PlayStation Universe

Do video games need dinosaurs? Primal Carnage thinks so

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on 20 April 2013

Millions of years ago, dinosaurs ruled the Earth. Colossal creatures like the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Brachiosaurus roamed about the Earth just as we not-so-colossal humans do today. Unlike the dinosaurs, we humans have cars, computers, tea, and written language. Yet, despite our technology and hot tasty beverages, we still seem so unimpressive in comparison. Unfortunately for the colossally impressive dinosaurs, an event even more colossal and impressive led to their extinction.

The video game industry was quick to bring these astonishing beasts of the prehistoric era to life in the 1990s on the Nintendo Entertainment System with titles like Yoshi and Trog. However, dinosaurs in gaming didn't really hit their stride 'til the release of games like Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Dino Crisis. Both of these titles spawned video game franchises that with multiple titles across gaming generations. Video games starring these fascinating creatures grew in popularity alongside consumer demand. Today, these games, which we have come to know and love much like the dinosaurs themselves, have gone extinct.

There have been attempts during the current console generation to bring dinosaurs back for gamers around the world. Turok had a much-needed series reboot and Telltale Games brought us a new Jurassic Park title. Surely, Telltale Games, the creators of the award-winning game series The Walking Dead, could have satiated our player vs. dinosaur needs as gamers. Unfortunately, neither of these titles lived up to their franchise's former glory: Turok received an underwhelming Metacritic rating of 67 and Jurassic Park: The Game earned an even less satisfactory 53.

Are we doomed to a future where our cravings for dino destruction are not met? Should we just go back to playing with our battle-damaged dinosaur figures from our childhood? No! Well, 'No!' to the first question and a “Did we ever stop playing with those?” to the second. The magic and glory of our PvD past may lie in sad puddles of murky water, waiting for a Gamestudiosaurus to give them the impact tremor they deserve, but there is hope!

The Gamestudiosaurus we have been waiting for may soon arrive in the form of a newly established independent studio called Lukewarm Media. Showing a clear interest in creating a video game franchise centered around dinosaurs, Lukewarm Media has already begun to lay the groundwork with Primal Carnage on PC. It's a multiplayer-only title that has players face off against one another in full on dinosaur vs. human combat. Primal Carnage was not without flaws, as shown by its less-than-stellar Metacritic rating of 67, but it shows promise. Nobody would suspect that puny humans could ever hope to fight toe-to-toe with the devastating power of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but Lukewarm Media managed to find a way that worked.

Lukewarm Media will once again give us the chance to experience these colossal beasts with its new title, Primal Carnage: Genesis, currently set for release on PlayStation 4. Lukewarm Media's founder and lead designer Ashton Anderson claims the studio is shooting "for being a launch title" on PlayStation 4 and that a PC version will launch two to three months later.

Primal Carnage: Genesis may restore dinosaur video games to their former glory. There is not much currently known about this title, but what we DO know about gameplay is promising. The official PlayStation Blog states it will "feature a mix of linear gameplay and open-world exploration from a first-person human perspective," will be released episodically on the PlayStation Network, and will be powered by Unreal Engine 4.

With our limited knowledge of the game, we can only speculate about the rest. But if game trailers are anything to go by, we have a lot to look forward to. Lukewarm Media has managed to infuse its trailer with the dinosaur magic that only the original Jurassic Park film could bring, and you can't help but feel excited for the future of this game.

Has the extinction of dinosaurs in video games affected you? Is Primal Carnage: Genesis the dinosaur game you've been waiting for? Let us know in the comments section below.