Carnivores HD Dinosaur Hunter (2013) PlayStation 3 | Game Review

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2 years ago

Remember that nerve-jangling bit in Jurassic Park where Muldoon silently stalks two Raptors through a sweltering Costa Rican jungle? Well, Carnivores HD: Dinosaur Hunter is kind of like that if Bob Peck had spent 45 minutes crouching in a bush before getting "Clever Girl-ed" into fleshy tatters. The hunting is slow-burning and frequently unspectacular, but it has a lovely depth if you have the time to uncover it.

For a game that can be all kinds of ponderous, Carnivores HD perversely has a pretty out-there premise. Firstly, you're a time-traveler. Secondly, you've decided to use this ability to travel to ancient alien planets - because apparently, The Flintstones lied to me, and Dino never lived on Earth. And thirdly, when you've finally trailed, targeted, and bagged yourself a shiny new Allosaurus, your leathery prize is beamed up by your spaceship. Naturally.

Going all Turok on the prehistoric populace is a pleasingly tactical affair. Thanks to the vastness of Carnivores' selection of swamps, forests, and slightly darker swamps, this is an experience where patience is vital. Successfully stalking a beastie the size of an 18-wheeler through dense underbrush can take over 20 minutes and require many strategies. A successful hunt boils down to using a brilliantly naff-looking tracking widget to monitor the dinosaurs' visual and aural awareness of your approach.

Accidentally poke your rifle out at the wrong moment, and your vigilant predatory pursuits are cooked as your prey flees half a map away. Not to go all De Niro in The Deer Hunter on you, but Carnivores lives by the mantra of "one-shot." Downing Denver with a single bullet isn't just hugely satisfying; it provides a heap of extra gems and points. These two currencies unlock better Tyrannosaur-taming kits (like the X-Ray Visor that highlights critical organs) and new levels.

This sadly brings me to a Brachiosaurus-sized problem: The game is a massive grind-fest. Everything here costs a fortune. Want to buy a sniper rifle? That'll be 500 gems to you, 'guv. Oh, you want to unlock the final stage? Sorry, not unless you've got 30,000 points. When the average Stegosaur nets you four gems and 150 points, progress is genuinely glacial.

While those borked equations would make even Barney blub, the core hunting on the show is fascinating. Involving if arthritic, boring yet fleetingly brilliant, Carnivores' cerebral shooting is genuinely unique despite its miserly unlocks. Life can find a way if you're prepared to wait a long time. It may be overly keen to halt your progress, but Carnivores HD still delivers a wild, rewarding hunt for shooters with a patient trigger finger.

$ 0.74
$ 0.74 from @TheRandomRewarder
Avatar for patientgamer9
2 years ago