Carnivores: Ice Age Pro Review
- Deep AI interaction; situations quickly change from being the hunter to the hunted.
- Large variety of unlockable features; lots of customizable options.
- Crisp audio; easy to track sounds with headphones.
- Odd AI behaviour; Brontoteriy will avoid hunters well beyond reasonable detection distances, going so far as to even swim in the ocean to do so.
- Huge learning curve with the crossbow; only worth taking if you're challenging yourself.
Carnivores: Ice Age isn't a leap forward from the original Dinosaur Hunter gameplay, but the new environments and challenging AI controlled animals still result in an engaging experience.
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If you're not contented by hunting ancient beasts like dinosaurs, perhaps you'll be more interested in taking on early mammals in Tatem Games and Action Forms' latest release, Carnivores: Ice Age. While the formula hasn't changed drastically from the original Dinosaur Hunter, attempting to take on predator legends like the Saber-tooth Tiger has an appeal that's matched only by the skill with which you'll need to track and take them down.
With the game set in a first-person perspective it's no surprise that the fairly standard FPS controls involving an analogue stick to move and swiping the screen to aim is available. Customization options allow you to create a setup that's comfortable for you, including the ability to change how you fire your weapon, giving you either more freedom to move while aiming or a better chance at a steady shot depending on your choice. Being familiar with your controls is pivotal to a successful hunt as the creature AI is extremely sensitive to your movements (and by that token, the sounds you make) and attempting to sneak up on a herbivore while remaining up-wind will ruin your chances almost instantly.
Points are rewarded for successful hunts, with additional points being rewarded for the use of tranquilizers and points being deducted for each 'helper' (camo, scent masking, radar) that you use. These points accumulate and can be used to activate or unlock additional creatures, environments and weapons, giving you a broad variety of hunting options in the later stages of the game. Each environment has its own challenges to overcome as well, either providing handy escape routes for your prey, or should the tables be turned around, inconvenient obstacles that will block your path.
Carnivores: Ice Age isn't for the action-pumped shooter fan out to bag ancient predators, rather it's a challenging and (despite the theme) relaxing way to spend your time. It's a shame that some AI quirks can ruin the experience early on, but once you're down the rabbit hole it's easy to find hours shaved off your day.