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Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter HD (PS3) Review

 
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At A Glance...
 

Formats: PS3
 
Genre:
 
Year:
 
Developer:
 
Final Score
6.0
6/ 10


User Rating
2 total ratings

 

We liked?


You're shooting dinosaurs - what more do you need?

Not so much?


A little back story and a lot more motivation would have gone a long way towards keeping players engaged.


Final Fiendish Findings?

There is no denying the cool factor of Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter HD. You are a filthy rich big game hunter, tracking massive beasts through beautiful environments with only your weapon standing between you and certain death. There is so much potential in that scenario, and it saddens me that more wasn’t done with it – throwing in a little more story and motivation would have gone a long way towards keeping players engaged. Still, for hunting aficionados looking for a more realistic hunt (well, if you discount the whole dinosaur thing anyway), it’s an undeniably intriguing game that will have you stalking and tracking to your heart’s content.

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Posted October 1, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

“It’s coming right for us!”
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It’s got to be every hunter’s dream, the opportunity to hunt something truly fantastic – the dinosaur. In Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter HD, you are a wealthy outdoorsman from the future, transported to an Earth-like planet to hunt the local wildlife, which just happen to be dinosaurs. You’ll explore the terrain, crouch near watering holes, and quake in your boots at the unmistakable sound of nearby Jurassic creatures. But will you be entertained?

As you begin Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter HD, you will have a feeling of just being dropped right into it. There is no story – at all – given to you. If you haven’t read anything about the game beforehand, you will have no idea what is going on, particularly when things like a spaceship appear. No cutscenes, no text boxes, not even a little intro on the menu will give you any sort of direction to the game. Similarly, there also isn’t much in the way of tutorials. Sure, you’ll get a couple text suggestions here and there, but for the most part you will have to just figure things out on your own.

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That isn’t such a hard thing for figuring out how to shoot a dinosaur – after all, crouch, aim, hold breath, shoot is pretty intuitive. But other things are not necessarily so. For instance, when you take aim at your very first dinosaur and bring it down triumphantly, you’ll probably be pretty proud of your first kill (even if it is on the small side). And then, you’ll walk over to it only to find out that you get nothing for it. No points, no money, for dinosaurs that aren’t on your kill list. Which wouldn’t be that big of a deal ordinarily (well, they could have at least thrown us some points – come on!), but in Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter HD you start out with no money at all. Inexplicably so, because you are supposed to be a super rich guy capable of traveling the galaxy to shoot dinosaurs, and we’re supposed to believe you don’t have a couple hundred laying around in your other pants?

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That lack of money really makes for a lot of grinding, which isn’t all that enjoyable. When you do finally bag something that will net you some cash – a nice Stegosaurus, maybe – you’ll find that these majestic creatures pay off very poorly. You’re lucky to get $6 for your first one, and you can’t go off searching for your trophy animals until you have earned enough money to buy a license for each of them. So you grind to buy licenses, and then you grind to upgrade your equipment – and it all feels so unnecessary, to the point where it kind of sucks away your pure enjoyment at stalking a dinosaur.

You have three weapons available to you as you stalk those dinos. You start out with a rifle, and can pay your way to an X-Box (at $250) and a Sniper Rifle ($1000 – going to need to shoot a lot of dinosaurs to get that one). You can also acquire a revolver as a secondary weapon, as part of your equipment. There is actually a lot of equipment available, surprising considering the weapons are rather limited. You can save up to purchase everything from an alarm that alerts when you have been spotted to a camo suit and decoy – there’s even an x-ray visor that will pinpoint weak spots on the various dinosaurs. In what I consider to be a very nice touch, Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter HD also gives you the option to hunt with tranquilizers – you can bring down the big guys without actually killing them, if that’s your thing.

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There are nine unlockable environments available to explore in Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter HD, well kind of. There are really only three different areas – Delapheus Hills, The Great Forest, and Basmachee Rocks – but they are each presented in their standard form, as well as in dusk and fog (meaning The Great Forest at dusk counts as its own environment). The environments themselves are actually quite beautiful, and that was one of the main highlights of the game for me.

Considering that much of your time is spent merely wandering the environment in search of dinos, the artistic side of things is pretty important. While the description says you are in space, everything looks pretty much like an Earthly landscape, with the same grasses, trees, and waterfalls you’d expect from your home planet. The idea here was to make this game be like real hunting, and they have done well capturing the idea that hunting is all about patiently biding your time, and quietly creeping up on your prey. Unfortunately, that just doesn’t translate that well to a video game. I would have liked to see a bit more in the way of missions or some other motivation added to keep the player engaged.

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There is no denying the cool factor of Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter HD. You are a filthy rich big game hunter, tracking massive beasts through beautiful environments with only your weapon standing between you and certain death. There is so much potential in that scenario, and it saddens me that more wasn’t done with it – throwing in a little more story and motivation would have gone a long way towards keeping players engaged. Still, for hunting aficionados looking for a more realistic hunt (well, if you discount the whole dinosaur thing anyway), it’s an undeniably intriguing game that will have you stalking and tracking to your heart’s content.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)