I’m not exactly sure what the catalyst was; perhaps it was the resurgence of interest into our prehistoric past; Chris Pratt’s sculptured face leading the charge in a new Jurassic Park movie; or maybe we just miss shooting dinosaurs in the face. Whatever the reason, we’ve seen a recent deluge of dino-themed gaming rise to the surface, each clamoring for the same piece of the primordial pie. Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter Reborn, unfortunately, proves that some things are better left extinct.
The Carnivores series, which started in the ’90s then wandered onto consoles, has returned to its old stomping grounds with the release of Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter Reborn, though most would agree that isn’t all that great a thing to say. It’s described as the sequel to Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter, though the series founders are not involved. The premise is simple enough that anyone could get right: you have a sniper rifle, crossbow, tranquilizer gun, sidearms, and are hunting dinosaurs because reasons. This being the tensies, there’s an app for that – your phone can help track dinosaurs.
There you are, in an open world filled with all types of herbivorous and carnivorous dinosaurs, trying to take down as many of the beasts as you please. Everything looks very jagged edged with a surprising lack of fine detail for a supposed remastering title, and the simplicity is just quite boring by the 3rd or 4th dinosaur.
The actual hunt is the opposite of intense, and the GPS system takes all the fun of exploring out entirely. Look at the HUD, see where the next big prey is ambling along, shoot a few times, and lather rinse repeat. The struggle against some of the larger beasts is even worse when you discover the fact that natural obstacles are their Achilles heel. Like a fence in a supposed open world game, a patch of trees sees to be insurmountable to a mighty T-rex.
Ultimately, Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter Reborn breathes more like a Safari game long out of its time, thrust back into the limelight because someone thought it was needed in our present day. Sadly, the beta version of ARK has already stolen whatever meat there was to claim, and even the scraps aren’t worth picking up.