Archive for April 12, 2012
If there’s one thing the shooter genre is missing, it’s humans-versus-dinosaurs. I think the reasons for such a pairing are pretty obvious, the most notable being that it’s horribly unrealistic. I mean, look at that guy over there…who brings a flamethrower to the jungle?
Primal Carnage was a gem we stumbled upon in the corner of the expo hall. It was a two sided booth that wasn’t very crowded when we got there, so we stopped to take a look over-shoulder.
The game is a team-deathmatch design (at least the map we saw was such) where one team is humans, and the other team is dinosaurs. The humans can choose from classes such as the shotgun wielding Native American, the female scientist with tranquilizer gun, the crazy Australian with a Bowie knife, the dude in the picture there with the flamethrower, and Standard Video Game Grunt #327 with Standard Military Armaments. Got to meet those quotas, people! On the dino side you have the small but obnoxiously fast Compsognathus (Compy), who can jump huge distances, the Pteranodon, that can crawl as well as fly and which can pick up the humans and drop them from great heights, the venom-spitting Dilophosaurus that will coat an opponent’s vision in disgusting green goo, and the Raptor, the dino’s assault class. There is, of course, the T-Rex, and he’s MASSIVE, but slow.
So aside from this game being the fruition of someone’s fourth grade playground games come true, the real reason I wanted to single out this game from the sea of AAA titles that we saw was that the game was a hell of a lot of stupid fun, and was surprisingly well balanced. You’d expect the T-Rex to be one bad mutha…and it is, but with coordinated effort, the humans can take it down (granted, at least someone will get eaten in the process, but that’s the price we pay). The Raptors and Compys are very hard to hit if they keep moving, unless someone mines the area, uses AoE (flamethrower), or if the biologist uses her tranquilizer darts to slow them down.
The game had some clipping issues, where the characters (mostly dinos) would pass significantly through the geometry, but overall the game was smooth and pretty worry free. Except when you’re heading out of a building just in time to see the head of a T-Rex crammed into the door, snapping his jaws at you. I almost had to change my pants at that point. The game really reminds me of the days of Unreal Tournament or Quake where there was no overhead by way of stats or unlocks or story. All you did was boot up, log in, and start blasting away for some good old fashioned…dinosaur hunting…fun…