Fighting for the Top of the Food Chain: Primal Carnage

The concept is simple: Somehow, Dinosaurs have come to infest an abandoned military base on a tropical island, and your crack team of mercenaries has washed up on shore. If this sounds a lot like what you spent time imagining as a kid then this game is what you've been waiting for. This is Primal Carnage.

Primal Carnage is a game currently in development by Lukewarm Media. Effectively, the premise of the game looks a lot like the fusion of Left 4 Dead's Versus mode and Team Fortress 2's class based gameplay, with dinosaurs replacing the zombies. And if that doesn't sound fun to you already. then you need to go home and seriously question your desires in life. The truth is, adding dinosaurs to anything, no matter how ridiculous it may seem, suddenly makes it ten times cooler. As a kid, dinosaurs were awesome, and a lot of us spent time pouring over drawings of T-Rex, Raptors and other dinos. Most of us never really stopped seeing them as cool either. Admit it, you still probably watch Jurassic Park and utter a silent YES to yourself whenever the T-Rex shows up on screen. Primal Carnage is thereby, pure geek fuel.

Carnage looks to be a primarily multiplayer affair centering around two gametypes, although the team has talked about having a single player mode as well. These two gametypes are Powergrid and Survival, both of which are very similar to gametypes we've seen before. Powergrid gives the mercenary players a fixed amount of time to activate power nodes spread across the island in order to power a radio and call for help. Of course, while you and your friends are hastily running around the island trying to activate the grid, the other team has taken control of the islands native fauna (In other words, they play as the dinos) to try their hand at putting dinos at the top of the food chain again. Mmmm...humans!

In a Survivor game, the team attempts to escort a package to a particular point (think of Payload from TF2) while fighting off hordes of AI-controlled dinosaurs and a surviving a last desperate stand of a boss battle. While this mode limits players to humans only, the idea of AI controlled packs of Raptors working to separate and pick off members of my struggling squad brings a smile to my face.

Lukewarm is further mixing up the mayhem by adding a class based "rock-paper-raptors" balancing scheme. So far, there seem to be about five classes for each side. If you go human, you'll find yourself choosing between the Scientist/Sniper (great for airborne dinos), the Heavy (strong but slow, best against a T-Rex), and 3 other classes that range from the standard flamethrower to classes like the Trapper, who will attempt to ensnare and capture dinos for easy kills. Meanwhile, dino players can munch away as a T-Rex or a Raptor, as well as several other types. Each has a clear advantage over certain types of dinos or mercs, and from the sound of it the team will want to carefully plan out who plays as what. A team of ten heavies (Carnage says the game will support 10v10 games at launch) may sound great in theory, but when the entire other team rushes in as Compys (the zerglings of the Dinosaur world) you'll regret not packing a flamethrower as you're overwhelmed by 200 of the little things (compy players lead a small pack of 10-20 compys, mass teaming these guys would be devastating fun).

However, the game isn't just point and shoot (or bite). Lukewarm seems to be taking care with granting each class specific abilities and skills. This however, applies for the dino's as well. Rather then just making the T-Rex a giant meatshield (which he already is), the team has given the T-Rex special abilities, such as roaring. Roaring not only sounds cool, but nearby human players will fall victim to a blurred screen, ringing ears and camera shake. T-Rex's can also headbut, knocking groups of human players to the ground, and then for good measure stomp on them for an instant kill. Imagine being on the receiving end of that number. Ouch.

The team is still working on the game, and even has plans for additional DLC after launch to continue to improve and update the game. You can visit their site at www.primalcarnage.com, which I would completely recommend doing. If you're interested further, I would also recommend peeking around the forums a bit, a lot of newer information is listed there.

Primal Carnage looks like one to watch.

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