Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Primal Carnage Review

Okay, be honest. Who doesn't want to go around shooting dinosaurs? Better yet, who doesn't want to go around AS a dinosaur, biting the heads off the humans? Primal Carnage lets us do just that. It appeals to the child in all of us, the one that was rooting for the dinos when we watched Jurassic Park for the first time.

Primal Carnage takes further the concept pioneered by Left 4 Dead 2 - human vs monster. Although the game has a very unique take on the shooter genre, it's a novelty that doesn't wear off. The switch between playing as first-person humans and third-person dinos helps keep the game exciting. I shall never tire of swooping down as a Pteranodon and using my claws to drag people away into the sky.

Lukewarm Media could have gone so ridiculously wrong with the game, but they managed to pull off a very respectable indie shooter. The developers balanced the play very well, considering the teams are so diverse. From the Pyro to the Raptor to the T-Rex and the Commando, Primal Carnage gives us plenty of choices when it comes to playable classes. My only complaint is that the game will often have very unbalanced numbers of people per team. Sometimes, you may be playing in an 11 vs 15 match. This can give one team an advantage, which makes it very unfair and frustrating for the other team.

Naturally, everyone wants to start out playing as the dinos, but when they decide to try playing a human, they will find them to be just as fun. The classes are very balanced on both teams. The number of T-Rexes is limited, and the developers try to nudge new players towards playing as a Raptor. The Raptors are easy and fun to play, which means that you will usually have 8 or 9 Raptors on a given team.The accessibility of the class develops a sort of a pack mentality.

As far as the bigger dinos go, their immense strength is made up for in their limits. Generally, only 3 or 4 T-Rexes at a time will be allowed on any given team. Although their bite is normally an insta-kill, they are slow and hard to maneuver. This makes it so that, unless the T-Rex player has impeccable skill and accuracy, a small group of humans can easily take it down. As a side note, I found it entertaining that if you play as a human and a T-Rex comes close, the ground starts to rumble and you can hear the heavy thump of  footsteps. It reminded me of that one scene in Jurassic Park, with the car and the glass of water... You know what I'm talking about.

In all seriousness, I enjoyed Primal Carnage's unique playstyle. I had fun playing as both sides, and the game's balance was pleasantly surprising. I would say that this game was a success as both an indie game and a shooter.


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