Primal Carnage Hands-on Impressions -- Welcome to Jurassic Hunting ParkBy Eric Eckstein - Posted Apr 09, 2012
Here's where I try to convince you that Primal Carnage is the greatest game ever. There's no single player campaign, no sophisticated AI, and it's not going to be available on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, or even the Wii U, at least not out the gate. Instead, what Primal Carnage has is dinosaurs, lots and lots of dinosaurs!
Yes, Primal Carnage is a team-based online multiplayer game of dinosaurs vs. humans, coming to PCs sometime this summer. Think Call of Duty meets Jurassic Park; on the human side, you pick your class from snipers and commandos, while the dinos choose T-Rexes and Velociraptors. The objective is to kill each other, team deathmatch-style, but it's not as straight-forward as it sounds. It all revolves around the classes that you pick.
Humans are set with five different roles: Scientists (aka Snipers), Pyromaniacs (aka Close Range defense, laying down fire to keep dines at bay), Trappers that either dual pistol wield or can trap smaller dinos in a net, Commandos (aka Heavy Weapons, lots of firepower), and Pathfinders, which are a strange class that wield shotguns or throw flares (to disorient dinosaurs) and also have a Dog, which unfortunately wasn't implemented yet. Everything has its pluses and minuses, and without a full complement, you're leaving your side a bit vulnerable. As humans, you'll play from a standard first-person perspective.
On the Dinosaurs side, there are also five classes though the Compys class was disabled for the demo. Available to play, we had Dilophosaurus (the Spitter, ranged spit that can blind foes at a distance), T-Rex (the Tank, which can kill humans just by walking over them), Raptors (which can pounce on their prey and rip them apart), and Pteranodons (flying beasts that can snatch humans from the ground). Dinos play from a third-person view, which can make targeting a little difficult, but avoids the weird POV claws view you typically see in games like this. Also, soaring over an outpost as T-Rexs plodded along followed by Raptors looking to steal some scraps was an impressive visual that's still in my brain.
Beyond that, I don't know. I don't know why the two species can't get along or why even dinosaurs and humans exist at the same time, but I can tell you that it is awesome. Watching a group of raptors running through the grass, leaping up onto high ground to pounce upon unsuspecting humans is incredible. Seeing a trapper capture a raptor as it's leaping at someone is hilarious. The animations for all of the dinosaurs is incredibly well done, as T-Rexs charge or pteranodons swoop down to grab their prey smoothly.
When the humans stick together, they are a lethal force, especially with a mix of classes to help support each other. But inevitably, someone dilly-dallies or goes off on their own, and that's typically when the dinos strike. With flying dinos acting as scouts and dilos attacking at range, there's a lot of ways for these pretty prehistorics to break even the most stalwart human defense. And with up to 32 players planned in a game, it's going to be totally crazy Cretaceous good time.
There's still a lot of work to be done by the Lukewarm Media team, but even at this near-beta stage, Primal Carnage looks sharp and is a complete blast to play. With continued polish and stable servers for online PC play, Primal Carnage could become one of the sleeper hits of the year.
Look for Primal Carnage to come to Steam sometime this year.