theHunter: Call of the Wild™ - Labrador Retriever DLC


You'll love playing fetch with this doggy!


Should you buy theHunter: Call of the Wild™ - Labrador Retriever DLC? Well, in my opinion  that depends entirely on whether or not you enjoy waterfowl hunting. In the real world, a Labrador Retriever is meant to do exactly what its second name implies: retrieve the game you have shot. So in game your doggo is meant to do that exact same thing. 

Now with that said, don't be thinking your canine companion will be carting moose, elk or grizzly bears back to you. theHunter strives for realism, so your pet will only be able to carry class 1 critters back to you. This means smaller game like rabbits and most birds including pheasants and turkeys. And while you can use your Lab on land to retrieve animals you harvest, it is best used for Waterfowl hunting.

Why is it better for water? While your Lab can retrieve from land, it is limited to a 150m retrieve range at level 30 Companion/L15 Retriever. This means that in most cases it's simply just as quick for you to walk there yourself to pick up your harvested animal. Even more importantly, your Lab also has traits you can choose as he levels which increases swim speed and decreases how much carrying game slows your pet down. This in my opinion makes the retriever worth having, as he can speed across 150m of water and back way faster than you could.

Is this DLC perfect? not quite, I did notice a few negatives. Firstly if you are hunting near a dock, shoot a bird which dies and lands on the dock, for some reason your Lab sometimes cannot pick it up! But my biggest complaint is they didn’t implement flushing behaviour or training into our Retriever, which would have increased its value on land as well as water immeasurably.

For those who do not know, Flushing behaviour is trained into bird dogs like Retrievers. This allows the hunter to instruct the dog to go find game using their hearing/scent/sight. Once prey is found, the dog will spook and flush the animal out of the cover of grass/weeds/shrubs allowing the hunter to get a clear shot at it.

If you already have the Bloodhound DLC then worry not, the Labrador Retriever doesn't make that faithful companion redundant, as it won't track a wounded animal. It's a bit of a shame you can't go hunting with both dogs, but I guess commanding them both could get over complicated, and of course, there's always co-op.

Now with all that said for only £4.99 (or £4.49 with Game Pass) I still think the Labrador Retriever is a worthwhile purchase–if, that is, you are into waterfowl hunting.

Many thanks to Avalanche Studios/Expansive Worlds and Honest PR