Game Review - by StormDaemon
The hunting game craze that is taking people by storm has lent to the production of several games that offer close to the same premise, find things and kill them. While this idea is not new to those who have played games like Quake, the idea of feeling like a hunter must be behind this immense popularity of these games. A few of them are actually decent, but, unfortunately, only a few. Carnivores is not one of those games. While the idea behind the game is actually rather novel and exciting, the game fails to live up to that idea in part due to its graphics engine.
A new Earth-like planet has been discovered, but many dinosaurs inhabit it. A corporation called DinoHunt Corp. has been set up to allow people to go after the dinosaurs with certain weapons and equipment. You are their newest client.
The game offers a total of ten weapons and equipment, 3 weapons and 7 accessories, to use in the hunt for the dinosaurs. Though there are several different species of dinosaurs, seven of them are there to hunt specifically while the others tend to be fodder. Of those 7 species, you can hunt the velociraptor, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Stegosaurus, and many more. In order to successfully hunt the dinosaurs, 1 out of 3 weapons can be used. The 3 different weapons are the shotgun, the X crossbow, and the sniper rifle. Each has different advantages and disadvantages. The rest of the game is fairly simple.
The gameplay has an interesting premise behind it, but because of the graphics engine, it is not that much fun. While it was playable, everything was still a little choppy and with a Voodoo2 card there really isn't an excuse for that. If the graphics were to be ignored, then the game would actually be very cool.
The game is set up so that you can choose from several different areas to hunt in and one specific species of dinosaur to hunt. After all your choices are made, you are dropped in the area to wander around. The areas are huge and there are a lot of dinosaurs running around, which is good and bad. Good because there are more targets, bad because you could get attacked from behind and not even know it. The AI allowing the dinosaurs to do that is actually pretty good, with good hunting ability, and good running away ability. If you scare a plant eater, they run real fast away, while if you make yourself known to a meat eater, you'll be the hunted. Even in running away, the dinosaurs act about as intelligent as an animal would, which is really surprising because in most games, things tend to run away in straight lines, but in this one the dinosaurs truly run away.
The combat in the game is basically comprised of one shot, one kill for most dinosaurs. In the case of you being attacked, you die a whole lot quicker than the dinosaurs do. The bigger the dinosaurs are, the harder it is to take them down, and may require several shots. You do have the option of using tranquilizers, however, and with those, the dinosaurs will just drop where they stand.
While the game's idea and story are really good, the graphics engine isn't as hot as the rest of the game. Without 3DFX, forget about even playing the game, everything is so choppy it is unbelievable. With a 3D Blaster Voodoo2 with 12 MB RAM, it was playable, but certainly not smooth. The computer running the game was a K6 266 with 64 MB of RAM, which is not the latest, but certainly nothing to sneeze at. 640x480 with 3DFX was decent but not smooth, which really took away from the game. It is hard not to expect to be able to play 640x480 smoothly with a Voodoo2, but with this graphics engine, I suppose that it is too much. Without using the 3DFX version of the game, forget about it, unless a few frames per second is bearable.
The sounds in the game are average, with the dinosaurs making weird sounds and the weapons making their usual weapon sounds. Nothing in particular stood out, but nothing was that great either.
Carnivores is, unfortunately, one of those games that has a great idea, but fails to live up to that idea. The graphics brings the game down, which is truly disappointing. The sounds are average, and the gameplay is just like every other hunting game pretty much. The only outstanding feature of the game is the premise. The bottom line is while the game has a great idea, the graphics engine is not that great, and without a graphics accelerator it isn't even worth taking a look at. If the graphics engine was improved in a new version or a sequel, then this would be an awesome game.