Co-Optimus - Review - Beyond Co-Op Reviews - March 2010

Squad 51 vs. the Flying Saucers

  • Couch Co-Op: 2 Players
  • + Co-Op Campaign

Beyond Co-Op Reviews - March 2010 - Page 4

Publisher: Activision
Developer: Cauldron HQ
MSRP: $39.99

by: Katrina Pawlowski

Say you're out with an expedition crew to find a scientist who disappeared around the Bermuda Triangle 20 years ago. Would you really be surprised that you ended up on an island inhabited by Dinosaurs and the wreckage of several decades worth of transport vessels, including WWII planes and cargo ships? Craig Dylan (referred to as "Dylan" through the game, because that's the cool thing to do) is pretty shocked, but he showed up armed with some survival skills in order to get him through. As Dylan you'll pick up weapons, and punch Dinosaurs in the head when they get a little too close for comfort.

The story for Jurassic: The Hunted has daughter of scientist Dr. James Sayrus searching for her missing father in the Bermuda region. Right away, you meet a Turok wannabe named Rock, and then the plane is sucked into a vortex which leads to this Jurassic island. Dylan is separated from the group, and spends a fair amount of time talking to himself in order to figure out what's going on. Eventually Rock gets in contact with you via static walkie-talkie, giving you a bit more direction in your quest through Dino-inhabited land.

After your first few close-encounters of the Raptor kind, Dylans radio fires up and he's informed more-or-less of what's going on by Rock. His mission is to find the encampment where missing Dr. Sayrus, his daughter, and Rock are holding up. Traverse through many areas searching for weapons and clues, and finding areas to hold up in, while fighting off swarms of raptors. These survival rounds were interesting, as you have to reinforce "windows," and stop several raptors from making a snack out of Dylan. This scenario alternates: exploration, survival, story reveal, rinse, repeat.

Your enemies through the game are primarily raptors of varying shapes and sizes. Some are tiny and act as major irritations as they're hard to hit and fast, others are large and vicious, ready to make a meal of your character. Other smaller, regular enemies include Pterodactyls, Dilophosaurus, and over sized scorpions. "Boss" dinosaurs include a few unhappy Tyrannosaurus Rexes, and an unfriendly Spinosaurus nicknamed "Spike." One thing I would have liked to have seen here, is a few herbavour stampedes. I wanted to outrun frantic Triceratops, or have to find my way around a Stegosaurus fighting for its life.

Generally speaking, the story is entertaining, the characters are believable, and the attention to detail (planes and ships from various eras and nationalities wrecked on Bermuda,) and last-but-not-least, playability. The game was one of the smoothest, most glitch-free first-person shooters I've ever played.

The one and only real complaint I have: It's lacking co-op. The survival sections of the game, and exploring dino-infested areas would have been so much more complete with a buddy. Every cheesy B-horror dialog line, goofy dinosaur movie reference, and amazing over-the-top action moment I wanted to share, but wasn't able. I can only hope that a sequel will allow us to play together, since the characters are reunited (hint, hint, devs).