Orion Dino Beatdown — Jetpacks, Dinosaurs and Awesome
When I first heard about Orion Dino Beatdown, it sounded too good to be true. Everybody makes new and different games, but they're rarely a really new idea, and when they make things different it's usually something that ends up boring. Fighting dinosaurs with jet-packs and futuristic weapons sounded awesome. But I became discouraged after reading the gamespy review.
After actually playing the game, I realized that all those game reviewers are a bunch of stuck-up perfection-needing gamers with absolutely no sense of fun. The current glitches they depicted as huge problems were miniscule when I started playing -- I was too busy having fun.
In an extremely open environment you are placed in a continuing battle with the evil forces of dinosaur. Your teammates could be anywhere on the gigantic maps, but in order to keep everyone alive and the base running, hopefully they'll stick around.
After joining the game and leaving the spawn building, one of my friends drove up in a three-person battle car similar to a warthog. As he tried to drive us safely around the hordes of velociraptors that wanted to eat us while running over as many as he could, I manned the auto-cannon in the back. Though I doubt we were pulling much of the weight in the dino defense, I was at least having a good time.
The giant maps play a big part in Orion Dino Beatdown's gameplay. Sometimes you're gonna get run over by the T-Rexes, and all of a sudden you're the only player alive. You have a chance of getting out of danger, hopefully with a vehicle, but it's possible on foot (augmented by jet-pack, of course). In one game I managed to survive while everyone else was dead by being bad at the game and not in the right place. I managed to get in a car and survive a high speed chase from the grasp of giant prehistoric beasts.
The jet-packs do add a lot to the game. Though the review tries to describe them as a superhero-like invincibility, they definitely are not. The raptors can still leap at you, the pterodactyls can still grab you, and after a very short flight your jet-pack will drop you wherever you decided to be. Being dropped into a thicket of raptors and a T-Rex without a charged jet-pack creates more tension than the reviewers ever cared to mention.
I found myself dropping into that situation several times -- always running away while shooting desperately at the hungry T-Rexes while looking to see if my jet-pack was charged yet. The jet-pack, while a very useful tool, is not easy to master. I found that if I managed to see pterodactyls coming I had a chance to jet above them and dodge their attacks. On a few rare occasions, I was actually able to land on the pterodactyls and finish them off with a shotgun.
The weapons in Orion Dino Beatdown vary. Even if you're low on credits, you can usually have a choice of a few weapons. I enjoyed using the shotgun. Running from one place to another while downing every raptor that comes near with a quickly aimed shot is exhilarating. It was also useful when grabbed by a pterodactyl. Other automatic weapons can be used at more of a distance without as much of a risk of reloading. Whatever weapon you have, it'll still be difficult to shoot down a T-Rex.
One game we played pretty well, and managed to survive well into the oncoming dinosaur waves. We tried to protect our bases, but eventually were down to only one. In the last round, several other players and I died, leaving only two left to finish them off. I watched in spectator as one player dangerously fired at the last T-Rex from the ground. Suddenly, in one epic moment, the other player fell from the sky he had jetted up to and at high speed landed on the final dino, crushing him. I guess that's not the kind of thing they like to base a game on, but for me, it was pure awesome.