Carnivores Ice Age Review

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Graphics: 7.0
Sound : 7.0
Gameplay : 8.0
Multiplayer : N/A
Overall : 7.5
Review by Dennis Sloutsky
Carnivores 3: The Ice Age (c) WizardWorks
Review date: 17.01.2001

Minimum Requirements:

Computer: IBM and 100% compatibles.
O.S.: Windows® 95 or 98
CPU: Pentium® 200+ or 100% compatible required.(Pentium® II recommended)
VIDEO Card: DirectX® compatible required.(3D hardware recommended)
SOUND Card: : DirectX® compatible sound card.(EAX/A3D/DS3D card recommended)
CD-ROM Drive: 2x CDROM
MEMORY: 32MB RAM minimum.(64MB RAM recommended)
INPUT Device: Microsoft® 100% compatible mouse required

The story of Carnivores 3 – Ice Age is set in the future, when a certain corporation offers its customers the ability to hunt animals that lived during the Ice Age by transporting them back in time. My guess they don’t know that it can theoretically cause grave disturbances in the future, but oh well, a game is a game. The idea of the game is pretty simple: armed with a load of different weapons you can hunt different types of animals from the wooly mammoth to wild wolves, and even the mysterious and extremely dangerous Yeti. So yes, this is a hunting game, but a hunting game with a twist. One dangerous move and you can become prey, or fall of a cliff or drown in a lake. Often you’ll find yourself running for your life from a wounded animal or killed by an unseen attacker. The object of the game is to hunt animals for points that can be used to hunt bigger/more dangerous animals or to bring better weapons to the hunt, or to hunt on another map. Points are being given according to the size of the animal, weapon that you used, and range of impact. After an animal is dead it’s being lifted by dropship and is carried over to the trophy room where you can take a look at it later on.

The game offers 5 different hunting grounds each a little more dangerous then the other, while the terrain varies from high mountains to vast plains and lakes. There are also dense forests in which the animals can hide. From the mountains you can get a good overview of the region and you can spot the animals over great distances, in which case you’ll be able to use the sniper rifle to gun the poor defenceless critters down. The animals can also swim/walk through the water making it even harder to hunt them than it already was, especially with the more dangerous animals.

There are 9 different animals to hunt and one bonus animal that you can hunt only if you get enough points to do so. Here is a list of the animals:

- Brontoteryi : a not dangerous herbivore (plant eater)
- Wild boar : only dangerous if wounded
- Wolf : extremely dangerous carnivore
- Wooly rhinoceros : only dangerous if disturbed
- Diatryma : Big walking bird only dangerous if wounded
- Giant deer : a none dangerous herbivore
- Smilodon : extremely dangerous saber toothed tiger
- Mammooth : the great wooly mammooth is only dangerous if wounded
- Bear : one of the most lethal animals
- Yeti : bonus animal, you don't want to get up close and personal with this one

The game features 6 different weapons to choose from, which each weapon has its own unique abilities that make them important in the hunt. Here is a list of the weapons:

- Pistol : this weapon has the highest rate of fire but it lacks accuracy at long distance
- Shotgun : a real killer, perfect for killing animals that are charging towards you
- DB shotgun : a double barreled shotgun is perfect for killing the bigger carnivores
- X-bow : an automated crossbow, its greatest advantage is its silence
- Rifle : its high rate of fire and accuracy make it a true killer
- Sniper rifle : perfect for hunting the more dangerous animals from a distance

The game also offers a variety of different equipment which can help you on your hunt: camouflage and cover scent will help you get closer to the animals and a radar system makes it easy to track for you to track them down. You can also bring a double load of ammo for each weapon, the down side of the equipment is that it lower the points you get for hunting an animal. New in Carnivores 3 is the ablility to use a supply ship so you can hunt for a very long time.

The graphics in Carnivores 3 cannot be called “top notch”, but they are better than the graphics of most other hunting games on the market. You will see some sun flares, water transparency, snow and even fog at some places. Animal movement looks EXTREMELY realistic; as you might have noticed the wooly mamooth on the title screenshot looks very much alive and threatening. The downside, however, is the flora: some of the plants simply don’t look real... No slightest movement, no anyhing. But here we come to the good part: the game runs very smoothly on both my k6-2 500/64mb ram/Asus TNT2 video card, as well as on my friend’s good old Pentium II 266. This only means that it’s a very good choice for users of older generation computers that get tired of 10fps rates on Quake 3.

There’s not much to say about the sound, as you don’t and shouldn’t hear much of it... It is a hunting game after all and it should be silent. You can hear the wind blow, plant leafs move, your own footsteps, bird squeaks and smaller animals running around. The title music track in the main menu is also very calm and relaxing. The only complaint i have is about the way the weapons sound; being a Rainbow 6 addict i simply KNOW that a shotgun should sound louder and that the prifle shots simply don’t sound right... But most of the “normal” people out there shouldn’t be able to notice those small details.

My final complaint is the AI of the animals; in some situations they appear to be hopelessly lost. In one case i wounded a boar with a sniper rifle shot. Instead of trying to run away or hide, it started running in circles, always coming back to the same spot where i shot it, until i simply had to put it out of its misery. Hopefully the AI issue will be addressed in future patches. Overall Carnivores: Ice Age is a good game, but there were too little improvements in this version: there was no noticeable update to the graphics engine and not many new weapons were added. Of course all the terrains and animals are brand new and there’s a new supply ship options, so the game doesn’t look like a clone of the older versions, but it could’ve been better. Although, even with all the latter said, the game is still almost a must-buy thanks to its fair price, low system requirements and high replayability. As well, it will please both hard-core action gamers and hunting sim addicts. It’s very interface intuitive and easy to get into... I can personally say that this is a game that i will play for a while.