Carnivores: Ice Age

Forced bestiality is possibly the worst way to die.

By Daavpuke, Posted 20 Aug 2011

Far be it for me to judge a game that revolves around murdering animals, as I’m against animal cruelty and don’t slaughter cuddly critters to gain nutrients. But when Beatshapers assured me that Carnivores: Ice Age was more fictional, with aliens and prehistoric creatures, I’d figure I’d have a go at some virtual carnage.

NoobFeed Review - PSP Minis - Carnivores: Ice Age
COD RUUUUULEZ! Just kidding.

This miniature first-person shooter shouldn’t be measured with its major peers; it’s a budget mini-game after all. Therefore, the more generic and bland textures aren’t that bothersome, as they serve their purpose. The audio on the other hand might be a little too basic, even for this. There seems to be only 1 recurring sound effect for each element, but luckily there isn’t an oversaturation of noise. Still, the basic presentation might be bothersome to some, as the game does cut corners just about anywhere. The view radius has a strange cutoff, trees on hills are usually poorly rooted, animals aren’t clipped to be solid and other various clipping errors may happen when walking through landscapes.

There are redeeming factors though, as at least there are several maps to participate in the game’s only goal, which is hunting animals. A total of 5 maps can be unlocked by collecting points, earned when shooting prize beasts. Which creature is the target of extermination is chosen at the start, after which a weapon of choice needs to be picked. In addition, there are 4 differentials that can be added: camouflage, a radar, scent blocker and tranquilizers; which either heighten or lower the score. It is recommended to play with a radar on however, even if it lowers scores, since finding prizes is otherwise serious business; only the hardcore should apply.

NoobFeed Review - PSP Minis - Carnivores: Ice Age
What's that coming over the hill, is it a mammoth?

The first few playthroughs are a bit repetitive and that makes a shoddy first impression. Luckily, once points are gained and the hunter has safely escaped the map, new options become available. It is then possible to hunt bigger, more dangerous creatures for more points, but more importantly, new weapons can be used. Shooting a rhino with a handgun isn’t a ton of fun, but the second weapon is a crossbow, which opens up an entirely new perspective already. At least, the game has that mechanic down well. Most weapons do feel different from each other and hunting becomes easier and more fun when employing the big guns.

The game is far from perfection though. Apart from aforementioned presentation, there is still a huge amount of repetition involved in redoing a map over and over. Also, it’s a rather strange choice to only put 1 species of prize beasts in the game and have the rest populated by annoying pigs and archaeopteryxes. For those of you unaware of the species; they’re considered the first flying bird type.  This in combination with starting over endlessly puts extra strain on the fun factor. When all bullets have been spent, there is no other option but to escape and while that does encourage accuracy, it doesn’t make for a satisfying end.

But perhaps the largest problem in the game is the movement, done with the face buttons. Frankly put, it’s just too slow. Is it realistic? Yes, probably; but it does create sizeable frustrations when it seems impossible to outmaneuver charging animals. Naturally, one can’t outrun a mammoth, but when it’s even impossible to sidestep one, that’s when it becomes a problem. This is enhanced by the troublesome movement around the map, both for hunter and hunted alike. Though it can be thrilling to have a giant bird pounce from behind a hill, it’s more annoying when said bird proceeds to rape you to death. Forced bestiality is possibly the worst way to die.

Overall, Carnivores: Ice Age is a long way from being a great game, but it certainly not as bad when judged on its own merit. Most might make connections to other first person shooters, but this game is a mini-game first and a shooter second. In that aspect, this game serves it purpose as a periodical time waster, even if it still has flaws and cuts many a corner. Its mechanic is decent and different weapon types offer just enough variation to revisit the Ice Age now and again. If killing animals virtually would only quench our blood thirst for real, this would be an entirely different planet.

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Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@Daavpuke)

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  • Nice review there mate! You've pretty much captured all the game has to offer. I've played the original PC version when it came out back in 2001 and at that time it was a cool way to pass the time. I can't say it all that good but at that time, in terms of hunting simulation games it was either the Carnivores games or Deer Hunter, this one being more thrilling imo. I would give it a try even after 10 years of it's initial release, but sincerily I don't think it would me much of a hit in this day and age...


    Posted Aug 21, 2011

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Mobile
Publisher(s): Beatshapers
Developer(s): Action Forms
Genres: First-Person Shooter
Themes: Shooter
Release Date: 2011-08-17

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