PC/Mac/Linux
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Game Info:

Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter Reborn
Developed by: Tatem Games
Published by: Digital Dreams Entertainment LLC
Release Date: May 27, 2015
Available On: PC
Genre: Hunting Simulation
Number of Players: Single Player
ESRB Rating: N/A
Price: $14.99 on Steam

Thank you Digital Dreams Entertainment for giving us a copy of this game to review!

Hey you! Yes, you! DynoCorps cordially invites you to live out your childhood fantasies of hunting dinosaurs! Journey to their exclusive chain of beautiful islands where you can marvel in wonder at the towering beauty, and behemoth grace of these majestic creatures, before shooting them in the face! Yeehaw! And if killing such magnificent animals is unacceptable to you, no sweat! You won't have to plague your conscience, spending sleepless nights in agony over taking the life of that t-rex which was hungrily chasing you! DynoCorps has your bleeding heart covered with optional tranquilizer ammunition. Now, the whole family can enjoy dino hunting without the psychological scarring and years of therapy from young Maggie killing her childhood hero Littlefoot!  But be warned brave adventurer: for here a predator can quickly become the prey.

Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter Reborn is an open-ended, 3-D hunting game wherein you pursue the biggest big game of all time. Progress is made by killing, or tranquilizing, various dinos. Each 'trophy' is graded by the animal's size, the distance you shot them from, and how many shots you needed to take the creature down. Based on its grade, the player is awarded points and gems which are used for in-game purchases. Also, trophies can be displayed in the 'Trophy Room,' where you can bask in the glow of your mad hunting skills.

The game is immersive, and contains an attention to detail that is rarely seen nowadays. Players will stalk through a sun-lit jungle full of buzzing insects, or creep about a fog-filled forest in search of their quarry. Both the dinosaurs and terrain are pleasing to the eye. Foliage, bony plates, and scaly skin have an appearance that belies the game's fifteen dollar price tag. Especially neat are all the clever little details: such as καρχαρο (Greek for 'sharp') appropriately written upon the sniper rifle. However, attention to detail can be a two-edged sword. As such there are a tiny number of other details which are tragically missing: such as a muzzle flash and smoke, resulting from the same sniper rifle being fired. 

Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter Reborn
Highlights:

Strong Points: Dinosaurs! Solid gameplay; good graphics & sound; did I mention dinosaurs?! 
Weak Points: Fairly limited number of maps, dinosaurs, & gear; a couple bugs
Moral Warnings: You hunt dinosaurs

PGraphics aside, the game's sound effects will have you swatting at flies which sound as if they're right beside you. The roars of the various dinos are convincing, and manage to give the player a sense of danger as you creep toward your target. The music isn't bad at all. As a matter of fact, it's a good blend of calm and tense melodies, which fit their immediate context. 

The A.I. is smarter than that of most hunting games, though not substantially so. But it is good enough to see many behaviors that you could expect and some you won't. So while the crack of a gunshot will often send the animals fleeing, there will be times, especially with carnivores, that a dinosaur will feign retreat, disappearing into the brush, only to circle around and attack you from an unexpected angle, leaving the player just enough time to mutter "clever girl!" before being devoured.    

Thankfully, DynoCorps is aware of the danger and does not expect you to take down a three-ton stegosaurus with sticks and harsh language. As such, they provide a limited choice of weapons such as a near-silent crossbow, or the thundering sniper rifle aptly named "sharp." Unfortunately, to date, there are only four weapon choices. Speaking of limited selection, there are only six types of dinosaurs from which you are able to collect a trophy. Additionally, while each map is large and well designed, there are only a handful of them. 

Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter Reborn
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 82%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 95%
Violence - 7.5/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

In contrast however, there is a good selection of equipment and upgrades available. Players also carry a 'gadget.' This small device has all the functions absolutely vital to a successful hunt: GPS, wind direction, and even a built-in rangefinder; it is also the means by which a player can call a 'retriever bot.' These drone-like aircraft are used to carry away a hunter's trophies. They are also used to transport the hunter out of the field with the 'evacuate' command. This can be especially handy when being pursued by an angry t-rex!            

Despite everything it does right, I did find a couple bugs. The first is that collision detection in the game leaves something to be desired. While not game breaking, it is immersion breaking to watch as a dino goes around a couple of large trees only to walk straight through a boulder. Secondly, there are times when the evacuate function doesn't work on a particular map. This means that when it's time for you to leave, rather than seeing the bot fly in, like normal, you are unceremoniously dropped to the main menu. While you keep your freshly gained score and gems, your new trophies are gone. This bug can be especially annoying after bagging a particularly impressive animal. And giddy with excitement, you go to your trophy room to find that it's not there for you to admire.  

Moral warnings for this game are virtually non-existent. There is no foul language, or sexuality, and the blood is minimal -  even for a hunting game!  There is also no magic. Nor are there any authority issues present. A dinosaur may or may not bellow as it dies, but the body will display no wounds, and there will not be a blood puddle beneath it. There is a blood trail mechanic, for tracking a wounded animal, but even this is low key. If the player is killed, the screen goes red as the camera focuses upon the dino without showing any blood or gore.   

Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter Reborn is a clean and immersive game. Simply put, it's a lot of fun! Its gameplay is solid, and more-than capable of providing many hours of enjoyment. While it has a few problems, none of them are so major as to ruin what is an overall good experience. In an age when most triple-A games are unfinished, buggy nightmares at release, Digital Dreams Entertainment has proven that you don't need a half-billion dollar budget, nor a sixty dollar price tag to make a good game. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a trophy room to fill.

 

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About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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