Riveting Reviews of Randomness – Dino D-Day

Today is the final date for entries for our review contest! Get your entries in before midnight of today for a final chance to win some awesome games. And to celebrate the contest and spur you on, here’s my review for Dino D-Day.

I’ve got so many unplayed games, but I don’t know why Dino D-Day is among them. Maybe it’s because most of the dinosaurs are Nazis, but it’s not really their fault. When I mentioned it to aabicus, among the many other unplayed games I have, he said that it was a ghost town. But is it? I actually chose to do Dino D-Day because I noticed that it had an update back in April. Is the game really that dead when new maps have been added and there are balance changes? There’s clearly enough people to warrant the addition of two new maps, with four game modes each.

Anyway, to the game itself. I started by reading guides, as I waited for the game to install. It’s 4GB, and there’s a DLC too apparently, which is either free or I don’t own. Unlike other games on Steam, Dino D-Day doesn’t give me a list of DLCs, and doesn’t have a DLC tab on its properties menu, but it turns out the T-Rex IS a DLC thing I have to buy.

The main menu, with the sort of action pose you'd expect out of this.
The main menu, with the sort of action pose you’d expect out of this.

Sadly, upon loading the game, it turns out aabicus was right. There were no servers for me to play on. There were two servers with players on, both with a latency of 300 or more. It would be unfair to do a review while playing in such abysmal conditions. But there’s an option to play with bots, so let’s do that!

First things first, the way this is all laid out is really, really good. Gets you into the mood of things. I’m actually very impressed on how the game looks and plays. The sounds in particular are genuinely quite good, there’s even a reason why players are hearing music as they play, it’s your side playing propaganda as you fight. Only sounds I don’t like are the sounds when you die. Pretty weird to have a fanfare when you’ve just died. But overall, I’m very impressed.

Loading screens give you some backstory as to what is going on.
Loading screens give you some backstory as to what is going on.

Kinda sad that there’s no tutorial, but I don’t mind, I can play bots and work it out from there. Except there is, in the Extras section, and I missed it. They’re just text tutorials though, so meh.

Three standard difficulty settings, easy, normal and hard. There’s a dinomon setting too. But that very weirdly makes it so bots don’t attack each other. It’s actually pretty freaky. Cool though.

So I jump into a game.

Holy fuck, this is Team Fortress 2 with fucking dinosaurs. This is fucking awesome. Alright, the HUD is a bit hard to read and many of the Ally classes seem a bit same-y in looks, but this is a fucking class-based shooter. A couple of the sounds have been borrowed too, that typical Source sound for resupplies and stuff.

I am Heavy Weapons Dinosaur, and THIS is my gun.
I am Heavy Weapons Dinosaur, and THIS is my gun.

The Allies do actually have a dinosaur class though, called Trigger. Looking at both class menus, each side seems to have its own thing going on. The Allies are all gunners, even their dinosaur buddy, while the Axis have a more rounded roster of gunners, healers, assassins and tanks. It looks unbalanced, but while playing (and watching bots), I noticed that things did kinda balance themselves out a little. A little. The Allies, with everyone having ranged weapons, can mow down the more melee-orientated dinosaurs with ease. You HAVE to be sneaky otherwise you die incredibly quickly. AI bots don’t really get the concept of sneaky. Thing is, the Allies NEED to be stronger because otherwise no one will play as them, but even the human German characters are just as god as the Nazi dinosaurs. Being a giant target and moving slowly, or being small and melee never works against guns.

The classes, even among allies, are somewhat distinct from one another. The human classes do suffer a bit from being unrecognizable from one another, but there’s definitely attempts to try and separate them, as they wear different clothes. The differences between dinosaurs is obvious.

The class menu for the Axis.
The class menu for the Axis.

My favourite classes definitely have to be the minigun dinosaurs. Trigger for the allies and Stygimoloch for the Axis. You have to be really careful to not overheat your gun though, since you’re useless without it. You lack the tankiness or speed to be useful elsewhere, but your melee attack isn’t too bad.

Least favourite class is probably the Compy. It’s a very, very small and fast character, but I feel the ability to blow yourself up isn’t that useful, due to the very small blast radius. You can do more damage by getting three claw kills (which is a good idea to balance out the ability) but you’re so squishy, I feel it’s easier just to use another dinosaur and kill them the normal way.

Bonus points are due with Hissman, the Nazi sniper. He can call in suicidal pterosaur drops. I laughed so much when I pressed E, not knowing what to expect, and all I heard was screeching, a boom and then enemies ragdolling. Fucking hilarious. That’s how Mordekai should have been in Borderlands 1. The Ally Sniper also gets a bonus for the ability to throw rabbits to distract enemy dinosaurs, which is pretty neat.

Oh no, I died. You can really feel the lighthearted mood this game has.
Oh no, I died. You can really feel the lighthearted mood this game has.

One downside is that the class names are a bit hard to actually remember, so I can imagine shot-calling with and against human players to be hit and miss. I found myself calling them by what they did in my head, Medics, Tanks, Snipers, Rocketers (because everyone is technically a soldier already), as well as Compys, Raptors and Micros.

Oh and there’s trading cards. A nice few bonus cents for my Steam Wallet. Can’t complain about that.

Medic!
Medic! Funnily enough, when low on health, your screen goes grey and Medics on your team are highlighted with blue outlines. Neat.

Overall, I give this a 6/10. The graphics are pretty good, there’s varied game modes, the classes are all pretty unique, it actually fits and fills its insane theme pretty well and the sound effects match perfectly. There is also a lot of content, most of the maps are playable with two or three game modes. Dino D-Day is a silly, corny game, but it’s a lot of fun. The biggest problem is how barely anyone is playing it, which means you’re stuck with bot games.

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