Oct 31, 2012
Primal Carnage - Worth Checking Out
I've been surprised at the quality of titles that indie startups have been putting out as of late (Even more than usual), offering some solid experiences that inch closer and closer towards AAA, without losing their personality. Lukewar Media's Primal Carnage appeared on our radars a few months back, and caught our attention for trying to tackle an FPS/genre niche that people have been requesting for years now, as well as fulfilling our desire to finally get a game that would satiate our desire for a proper Jurassic Park style multiplayer experience, pitting dinosaurs versus mercenaries in a variety of environments with diverse lighting scenarios.
The influence is undeniable, with maps in the game reminding me of the abandoned Isla Soma/InGen Labs facilities present in the third installment of Jurassic Park, overrun by the local carnivorous fauna. We had a change to give the recently launched game a spin, and were pleasantly surprised by how fun the game is. The game currently only has a team deathmatch mode, in which you're either placed on a human or dinosaur team, and get to choose a slew of different characters with significantly different gameplay mechanics. My favorite was the Trapper class on the human side, who had a net gun that could immobilize smaller dinosaurs or slow down larger ones. Timing was key due to the slow reload on the net gun, or else you'd get your ass pounced on and chewed to bits. Other classes had features like flares for blinding dinosaurs or tranq darts for slowing the bigger beasties down.
The dinosaur side absolutely blew me away, featuring a completely different perspective for playing them (Third person) and a half dozen different ways to annihilate the human competition. From the pteranodon, who has the ability to swoop in and pick up mercs before drop them to their death from a high altitude, to the incredibly fun dilophosaurus with his blinding spit attack, I had a blast getting my hands on the different primals. Having 7 players on your team also unlocks the TRex, who can pretty much wreak havocs on human mercs with a vicious bite attack if left unchecked. There's something incredibly satisfying about landing a raptor pounce on an unsuspecting merc, a visceral feeling that this game delivers on in spades.
The assymetrical nature of the gameplay definitely did leave a positive impression, as it became very obvious, very quick that humans had to stick together in packs to survive versus the dinosaurs, who excel at going solo. In a visual sense, the game is beautiful to look at, taking full advantage of the Unreal tech it's built upon while not being too taxing on your system. The game especially shines in daylight maps, with some truly beautiful looking jungle environments. My only complaint would come in the form of the Firestarter class on the human side, who looks like a strange pastiche of scifi/Gears of War elements with his flamethrower/chainsaw and doesn't quite fit in with the other characters.
For $15, this indie game delivers a solid, fun multiplayer experience with some awesome niche appeal. The game currently has 10 classes, 5 multiplayer maps with free DLC already announced for a series of new, objective based map modes. Give it a shot and last but not least, hold on to your butts.