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You can pet the dog (and take it hunting with you) in Hunting Simulator 2

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Hunting games require a blend of detective work, patience, and good aim. Finding the spoor of your prey, identifying them, and getting close enough for a clean shot can take hours. And most of those hours are spent walking. There's lots and lots of walking.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could have some company on those long hikes into the wilderness? In Hunting Simulator 2, you can. You'll be able to buy dogs—a beagle, a Labrador retriever, and a pointer—and take them with you on your hunting expeditions. Have a look at those good dogs in the trailer above.

Naturally, it's not just for companionship: each of these lovely doggos excels at hunting in different ways. The beagle can track down and flush your quarry out into the open. Retrievers can swim into lakes and carry back ducks or other waterfowl you bring down. And pointers will do that adorable thing where they stand motionless, cock one of their front legs, and stare in the direction of hard-to-spot critters like rabbits. The trailer above also shows a dog following the blood track of a wounded deer, and another dog finding a big puddle of stinky wolf pee. Good dogs!

Through a combination of tracking prey and being rewarded, your hunting dog will increase their skills and become better at their jobs. So don't forget to pet them when they do something right! Hunting Simulator 2 and its dogs are coming to Steam on June 25 (opens in new tab).

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.