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By BloodyFanGirl06-08-2015

The Defence

Capribyte Studios
Black Shell Media
Adventure, Indie, Role Playing
Release Date:

The Prosecution

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
AMD equivalent
Nvidia GeForce 8600
AMD equivalent
2 GB
250 MB

I’ll be upfront: Dinosystem is shaping up to be one deep simulation game. The two game modes on offer are a God Mode and a Survival Mode and whatever you choose, you are certain to have a lot to do. God Mode is an ecosystem simulator and the Survival Mode has you, as you would expect, surviving in it. But the question is, what is there to survive? Well, everything from the weather to rotten fruit. Oh, and dinosaurs. You can get eaten by a T-Rex in this game. It’s awesome.

For some, I know I could end the preview there. For the rest of you, I’ll go into a bit more detail as to what the two main gameplay modes entail... which is a lot and more is continuing to be added. God Mode requires you to tinker and fine tune every facet of your own little Jurassic World in order to keep your dino population toeing the line between over and under population. One element of ecology you can manipulate is the game’s dynamic weather system. If you make it rain, animals will find it difficult to sleep in the middle of a downpour and may try to find shelter. If you make it a scorching hot summer day, your dinos will go in search of water and so on. And this is just one part of the game’s believable cause and effect system that you can see in motion within Survival Mode as well.

In Survival Mode you fine tune every aspect of your character before you throw your exclusively male avatar to the dinos. Doing anything in-game uses the skills you’ve allocated points to, improving it over time. Not using some skills causes it to degrade over time and this is worth bearing in mind when you finally enter the big, bad game world. Once you do, it’s up to you to find water, food and shelter. In the beginning, you’ve only got a text based tutorial for company that isn’t super well implemented in this build but is generally successful in getting you to grips with the game’s controls and mechanics. However, nothing in the early game answers an especially important question: why are you here? Yup, story is not yet an early access feature but I can’t say the game is truly worse off without it as the gameplay has such a wealth of mechanics.

BEHOLD! Fear my mighty...rock...

BEHOLD! Fear my mighty...rock...

However, despite the wide array of features and options, there are two facets that are surprisingly lacking in this regard. As previously mentioned, at present you can only choose to play as a dude in survival mode and there isn’t yet a wide array of different types of dinosaurs in-game; at present, there’s only the predator T-rex species and two other herbivore, prey species. Another feature of the game worth mentioning, that is unlikely to be changed much with updates, is the perspective: it’s exclusively top down. Some people will love being able to see everything around their character but your scope is pretty limited. To combat this, you can put the camera in scouting mode by holding down the Alt key and moving your mouse to the edges of your screen in order to navigate your view. This is especially useful if you can hear the soft, distant rumble of a T-rex and want to know exactly where it is so you can run in the opposite direction. Or run directly towards it. Whatever man, I wouldn’t advise it but I’m not the boss of you. I should warn you too that it’s not just the T-rex that poses a threat; if you’re running away from the T-rex, be sure you don’t run into one of herbivores’ nests or go anywhere near their eggs because they will END YOU.

The amount of content here already is impressive with the promise of much more on the way, such as a wider variety of flora and fauna as well as more gameplay events and the improvement of already strong facets like the sound design. Dinosystem is definitely shaping up to be a very promising ecosystem and survival simulation game.

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