I always wonder why developers don’t make more dinosaur games. I recently finished up Jurassic: The Hunted on the Xbox 360 and Dino Stalker on the PlayStation 2 (read that Retro Review HERE); both are very fun games . I was a bit leery about this title when I saw Activision’s logo on the box, but they didn’t seem to taint this title at all. In fact, some aspects of this game have found their way into Call of Duty: Black Ops. Weird, right? I’m guessing some developers from this title meandered their way over to the Call of Duty office and helped with those titles. It was that part of the game that I enjoyed the most though, so I’m glad that those guys found some work elsewhere, even if it is the Call of Duty franchise.
You get to play as former Navy Seal Craig Dylan who is accompanied by wartime friend Amando “Rock” Depiedra and Sabrina Sayrus into the Bermuda Triangle in search of Sabrina’s father, Dr. James Sayrus. While flying through the Triangle, a huge vortex overtakes their plane and they are forced to abandon it in mid-air. When you come to, Dylan finds himself on a primordial island, his companions nowhere to be found. You begin to search the island for your friends and for a way off. Instead of finding your companions, however, you find horrible creatures that try to eat you at every turn. Sounds like a Sy-Fy Channel movie, right?
The controls are almost exactly like Call of Duty’s. Left and right joysticks control movement and camera. Y switches your weapon. Right trigger is fire and left trigger is iron sights. Right bumper is grenade toss and left bumper is “adrenaline rush”, which allows you to see vitals in the dinosaurs to aim at. A is jump and B is crouch. Your best bet is to get acquainted with the shooting and reloading so that you can take on the raptors when they gang up on you.
And they WILL gang up on you. The game does let you know they are coming though — they make the same sound as in Jurassic Park and, when you hear that, make sure your gun is loaded and your back is to a wall or tree. If they surround you, you are as good as dead. They will smack you into oblivion, and sometimes the checkpoints aren’t very forgiving so always be listening for their call.
The best part of the game is what everyone loves about Call of Duty: Zombies. There I was, running through the jungle trying to survive, when I came upon some weird type of encampment. I slowed down, looked around, and then the game prompted me to defend this wall against the raptor attacks. I looked around and saw raptors pulling and clawing at these sticks on the windows. I ran to the nearest window and I was prompted to hold down a button to repair the window while I “shot-gunned” the raptors. Sounds familiar, right? I had to run from window to window and keep the raptors out so that I could continue my vacation through the tunnel. I enjoyed these parts of the game — when I was getting tired of massacring dinosaurs, these little areas helped break up the monotony for me and kept me engaged.
This game was purchased solely on the fact that there was a huge T-Rex on the box art. I glanced at it while looking through a used game shop, grabbed it immediately, and never regretted my choice. This is a really fun, somewhat original game that interestingly enough comes from Activision. In a world full of “man-shooters”, they published a title that strays from the normal path and, for that, I am grateful. If you’re into off-the-cuff, weird games that no one really talks about, you should seriously pick up this title. It will be worth your time and money. Then perhaps we can also get a next-gen sequel if enough people buy it, so there’s that too!