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Jurassic Jetpacks - ORION: Dino Beatdown

I’m in two minds about this multiplayer shooter from the ORION: Prelude team that somehow isn’t ORION: Prelude. Is ORION: Dino Beatdown a brilliant name for a game, or is it a horrible name for anything? One thing I do know, despite the laudable presence of dinosaurs and jetpacks, I’d be a lot happier if the dinosaurs were actually using the jetpacks. As it is, this is a game of cooperative shooting in which teams of men must survive in massive environments populated by hordes of hungry monster-lizards. And despite my quibbling, it looks pretty damn good.

Teams of five go up against the raging and supposedly highly intelligent chomposaurs, with different classes to choose from and upgrades to earn. We’re talking hover-bike, jetpack and mech versus t-Rex, raptor and rham-phorynchus. I just had to Google that last one and let me just say that if it is capable of plucking people off the ground and dropping them from a great height, ORION: Dino Beatdown may be the greatest dinosaur game ever.

There will be a single player mode for the lone hunter and as soon as I type the word ‘hunter’ I’m reminded of Carnivores, a series of games which I seem to remember debuting around the same time hunting simulations were first a thing I was aware of. The trick with Carnivores was that instead of hunting deer you were hunting dinosaurs and it rapidly became a horror game of sorts, as sneaking up one of the bastard things would often result in two wild shots of the rifle and then a mad sprint back through the trees as hunted became hunter in the most abrupt and least metaphorical fashion.

That was always fun and ORION: Dino Beatdown looks fun as well. It’s coming to Steam and OnLive for $9.99 and, topically, began as a Kickstarter project. Anyone who donated to the original Kickstarter will be receiving the game as soon as it’s released. Presumably the Kickstarter was helped by the fact that the project involves folk who have worked on the following list of titles: BioShock, Ghost Recon, Unreal Tournament, Forza Motorsport, Jade Empire, Halo, Borderlands and Mortal Kombat. I expect the final version to involve a plot twist, Tom Clancy, m-m-m-m-monster kills, vaguely realistic racing, a bold but rare attempt at an original setting, green helmets, a complete graphical overhaul and babalities.

I may also be the only person to remember Flesh, a story that ran in the earliest issues of 2000 AD and is occasionally resurrected. I used to have a cut out and keep card game based on the strip that came in an issue of the comic and was a bit like Top Trumps. Dino Beatdown reminds me of that but with better graphics.

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Adam Smith

former Deputy Editor

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