Clever Girl, The Hunter: Primal Is Out For You

Preservation efforts? A park to contain all the beauties of the prehistoric world? Nah. We’ll just shoot ’em all. Freshly arrived in the Early Access folder, The Hunter: Primal errs on the meaner side of the equation, the side that involves gore and goop and other things that could possibly drip from dinosaur-y insides. Here, you play as a hunter, a bipedal predator who must figure out how to survive a primitive yet gorgeous-looking island and its coterie of deadly dinosaurs, while putting together the biggest stack of trophies this side of the planet.

Up to 16 players can match wits on this lush landscape at any given time, and it looks like the developers would really like you to be nasty to each other too. The persistent inventory system ensures that you will be able to retrieve whatever hard-earned supplies you’ve lost – if you get to it before someone else does. But, that’s not the main point of The Hunter: Primal. The main point is tracking down and killing those regal reptiles. Obviously, there are a bunch of those. The game features everything from the fearsome T-Rex to the more stately Triceratops. Make sure to watch out for the wolf-like Utahraptors, who like to travel in groups when they go out for lunch.

The game will set you back £14.99, which isn’t too bad if you’re the type to enjoy hunting down dinosaurs. Obviously, it’d be a better idea to pick up the four-pack if you have the right number of friends. Or to wait to see how it shapes up over Early Access.


  1. SooSiaal says:

    “The game features everything from the fearsome T-Rex to the more stately Triceratops. Make sure to watch out for the wolf-like Utahraptors, who like to travel in groups when they go out for lunch.”
    I believe those 3 are the only ones in the game at the moment,so -everything from- is not really that much.
    Also weapon damage and such is a bit weird, I can take down a raptor with 1 well placed arrow, but with a shotgun slug I had to take several shots. With thehunter all the weapons work really well, but it sure doesnt yet in primal.

    • Jakkar says:

      A powerfully drawn arrow could transfix several muscle groups and pin them, effectively paralysing a subject’s meaningful ability to move and causing ongoing agony in response to the attempt to move – actual death is silly, but having things twitching around on the floor may not be a priority for the developer, so as a symbolism for the efficacy of a well-placed shot, I can see this fitting.

      Meanwhile a shotgun slug could easily go right through soft tissue causing pain but being momentarily ignored by a charging predator.

      • Ryuthrowsstuff says:

        In actual hunting the goal is always a 1 shot kill. An arrow could certainly cripple an animal, by piercing a major muscle group and sticking around to tear shit up. But in general bow hunting requires you to be much closer, and have much more precise shot placement. You basically have to ensure you hit something vital to guarantee you get the animal (if you jack it up badly enough you can often follow/track it as it bleeds out). That’s because a comparatively slow moving arrow has a much smaller effect on what its hitting, there’s less of a “damage channel”. The expanding forces of the projectile moving through the creature, destroying everything around it. The arrows got a very narrow one (hence all the complicated arrow heads they have these days) while a bullet (especially something huge like a slug) has quite a big one. Almost any appropriately sized bullet has a far greater chance of bringing down an animal in shot than an arrow. Because the bullet does a much better job of destroy vital structures, and crippling muscle and bone without necessarily hitting them directly. The arrow pretty much needs to hit them, or nearly hit them to make that happen.

        The current trope in shooters for bows being one shot one kill machines on almost anything you’re shooting, regardless of where you hit it, is a game play mechanic pure and simple. Its effectively just to foster stealth game play and has little bearing on reality.

    • Deadly Habit says:

      I’ve found that the arrow seems to penetrate more when aiming at the vitals (or near) and will often kill on an off shot by going through multiple organs taking it down instantly.
      Haven’t really used slugs on the utahs, just buckshot though which tends to be an instant kill.
      Funnily enough was on a server the other night that someone managed to one shot a t-rex with a magnum.
      This game is beautiful and great when you get a group together hunting t-rexs, the only issue is the bugs and random crashes atm, but have been having a blast just exploring and low crawling while alone when a rex is right next to me roaring.

  2. Moogie says:

    Why does everyone hate dinosaurs so much? Every single dinosaur game that comes out these days is about killing them. I love dinosaurs, and I love dinosaur games, but I’m so sick of cookie-cutter shooters with “monster dinos” in place of zombies or aliens or whatever the flavour of the month happens to be.

    Anyone remember that Jurassic Park title on the PSX, where you played levels as various dinosaurs like the compsognathus, raptor, t-rex (and yes, some human levels too)? THAT was a cool dinosaur game! Or what about Operation Genesis, with its Site-B mode allowing you to create an entire ecosystem of dinosaurs, with roaming herds and stalking predators? Was nobody interested in those? Does nobody actually like dinosaurs anymore? :(

    • Jakkar says:

      If it’s any comfort to you, I’m not purchasing this because I’m uncomfortable with the idea of hunting dinosaurs for sport.

    • Deadly Habit says:

      Some of us have been patiently waiting for the dino genre in any form to come back, be it like the old exploring JP games, or like Turok or the other JP games.
      I’m just glad I have this, Beasts of Prey (which is coming along great), Primal Carnage (dunno about the reboot on EA), and to a lesser extent Stomping Land.
      I’d love for dinos to become the new staple instead of zombies.

      • DarkLiberator says:

        The reboot for Primal Carnage is decent fun so far. Love playing as a Pteranodon or the shotgun dude. Needs more polish.

        Stomping Land we don’t talk about ever.

    • Holysheep says:

      I don’t think that your first reflex if you were among them would be to pet them, tbh


      I initally thought I’d be playing as a dinosaur as well, which would have been a lot more interesting to me.

    • Axess Denyd says:

      What if you could *talk* to the dinosaurs?

    • Caiman says:

      I agree, Moogie. The game you want is Saurian, which allows you to play as a dinosaur. It’s more of a realism simulator, and they’re putting a lot of effort into getting the dinosaurs modeled correctly. They don’t have a webpage yet, but there’s more here: link to

      • Moogie says:

        I think I love you. Thanks for pointing this out to me, I’ll be following its progress. :D

    • Bobtree says:

      I have been waiting for a digital release of Operation Genesis ever since the 2010 RPS article: link to

    • Lerxst says:

      Anyone remember Trespasser?
      This guy has been working on this for a long time. His devblog is decent with lots interesting pics.

      link to

  3. Flappybat says:

    Bit of a resounding “meh”. Works OK now they fixed most of the crashes but it’s so light on content.

    Imagine 16 players on a huge, mostly empty and uninspired island that looks a few years out of date with just three types of dinosaur, two dozen bits of equipment total, some wonky pathfinding AI, questionable damage modelling, 200M dinosaur draw distance and it’s all hosted on player hosted servers with constant pauses because someone lags.

    It needs fattening up and dedicated servers to be a worthwhile experience.

  4. shadybearfaced says:

    I’m amazed no one’s mentioned Carnivores. Is the game basically like that?? If so, I’m gonna buy it as soon as it comes out of early access.

  5. socrate says:

    doesnt that make 3 of these kind of explore,hunt,survive and build game that are kickstarted or early access?…ffs and none of them look good…the dinosaur game have always been bad other then the zoo tycoon one and even then it had some really clunky and buggy thing in it