November 3, 2009

Jurassic: The Hunted - First Impressions

Who would have thought the one with the mohawk would be the sensible one? Certainly not I. As Jurassic: The Hunted's intro movie plays and you're introduced to a small cast of characters, you meet one, non-mohawked weapons and survival expert named Craig Dylan. He seems like kind of a tool - even for a guy with two first names - so it's only natural that he's the main character. The other, mohawked military guy turns out to be the one in charge and does his best to calm Dylan down. I don't quite recall the name of the guy in charge and it doesn't really matter because he's going to die in a few moments, anyway. So much for pleasantries.

Dylan has been hired to protect a research team which, as best I can figure, is made up one of girl and her laptop. She's reading up on the Bermuda Triangle which is a great idea since the plane is currently flying through it... oh noes! Before long, the ride gets pretty bumpy and the three jump out of the plane, only to be caught up in some temporal disturbance and sent back in time; only, you don't know that, yet. I mean, I hope I'm not spoiling anything here but, just in case you haven't seen the cover art for Jurassic: The Hunted, there are dinosaurs inside. ROWAR!

Jurassic: The Hunted shares a name very similar to the movie Benji: The Hunted, only there's no cute little dog who saves a bunch of cougar cubs and no crazy hunter guy trying to kill them all, just lots and lots of dinosaurs. Also, the crazy hunter guy is you. Or are you the one being hunted? I'm not really sure, but you get a great assortment of guns to play with and almost no worry of ever running out of bullets. I mean, seriously, there are special crates in this game with an endless supply of bullets! Will the wonders of the Bermuda Triangle never cease?

The last thing Jurassic: The Hunted has to do with Benji: The Hunted is that, while each has the power to make me cry like a little girl, Jurassic: The Hunted does so for entirely different reasons. I kinda hate this game. A lot.

There are parts of Jurassic: The Hunted that make it feel like a dream-game come true. I found myself fully immersed in this fantasy, compelled to seek out stronger, more challenging prey. If you've ever fantasized about being lost in the jungle, trying to survive while testing your mettle against a T-Rex, then this game is for you! However, if the idea of being tackled by velociraptors while smaller, more pain-in-the-ass-to-kill dinosaurs chase you down at every turn also appeals to you, then, by all means, this is definitely the game for you. And don't forget those awesome "defend the fort" and turret scenes which crop up again and again! In less than five minutes, I survived defending an encampment from a gang of raptors only to round a corner and walk straight into the exact same scenario. "Didn't I just do this?" I wondered. And then, having survived that encounter, I came across a stationary gun and found myself forced to, once again, defend myself against a siege of raptors. Are you freaking kidding me? Is it possible that I've suffered a blunt head trauma and am simply experiencing the same memory over and over or are there really three "shoot the dinos as they run at you" scenarios within 5 minutes of walking distance in this game? Yes, unfortunately, there are.

I'm quite frightened of what the rest of this game could hold for me in terms of velociraptor gang-rape scenarios. Seriously, these guys are a bunch of a**holes. They don't let up and the eons that pass between pressing the "reload" button and the unloading of your weapon upon them is appalling. Your best bet is to simply run the hell away as fast as you can and hope they just get tired of picking on you. It's a lot like high school.

When all is said and done, the pretty graphics do lend a lot towards making this game an enjoyable experience. Witnessing the majesty in a herd of virtual brachiosaurs walking through a field is inspiring. It looks a lot better than it had to and almost causes you to completely forget that, hey, this game is also available on Wii and PlayStation 2! Just in case you do completely forget, though, the gameplay is always there to remind you - one raptor rape scene at a time. Jurassic: The Hunted is a budget game, and based on what I've seen so far, it falls well within the "Average" to "Below Average" range. Make of that what you will; at least it's not as bad as Darkest of Days.