Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
doesn't try to hide what it is or pretend to be anything else other than an enjoyable game for the younger generation. Instead of creating a new experience for the license, the developers have decided to just copy existing franchises and mash them together to great effect. Pulling from gaming greats like Mario
, God of War
, Prince of Persia
, and even Crimson Skies
, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
is at least looking for inspiration in the right places.
From what I can assume, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is pulling straight from the movie's story. Wooly mammoth, Manny, is now expecting a child with his love, Ellie, and he has some hesitation about being a new dad. Manny wants to protect his soon to be mammoth baby (cub?) the best he can, so he enlists the help of his furry friends.
The entire crew starts off the game by preparing for the newborn and finding shelter. Sid has to help Ellie ease her stress by finding crystals and jewels to give to her as gifts. Honestly, any part of the game playing as Sid I found incredibly boring. That is really my only complaint because Sid is such a big part of the first half, but it leaves a bad first impression.
The overall structure is set up to be streamlined and each level is different from the last. You will eventually play as five different characters throughout the entire experience and travel from frigid tundras to lush underground cave-jungles. The squirrel-thing, Scrat, has 2D levels in order to reach his beloved acorn, the nimble Diego has a racing level where he has to catch up to a meal, but the new character, Buck, is the most enjoyable.
Buck's levels are much more combat-oriented than any of the others and there is a basic combat system complete with different weapons, combos, and even boss fights. If just these portions had been released, I would probably have liked the overall experience a bit more because it might be simple, but playing as the feral mongoose with a bounty-hunter bravado is more satisfying than I expected.