UPDATE: Dinosaurs; now that is a scary creature. The question is, have the developers captured that scariness? Read on to find out.
I am alone in the wilderness. All I hear are birds, or what I can compare to birds, and the wind blowing near me. I have an X-Bow and one objective in mind: hunt down a Velociraptor. All I do is look around; taking a step with as much carefulness as I possibly can, so I don’t scare him if I see him. I use the Velociraptor call to try and lure him in. I wait a second and I hear a response, the same call coming from what seems to be my left side. I turn but I don’t see anything. I hear steps behind me, grass steps. It must be him, I think. I turn around and all I see is an herbivore running away. Again I hear the grass moving, but this time to my right. I turn as quickly as I can, taking my X-Bow out and ready to go. It is in fact the Velociraptor. He is so close I can smell him. I shoot, but I miss. My gun reloads and my heart is pumping so hard it wants to rip my chest apart. The Velociraptor makes his final leap to eat his prey: me. I decide to make one last shot to go down as a man and BOOM. He is down. The prey became the predator; I have succeeded.
That is indeed pretty awesome and full of adrenaline, but (there is always a “but” isn’t there?) that is pretty much it. In the beginning of the game, all that is available is one map, one gun and one dinosaur, and a herbivore, to hunt down. It starts this way so you can get the feel of what is going on. As the player manages to hunt down dinosaurs, he will be awarded with credits.
Depending on how badass the dinosaur is, will determine the amount of credits one will get. Now, these credits will let you unlock new maps (up to five), new dinosaurs to hunt (a total of nine, including the oh-so-famous T-Rex) and new weapons to use (a total of six). The good thing about the credit system is that they are accumulative. What I mean by this is that they won’t be spent every time you go into battle. Instead, if you have 50 credits for example, before going hunting, you use them all to select your map and everything. Now once you have gone hunting you manage to kill a Velociraptor, whom is equal to 12 credits, by the time you get out of battle you will have 62 credits.
The goal of the game is pretty simple, you choose the map either during dawn, day or night (which is like the day map except all is green because you are using night vision goggles, and it is indeed pretty scary), then the next selection belongs to the dinosaur, or dinosaurs since the player can hunt more than one type, and last but not least the player will be able to choose his weapon, or weapons, of choices.
You are then dropped into the jungle. Here is where the interesting and bad parts come. On the good side, apart from the intense scene I described above, are the visuals and the sound. Both are pretty stunning and they make you feel as if you were right there on the action, even on the 3.5 inch of the iPhone 4. What else is good? I am afraid that’s best it gets.
What really made this game tedious for me was the actual ‘finding the dinosaur’ part. Sometimes you would walk, and walk…and walk…and, well you get it, and still wouldn’t find the thing. And sometimes you would spawn, not move a step, and the dinosaur was right there beside you. This was pretty annoying to say the least.
To help the player has access to binoculars in order to see more into the distance, but I never seemed to use them more than once. There is also a mini-map, which will point out the dinosaurs that you are hunting down and where they are located, this seemed pretty useful and cut down on the walking part. The other thing that really worked well were the dinosaur calls. The player can choose from which dinosaur call to use… that is, if he is hunting more than one. And as you would expect this lures the dinosaur towards you. If the dinosaur is close by, you will hear it and even use that sound to drive yourself towards the dinosaur. Now here is the tricky and intense part, at least with carnivores because when hunting herbivores they would run away from you, thankfully if you had previously hit them, they would leave a trail of blood which would allow the player to trace it back to the dinosaur. When it comes to carnivores though, they are pretty aggressive. Getting too close to them would mean instant death most of the times. This would equal to zero credits, even if you had previously hunted dinosaurs during that round.
Another negative about the game was the fact that there is no way of actually winning. It is just going out there, hunting a specific dinosaur and then coming out with the credits earned. And when I say come out, I mean pressing the “escape” option, because that was the only way to do so. Like I said, there is no real way to win. This definitely makes the game tedious, because the only motivator was to unlock new maps, which really doesn’t make much a difference (except it makes it a little bit harder depending on the map, because some of them don’t have much open terrain). The other motivator is to unlock new weapons and new dinosaurs. Unlocking dinosaurs was pretty cool at first, but then you realize that it is all pretty much the same. The only thing that really changes is the size (and yes the T-Rex is hard) and what weapon works on them best. Also, I was expecting to be given more points depending on the map I chose, but this was not the case. The only way to gain more points is by using a tranquilizer instead of actually killing the dinosaur. Or you can also take off a few things, like scent and camouflage or even the map/radar, and it helps out a little bit with the points.
There is also a survival mode, where you sit in the middle of the map and kill different waves of dinosaurs running towards you. That one has a goal, which is to kill as much as you possibly can. I liked that more than the actual hunting part.
In the end, this game isn’t for the usual gamers. If you are a hunter though and have a lot of patience, then you will definitely find something good here. But don’t come in thinking you will be killing some dinosaurs’ asses because, the truth of the matter is that, most of the time you will spend it walking, looking for them.
Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter is out now for $2.99. Get it on the
|Carnivores: Ice Age Review
Carnivores: Ice Age is what we call, in the gaming industry, an expansion pack. Basically it is the same game as the previous one, but with a few nice additions, which is why this review is here alongside its previous version, Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter.
The gameplay, the graphics, and even the weapons are exactly the same. So anyone who has previously played Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter will feel right at home when playing Ice Age. The main difference between the two is that Ice Age has a few new maps (although one or two are repeated), and they are all snow maps. Ice Age also has, well Ice Age animals to hunt instead of Dinosaurs per-se.
Although I prefer Dinosaurs and I am not a huge fan of the snow, I did find this one to be a little bit more entertaining than the previous one. Perhaps because I knew how to play it already and wasn’t as lost as I was with the first one; I am not sure. What I am sure of though, is that there are two ways of playing this game: Look at the map to know the exact location of the animals you are hunting, or just call them out and try to look around and see if you can find them for yourself. The former is for those that are looking for a fast paced and more killing-and-get-over-it kind of game, while the later is for those that are more into the hunting of it all, and would like to make it more intense by looking around by themselves.
Dinosaur Hunter will be free for a limited time and Ice Age will cost $2.99. So, those new to the series can get acquainted with both games, while those that are already fans, although they will miss the cool survival mode, they will have a few new animals to hunt and a few new places to hunt them in.