Who, as a child, hasn’t wished they could be a dinosaur and go on adventures in the ancient world? Saurian is an Early-Access Game on Steam, which offers us that experience on PC. I jumped at the chance to play the game, and explore the world of being a dinosaur, and Hell Creek. I was very excited, and very enthused, to put my gaming rig through its paces!
Reality dampened that a bit. The game set a high bar, and it is very obviously an early access game. You can only be a Dakotaraptor; other options aren’t available as of yet. The AI leaves much to be desired, with dinosaurs getting “stuck” on vegetation rather frequently, going in circles, or walking in place.
The population of the world is sparse; with the dinosaurs being portrayed as primarily loners, in spite of fossil trackway evidence. In spite of a massive amount of bug fixes, there remain a lot more to go through, and a lot of optimization to do, and even computers with decent specs can easily get bogged down.
Get past that, and get the game running, and you are an adorable baby Dakotaraptor, with rather indifferent parents, in a world where everything bigger than your big toe can probably kill you. As you get older, and survive longer, you hit different stages of your life, and can eat more dinosaurs; and more dinosaurs find you less of an annoyance to stomp, and more of a meal. It is not an easy life being a Dakotaraptor! Luckily, since the AI is lackluster at the moment, hiding from things that want to eat you is not too hard.
The game has a lovely premise of being a dinosaur and tromping through prehistoric worlds, but in execution it falls short so far. Hopefully by the time it’s out of Early Access, it will live up to its hope and hype, but for now, I cannot really recommend it. There are a lot of bugs, and the game has a long way to go. Animations stutter and go through the same loops on repeat, and the AI is dreadful. There honestly isn’t much to do, or interact with yet; this feels more like the skeleton of a game than an actual game itself. Hopefully as time progresses, it will grow into a wonderful game, where you can really feel like you are stepping into the life of a dinosaur.
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