Each week our resident Indie Gamer Nicholas takes a look at a different Indie Game that you may or may not have heard about. Join him on his adventures as he sifts through the rubbish to find The Indie Game of the Week.
So, after last week's rather emotional trip through the Greenbriar home, I decided we needed a change of pace. Something a little unusual. Something involving dinosaurs!
See, a while back I saw Orion: Dino Horde on sale for three dollars. I figured it couldn't hurt to give it a try. After all, it could be fun, right? Who knows? I might actually enjoy myself.
I think I might just stick to games I know from now on.
That isn't to say Dino Horde is a bad game. It isn't. It's just, well...it's simply average. It's a somewhat mediocre title that sits on the razor's edge of greatness, reaching for it with outstretched hands. On occasion, it manages to brush this greatness with the tips of its fingers; moments like this are defined by their pure, addictive carnage.
Because of this, it's difficult to actively hate - or even truly dislike - the title. It tries very, very hard to do what it does. The problem is, its efforts simply don't work all that well most of the time.
There's not much of a story to Dino Horde - though to be fair, there doesn't really need to be. There are dinosaurs and space marines. They don't like each other. Congratulations, you know everything you need to know. Now go and shoot some stuff.
Most game-types put you in the shoes of the humans, where you're thrown into any of a number of large, open arenas. There are three different classes to choose from, each with its own special ability: Assault gains access to a jet-pack, Support has a healing gun, and Recon gains access to a stealth.
These abilities - and your weapons- can be augmented between waves of Dinos in the standard 'horde' modes. This actually adds a fair bit of depth to a match: killing dinosaurs (and in some cases, other players) nets you credits. These credits can be spent at purchasing stations, where you can buy new weapons or upgrades for either your class abilities or your character. What you choose to buy will change how you play the game in a very real way - fast-moving Recon with a sniper rifle will have a markedly different play-style from a Support who's focused on being a tank.
As expected, pretty much every game-mode in Dino Horde features dinosaurs in some capacity. In some modes, they're little more than a nuisance, or a means of upping your score to catch up with your foes. In others, they become a very real threat, as larger beasts such as Tyrannosaurs, Pterodactyls and Stegosaurs take to the field, attempting to slaughter the players and take down the generator that powers pretty much all of their stuff. To take down these large beasts, co-operation is a must.
Now, I've been saving the best for last here: Rampage, which allows you to step into the shoes of one of the dinosaurs as you make a desperate bid to defend your eggs from a team of human players. Personally, this was my favorite game-type...though even here, Dino Horde shows a bit of chipped paint around the edges. I noticed no real difference in play-style between the three different 'types' of dinos, and while I found controls for the humans tight and responsive, the primal reptiles controlled as though they were trudging their way through a sea of molasses.
In spite of this, it was quite enjoyable - more so than any other mode - to stamp around and crush pint-sized soldiers under my claws or in my jaws. If Spiral had spent a little more time polishing the controls for the dinosaurs (and added a little bit more for them to do), it could have easily carried Dino Horde to greatness on its own.
As it is, it's a game that exists on the cusp of greatness - but never quite makes it over the threshold. You can purchase it for $15 on the Steam Store, but I might suggest waiting for a sale, as I did.
You've something to look forward to next week, folks - I'll be playing Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs.
Eight of The Most Memorable MMO Dungeons Ever Designed
Dungeons are a staple of the MMO genre; large-scale challenges requiring co-operation and co-ordination between anywhere from five to a few hundred players to adequately complete. Of course, not all are created equal, and some stand head and shoulders above their peers. Today, I'd like to tip my hat to those few legends, those instances that'll stick with us for years to come as shining examples of how to do dungeons right.
Ten Of The Best MMORPG Songs Ever Heard
In many ways, an MMO is only as good as its music. Many of the best and most memorable moments in an MMO invariably have a song associated with them; a piece of music which brings the memories flooding back the moment it reaches one's ears. Today, I'd like to pay homage to some of those songs - and some of those moments. Here, for your listening pleasure (and in no particular order, I assure you) is a list of some of the best songs ever heard in an MMO.
Facebook's Purchase Of Oculus VR Isn't The End Of The World
For those of you who've been living under a rock, Facebook recently purchased Oculus VR to the tune of $2 billion. Understandably, backers and developers alike were rather unimpressed, calling it a betrayal. As for me? I've never been more excited.
Seven Of The Worst Things You Can Say In League
If you've played league, you've probably encountered at least one toxic player. If you haven't, there's a good chance that YOU are the toxic one. Don't believe me? Ask yourself if you've ever said any of the following...
Six Reasons You Should Be Playing Dark Souls II
I've been playing a lot of Dark Souls II lately - and you should be too. Say what you will about the game's flaws, it's still arguably one of the best action RPGs released in the past several years. If you're up for a bit of a challenge, it's well worth the buy. Don't believe me? Let's talk, then.
Eight Reasons The Elder Scrolls Online Will Be Awesome
As you're all no doubt aware, The Elder Scrolls Online - currently in open beta - will be launching in a few months or so. In light of both the new release date and all the hype surfacing around it, I've decided that, over the next two weeks, I'll be looking at all the reasons to look forward to it...and all the reasons we shouldn't.
League of Legends or DOTA 2?
The debate between Dota 2 and League of Legends has been raging almost since the two games were first released. But which game is REALLY the superior of the two?
Ten Fictional Settings That'd Make For Awesome MMOs
Let's look at a few settings, worlds, and stories I'd love to see made into MMOs. I'm sure you'll agree, all the entries on this list have the potential to be downright awesome.
MMO Year In Review: 5 of 2013's Biggest Dick Moves
People are dicks - particularly on the Internet. While that shouldn't come as any great surprise, occasionally we come across someone whose level of sheer dickery reaches legendary proportions. As we move into 2014, let's take a look at a few such individuals from the previous year.
Censorship Spells Trouble for League of Legends Patcher
Internet filtering has been a hot button issue for the past several years. With the slow gutting of protective measures like Net Neutrality, and with governmental powers seeking an end to online anonymity, it's rather harrowing to see the slow progression of political and social policing of the internet. Recently, after about a year of lobbying, the United Kingdom enacted a piece of legislation that many have come to call the "UK Porn Filter." What the filter requires is for British ISP's to implement filters and controls, which are on by default, that will block access to "violent material," not imited to "extremist and terrorist related content," "anorexia and eating disorder websites," and "suicide related websites."