Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter Review– Deep and Wide
Before I begin, let me remind you that Beatshapers’ Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter is not Rambo Versus the Dinosaurs. This is a hunting game, of which you’ll be more of a conservative hunter rather than a testosterone–filled action star.
This game is based on the 1998 PC title and was ported to the iPhone. The PC is arguably the best platform for First Person Shooters, I had my doubts on how can this game translate to the PSP. I had bad experiences in playing FPS in the PSP since I always find myself twirling slowly in the middle of the crossfire. Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter surprisingly implements great controls.
You can move forward using the Triangle button, backward using X, strafe to the right with Circle and strafe to the left with the Square button. The left shoulder button is used to toggle weapon and the right one will let you fire your weapons. The directional buttons are for your hunting essentials like the binoculars, the dinosaur call and the map.
Basically, you are some rich person who paid good money to DinoHunt Corporation to hunt dinosaurs on an alien planet which got prehistoric reptiles as residents. Now, the 28-page software manual that is downloaded with the game offers almost everything you want to know about the game. There are dinosaurs’ profiles, descriptions of weapons, game mechanics and even very helpful hunting tips are included!
The main factor why this FPS works great in the PSP is because of the very nature of this game. You’ll find yourself mountain-trekking, running on the seashore or traversing valleys more than shooting down oversized reptiles. This game is slow-paced, much more relaxed than any other FPS out there. You don’t have to run-and-gun around.
Also, the game ends almost everytime your target (specifically the carnivores) spots you because they move quickly, they run fast and when you’re bitten you are dead on the spot, forcing you to be very careful on approaching your hunt. Several factors play on how you will fare on your hunt. Dinosaurs use three senses and you can counter this with disguised scent and camouflage. For a far easier tracking, you can also use radar. However, using accessories will punish your points gained for that hunt. So you’ll have to weigh your options prudently. You can still survive the hunt even without accessories, like moving with the directions of the wind (so that your smell won’t explode throughout the area), sane usage of the dinosaur call (unless you really want to die, fire away!) and patience. The hunting locations are huge and well-designed, it is so huge it might have some Easter eggs or some bonuses I’ve yet to discover.
After you gain a lot of points you’ll unlock weapons and areas and more dinosaur species to hunt. There is also a tranquilizer if you want to spam points and for easier hunting, however, the dinosaur won’t be placed in your trophy room. You’ll have to mix and match the accessories and weapons for optimized hunting. If the dinosaur is almost blind, why use camouflage? Those kinds of things.
The graphics is not jaw-dropping but it’s good enough. The sound is great since you’ll have to utilize it. Gone are the days of tribal-tribal drum-and-chant background music instead the soundtrack is exactly what it sounds like when you are dropped into a wilderness full of dinosaurs. You have to listen attentively to footsteps, gush of sudden movements and dinosaurs’ shrieks or you’ll end up running in circles or getting decimated.
It will be a blatant nitpicking if I point out some of the shortcomings in the graphics department (the sea seems to be on TOP of the shore, as well as some clipping issues).Let’s face it, it’s a mini and other than the said reasons, having this kind of 3D graphics is a privilege. A big HOWEVER, however, the AI and some gameplay hiccups shave off a full point from its score. One issue is the pathfinding, most of the times the dinosaurs run in circles on its place when they are stepping on some depressed terrain. Also, when the dinosaur is faced with a hill and you shoot them they’ll tend to push the hill out of the way, or climb its way up instead of getting their way around. Your hunt will be a sitting duck if you find them beside a hill or a mountain.
Another one is the spawning system, several times I find myself getting killed right after the loading time. The dinosaurs are spawned directly at your face. Sometimes if you try to relocate, you’ll end up relocating inside the mouth of the T-Rex, figuratively. I hope an update will fix the issue of insta-death spawning system because it’s frustrating, really frustrating when you already did a thorough search around the map and when you relocate, HELLO FANGS!
The trophy room is amazing. It records the stats of how you captured the dinosaur like what weapon you used and the distance you shot them dead. You’ll be so cool if you killed a T-Rex using a pistol.
This game is not for everyone, as it requires a lot of patience. It requires a lot of planning. If you want an easy-going game, look elsewhere. This game is for the people who got an insatiable craving for challenge, longevity and the use of brain. Channeling Kobe Bryant, you’ll love or hate this game for the exact same reason.