Lukewarm Media’s initial reveal of Primal Carnage garnered a great deal of attention from the gaming community. Its direct approach to the immediately accessible foundation of dinosaurs versus humans with guns was welcomed by many, and its simple promise of creating an online multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS) based around that principle was welcomed. Developing a well loved encounter in one of the most popular genres of the time obviously sits well with an audience.
Truth be told, Primal Carnage is only one half FPS. When playing as the human team the videogame acts as you would expect; gun on the right of the screen with independent head and feet controls and. However, as the dinosaur the videogame automatically switches to a third-person perspective, wherein movement and camera controls are separated. It’s a move taken out of the desire to present an exciting videogame experience, as opposed to the rigid expectations of a genre.
Of course, the excitement of human and dinosaur is a big part of the videogame not just for the players, but for the developers too. It may sound like that should go without saying, but it would be hard to suggest that every developer working on a Transformers videogame would automatically be a fan of the franchise, let alone the team behind a Bob the Builder or Spongebob Squarepants title. However, Primal Carnage is clearly a product made of passion: this is a videogame designed by gamers who love the idea, and have poured that love straight into the design.
On the surface of it Primal Carnage might appear to be a videogame which is easy to unbalance. Lukewarm Media have gone to great lengths to ensure that the maps have been designed around the idea of limiting abilities. The T-Rex, which will surely be most players’ first port of call, cannot enter buildings or fit through tight spaces, which is clearly a weakness, but his tough armour and insta-kill bites are ample counter-balance when the dinosaur team works together. Of course, having a team full of T-Rex’s will leave you open to some fairly simple stand-and-shoot tactics, however being clever with your class selection and supporting the giant reptile with some more manoeuvrable dinosaurs will even things up considerably.
The videogame plays as one-off matches where one round is played as humans and a second is played as dinosaurs, and vice versa for the opposing team. Each species has five available classes that offer a range of attacks and special abilities. The human side offers the familiar selection of assault, sniper and close combat class types, along with an all-rounder and a pyro armed with a flamethrower. Each primary weapon has two functions, and each class type has a special and unique ability. The same can be said of the dinosaur team of course, with each dinosaur type varying greatly in ability, speed and armour.
Along with the above mentioned T-Rex players will likely take interest in the raptor due to its Jurassic Park infamy. A quick a nimble fighter, raptors are obviously more flexible that T-Rex’s in terms of movement, though not necessarily so in terms of strategy. Arguably the most interesting dinosaur is the Pteradon, a class which Lukewarm Media readily admit is not the easiest to play as, but when timed perfectly can launch an attack just as devastating as the T-Rex’s bite without suffering from the lack of mobility. Until you land, of course.
Offering matches of twenty players, Primal Carnage looks set to live-up to its name. An online beta has been confirmed for the near future and with it Lukewarm Media are keen to gather feedback on just how the videogame plays, and how the audience think it should play. Currently accepting applications for the closed beta test, you can be sure that Electronic Theatre is right at the front of the queue for more time with Primal Carnage.