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Game Over Online ~ Carnivores 2

GameOver Game Reviews - Carnivores 2 (c) WizardWorks, Reviewed by - Kobayashi

Game & Publisher Carnivores 2 (c) WizardWorks
System Requirements Pentium 233, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 64%
Date Published Thursday, November 25th, 1999 at 09:12 PM

Divider Left By: Kobayashi Divider Right

We've hunted birds, deer, and numerous other animals, I think we even hunted Rednecks (as ironic as that may be), so why not dinosaurs? That's what Ukrainian developer Action Forms figured last year, when they released the original Carnivores, and here we are a year later and Carnivores 2 roars onto the PC just in time for... the holiday season. The original Carnivores was released amongst a clutter of other hunting titles last year, but yet managed to stay above the pack with it's strong visual and audio elements. So what can we expect from the sequel? Pretty much the same old song, but is that a good thing or a bad thing?

The sequel emphasizes, if anything, more variety in terms of dinosaurs. In the original Carnivores, there were only three dinosaurs that were actually carnivores. Carnivores 2 adds two more meat eaters, the spinosaurus and the ceratosaurus, to the mix which already included the velociraptor, the allosaurus, and the tyrannosaurus. There are new plant eaters as well, including the anklyosaurus. They've also added a number of dinosaurs to the fray simple for atmosphere, rather than sport. If you hunt, for example the brachiosaurus, you'll receive no reward for your efforts, since these dinosaurs aren't listed as the hunted.

Much like the original Carnivores, the hunting is based on a credit system. At the beginning of the game, armed with a pistol, players must kill dinosaurs to earn credits in order to open more dangerous and exotic locales, enabling the use of more advanced weapons and tools, and allow players to select dinosaurs from the list that are more rewarding to hunt. Another difference between the original and sequel is the limitations placed by the credit system. In the original, you were restricted to one piece of equipment at the beginning of the game, as well as hunting one particular dinosaur. In Carnivores 2, you can carry as many weapons and hunt as many dinosaurs and you can afford too.

There are five different locations to hunt dinosaurs which span through vast jungles, forts, hills and mountains. As mentioned above, there are nine different dinosaurs you can hunt for credits, including the always difficult T-Rex, where only a shot between the eyes will destroy it. There are six different weapons to choose from, ranging from a lowly pistol, to a sniper's rifle. There's a handful of equipment you can take on your hunt as well, including a radar and cover scent, to help improve your chances of finding the dinosaurs you're looking for, as well as staying clear of those you're looking to avoid.

The graphics in Carnivores 2, much like the original, are great. The dinosaurs are carefully detailed and move around the locales with incredible realism. When shot and wounded, dinosaurs leave trails of blood and when you shoot them with tranquilizers, you can see them stumbling around. The environments are also quite beautiful. Forests are dense and swamps and merky. Added into Carnivores 2, is the ability to hunt at three different times of the day: dawn, day, or night. The night missiosn are seen through the distinctive green tint of night goggles, whereas sunlight permeates hunts that take place in the morning. The effects generated look great. The audio also continues to be top notch. Each dinosaur has it's own distinctive call, and the larger dinosaurs are rather loud and scary. The atmosphere of each locale is much improved as well by the addition of sound effects ranging from leaves brustling, to streaming water. Once again, Action Forms has done a terrific job in the visual and audio departments.

So what's wrong with Carnivores 2? Well, much like the original, it consists of long, mundane walks through each locale, looking for that oh so elusive dinosaur. The radar certainly helps track them down for you, but it still becomes boring after awhile. Obviously this is exactly what hunting is all about, you're not going to find your prey that easily. However, while it might have worked in the original Carnivores, it makes for uninspiring gameplay in the sequel. What this title could really use is some objective based missions to go along with the hunts. I'm not going to steal any ideas from Trespasser or Jurassic Park, but a little imagination could go a long way, especially in a game where the audio and visual elements are so strong to begin with.

Let's see now, excellent graphics, realistic sound... oh, and they added the digit 2 to the end of Carnivores. Clever! Besides the addition of a few new dinosaurs, Carnivores 2 does little to expand on the original game. They've got a solid 3D engine, but I think it's time they use a little of their imagination to create a real solid gaming experience. Something with a little substance. Maybe then they wouldn't have to sell their games so cheap.


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