|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Cauldron||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub:Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 3, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
The Jurassic is a period in time, a time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. Although humans and dinosaurs have never coexisted, the thought of man fending off such monstrous beasts undoubtedly manifested mere moments after the first dinosaur fossil was discovered. Stories of man battling dinosaurs, whether in present day or back in time, have titillated the imagination ever since. Why the history lesson you ask? Because it's to inform you that Jurassic: The Hunted is not associated with Jurassic Park the movie, although I'm sure lawyers from both sides have scrutinized the content for copyright infringements. But no one has rights to the Jurassic name, and no one has the rights to the intellectual property of a scenario in which dinosaurs hunt man and vice versa. So let the games begin unfettered.
Regardless of the disclaimer, this game is like being granted a hunting license in Jurassic Park. It's a simple first-person shooter that, despite some technical flaws, is a fairly fun game. The game was developed by the people that brought you Cabella's Big Game Hunter 2010, and although I'm sure you could care less about my distaste for hunting in real life, the only thing I'm killing in this game is time. And of course, I can reason that dinosaurs are a threat like aliens, zombies, and Saskatchewan farmers.
As part of an expedition team sent to solve the mysterious disappearance of a noted doctor, your plane encounters a terrific storm in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle and is sucked into a vortex. Craig is your character. Separated from his party he finds himself on an island teeming with dinosaurs. These great, giant lizards are huge, hungry, and harmful. You will have to make your way through the island to locate your team while avoiding or eliminating any threats.
Despite similarities to Jurassic Park, Jurassic: The Hunted has absolutely nothing on the movie in regards to production values. Regardless of advances in console technology as well as computer animation, you won't have to be reminded that you're not killing real dinosaurs. The graphics are good but they're not that good. More on them later.
You'll begin the game with a pistol and progress from there. The vortex that brought you to the island is actually a time portal. The island is littered with weapons from different time periods such as civil war rifles, muskets, and bows and arrows. You won't run out of weapons or ammo, and you won't run out of dinosaurs either because they are continuously transported to the island via the vortex. You will encounter a T-Rex, pterodactyls, and giant crabs. Unfortunately, the vortex sucks up raptors more than any other prehistoric variety. Raptors are human-sized and have been given some human qualities. In this game they aren't as intelligent, as they all have similar attack patterns. Once you figure out how to use your latest weapon, it's just a matter of picking these guys off before they begin circling.
If you're a decent shot, you're paying attention, and there's not an overwhelming swarm of the beasts, you should be able to get most of them before you get into too much trouble. If things start to get too hectic and you're swamped by the swarm, you can enact a special feature called Adrenaline Burst, a form of bullet-time that slows down everything in your surroundings but you. When you activate this burst, you'll also be able to see the enemies' weak spots such as their heart and brains, as if you wouldn't know where these parts where located. Targeting these areas will result in some one-shot kills. It's a feature that doesn't have anything to do with bullet-time, it just helps you get rid of the monsters quicker. A power-up is also available that will give you unlimited adrenaline for up to half-a-minute. As numerous and frenetic as the raptors can get, with diligent use of the weapons, power-ups, and special features you shouldn't have any problem getting rid of them. As repetitious as the gameplay is, the various weapons and features make it more interesting. Still, this is a game best played in small doses.