Wizard Works demonstrates that hunting games can be interesting with its Carnivores series. How, you ask? Quite simply, hunting dinosaurs is not exactly something you can do in real life and these games provide a totally unique hunting experience.
If you've played the first Carnivores, then don't expect much to be different with its first sequel, Carnivores 2. In fact, it's almost exactly the same. The only new features are a few new weapons, landscapes and dinosaurs. If you were to look at screenshots of the two side by side, actually, you might not even be able to tell the difference. And Wizard Works didn't even bother to change the opening menu screen!
Hunting game fanatics will still get to crouch, use binoculars, sound their dino-calls, and more as they stalk a few different types of prehistoric beasts than before. Meanwhile, those who might not necessarily understand the hunting game craze of the late '90s can still be entertained with the whole "this-could-never-happen-but-it-is" feeling to it.
But are the new additions to this outing really worth your hard-earned money if you own the first one? It really depends on how much you liked the original. In essence, Carnivores 2 is more of an expansion disc than a sequel. Are two new dinosaurs, five new environments and four new weapons enough to get you excited about purchasing it? Only you can answer that question for yourself but for most gamers, the answer is probably "no."
All in all, Carnivores 2 represents a solid hunting game with a great twist. If you didn't play the first one and think you might like a hunting sim featuring prehistoric animals that can also hunt you, then it might be worth your time. Otherwise, you need to be a true fan of the first Carnivores to relish the few enhancements that this second release brings.
Graphics: Like the first outing, the graphics are quite nice. Unfortunately, they are relatively identical and show no attempt at improvement.
Sound: Definitely the most impressive part of the game. If you've got surround speakers, you're in for a treat.
Enjoyment: It's a hunting game -- but it's a DINOSAUR hunting game.
Replay Value: Even though you have only five areas to choose from, the dinos are spread out differently each time.
Arguably the best "hunting simulator" ever made, Carnivores 2 is an excellent budget game that proves that not every hunting game is Deer Hunter clone. PC Gameworld says it all about what makes this a FPS well worth a look:
"Among other things,
Carnivores 2 is a very good hunting simulator on the market. Why? Because it comes dangerously close to feeling like a pure FPS shooter at times. The idea is to hunt for dinosaurs on a Jurassic Park-type island. From a true gamers point of view it is much better to be hunting (or being hunted by) an eight ton Tyrannosaurus Rex than Bambi.
You get your usual assortment of hunting weapons and gear. Pistols for the poor, crossbows for the skilled, and shotguns for the wise. The gameplay is what you would expect, except that you score points for each type of dinosaur you bag, and you then use up the points buying licenses to hunt certain species, and to "buy" your way to bigger weapons and more dangerous islands. This gives the game a touch more gameplay than expected, and it does help maintain your interest longer. You won't be playing this game by this time next year, of course, but it is still not bad.
Graphically the game is surprisingly impressive. The outdoor 3D engine is smooth, even at higher resolutions, with decent lighting, varied terrain and foliage textures, and the overused sun flare to round things out. Following a blood trail up and over hills and through dense thickets of trees does give a real feeling of hunting. Various animals walk by (including slow fat ones who give you no points but are nice target practice), Pterodactyls fly around overhead, and you can even see the huge Brachiosaurus feeding itself on seaweed down by the shoreline. The prey acts predictably; it's fight for the carnivores and flee for the herbivores.
The sound is subdued but nice, and the 3D sound is downright impressive if you have support for it. Overall the game supports Direct 3D, Glide, Direct Sound 3D, A3D and EAX. Not bad for a game under $20.
As with all budget titles, the price is the best thing about Carnivores 2. But do not grimace if you find this one under the tree this Xmas. It's fun, fairly involving, and it looks and sounds almost as good as a game you would pay full price for." Definitely a great entry from Action Forms, developer of another underrated FPS called Chasm: The Rift.
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