The year is 2191 AD and the research vessel FMM UV discovers a planet that could sustain human life. The planet is scouted and declared inhospitable for colony life because of it’s unstable terrain and the small problem of it being over run by prehistoric reptiles. News of the planet spread and a company was created called DinoHunt Corp which lets rich people pay to be sent to the newly discovered planet to hunt dinosaurs.
Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter by ‘Beatshapers’ puts you in the courage filled shoes of a man who was rich enough to pay the fee so that he could be placed on a planet where he is the equivalent of a ‘happy meal’ for its scaly prehistoric beasts. Whilst some of the dinosaurs are scared of you and will run off at first sight, other flesh-eating dinosaurs will run at you and make a quick meal out of you.
The game features 5 islands for you to hunt on, all with different environments and varying terrains. When you first play the game two of the islands are unlocked from the start with the other three islands are unlockable using the in-game credits that you win from successfully hunting dinosaurs. After choosing an island you will need to choose which dinosaur you would like to hunt.
There are 9 dinosaurs to choose from which are unlocked as you progress starting with safe plant eaters that run away scared when they see you to the dangerous Tyrannosaurus Rex’s of the world that prefer to run at you with a knife and fork. Each dinosaur has it’s own stats, points to be earned from killing it, length, weight, diet and it’s senses which tells you how much chance there is of it smelling, seeing and hearing you. Once the dinosaur you want to hunt has been chosen you will progress to the weapons menu where you can choose from 7 weapons, again, you will need to unlock the more powerful weapons with your game credits so to start you will be going against the plant eaters with a pistol before you can start picking off the more dangerous creatures with a sniper rifle.
You are now ready to jump into a game. Once it loads you will be greeted with a large open terrain and you are free to go where ever you want, you can even go for a swim as long as you keep an eye on your oxygen bar that appears once you dive under. The controls might strike you as being strange at first because to move your character you need to use the triangle, square, circle and x buttons.
On the HUD you will see a compass which shows the wind direction. The dinosaurs that have a heightened scent statistic will be able to smell you if you don’t walk against the wind which can provoke an attack or make them run away scared. On the right of the screen you see your current weapon and the amount of bullets you have. You need to make the most of every shot because once you run out of bullets you will need to escape to end the game where your scores will be tallied up.
Pressing down on the D-Pad brings up the area map which shows the position of the dinosaurs you are hunting. I did find that sometimes it was a bit of a trek trying to get to the position of the dinosaurs, but luckily there is a relocate option in the pause menu that will place you in a different area of the map. The relocate button does have it’s drawbacks however as sometimes it has relocated me practically on top of the dinosaur that I am hunting, which is not a good thing when I am hunting a meat eater. Pressing up on the D-Pad brings out your binoculars, something which becomes very useful when you need to keep a safe distance. The binoculars even ID each dinosaur you have in your sights so you don’t shoot the wrong one. Pressing left or right on the D-Pad lets you call the dinosaur which is different depending on the dinosaur you are hunting. If you use the call of a meat eater whilst you are near plant eaters, the plant eaters will run in fear which is a nice touch to the game.
After you have killed a dinosaur you will hear a pilot, your only company within the game. He lets you know that he is going to grab your latest kill and if you wait a few seconds you will see a futuristic space ship fly to the carcass and suck it up to a disc that it has hanging from the bottom of it and then he flies off to take the carcass to your trophy room. Yes that’s right, this game has a trophy room. Accessible from the main menu the trophy room has all of the dinosaurs you have hunted and killed. If you walk up to the dinosaur (don’t worry, they are dead) it will open up a little stat window that shows how you killed it, the score you got and the range from which you killed it from. I normally have a big range as I am a wimp and prefer to pick them off from a distance.
Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter is a good mini and will keep you entertained for a while but only if you stick to it. It did feel quite slow to start only hunting the plant eating dinosaurs but it all gets a lot more interesting once you hunt the meat eaters as you need to think more about the weapons you choose, your approach and the appropriate distance which will prevent a premature death.
Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter is out now for the Playstation 3, Playstation Portable and the Playstation Vita.