First look at Primal Carnage

Given the set-up – dinosaurs versus humans in multiplayer objective-based battles – it’s tough to work out why no one’s brought a similar game into the world before.

Indie developers Lukewarm Media have stepped into the breach, and were beavering away on Primal Carnage when we went to visit them at their secluded island laboratory just off the coast of Costa Rica. Putting aside his cane topped with a mosquito locked in amber for a moment, producer Ashton Andersen explained that “set in modern times, the game focuses around a team of mercenaries sent to an abandoned remote island built by the military to create dinosaurs for war.” Inevitably, the experiments went awry.

Some maps are massive jungles, while others will be close-quarter science labs. “The humans’ strength lies in ranged combat, using projectile weapons to their advantage while the dinos are melee focused.” Co-op and story modes will come later as downloadable content. And the existing game modes? “Capture Point is focused on the humans capturing specified points on the map in an allotted time while the dinosaurs must defend them. In survival mode, players start on moving platforms. Once the final point is reached they’ll have a showdown with a boss.” What kind of boss? “Dinosaurs like the Spinosaurus.” Oh God, you bred Spinosaurs.

His eyes glinting in the equatorial sunset, Andersen detailed his team’s other prehistoric reincarnations: “The playable dinosaurs are the T-Rex, the Raptor, Pteranadon, Compsognathus, and the Dilophosaurus. There will be other NPC dinosaurs roaming around to add to the authentic, living ecosystem, such as a herd of brachiosaurs grazing by a waterhole.”

Each dinosaur fits into a specific class: the T-Rex is a lethal but unwieldy tank, the Pteranadon spots from the air, and the tiny Compy leads a pack of similarly mini brethren. Perhaps due to the inaccurate science of a particular 1993 blockbuster, the dinosaurs of Primal Carnage aren’t built for realism – dino-sticklers will be dino-upset that the Dilophosaur retains his not-actually-true acid-spitting power. The rest of us will just be pleased to hear that weaponry isn’t restricted to tooth and claw for our terrible lizards.

What about the human classes? “The Scientist is a sniper. She is a natural partner to the Heavy Gunner, who uses his assault rifle and grenade launcher at close range. The Flamethrower can create walls of fire to prevent dinosaurs from ambushing the mercenaries, and the Native is best used supporting his team, whether dropping a flare to distract a T-Rex or healing a teammate while the Trapper pins dinosaurs with his net gun.”

Then we had to leave because some dinosaurs ate everyone.

May 19, 2010


  • MaynardJ - May 21, 2010 1:05 p.m.

    @ NinjaPopsicle: if you read the article a bit better, you'd see that the Dilophosaurus' acid spitting is the prime example of projectile-based combat for dinosaurs. A T-Rex able to rip trees from the ground and throw them at the enemy would be nice too, but so far it looks like the control style of the dinos will be based on their build and natural abilities. T-Rex is huge, the raptor is quicker/smarter, Compsognathus is very small, Dilophosaurus can spit acid and Pteranodon can fly. Sounds like a great mix for team-based battles. By the way, the (as far as as I can remember) pretty well-received Jurassic Park tie-in game on Genesis/Mega Drive allowed you to play a campaign as a velociraptor. And most of Primal Fear's characters were We have played as dinos before, just not as much as we'll be able to in this game, and not in this setup.
  • NinjaPopsicle - May 21, 2010 11:19 a.m.

    "weaponry isn’t restricted to tooth and claw for our terrible lizards" Hmm, I'm extremely curious to know what this means. We can be dinosaurs... with... guns? Sign me right the hell up! Just the thought makes me need to go change my pants.
  • Apollomon - May 20, 2010 4:06 p.m.

    however a melee knife attack would prob be better not being used since the dinos are the mellee fighters
  • garfunkling - May 20, 2010 5:52 a.m.

    Lukewarm media? Terrible name. but cool idea
  • shyfonzie - May 20, 2010 3:08 a.m.

    This sounds...aammmmmaaazzzzinnnnnngggg. Loved the JP references.
  • CH3BURASHKA - May 20, 2010 1:02 a.m.

    "it’s tough to work out why no one’s brought a similar game into the world before." Then pray tell me, what was Turok about? Or that Hunted: something game? There's been plenty of dinosaur vs. humans games. They've all sucked so far.
  • nicofrank - February 19, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    how can you play the
  • robotic-fiend - May 20, 2010 12:12 a.m.

    What this isn't a sequel to Primal Rage? damn
  • RebornKusabi - May 19, 2010 9:08 p.m.

    Jesus! Why hasn't anyone done this yet!!! This looks friggin' awesome!
  • PhantomDave - May 19, 2010 4:52 p.m.

    @ Snakeman : Well if FPS games have taught us anything, it's that a melee knife attack pwns everything. LOL
  • Snakeman - May 19, 2010 2:34 p.m.

    I'm with ATGNWT! What kind of weapons can take down a Rex, though?
  • EnragedTortoise1 - May 19, 2010 12:17 p.m.

    DvS: Dinosaurs Versus Scientists. Cooooolllll...
  • DeviousMonkey - May 19, 2010 9:12 a.m.

    So like avp, only without predators and the aliens are dinos? Sounds fun though
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - May 19, 2010 9:05 a.m.

    We can play as Dinosaurs? HELL YEAH!

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