Move Over, Sparkling Vampires. 2015 is the Year of Dinosaurs!
Some kids grew up with Star Wars, some with Pokémon. Others with Harry Potter. While I love all of these things, I grew up in the time of dinosaurs. Dinosaurs dominated. They were everywhere: The Land Before Time, We’re Back!, Disney’s Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs Before Dark, Turok, Dino Crisis and of course… Jurassic Park.
It was the first adult novel I read. In the way that kids would later recite the Pokédex, I prided myself in my knowledge of all the different dinosaurs and the eras they lived in. My room held a respectable collection of dinosaur figurines, and velociraptor decals loomed menacingly from my walls. The first major piece I performed in an orchestra was the Jurassic Park theme.
Dinosaurs were kind of a big deal.
Then, at some point, a Jurassic Park movie sucked. We found out that dinosaurs had feathers, and nobody knew what to think about that. I think someone suggested the idea of a T-Rex with a peacock fan, and literally everyone lost interest.
Except for some dude who, for whatever reason, began fantasizing about Gay Billionaire Dinosaurs In My Butt. I don’t even know.
Dinosaurs faded from memory, banished to the underworld of Weird Fucking Erotica. Until now, apparently?
With the release of Jurassic World fast approaching (are you hype? I’m hype!), dinosaurs are popping up everywhere. It’s not just Jurassic World – there’s been an insurgence of dinosaur game releases coming up and now, even Pixar’s announced a dinosaur film. If that doesn’t bring dinosaurs back, I don’t know what will!
You know what this means. It’s time to put your zombies and sparkling vampires back on the shelf. Dinosaurs are back in fashion!
People of my generation! Ready to get your dinosaur on? Here’s a sample of what’s coming up.
Primal Carnage: Genesis
Genesis, a single player, story-driven campaign for PS4, has been woefully put on hold while they instead focus on its multiplayer shooter counterpart: Extinction. Personally, I could give a fuck less about Extinction, but if it does well, we’ll likely see Genesis sooner rather than later. And that is something I’m incredibly interested in.
Ark: Survival Evolved
Ark needs little introduction. It’s an open world, multiplayer survival game. The announcement says, “Players awake naked and starving on the beach of a mysterious island among a herd of other confused humans. They must then hunt, harvest, craft, research technology, and build shelters to protect against scorching days, freezing nights, volatile weather systems, dangerous wildlife, and potential enemies.”
It doesn’t spark my interest a whole lot, but it’s getting a lot of attention and it’s freaking beautiful so I could be (probably am) wrong. Steam has early access happening now, otherwise you can find it on PS4, Xbone, and Mac next month.
Saurian is an indie game in admittedly slow development, due to a merge and split with another project. Like Ark, it’s an open-world survival game. The twist? There are no humans here. You are hatched as a dinosaur and must grow up and survive against the dangers around you.
What’s most notable is their focus on realistic dinosaurs. The developers are among the few that dare to defy the Jurassic Park standard, and their dinos are bedazzled in feathers. They claim to break new ground with an AI architecture that learns on its own.
Oh, and the concept art is gorgeous.
Iron Sky: The Coming Race
Anyone who’s seen the first Iron Sky knows how garbage it is. Bad movie lovers, eat your heart out! It appears that this film imagines a world with Sarah Palin as president. After the world inevitably ends, she’s whisked away to a safe haven that includes Hitler riding a T-Rex. I mean, why not?
This is for the Sim lovers. Build your own Jurassic Park! You get to extract DNA from fossils, breed and raise dinosaurs, design the theme park and pray that your power grid never fails you. I’m expecting to lose hours of my life to this game and can’t wait for it.
A tech demo will be available for play soon. Keep an eye on their website!
The Good Dinosaur
It’s Pixar. What I have to say doesn’t matter. It’s going to be amazing, and you’ll probably cry.
The Dinosaur Lords
Perhaps the most exciting of all, is the upcoming fantasy novel The Dinosaur Lords, by Victor Milan. George RR Martin himself calls it, “[…]a cross between Jurassic Park and Game of Thrones.” Need anyone in the world say more?
Here’s the synopsis.
A world made by the Eight Creators on which to play out their games of passion and power, Paradise is a sprawling, diverse, often brutal place. Men and women live on Paradise as do dogs, cats, ferrets, goats, and horses. But dinosaurs predominate: wildlife, monsters, beasts of burden-and of war. Colossal plant-eaters like Brachiosaurus; terrifying meat-eaters like Allosaurus, and the most feared of all, Tyrannosaurus rex. Giant lizards swim warm seas. Birds (some with teeth) share the sky with flying reptiles that range in size from bat-sized insectivores to majestic and deadly Dragons.
Thus we are plunged into Victor Milán’s splendidly weird world of The Dinosaur Lords, a place that for all purposes mirrors 14th century Europe with its dynastic rivalries, religious wars, and byzantine politics…except the weapons of choice are dinosaurs. Where vast armies of dinosaur-mounted knights engage in battle. During the course of one of these epic battles, the enigmatic mercenary Dinosaur Lord Karyl Bogomirsky is defeated through betrayal and left for dead. He wakes, naked, wounded, partially amnesiac-and hunted. And embarks upon a journey that will shake his world.
Knights riding dinosaurs. God damn knights riding dinosaurs. Let’s just end this discussion and start with the pre-orders, amirite?