari comes billed as "Who's hunting who?" (not to nickpick or anything, but shouldn't that be "Who's hunting whom?"). Without looking too much into the game I thought that, finally, this would be a cool hunting game. As has been mentioned by others far wiser than myself, the biggest problem with hunting games is that they are so damn passive. You shoot a deer. If you hit it, it dies. If you miss, it goes away. That's it.
What's missing is the action of a game like Quake. If you miss in Quake, chances are you will die. If you miss in Deer Hunter II, you yawn, stretch, wonder if there's anything good on TV now. As exciting as watching my dog lick its crotch. With Browning African Safari, however, I envisioned a game where the animals fight back. If you miss and the animal lunges at you, chances are you will get mauled. This would be cool (heh-heh -- ed.). Given that I just finished off Deer Hunter II, I also envisioned the game set in a 3D environment. This would be a game worth playing. Problem is, it just isn't Browning African Safari.
Who's kidding who(m)?
Browning is among the last of the first generation hunting games. All the rest have gone 3D. This one is still stuck in the land of the two-dimensional panorama, so the whole concept of being hunted by animals is tossed out the window. Either they come at you from the front or from the rear (your guide gives you a warning). Yawn. You do get to do the complete 360-degrees, but this is small consolation. "Who's hunting who?" Yeah. Okay.
The game sets up a lot like Cabela's Big Game Hunter II (which Ed skewered recently in his review: "this game deserves a trash award from the very first spelling mistake in the dialog to the lame hunting engine"). You are a big game hunter sponsored by a museum to go stock its shelves full of African skins. They spot you $10,000, and out of that you have to pay for your transportation, guide, longing, food, and supplies. You then choose your guide (either a man or a woman, though it doesn't matter which one you pick as both are as useless).
After the rigorous selection process, you're off to Africa (seven grand is deducted each time you go, which apparently covers airfare, lodging, ground transportation, and food). Once in Africa, you go to a local supply hut and buy the items you need. You can choose from three weapons -- a 30-odd- 6, a .458 rifle, and what appears to be a compound bow. Essential items for your survival are sunscreen, mosquito repellant, bullets, a canteen, malaria pills (which generally make you as sick as malaria does in the real world, by the way -- your well-travelled ed.), and safari clothing. You will also need a hunting guidebook and binoculars. You only have to purchase the clothing and your weapons once, but the rest you have to replenish every so often. You can also buy some African art to take back home and sell to the museum and make a little money that way (though obviously the big bucks are in the skins).
The bulk of the items are there to help you survive the harsh African climate. Browning includes a health meter that represents your health (hence its name). Get dehydrated, and if you have no water, you die. Same with sunstroke, malaria, mosquito bites, etc. Functionally, the bar is useless, as if I am out of water and my health is low, I can just magically pop back to the lodge and replenish it. All I lose is about five or six minutes of time.
There are eight hunting locations to choose from and you access these by a cartoon map. It would have been different if choosing a location meant being there that day. But you can pop around from location to location with zero penalties. This eliminates any strategic choices involved in hunting the big game. Since you don't really need to be prepared, this also reduces the health bar to the status of useless appendage.
Once hunting, the 2D experience is a huge step backward from even the extreme pixellation of Deer Hunter II. There is a pretty 2D map that you look at, and then use your mouse to turn round and round until you sense movement. You then shoot (depending on what it is of course) a 3D picture. This game would have been so much better if you could stalk your prey (and it could stalk you). There is some strategy involved regarding what you shoot, as the kills have a permit fee (an impala costs $200 while a white rhinoceros costs $75,000). If you shoot the wrong thing or too many of something, you go to jail and game over. Interesting concept and it comes off fairly well.
What doesn't come off well is this idea that the animals are dangerous. They are not. First off, they don't come close enough to you to make it a problem. Second, if they do, you shoot them. Either they drop with the second shot, or they drop on the third. Of course, if you miss, you die. Them's the breaks. But, since the animals charge straight at you, it's pretty damn hard to miss the second time, especially since the animal takes up half of the screen.
Coulda been a contender
There is no guidance as to when the best time to hang out by the waterhole might be, or when zebras tend to take a dump in the woods (this, I believe would be the ideal time to kill them, kinda like getting those action pose hockey cards). It's basically guesswork, which becomes a joke since you can pop between locations with zero penalties and zero time lost. There is a health meter, but since you can beam back to the hut to get replenished, the health bar is irrelevant (if your health grows too low you just rest until the next day). All in all, Browning African Safari is a game released a year late. Had it come out last fall alongside Deer Hunter, this title would've been warmly received. As it is now, it is --like much within the game -- irrelevant.
Review By GamesDomain
Captures and Snapshots
Comments and reviews
teddy 2021-03-16 0 point
love this game used to have it long ago got busted up on my cd tho hope it works
Random Gamer 2020-06-25 -5 points
When I click on the link to download the game nothing happens. Please help
Sad guy 2020-04-27 1 point
Game work well as long as I use a bow. Binoculars work. Rifle scope is a black square. Needs patch for some reason I seem to remember it doing it years and years and years ago when the game first came out but it wouldn't do it all that often
Just that game guy 2020-04-18 -2 points
I loved this game so much I would spend hours a day playing an I still rember all the tricks to get all trophys home
ImTheGuyIfYouWantPie 2020-04-17 1 point
To play: Mount files using Virtual Clone Drive
right click the mounted drive, select explore
copy all the files in the folder "FILES" from the .iso to where you installed your game, there are 178 files to copy (C:\Program Files\Oquirrh\Safari)
Play the game, have fun!
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