Jurassic: The Hunted is the latest game from Cauldron HQ, the developers behind Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2010 and Soldier of Fortune: Payback. This latest game puts has players facing off against long extinct dinosaurs in a fight for survival. Does this game succeed in bringing these legends back from the dead, or are some things better left in the past?
The game starts off with a story of an explorer who disappeared, never to be seen again. The player has been hired by the explorer’s daughter to track him down. On the way, however, the plane takes a wrong turn and ends up in a jungle full of things thought long-extinct. This is pretty much the extent of the story, as the game flies by, interrupted only by short and and shallow cutscenes. Players will, however, see a lot of loading screens which display dinosaur facts. So much of the game is spent loading that players should quickly become familiar with the repetitive loading screens.
One thing players will notice during the game is that there is a very minimalistic HUD used in the game. There is no life bar on screen; instead, getting hit will give the player tunnel vision, and it gets worse until the player rests or dies. The only things on the screen are the number of grenades remaining and the bullet count of the current gun.
The gameplay in Jurassic is standard First Person Shooter fare with a lot of the usual tricks. There is a pretty wide range of guns, with around 8 or 9 variations, stationary guns, and grenades. Players can carry 4 guns at a time and 5 grenades, switching between the guns with triangle. It is a pretty wide array of weapons, from current weapons like the Glock, to old World War II muskets. Each gun is detailed pretty decently and handles very differently.
The combat, however, is very clunky. During combat, players may use adrenaline by holding down the L1 button. There is a limited amount of adrenaline, though it does regenerate. Using this slows down time and makes the vital points on the dinosaurs light up, making them easier to kill, though most players will find it just as easy to without this aid.
Players will encounter a few different kinds of dinosaurs, though the variety here is not great. There are t-rexes, raptors, pterodactyls, and even killer crabs. Each of the dinosaurs are detailed pretty well and move fairly naturally, though for the most part they follow a specific pattern and at times are just downright stupid. They constantly get caught on shrubs, stuck in walls or glitch onto walls and trees.
There is also a huge decline in the framerate when more than one dinosaur is on screen and the player is shooting. Pop in is also a problem during cutscenes, and even more scary is what is going on with the dinosaurs half the time; some of them will appear naturally as players explore, while others will pop suddenly into the world.
One of the worst things about the guns and the gameplay is the controls. The controls feel incredibly sluggish and delayed, as it takes a few taps sometimes to get button presses to register. Players may hold L3 to run, then let go of L3 only to continue running right off of a cliff. On a few occassions, the character may decide to start walking on his own with no input from the player. The controls also do the player zero favors during combat as the sluggishness causes lots of problems when fighting some of the fast moving dinosaurs.
Besides the standard shooting, players will have to defend barricades while dinosaurs try to break through. This usually consists of a wooden fort with a few weak spots in it that look kind of like windows. The goal is to race around the fort and kill the dinosaurs trying to get in while also holding down on the D-pad to repair the wood in the window. It does inject a bit of fun into the game, though getting powerful guns later on makes it unnecessary to repair the windows.
The story mode in the game will take at most 4 hours to complete, though a harder difficulty and a new gun are unlocked upon beating the game. There is also a survivor mode where players try to defeat wave after wave of dinosaurs and working their way up the online leaderboard. It is definitely fun to get in there and just slaughter dinosaur wave after wave and try to show up other players.
The game has its good points, with the gun selection being pretty decent, and it is always fun fighting dinosaurs, though that’s about it. There are numerous glitches, slowdown during fights is frequent, and there is really not a lot of replay value included outside of possibly the survivor mode. The game is way too short and the story is a mess. With a pretty easy 32 trophies, this should really just be a rental for trophy elitists or dinosaur lovers–er, haters, I suppose.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
Numerous glitches and invisible walls
Delayed controls butcher the experience