The first time I played Jurassic War was when I was no older than 10 years old. I was thrilled. Many late evenings and lots of complaining from my mother. My father though, who played this more, were more understanding. This game was the first RTS I’ve ever played in my life, and might have changed my view on gaming the most, together with classics like Doom and Duke Nukem.
So how do you describe a game like Jurassic War? Well it’s a game who take place in the ancient times, with cavemen and dinosaurs! The game is a RTS where you control units and buildings with the goal to destroy your opponent or completing different missions like finding artifacts. You start the game by choosing a tribe, and there’s eight to choose from. Each tribe have their special abilitys with the caveman represented in each tribe. The tribes can have everything from the Tyranno who tame dinosaurs to fight, the Radumba who’s skilled with the bow, the Romack who use conjurors, to the Koomba, the lazy muscleman tribe.
You start off every map with a number of units and eventually buildings with a mission on each map. The goal is to extend your hunting grounds with the prey being wild animals from dogs to the mighty tyrannosaurus rex, at the same time that you’re fighting other tribes. The hunting is also the way to gather the game’s only resources – meat.
What makes this game so unique for its time is the way your units gather experience the more units they kill. In games that we play today where you get experience on your units, there’s often a “hero” who collects items. It’s the same here, but you can use all your units to do this. You can even choose what your units should improve in. If you start off with a so called “commoner”, the weakest of the cavemen, he can focus on being strong with a lot of HP to grow into a muscle man, or if you want an athlete warrior, you can train the commoner to a “warrior”, everything based on how you choose your commoner to train his skills.
Jurassic War is a game that will keep you busy for a lot of hours, as it takes loads and loads of hours to finish, and there are 9 campaigns (!), one for each tribe. If you’re going to play on the hardest difficulties – suit yourself, you will be playing for months.
The good things about Jurassic War, is that though the game is old, it was kinda new with some functions. To train your warriors to become stronger, hunting animals, searching for ancient artifacts, arming your units to the teeth and finally just burn your neighbor tribe to the ground. That my friends. That’s a mighty feeling.
The music and sound in the game is also good. The soundtrack makes you feel like you’re in Jura, and there’s even a jukebox so you can choose the song you want to listen to. And the sound when a t-rex roars out of the forest, that’s nothing to play with.
The bad thing about the game is the AI, that’s sometimes very confusing and sometimes you don’t understand what your opponent is doing. Standing in their hunting grounds and just waiting for you to attack them, without showing any will at all to attack you. Another bad thing is that the units have a very short agro-range, which means that if two units stand, let’s say 3 squares away from each other, they are not going to help each other if attacked. It’s also pretty annoying when you are going to move your army around on the map, as they have a tendence to get stuck in trees or even bridges. I mean, how hard could it be to pass a f#cking bridge?
The graphics though are ok, with the landscape maybe a little boring, but the units look just fine and the buildings looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
So my final words. Jurassic War is a very entertaining game which had far too little attention when it came out. If you can play this game today, is it still up to date? Yes if you can look past some of the bugs this is a really good game. When you get the hang of it, you will have many rampaging hours on the Jurassic Island.
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