I remember when dinosaur games were at their peak; it seems like a dream from distant past. Turok and Dino Crisis series were one of my favorite titles back then. Capcom didn’t have much but they knew how to make a game that would stick up to a gamer’s expectations.
Despite of not having a Playstation, I’d play Dino Crisis, Tekken 3, Final Fantasy IX and tons of other titles on PC through PlayStation emulators. In fact, I tried Bleem, VGS and PlayStation Emulator (*also known as PSemu).
Call it nostalgia at this very moment because it is exactly 3:30 AM here. At the time of writing this post, I am sitting in front of my laptop, thinking about all those classic titles from my childhood days. Most of these games have gone for good. To be honest, I haven’t seen many head turning video games from today’s developers because of the lack of sotry or content.
And I am not the only one complaining here; there are tons of individuals who carry the same views these days. For instance, Dino Crisis 1 and Dino Crisis 2 were the kind of games that you’d want to play over and over again. By today’s standards, the graphics were too shabby, but those games had gripping story or FMV sequences to keep players driven towards exploring further.
Dino Crisis – The now extinct video game franchise of the golden era:
In particularity, today the dinosaur games are a rare breed. There are few of them floating around at Steam etc., but they are more like sand box/ work-in-progress products. In actuality, video game studios are not really focusing on such titles anymore because of consumer driven market. But then again, “demand” has to be created. If they know how to sell a modern action shooter, they can re-imagine a classic from old days and present it with DLCs etc. to capture the audience.
The FPS formula follows a typical metamorphosis these days. Gaming companies rarely have original concept. I have seen tons of FPS titles where except for new guns, louder explosions and different characters, the overall game setting/ gameplay is practically the same old fucked up replica. First 15 minutes into the game and you are up to your neck with that shit.
I want to talk about Turok 2 and Dino Crisis 2 for a reason that they had a healthy metascore, even in today’s day and age, and they can be set as benchmark by certain developers in the industry. Telltale Interactive did aim at releasing dinosaur based titles. The end result averaged between 50 – 60 score; hence indicating a rather half-assed or weak attempt at creating a potentially captivating game.
Then there’s Tomb Raider; now a major part of the market. When the devs released the Tomb Raider and the Guardian of Light, I was excited to see the introduction of dinosaurs in it. However, dinosaurs are always or mostly discouraged to play an independent role; they sometimes come up short are rarely backed by notable studios.
Why aren’t they focusing on dinosaur games anymore?
It is a tricky question. If it were up to me, I’d have made it mandatory for game developers to release at least one dinosaur title per fiscal year. But no one listens. Don’t even think about pitching the idea of EA Games, Eidos (practically extinct by now) or some other big name from the gaming industry.
Thinking of talking about dinosaur games with Square Enix? Lols, I would love to see that title coming to life. The problem is that Square Enix does not have originality anymore. They don’t make games for adults; they make game for kids. They have literally fucked up all the latest games except for the very few at hand.
Look at what Square Enix did to Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy series. Where’s the fun in that? The other day, I had a friend over at my place. We were talking about the old Tomb Raider and the latest installment in the series. I still remember his words from a few days back, “Casey, the latest Tomb Raider runs all by itself. You have little or no interaction with the Lara Croft that once used to be fun to control. The element of mystery and full time tomb exploration is gone…”
We come back to dinosaurs again. What is the main reason behind the big fellas not being able to make it to your high end LEDs? We have dinosaur movies; why don’t we have the games? The most that developers have offered so far are dinosaur games with FPS element in them, some survival horror games with ONE dinosaur in them, an adventure game with an occasional dash of dinosaurs… and that’s about it.
The game plots are predefined. The levels are probably designed 1 week before the release! Not to mention the fact that the lizards are terribly developed, it leave us with nothing to hope for. For Christ’s sake, dinosaurs have feelings too! They are being used as a gimmick to add an element of twist to the game.
Remember the last Resident Evil installment? If you chose to play with Wesker, there are a few levels where you have to kill a big bad ass mofo. Why didn’t Capcom replace the big guy with a big dinosaur? Okay, if the idea of a dinosaur seems absurd in Resident Evil, how about an oversized mutated lizard? That would have been pretty cool too.
The only exception in dino franchises is this one game: Jurassic Park – Trespasser. Telltale put lots of time and probably a small amount of money into showing dinosaurs at their true potential. They did strive to present the extinct creatures through in game visuals, a dedicated storyline and prop accommodation.
Telltale also made a few mistakes. Dino Crisis 2 and Dino Crisis 1 environments were mostly confined to tight places where you had to move fast. Back then, the game possessed the elements of survival and horror at the same time. Telltale on the other hand, forgot all about horror and relied completely on survival.
Survival in what sense? If you must know, think about Jurassic Park: Trespasser gameplay. The weapon arsenal is used to defend yourself. You are also looking for supplies and any other means that would make your “survival” a little easier. Telltale wanted to make the perfect dish because they thought that they had the ingredients.
It is sad to say that Telltale set the entire house on fire, in an attempt to cook up a dinosaur game. The main characters have physique that defies all laws of physics. She holds out her arm like a steel rod, and pokes at objects. Honestly if this bitch was for real, she’d have seriously injured people just by touching them!
The fact of the matter is that none of the games compare with Dino Crisis 2 and Dino Crisis 1. If you had feelings for Trespasser, I would very much like you to flush em down the shank. Jurassic Park – Trespasser was a monumental failure, where none of the other developers have dared to tread again.
We are all aching for a special game; something developed in Cry-Engine 3 environment and dedicated to our four legged friends that once walked the earth over a million years ago. What we need is a sound idea, a good publisher and some decent media buzz for a dinosaur game to get popular once again. Sigh… only if they knew how to reconstruct the T-Rex; slime dripping down his jaws in a lush Isla Nublar…
What do you think? Let us know through the comments section. Do you have any idea to help us stop such games from getting extinct? Share them right now and we’ll make sure that someone from the gaming industry listens to your voice.