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Dinohunter (PC) artwork

Dinohunter (PC) review


"We've all played a multiplayer FPS before, unlike games like Far Cry, Dinohunter's gimmick isn't readily visibile in screenshots. All those show is a generic husk, a gun barrel and that familiar point and click interface. Indeed, this game isn't going to win any awards for artistic merit or for its complex gameplay. Sometimes, however, polish can be made up for with sheer overwhelming creativity and enthusiasm."



Not every company can have their own Doom. Games like Unreal Tournament aren't everywhere, and not every FPS is as successful as Halo. However, that doesn't mean a much smaller company can't produce their own FPS that does just as much right as the big boys. If Kuma Games made any point with Dinohunter, it's one similar to that.

Of course, there are perks to a gigantic project team, millions of dollars in funding, and three or more years of development time, and an advertising budget that would make a presidential candidate envious. While Dinohunter is a multiplayer oriented FPS having much in common with more famous series, there is a level of polish that it doesn't quite share with its bigger breathren. We've all played a multiplayer FPS before, unlike games like Far Cry, Dinohunter's gimmick isn't readily visibile in screenshots. All those show is a generic husk, a gun barrel and that familiar point and click interface. Indeed, this game isn't going to win any awards for artistic merit or for its complex gameplay. Sometimes, however, polish can be made up for with sheer overwhelming creativity and enthusiasm.

A normal FPS has certain staple modes. There's Deathmatch, capture the flag, king of the hill, simple variations of the above. However Dinohunter gives you capture the egg, which sounds about like any other capture the ____ mode, but I assure you it isn't. In CtE, your opponents are not just the opposing team. That'd be too easy. Perhaps equally pressing are the neutral dinosaurs that are very colorblind. Red and Blue don't matter to the monsters, they just don't like the idea of you stealing their eggs. You don't just have to worry about opposing players in your frenzied quest to fetch the prehistoric goods. Now there's large angry reptiles with several rows of teeth the size of your foot. Sometimes the dinosaurs are flying. Sometimes they're floating in inner tubes. The chaos is brilliant.

Even the more mundane maps generally include some sort of crazy gimmick. The space station level, while devoid of lizard life (and instead home to curvy women in lion-skin bikinis), has an iffy artificial gravity generator that likes to deactivate at poor times, removing everyone from the safety of platforms and cover alike, and launching all into a wild spraying match where enemies can be anywhere. If you have problems watching your back, it gets much worse when you have to watch your top and bottom too, especially when you were just sitting behind a stack of crates and now you're hovering twenty feet in the air.

Topping off this wonderful package is the fact that fresh content is released with surprising frequency, new maps with new ideas and new challenges to overcome. Moreso than titles with larger budgets, Dinohunter is a living game. It changes enough to keep you interested.

So what's the problem? The community doesn't exist. At any time, the server browser returns approximately five entries. Usually a similar group of maps, at that. In a game where there is very little single-player worth speaking of, the lack of a substantial community to keep things varied hurts. It's still playable, it's still fun, and while the all of the game's enthusiasm goes a long way towards relieving the fact that it does look and feel like it was made five years ago, the lack of real gameplay options forced by the playerbase throws them right back in your face.

Dinohunter is a game of somewhat squandered potential. A real treat when you first start, and the kind of game that's fun to play after a hard day at work when you don't want to invest in something more mentally intense. It has a unique sense of humor, and frantic gameplay that's only watered down by the lack of a diverse community. Kuma hit their mark as far as game design went, but unfortunately missed their target audience. It's rare to hear this about a FPS, but a solid single-player package would help this game out a great deal.

Rating: 7/10

dragoon_of_infinity's avatar
Freelance review by Josh Higley (May 05, 2007)

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