Posted: December 18
The tide of World War II is about to change. Dinosaurs have been resurrected by the Axis to be the formidable foe against the Allies. I bought this game years ago and went in thinking it was a single player first person shooter. You vs dinosaurs! Maybe I should read descriptions. Dino D-Day is a multiplayer online first person shooter set in the 1940s. There are 9 maps to choose from and a server list to find a game. You can even play offline or alone with bots and its every bit as fun.
The teams each have their own characters. I hesitate to say classes, because everyone feels unique. Sure both teams have a medic, but they're both different. Each of the 16 characters are different and relegated to humans and dinosaurs. The Axis has six dinosaur characters and three humans. The Allies have six humans and one dinosaur named Trigger. The dinosaurs have longer stamina to run around the map, so they don't run head on into gunfire from humans. Humans are weaker, but to balance it, they're smaller. The bigger the dinosaur, the more health it has. Changing between characters is easy like Team Fortress 2.
The dinosaurs all play differently and it doesn't take that long to understand how they work. Maybe 10 minutes to be effective and efficient killers. Trigger, on the Allies side plays in 3rd per-dinosaur. He can jump and use a machine gun that needs to cool down. On the Axis, there's a Stygimoloch that plays similar with a cool down machine gun. Desmatosuchus is a slow tank that takes a lot of damage, fires very slowly and murders quickly. To balance him, he's a slow mover and so wide he can't fit through normal doorways. There is a raptor that is fast, plays in first per-dinosaur, melee kills quick, can leap, a high jump and pounce with the alt fire button in the air. A bigger dilophosaurus in 3rd person that can quickly run and head ram things to death. Not just that, it can pick up one of the goats found in most maps and heave them at the Allies. Compsognathus is the smallest third person dinosaur. Because of this, you're under the sight line of most humans. Your lack of health is gained in stealth. Plus, you can simply explode at will. Its beautiful. The final dinosaur is the Microraptor that plays in first dinosaur. It has wings and while it can't fly it can flap to keep it in the air to spit acid that blinds enemies. Not just that, but it can cling to walls and ceilings. Cling, but not wall run or anything like that.
It is the gameplay diversity and the uniqueness of all characters that really set this game apart. The humans all have their own weapons that not only feel good to use, but effective too. Most of the weapons except the shotguns have iron sights with their alt fire button.
On the Allies, you have Hardgrave, with a gun, a pistol, a grenade and his bare fists to box with dinosaurs. Spencer has his primary weapon, a pistol, his fists and a sticky bomb. Lob it out, stick it to an enemy and watch as they bring it home. Piat is the heaviest human, he uses a shotgun, a rocket launcher that only holds one rocket at a time to balance it out and smoke grenade. No fists, no melee, just big damage. Vike is a sniper, with a pistol and a rabbit. Why a rabbit? Its bait. If a carnivorous (or omnivorous) dinosaur finds the rabbit, they eat, disabling them, which gives Vike time to user her sniper rifle for one dead dino. Camille is the medic of the Allies, but in Dino D-Day the medic packs are different. She throws out the pack and when her team is near the pack, they regenerate health. So she can help her team with a machine gun, luger and fists if need be. Frank is the last member of the allies, he has a machine gun, a one shot shotgun, grenades, his fists and his devilishly good looks. Over on the Axis side, you have Streicher with a gun, machine gun, stick grenade and knife. Allies use fists, sissies like the Axis use knives. Hissman is the sniper who has a luger, stick grenade and knife. He can also summon a pterodactyl to dive bomb and explode. Wolfgang is the medic of the Axis with a machine gun, luger, knife and medi-pack.
Dino D-Day has undergone a major graphics change and the artwork looks fantastic. It has an art style true to the 1940s propaganda. Ole time radio broadcasts on the main menu go a long way for making an immersive experience. The game has come a long way in three years. There are more maps and better graphics, even after all this time. The game also has taken out references to Hitler and swastikas. There are now black crosses in white circles on red banners. So it still feels like Nazi swastikas, but its not. That's still okay. It doesn't hinder the fun.
In case you haven't heard, the game uses the Source engine. So there are a lot of comparisons between this game and other Source games like Counter-Strike: Global Offense and Day of Defeat. It plays as easily as those games with a lot of freedom to tailor the controls to what you want them to be. A lot of the maps feel like they could be in CS:GO. They feel like deserts and small villas, all while having elements of dinosaurs in them.
The Axis is the red team with blue health and the Allies are the blue team with red health. It is a bit confusing in the game. I say red and blue, because of the color of their logos. There are no actual team colors. Characters have their own non team specific attire, which can make it confusing on the battle field. How does a new player know what team that player is on? If they're on your team, they have a logo floating above their head. Anything else should get shot and killed. The problem is seeing things. A lot of times the players blend in. The night maps make it difficult to see other players, which is good for a stealth advantage. Shorter dinosaurs can hide in grass.
Each of the maps has three or four modes: Deathmatch, King of the Hill, Control Points and a few maps have objectives. The objectives in those maps are pretty simple. The allies will pick up a bomb in their spawn room and set the bomb at a specific target. The bombs take a few moments to arm, then throw and then they explode after ten seconds or so. It doesn't feel like a game changer. Speaking of the spawn room, you can find unlimited health and ammo. Outside of the base, its tougher to find health. Enemies drop ammunition. Even if you're a raptor that doesn't need ammunition, by picking it up, you're denying the enemy from having it.
Some maps are designed for T-rex deathmatches. These maps have the deadly giant under Axis control. A player from the Axis is randomly selected to be the tyranical beast. As T-rex you move slowly through the streets in a third person view, using a dual machine gun that needs to cool down. The T-rex can also belt out a roar that knocks the human Allies off their feet. Not your allies, I mean 'the Allies.' Once they're off their feet, you can slowly march over to them and eat them for extra health. You'll be lucky to eat someone, it doesn't happen that often. Playing as the T-rex is a lot of fun and even playing against it is a lot of fun. Sure the rex is only on the Axis team, but its balanced to the point where its so giant that all you need to do is run to a smaller area where it can't get you. Then its forced to waste time walking around buildings through giant openings to find where the action went to.
In all, it might sound like a gimmick, but there is fun here. Not just the premise. The game feels balanced. There are a few ways to play to have your own fun. There are now dinosaurs on both teams so people don't flood to the Axis side saying, 'dinoz yay the new kittenz of the game world!' The developers have updated and upgraded the graphics. The Source engine is a great engine to play a first person shooter. The community is still playing the game. Give it a try again if its not your first time. It has been on sale for $1.