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Game Over Online ~ Carnivored

GameOver Game Reviews - Carnivored (c) WizardWorks, Reviewed by - Cyrus

Game & Publisher Carnivored (c) WizardWorks
System Requirements Pentium 150, DirectX, 16MB Ram
Overall Rating 41%
Date Published Friday, December 18th, 1998 at 10:37 AM

Divider Left By: Cyrus Divider Right

Beer, guns and dead animals are the staples in any redneck's life. When I was eight, I went hunting for the first time and although I was not allowed to drink beer or shoot anything, I still had a great time. When Deer Hunter hit the PC a couple of years ago, I was shocked to see it rise to the top of the charts. It was a nineteen dollar WalMart game, it had no right to sell more then four copies. I quickly began to realize that computer games are no longer being made for the few guys out there that didn't own a console. Computer games have gone mainstream, and with being mainstream comes an unfortunate side effect: crap games.

Carnivores is a bad game. It is not a terrible game but it is not a software gem by any means. The premise of Carnivores is that a new planet has been discovered in the future. A planet where dinosaurs still exist and roam freely. I find it somewhat disturbing that the moment dinosaurs are rediscovered we find it necessary to hunt and kill them for points but that is another subject. Anyway, enough with my moaning, I think that a review is in order.

The graphics in Carnivores are totally uncharacteristic of past WizardWorks games. They are actually good. 3dfx acceleration and software modes are both available, I used 3dfx. The game plays in the first person view, much like Quake. You are able to free-look using the mouse and the engine scrolls quite smoothly. I think the sky texture is perhaps one of the best that I have ever seen in a game and it casts a cool shadow across the ground that changes as the sky scrolls. The water texture on the other hand is terrible. It appears static and looks somewhat scratchy. The ground textures are nicely blended but they are quite small and it is possible to see a lot of repetition. Trees and fog are placed strategically to further increase the realistic feel of the environment. I am also impressed by the ability of the engine to render outdoor environments so quickly. The models in many low budget first person games are terrible and thankfully WizardWorks broke the trend. The dinosaur models are smooth and well textured. They appear very lifelike, have nice shadows and are well animated. The gun models are also well done and skinned but appear overly large. I found it somewhat difficult to aim due to the fact that I could barely see past the gun. I think it kills some of the realism that the graphics provide and makes it all feel a bit more fake. Overall the graphics are well done and despite a couple small flaws, provide a good environment to hunt in. The rest of the game however needs some help.

The sound needs some work. Okay it needs a lot of work. Sound in a hunting game needs to be well produced and accurate. It is imperative that you are able to tell from where your prey is coming from. I thought it very difficult to hear the sound even when I had my speaker volume turned up to maximum. After giving up on my speakers I decided to use my headphones. The volume was much better but the sound seemed fuzzy and poorly recorded. I was able to detect some stereo imaging but nothing that would help to give me a real fix on my target. The dinosaur call button is the best sounding part of the game. When you press the button it lets out a mournful dinosaur wail. I'm not sure how to use it in order to help me find my prey but it is a lot of fun to hold down. I also feel it unnecessary to have incessant bird chirping in every part of the level, especially when the sound clip is two seconds long. Overall the sound is repetitive, poorly recorded and too soft.

Multiplayer is non-existent but I really don't see how it could be implemented. My only idea would be a big group hunt where everyone cooperates in order to capture a T-Rex or something. Therefore since multiplayer doesn't exist and this game does not merit points for story this category is receiving a nice zero. A little innovation in the area of multiplayer could have spiced up this game.

The gameplay is very interesting. In order to track down your prey you must crouch in bushes and hide behind trees. It is somewhat fun for about two minutes. After two minutes I became fed up with the slow run speed and the slow gameplay. I was able to find my prey quite easily and even though he was attempting to kill me I found it very easy to shoot him in the head and kill him with one shot. The weapons fit into the hunting mold except for the X-bow. The X-bow is this huge monstrosity of a weapon that fills three-quarters of your view screen. I think it quite unrealistic and would like a real looking crossbow instead. The dinosaur AI is marginal at best. The dinos do one of three things: run at you, run away from you, and eat. They are very easy to predict and kill, the hardest part is finding them. Carnivores game does suit itself well to different difficulty levels by allowing the beginner to use certain costumes and scents in order to avoid detection. Unfortunately these advantages come at the price of points. The slow gameplay of Carnivores just helped to prove to me that computer hunting is one of the biggest mistakes in gaming history.

Fun Factor & Overall Impression:
Carnivores is not very fun in my opinion. Its repetitive, slow and lacks the adrenaline of a real hunt. This game feels like a mix between the action of Turok and the gameplay of Tresspasser. It just needs a little shot in the arm and some more options. The graphics are good but the sound is very disappointing. The lack of multiplayer also hurt my opinion. I don't recommend picking this one up unless you love hunting. Overall, Carnivores has the potential to stand out from the hunting genre but it turns out to be just like every other hunting title, and that's not good.


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