Review: Primal Carnage

Review: Primal Carnage
3.5

Platforms:

PC

Game Name:

Primal Carnage

Publisher(s):

Reverb Publishing

Developer(s):

Lukewarm Media

Genre(s):

Action, Shooter

Release Date:

October 12 2012

Developer Summary

Prepare yourself for a game like no other, a game where dinosaurs and humans come face to face in all out combat. Only the bravest will survive on the mysterious island, overrun with fearsome prehistoric creatures which, until now, have been extinct and absent from the world for 65 million years.

Primal Carnage offers unique multiplayer combat allowing players to approach the clash between man and beast on either side of the conflict with heart stopping action and gloriously memorable moments as the fight for survival reaches an all-time high.

It’s kill or be killed. Hunt or be hunted. This…is Primal Carnage.

What We Think

Dinos and humans are in the same small jungle space. Does it really matter how they all got there? Hint: Time spent thinking about it is time better spent NOT getting eviscerated. Drop in for some mad Man vs Dino action.

Separated from the herd
Separated from the herd

Cavemen Don’t Kill Dinosaurs: Guns Do

Primal Carnage is a strictly PVP affair, and it will always be man against lizard. Each team consists of five classes, and players select their desired class at the initial spawn, and can change classes after being killed and before respawning. All classes sport primary and secondary attacks, each of which will fare well against some enemy types while barely fazing others.

In Deathmatch mode (the original and still the most populated), a thirty minute countdown clock begins and a scoreboard tracks each team’s kill count. Once one side has been sufficiently trounced, the teams switch (humans become dinos and vice versa) and the slaughter begins anew. The team with the superior pile of carcasses at the end of the countdown claims bragging rights.

Don’t Become Fossil Fuel

During your first few cracks at Deathmatch mode, it may seem like the dinos have an advantage just based on their size, and the squishiness of their targets. After a few rounds, it becomes apparent that both sides have their strengths and weaknesses. Smaller dinos have impressive speed, but don’t fare well against a well-tossed net or a point blank shotgun blast. Turn the coin, and even the largest human is so much mush after a large dino charge.

Whatever the side, teamwork is a crucial part of the experience. Should you find yourself isolated, seek out your team ASAP, or risk being surrounded and picked off by the other team.

Hors D'ouevres
Hors D’ouevres

Ancient Bones, New Skin

While there have been other games in which humans stand together against a voracious throng of ancient leathery giants, Primal Carnage wraps it up in one of the most visually appealing packages on offer. All of the character models are richly textured and move with great fluidity. The game maps are rammed with bright hues and lush foliage, all of which react when disturbed. The “deterrent” light effects (spit attacks and flares) are both convincing and effective.

The presentation isn’t without its hitches, however; the larger strides of many of the dinosaurs make maneuvering around tinier spaces a frustration, especially when quickly trying to traverse ramps. There are also some minor collision issues to contend with, though most of these will likely be addressed in a future patch.

My diclonius in a box. Yes, I know it's a raptor...
My diclonius in a box. Yes, I know it’s a raptor…

Wilma Burned the Bronto Steaks

For FPS-PVP afficianados, Primal Carnage may feel like it could use a little meat on its bones. Don’t expect any perks for playing well other than a larger kill count on the leaderboard, and this is reset at the beginning of each new match. Fortunately, the beta for Get To the Chopper is also now available, and provides a more objective-based alternative to the standard Deathmatch mode. Progress for each team is tracked as the human team attempt to flee the jungle, and the dinos do their best to lock down their favorite food source. While there is currently only one map for the new mode, it does offer up an engaging play mode.

Look past the niggling glitches, and Primal Carnage still offers a PVP experience that is fairly well-balanced and satisfying. Lukewarm Media has done well with various patches, and continues to tweak the overall experience. Get to the Chopper is a great bit of free DLC, and the purchasable skins offer up some optional diversity for players aiming to keep the game looking fresh. As for the community, players will easily find a great deal of other players at most times of the day.

Get Primal Carnage on Steam

Get Primal Carnage at GamersGate

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Adam Fimio

AKA Callabrantus [Toronto, Canada] has been an avid gamer since playing his first arcade game when he was two years old. Years later, he still dives into games on a daily basis hoping to recreate the high from that first hit.

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