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Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

An online multiplayer game; battle it out between humans and dinosaurs for ultimate power in a handful of game modes across several different maps. With multiple game modes to play in versus, co-op, and single-player, there's always something that needs shooting or eating. Everything you need to know about the game can be found right here!

Primal Carnage Extinction Review

Introduction

Primal Carnage Extinction, developed by Panic Button and published by Circle 5 Studios, is a class-based online multiplayer dinosaur-vs-human shooter. Play as either the human survivors, decked out with enough weapons to take down a tyrannosaurus rex or mow down a pack of raptors, or play as the dinosaurs with an empty stomach looking for their next meal. The game offers a few game modes including Team Deathmatch, Survival, and one called Get to the Chopper. The experience doesn't end at the base games either; the developers have pumped out 34 DLC add-ons for the game since its launch in 2015 (April for Steam, and October for PS4) and as of the time of this review, allowing you to play as new characters and new dinosaurs, as well as equip your characters with small shareable/wearable hats and glasses. The DLCs range anywhere from $2.49 – $5.99 (most of them $2.99), but you can buy the game on Steam or PlayStation Store for $19.99.

Game Modes

There's a few game modes for you to play in: Team Deathmatch (one team of humans and one team of dinosaurs go head to head), Survival (solo or co-op, you take on wave after wave of dinosaurs as you battle to survive as long as possible), and Get the The Chopper (checkpoint domination), Hunt, and Free Roam. Each one offers something a little bit different, while Survival stands the most apart from the other two, but I'll go over that soon. In the other modes, you'll find yourself playing as one of the class-based humans, either a pyromaniac with a flamethrower, a machine gun wielding individual, or perhaps a shotgun-wielding badass, and the other possibility is that you pick from a list of dinosaurs.
Team Deathmatch is pretty explanatory, but Get to the Chopper mode plays almost like a game of checkpoint domination. Your objective is to secure checkpoints until you reach the final one with a chopper, which then you'll be able to escape. There is also a "Hunt" mode that I was unable to find a server for. The most popular game mode that I found, out of all of them, is the Free Roam mode; where everyone chooses to play as either human or dinosaur, switching teams at any time is allowed, and there is no objective other than killing. While the community is not super large, you'll find a couple dozen servers up and running which can be found through server search lists.

Primal Carnage Extinction Raptor Attack

Gameplay and Controls

Again, everything is either human or dinosaur, and each one controls different as well. Regardless of the side you choose, the controls are a little wonky at first. Initially, I thought I was going to hate them, but after just a short time, I found they are really not that bad. In fact, I only have one complaint about each of the sides; the humans' aiming has different sensitivities (it slows down when you zoom down the sights). Changing the sensitivity help when zooming, but of course, speeds up the general aiming. While it sounds frustrating, the game does not have any aim penalties, meaning no need for zooming in anyways even when packing a sniper rifle. The hit markers show very clearly, but hitting the dinosaurs can be difficult and even non-responsive feeling at times during Survival mode, but in general the FPS controls are well done.

In regards to the dinosaurs, the larger ones play as tanks; slow when the sprint ability has depleted, but incredibly powerful (one nicely timed chomp and you have a mouth full of screaming human). Raptors are arguably just as dangerous, if not more so since they can run into the same cracks and rooms as the humans, and if timed right, they can pounce on them in order to pin them to the ground, ripping flesh until death. Other dinosaurs may have the abilities to spit poison, and some (in-between a T-rex and a raptor) can charge a ramming attack). And unfortunately, history tells us there used to be these flying reptiles known as pterodactyls. In the game, their primary attack will be picking up and dropping the humans, but they can land for melee attacks.

My one concern for the way the dinosaurs control is the combination of rotating and the spinning. Due to a lack of cooperation with the camera, they struggle to spin around in any quick manner. For humans, this is great as you can cheese them by running directly behind them as they circle, but at first is annoying when trying to eat them. Both humans and dinosaurs will be able to replenish their health on the field of combat (either with spread out medical boxes or by chomping down on a dead dinosaur). There is a certain learning curve to being efficient on both teams, but I managed to grasp everything after about 30 minutes of collective playing.

Primal Carnage Extinction Bridge Battle with Pterodactyls

Sound and Graphics

These are some of the better aspects of the game regarding overall experience. No matter the environment, you'll hear rumbling roars and calls from the dinosaurs (especially when they choose to taunt), and loud ear ringing shots from the guns. The audio for it all is recorded incredibly well, making for a very immersive feeling. I was playing one game of free roam where a majority of the players wanted to be dinosaurs (this is a pretty common thing; roughly 4 survivors and 9 dinosaurs), and I was sick of getting eaten, so I chose to hide on top of large shipping containers located beneath a bridge. As I coward in what I thought was a safe corner, I heard stomping and splashing of every footstep around me. I could tell if it was a huge dino or a small and fast moving raptor. It built up a sense of dread that was amazing to feel in a dinosaur game.

The graphics look really good for it being an indie title (and a PC port), but don't expect it to be any of your high expedited AAA standards. It does a great job building the immersive environments for all out dino/human combat, and looks extremely detailed. But it suffers from performance related issues. The frame rates drop randomly, and overall glitchiness and lag is an unfortunate occurrence regardless of game modes and types, but not a deeply consistent thing or even game-breaking. Some may find it to be fairly bad at times, but I personally had no real issue overlooking those faults in order to enjoy the game as it is. You'll see a lot of times that characters seemingly just reach inside structures, or completely through them all together, which takes a lot away from how great the graphics really are, but another situation where it comes to perfection expectations vs patience for enjoyment purposes.

Primal Carnage Extinction Running from T-rex

Conclusion

Primal Carnage Extinction is one of those games that if you are able to grab a friend (or even better, a few friends) and hop on together, you'll have a lot of laughs and intense gameplay. While it may lack in general performance and polishing, it provides a platform for pure carnage and fear of death by dinosaurs. Bringing over a PC game to consoles is a tough job, but overall the game is fairly solid. Just don't expect the greatest control of the FPS controls and design. Graphically the game looks really good, but I couldn't help feeling like I was playing a PS3 game most of the time. This shouldn't discourage you from checking the game out, because again if you can grab some friends to get the game as well, there's truly a lot of fun times to be had upon loading it up.

ProsCons
+ Extremely fun with friends and online– Controls are a little wonky at first
+ It has dinosaurs and guns– Camera control for dinosaurs
+ Tons of variety for character/dino types– Random drops in frame rates.
+ "Survival" means less dependency on community– Online community is not booming
7
Good

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