Ride dinosaurs and shoot guns at other dinosaurs. Just, that concept, let it sink in. That is something else, that is something brave, something unheard of, and it's exactly the concept that Dino Squad wants us to revel in. I'm still sitting in awe of the gall it took to put this concept together. Dinosaurs that shoot guns. It's utterly ridiculous. And I love it. It's worth downloading and playing just for the concept alone, and the pulsing EDM that plays? Don't get me started.
Dino Squad is, I suppose, a third-person shooter where you ride around on a dinosaur, attack and capture points on the map, and shoot down other dinosaur riders. Though the dinosaurs are so big, the riders might as well not be there. I suppose dinos that could shoot guns by themselves was too much of a stretch of the imagination.
The concept is there to draw you in, and it does a fine job of that, but the gameplay is what is meant to keep you engaged in the experience. Though as of right now, it's tough to say how that will all pan out in the near future after launch.
Essentially this is a point control PVP game, like Domination from Call of Duty. There are four important points on the map for you to take control of, and once you've got them, you'll slowly be awarded points. The team with the most points when the time elapses, or when the point maximum is reached, will be crowned the victor. It will be a very familiar online mode to many, that's for sure, but that's not a bad thing either.
There are several varieties of dino for you to earn and ride, each with different sizes, speeds, base weapons, and special moves. You can be a tiny, agile dinosaur with a shotgun, which can strafe in and out of rage at ease, or a huge, slow, high-health behemoth which can tank almost anything but won't be able to rush to anyone's rescue.
So there is a degree of strategy in play when you choose your dino and jump into battle - a well-balanced team should, theoretically, pose a bigger threat than a team that is full of the same kind of unit.
When it comes to strategy in moment-to-moment combat, well, it's basically all about operating within your weapon's range. Don't run up to enemies that deal high damage up-close, and ensure you can out-manoeuvre opponents if necessary.
Right now, the game is hard to judge as it's pre-release, and most importantly, the servers aren't populated with thousands of human players. It's impossible to really see how tactics in-game and how enjoyable the experience will be without all of that crucial information.
But as of right now, this is what you need to know: this game is about riding dinosaurs and shooting guns. That is ridiculous, and you need to play it, with the EDM soundtrack blaring, because it will make you smile at the absurdity of it all. And hey, it's pretty fun to play, too.
Once you get past the core concept, it is very questionable whether or not Dino Squad will have the legs to live on in the hostile mobile market, or whether it will be extinct on arrival. As of right now, I have high hopes for this slightly goofy shooter, but I do have a major issue with the gacha system.
It isn't the fact that it has a gacha system, just they tend to cause more issues long-term with competitive games. Again, as of right now, it's too early to make any kind of judgement, but we will be keenly watching the launch of Dino Squad. I really do want a dinosaur-riding third-person shooter to be a success, just out of principle, but I want it done right.