Primal Carnage Preview: Death by Dinosaurs

 

Sure, shooting people in multiplayer matches is satisfying. When it comes down to it, though, wouldn’t you much rather eat them? If you answered “yes” to that question, let me introduce you to Primal Carnage, a multiplayer title that pits a team of mercenaries against a team of…fracking dinosaurs.

It’s a simple concept, but man is it ever fun. Dinosaur players can choose from five options, which range from the obvious to the esoteric. The T-Rex and velociraptor are included, as expected. Then there’s the poison-spitting dilophosaurus, the flying Pteranodon (good for swooping down, picking opponents up, and dropping them), and the not-yet-implemented Compsognathus, which comes in groups of three that overwhelm players with numbers. In lieu of ammo, dinosaurs have a stamina bar that governs activities like pouncing and flying.

The array of human classes — scientist, commando, pathfinder, trapper, and pyro — is less interesting, though developers Lukewarm Media (which includes at least on former member of the Turok team) go out of their way to provide human players with zany tools, including a net-gun, a cattle prod, and a flamethrower-mounted chainsaw. Despite these enticements, however, expect competition for slots on the dinosaur team to be as fierce as a velociraptor feeding frenzy.

Built using the Unreal Development Kit, the game sports a smoothed out, slightly stylized look that evokes Valve titles like Team Fortress and Left 4 Dead. Our hands-on experience with the game took place in an industrial facility clearly designed to resemble something out of Jurassic Park, and its courtyard was rife with stampeding T-Rexes and divebombing Pteranodons. Controlling a melee-based beast in a deathmatch environment takes some getting used to (I had similar problems with the aliens in Natural Selection 2) but when things clicked and my velociraptor was devouring an opponent’s face after a successful pounce, all was right with the world. Look for Primal Carnage on Steam this summer.


Game Front was on-site at PAX East all weekend (April 6-8), bringing you daily news, hands-on previews, interviews and pictures. Stay tuned for more PC gaming-focused coverage!

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