Primal Prey Review
publisher: ARUSH Entertainment
PII-350, 64MB RAM, 8MB 3D accelerator
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Aug 14, 01 (released)
|» All About Primal Prey on ActionTrip|
Dusan "Lynx" Katilovic
Four decades in the future, the human race finally discovered the technology necessary for time-travel. It didn't take them long to figure out how profitable organized hunting tours to Jurassic times would be.
Primal Prey is not an ordinary game. (Yeah, it may be unoriginal - think Carnivores, but at least it's not ordinary - Ed.) When you are an experienced player who played hundreds of games, you know when a game sticks out, and not only for its graphic and sound effects. This hunting sim. will give you a great experience and fantastic atmosphere, even though mere counting of its upsides and downsides wouldn't really qualify it as a good game.
The game starts with no long loading times or intro sequences, and takes you straight to a simple yet complete menu. You assume the role of a hunter who makes his living by hunting pre-historic behemoths.
The game contains four "episodes" (campaigns), each of them containing six fixed and two free missions. All fixed missions have mission objectives, which mostly come down to capturing or killing an animal and bringing it to present time. Difficulty will increase as you progress through missions, but you do not have to play them in given order. The two free missions in each episode are Random Hunt (you get a random task assigned), and the other is Trophy (you hunt for pure pleasure, and don't get a dime for it).
You will notice three stars next to each mission in the main menu. They show how well you completed the assignment. If you only completed the mission objective, you get one star, if the animal weighs as much as it should, you get the next star, and if you completed the mission in given time, you get the third star.
Each mission is financed by a "contractor". The first couple of missions don't pay that well, but once you get enough experience you may want to give a shot at more advanced tasks and make more money.
The money you made this way can be spent on buying weapons. There are a lot of weapons to be bought, from the initial stun-gun to Rail Gun, a weapon you may know from some other games... :). Primal Prey (powered by Deer Hunter 4 engine) looks like a typical Quake-like first-person shooter, where you have to exterminate innocent ten-million-year-old fauna instead of your comrades on the net. (Please, please, please: DO NOT mention the Quake engine in the same sentence with "Deer Hunter 4"! Christ! - Ed.)
Each mission has its own specific features, but they all have one big thing in common: they all take place on the same map! This is the first big downside of the game, especially if we consider the fact that the map is relatively small, and that you will know it by heart after you completed four or five missions. (Gee, what a rip-off -- Ed.) All missions start with you being teleported into the map through the time portal. You will, naturally have to go back through that portal at the end of each mission. Now, if you are in no mood to walk back, or if you are in grave danger, you can pay a certain amount of money to jump to the teleport straight away ('Esc' key). You shouldn't go too far from the teleport at any point or wander off the map as that destroys your link with it. You will easily find your way around the terrain using the compass and the map ('M' key. Press F1 to get the complete list of commands).
Good, "creepy" atmosphere;
Poor aiming model, not versatile enough.