Primal Carnage, a multiplayer game where anyone can choose to fight as a human or dinosaur, was released earlier today on Steam. You can bet your bottom dollar that when the word “dinosaur” and “video game” appear in the same sentence, I’m going to be reviewing the hell out of it.
It seems that the planets have finally aligned, giving Jurassic Park fans their just dessert. So what is Primal Carnage about? Well, it’s about shooting and killing dinosaurs. Or slashing and eating humans. Honestly, it’s your preference and it is that darned simple. There’s no story or main characters to worry about. So stop thinking about it and continue reading my review.
Playing As Meatbags
The mechanics of a human character are pretty basic. If you’ve played an FPS game in the last decade, you should find it quite easy to pick up and play. There are 5 embarrassingly looking classes to choose from – the scientist, the commando, the pathfinder, the trapper, and the pyromaniac. When you get a good, mixed group together, taking down a herd of dinosaurs can be quick and painless. Which brings me to my next point; never be alone. Always find a partner or group to join. You won’t survive long if you choose to run and gun without back up. And when you do die, you’ll find yourself respawning in random areas far away from the action or allies. So, if a raptor happens to be passing by, you’re screwed. Hiding with two or more in foliage is a great strategy. But be careful. The more people you have around, the more likely you’ll look like a walking buffet.
If there’s any suggestion I can make about the controller aspect, use a keyboard. The dinosaurs can pop up out of no where and are incredibly fast. You’re going to need as much accuracy as you can get.
Playing As Dinosaurs
When was the last time you flew a pterodactyl? Probably never. The good news is that you can engage in this fantasy of yours now. Primal Carnage’s dinosaurs are amazingly simple to maneuver with. While there is a slight learning curve with each class of dinosaurs, you generally get the idea after dieing several times. The dinosaur classes goes as follows – Tyrannosaurus, Novaraptor, Dilophosaurus, Pteranodon, and Carnotaurus. Like the human classes, each dino has a different purpose. In the end, I always found myself going back to the raptors. They are faster than any of the dinosaurs and it’s easier to hunt the lonesome jungle dwellers. The tyrannosaurus is cool, but you pretty much paint a large target that says “shoot me!”
Pro tip: Use an Xbox controller unless you want your left hand cramping.
Looks And Sounds
Watch the trailers and tell me this game doesn’t look beautiful. However, if you have a low end or even a mid level computer/gpu, be prepared to lower the video settings. A lot. I use a mid-tier laptop and had to make the game look hideous just so I could get 30-40 fps. And even those frames per second, it remains difficult to play.
Thankfully, the sound helps ease the pain of its graphical heavy demands. From the ambient noises of a lost jungle to the blood curdling roar of a Tyrannosaurus, the SFX in Primal Carnage brings terror and horror back to the table. You’ll notice how familiar they sound (coughJurassicParkcough) Truly, there’s nothing more awesome then hearing and feeling the sounds of a T-Rex stalking you in a rainy setting.
Is It Worth It?
If you love dinosaurs as much as I do, then you’ve already bought and played Primal Carnage. If you’re still on the fence, wait until the DLC is announced or released. At this point, the game only includes team death match and 5 maps. There’s not a lot of substance to this game. But the developers are promising DLC that will expand the gaming experience. Until then, I’ll see you in the jungle, dieing multiple times.