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Do Dinosaurs Have A Place In Survival Horror?



I’ve been a dinosaur nut for as long as I can remember. I wore out the VHS tapes for the first three Jurassic Park films and was brought back to my childhood standing in line waiting to see Jurassic World back in 2015.

My love for these prehistoric creatures is as strong as ever today and the same can be said for dinosaur related video games. Now, while we have a select few dinosaur games out there today such as Primal Carnage: Extinction, Dino D-Day, and the upcoming Mesozoica to name a few, there’s always been that gaping hole left by the Dino Crisis franchise of games. That gaping hole is a survival-horror game featuring dinosaurs and I believe we’re long overdue for something featuring these majestic creatures.

Recently, there have been whispers of seeing a ‘Dino Crisis’ revival, specifically from Masachika Kawata whom not only was a producer on the amazingly terrifying Resident Evil 7, but he also worked on the original Dino Crisis back in the day. You can read all of that here from our very own, Pat Torfe.

Dino Crisis is very similar to Capcom’s other franchise, Resident Evil. Or rather the earlier titles with fixed cameras and tank controls.

While Dino Crisis remains to be both my favourite horror game of all time it also stands out as one of my favourite games of all time nestled comfortably in the top three with The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and the original Dark Souls.  The sequel was pretty great as well, and was more of the same and brought out more ruthless dinosaur enemies, and the success of this series spawned a rather dumbed-down sequel in ‘Dino Crisis 3’ which was set in space with parasitic alien dinosaurs on the original Xbox. It wasn’t great, and sadly seemed to be the death of this beloved franchise.

Thankfully you can still find the two original games on the PSN Store in their full glory. Seriously, go play them if you haven’t. They still hold up, and if you’re a fan of the original Resident Evil titles and the recent HD remasters of the Remake and Zero you should gel just fine with these masterpieces.

We then had a pretty cool free indie game created by a graduating student team known as ‘Kriegsgraben und Stormvogel’ and was developed in the Unity Engine. This game is called ‘1916 – Der Unbekannte Krieg’ and saw the player take control of a soldier during WW1 and thrust into the trenches while a pack of what seem to be dinosaurs break through the front-lines and now you’re thrust into this game of survival in these trenches avoiding dinosaurs and the mustard gas surrounding the place.

It’s an eerie game and the trenches of World War 1 is an excellent setting. I played it back when it first released and recall myself jumping and shouting profanities while I got ambushed by said dinosaurs. As mentioned above, it’s free to play and you can download and play the game over on its IndieDB page.

The game featured a minimal art-style, and was black and white. The claustrophobic trenches really added to the horror aspect of the game while the dinosaurs chased you.

And, that’s really all that stands out to me at this moment in terms of dinosaur themed survival horror games which is a shame. Dinosaurs really lend themselves to being forces to be reckoned with and developers could really capitalize on that. Imagine yourself, playing an Outlast or more recently a RE7 style game where you’re on an island all by your lonesome after your plane crashes, or the boat you were on sank and you’re surrounded by dense vegetation and you can hear what sounds like distant roars or cries of some unknown animal.

As you progress your way through the jungle, the ground begins to shake and a Tyrannosaurus goes lumbering past just as you dive behind a log and use it for cover. This monstrous reptile sniffs the air around you, looking for its prey.  It’s massive head slowly swivels towards the log and…

You get the idea. But what do you the readers think? Should dinosaurs see a return to the survival-horror genre and if so how could it work and what would you like to see? Would an HD remaster of Dino Crisis be an amazing idea? What about a game with the similar gameplay and feel to RE7 but you’re on a tropical island or abandoned dinosaur theme park?

The possibilities seem endless for dinosaur related horror games. Almost like they’re 65 million years in the making.