In movies and, more recently, video-games, Nazis—and the the SS in particular—have increasingly filled the role of generic “Bad Guys,” perpetrating the kind of over-the-top evil typically reserved for super villains. Where gritty depictions of counterfactual history are concerned, the plot is often cheapened with Nazi antagonists motivated by evil for the sake of Nazi evil.
Dino D-Day is not such a game. When developers 800 North and Digital Ranch brought the SS Dinosauriergruppe and their Allied counterparts to life, they embraced the darkly humorous side of what Nazi Bad Guys have become in pop culture. With lines like “Going to war with dinosaurs is the purest expression of the ideals of National Socialism” and “I regret to inform you that your son has been eaten by dinosaurs in the line of duty,” Dino D-Day provides refreshing satirical ambience and self-depreciating humor, well-steeped in post-war mythos.
Based on the same video technology as successful, albeit somewhat older games like the Portal and Left 4 Dead series, Dino D-Day is crisp, stable, and familiar, if unlikely to win awards for graphic benchmarks. In game play, there is an imperfect but functional balance between the human and dinosaur Axis team, and the all-human but more technologically diverse Allied team. When your trooper’s M1 Garand just can’t take down that dilophosaur before it manages to snatch you up in its jaws, you can always switch to the medic class for your next life and use the Sten gun to bring the brute down before it gets within chomping range.
This Source Engine–based multiplayer shooter is a jewel that suffers mostly from an unfortunately small player base. After a small-scale release amid a string of blockbuster titles, Dino D-Day has only a small corps of dedicated players, so it’s hard to consistently get a good game going on short notice. This reviewer’s recommendation is that you only buy this game if you have a group of 4 to 8 willing friends, so that you can always get a good round going on your own time. If you know you have the adequate numbers, this title just might be worth the investment.
To Play, visit dinodday.com.