I have never been a fan of hunting for many reasons, one of which that its epically boring just sitting around waiting to shoot harmless animals. The only thing hunting video games like Cabela’s have done is take out that boring waiting around part. Each and every hunting game is the same, find animal, shoot it, rinse and repeat. They have tried to over the years make it more interesting by adding in “dangerous” creatures that can kill the player. But as scary as a bear can be, its no match for a player with a sniper rifle over half a mile away.
So how do you make a hunting game fun? You give people something that they want to hunt. That’s right dinosaurs, yep Wizard Works Softward released Carnivoes, a dino hunting game back in 1998. A grizzly bear is not nearly as terrifying as a rampaging T-Rex.
The premise for this game was a great one. You are a member of a Dinosaur hunting corporation and are sent back in time to hunt trophies. Apparently greed extends to the point of marketing prehistoric hunting yet no one cares about the potential for temporal shenanigans resulting in the human race being enslaved by toasters or something.
You don’t really need a story when your game is basically; Jurassic park if it were sponsored by the NRA. The graphics are what you would expect from early 3d games of the late 1990s, every thing looks like it was made from origami with only a basic idea of what these animals and places look like. Still, hunting dinosaurs kinda trumps bad graphics. The levels are the same four or so same generic looking prehistoric worlds set during different times of the day. Though this doesn’t really affect how the dinosaurs behave but different dinos do appear in certain levels.
The dinosaurs themselves are limited with new ones added in each game, the last one taking place during the Ice Age allowing you to hunt early wooly mammals, and even a Yeti. They are split in to herbivores and carnivores, hence the title. The herbivores are big but mostly just want to be left alone, though some of them like the triceratops will kill you others will just run off. The carnivores are a different story they will straight up hunt and murder you, especially the T-Rex.
Your hunter starts off with score of zero, and the money of the game are kill points, wich you can use to buy new and better gear as well as new dinos to hunt. Different dinos are worth different amount of points as well as the size and danger of the trophy. Bigger trophies gain you bigger points, and carnivores are worth more than herbivores. Your trophies are collected after each kill by a Corporation time ship as you wonder the world, this allows you to rack up massive amounts of points for multikills.
You equipment is limited with only three weapons, a shogun, crossbow, and sniper rifle and their ammo capacity limits how much you can hunt/kill. You also get some equipment but once you have unlocked the resupply which refills your bullets, the binoculars with data analyzes a dinosaur’s size allowing you to weed out the small dinos and find the bigger ones, and the sniper rifle that allows you to kill most animals from a safe distance, it kinda breaks the game. Yeah there is camo and scent masking, and radar, but at they aren’t really necessary. Though I think if they made the weapons a bit more varied and made added some different equipment it could have been better.
This can be frustrating at first when you are limited to just the shotgun and a few shots, with little to no way to find the dinosaurs, which is compounded when random raptors and other dinos popped out of no where and kill you, over, and over and over. This is not helped by the fact that there are loading screens, as will most late 90s games.
This game was later ported for the Android phone as Carnivores Cityscape and Carnivore Dinosaur Hunter Pro, a HD remake for the Playstation Network and the original three games are still available on the internet. Check them out for a fun dinosaur hunting game.
Primal Prey is another Dinosaur hunting game that was released in 2001 by Sunstorm Interactive. It exceeds Carnivores in many ways, number one being graphics. The environment and dinosaurs look very realistic, as though you stepped into a Jarassic Park movie. And years later the graphics still look amazing, granted now that we all have PCs that are powerful enoughto run it at full capacity and smoothly with no lags.
It also add the introduction of missions and nonlethal take downs. In addition to the Shotgun crossbow and sniper rifle of Carnivores, you also get a rail gun and lighting gun for those huge pesky T-rex’s but in addition you get a host of nonlethal weapons, from tranq guns to a really kick ass shrink ray, and a stasis gun to help to trap and manage your targets. It also has a great deal of new equipment like like thermal scopes, night vision, calls, bait and trap mines.
The missions added give some semblance of a story but Primal Prey has the same issue as Carnivores as early on getting equipment and weapons is difficult because they are rather expensive, and the missions pay very little for the trouble. Another draw back is the rather limited trophy room, where Carnivores allows you to keep and stock dozens of trophies, Primal Prey only allows you to stock a few.
The levels or episodes all take place on the same small(compared to carnivores’ maps) map just at different times of the days. The game is also a tad glitchy, with dinosaur’s using the wrong sounds or getting stuck on things and sometimes themselves. Not to mention the ones that just hang out around your time portal which serves as your entrance and exit to each level and can be a pain in the ass since you must return to it to complete a mission only to find a massive killer carnivore that you are not equipped to deal with standing between you and the exit.
Its still a great game because hey, there are dinosaurs and you get to hunt them with a shrink ray.
This game is also still available for PC, so pick it up and trying hunting a T-rex yourself.