Orion: Dino Horde – game review
My theory is that Dinosaurs make everything more fun. But sadly my theory is proven wrong by Dino Horde as there was not much to start with in this game so Dinosaurs didn’t help much to make it any better. On paper the design looks cool Dinosaurs vs Soldiers in jetpacks; but sadly the premises never went beyond that.
The game is actually an upgraded version of Orion: Dino Beatdown which had got pretty bad reviews. So, the developer reworked on the title and instead of just patches, released it under a new name to indicate the major advancements done on the title. Some people did complain that it was a rip-off but to eb honest I think its quite fair since they released the game for free for previous owners of Dino Beatdown. In any case I had not personally played the original game, so my review is based on the content I got to experience in this new version without any comparison of past version.
The game presents a simple setup of Marines vs Dinosaurs multiplayer focused, old school arena shooter. Even though there are multiple game modes e.g. Survival mode where you try to keep your generators operated while dino horde attacks, then there is a collect the egg more where you would have to return back 3 eggs from dino nests back to your spawn while all the dinos combine forces to stop you etc. But even in presence of such variety there the overall game is still pretty basic and feels the same routine of killing the dinosaurs without much thought or strategy.
The game features different classes of marines and dinosaurs but these are limited to game type that you select to play, which isn’t a decision I am in favor off. Your weapons of marines or abilities of dinos abilities vary with each class. Although T-rex was a guaranteed edition in any game featuring dinosaurs but my favorite dinos do remain the flying raptors which if attack properly have the ability to grab and fly you up in the air and throw you down for instant deaths. Well there isn’t any instant death, you just enter a state of “fight back”, where you are limited to pistol and limited time to make a kill. If you make the kill then your health recovers.
The game is designed as a pure multiplayer game leaving no story, no singleplayer (bots play). The game does throw you inside and expects you to understand it (which isn’t that difficult) but still it would have been nice to have some AI bots to play with since the servers are not that trafficked. Your best bet would be finding some friends to play it with for some fun but I wouldn’t recommend it given the pretty simple setup which will soon make you regret investing in the game.
Graphically the game is as unimpressive as the rest of the game. Even though built on UDK, the game still fails to impress at any thing. From the low polygon dinosaurs, to unimpressive levels composed always of hills and foilage. The textures are dull and I would have love to see some rippling shiny skin of dinosaurs with moody lights to make you jump out of your boots when dinos spring on you in the night mode levels but sadly not even a single such moment existed in the game.
Overall it just saddens me that the game never achieved its potential it wanted to aim. Its a playable game but feels something more suitable a decade ago but out dated now. The cooperation required is unimaginitive in the game. The music turns annoying, the graphics are dull. The AI of non-human dinosaurs is buggy. These aren’t something which a simple patch can fix in few days. Maybe the game could have been a free 2 play title, but for current asked price the gameplay doesn’t justify the investment.