When a game presents you with a combination of dinosaurs and futuristic guns, the normal reaction is to scream in excitement while running around the room like a child. Orion: Dino Beatdown had the opposite effect on me. A great premise stunted by poor design and limited scope, this budget title fails on so many levels. What should have been a five man co-op Paleozoic romp turned out to be a broken, barely playable mess.
I hoped that Orion: Dino Beatdown was going to be a recreation of Dino-Riders with its futuristic setting, jetpacks, vehicles, and well...dinosaurs. The purpose of the whole game is for you and up to four other space marines defend a base against waves of angry dinosaurs. Of course, the only way to solve this problem is to use a variety of weapons and teamwork to bring upon the early extinction of said dinos. This sounds simple enough, but the game gives you no indication of how to actually play. You are thrown into a map where you cannot see where your teammates are, and you are not even told that you need to kill dinosaurs to earn cash and experience to upgrade your character. I tried to start a game solo, but quickly scrambled to find a populated server because the game is terribly unbalanced and succeeding alone was next to impossible. Even the smallest dinosaurs can tear you to shreds in a manner of seconds and you cannot tell when you are being attacked. I learned most of this by chatting in game with another player who had struggled through the same design issues I was having.
These guys will sneak up on you because the developers decided to remove their vocal cords
I grossly overestimated what Spiral Game Studios had put into their “open world, class based cooperative survival sci-fi first person shooter”. It is class based, allowing you to play as a recon, assault, or support style character, each with their own abilities. It is definitely cooperative, with 1-5 players being able to play on the same map at once. Survival is key with the whole game consisting of what we call a ‘horde’ mode today, thanks to Gears of War 2. The first person shooting suffers from the same balance issues mentioned above, with guns feeling much too underpowered or overpowered. I do have to clear things up when it comes to the whole ‘open world’. The maps are large, I’ll give it that but it is by no means an open world as you are limited to the five maps included with the game. Once you finish (or grow bored) of that area, it ends and you start up a new session.