Skip to main content

Deathground is a co-op survival horror with big Jurassic Park energy

Deathground is an upcoming co-op survival horror game about outwitting dinosaurs in objective-based, almost Left 4 Dead-esque matches. 

Developer Jaw Drop Games, who you may recognize from the upcoming rhythm shooter Gun Jam, describes Deathground as "a desperate battle for survival against deadly AI dinosaurs." Here's the rub: you and up to two friends are dropped on an island filled with dinosaurs built on dynamic AI. Your goal is to grab your assigned target and make it to the extraction point with all your limbs intact, but the location of your spawn point, target, and extraction point is randomized each run. Jaw Drop says the dinosaurs will also behave differently each time, with their AI adapting and reacting based on your squad's actions. 

The match structure - get the thing and get out - reminds me of Left 4 Dead, but while Deathground is a first-person game, it seems like less of a shooter and more of a stealthy experience. "The game will be balanced in a way where survival horror aspects are enhanced: bullets are rare and creating noise will have consequences," Jaw Drop says. "Distraction and out-thinking the deadly dinosaurs that roam the map is crucial to surviving."

(Image credit: Jaw Drop Games)

The characters in your squad will affect your strategies. Jaw Drop outlined three in the Kickstarter for Deathground (which has a full month left in its campaign). The Engineer can freely hack doors, alarms, and power grids. The Scout has an Aliens-esque motion detector that registers nearby dinosaurs. And the Hunter gets a high-power rifle which is more effective against dinosaurs. 

On the flip side, the dinosaurs patrolling your map will also determine how you approach your objective. Four dinosaurs are mentioned on Kickstarter: the tiny compsognathus, iconic velociraptor, larger allosaurus, and gigantic T-Rex. Deathground will launch with two dinosaur types - presumably the velociraptor and T-Rex, based on its pre-alpha trailer - and Jaw Drop is planning to add more over time. It's also hoping to add new classes, maps, and game modes

In a nutshell, Deathground is basically the game version of that velociraptor kitchen chase sequence from the original Jurassic Park, and quite frankly we're here for that. Jaw Drop has some great talent on board too, from former developers on Qube and Soma to Amnesia and Alien Isolation, so it'll definitely be one to watch as it builds to a planned 2021 Early Access period and 2022 release on Steam. 

For more dino video game goodness, have a gander at Second Extinction, a decidedly action-packed shooter.  

As a staff writer and former freelancer, Austin focuses on day-to-day news happenings which serve as the perfect cover-up for his Destiny 2 column. He majored in journalism, loves to hate headlines, and never takes his Switch out of the dock.