The only difference between Carnivores: Ice Age and the previous games is that there aren't any dinosaurs to shoot this time.
Published in 1998, the original Carnivores arrived just in time to cash in on the popularity of the hunting genre. One year earlier, the budget-priced Deer Hunter introduced players to this type of game, which used a first-person view to simulate the hunter having to stalk his wild prey. Carnivores took this concept one step further by placing you in a fictitious yet realistic-looking setting in which dinosaurs roamed the land. You'd get to hunt these as though they were deer--the key difference being that a lot of them could fight back. Carnivores was an interesting game, and it actually featured a rather impressive 3D-graphics engine as well. One year later, the sequel to Carnivores introduced a more open-ended play style but remained basically identical to its predecessor. And now, more than one year after Carnivores 2, the third installment in the series is once again essentially the same game as the very first. The only difference between Carnivores: Ice Age and the previous games is that there aren't any dinosaurs to shoot this time.
Carnivores: Ice Age is only superficially different from its two predecessors, and its superficial differences don't even amount to much. The game recycles the same exact 3D graphics engine that was used in the previous two installments, and while this engine was actually rather impressive several years ago, it doesn't look like much the third time around. A lot of the engine's problems still remain in Carnivores: Ice Age, most notably in the way that objects such as trees and shrubs tend to get very blocky when they're viewed up close. Also, although most of the game's five similar-looking hunting environments are covered in snow, nothing--not even a gigantic woolly mammoth--leaves prints in the snow. Nothing left footprints in previous Carnivores games either, but being able to track your enemies through the snow would have been a perfectly suitable way of enhancing the gameplay of the third game in the series.
The game recycles all the same weapons as Carnivores 2, which itself added only one new weapon to the original game's selection. The small selection of weapons in Ice Age still includes a pistol, shotgun, rifle, crossbow, double-barreled shotgun, and sniper rifle. The latter weapon remains especially disappointing, as you can't even actually see the rifle--instead, you're limited to using it from a locked, slightly zoomed-in perspective. The powerful, high-tech crossbow and the double-barreled shotgun (which looks like it was taken straight out of id Software's classic shooter sequel, Doom II) are still the most satisfying. Certainly, the fact that the Carnivores series essentially plays like a hunting simulation precludes the inclusion of any particularly original weapons; but nevertheless, there's no shortage of variety in real-life firearms, so the weapons in Ice Age could have at least looked and sounded different than in the previous games.
As in the other Carnivores games, the actual creatures in Carnivores: Ice Age look excellent. Clearly, these are the focus of the game. As the title suggests, there are no dinosaurs in Carnivores: Ice Age--instead, you'll get to hunt various gigantic, fur-covered prehistoric mammals, including mammoths, rhinos, deer, wolves, bears, and, of course, saber-toothed tigers--plus, for good measure, a bipedal prehistoric bird. Most every one of these creatures looks very lifelike. You can tell a lot of time went into making them look and move realistically. You can walk right up to them and watch them wander about in the game's observer mode, and it's actually quite enjoyable to do this for a while. Most of the animals seem to act realistically as well, as the meeker ones will flee if they notice you, while the tougher ones will rush toward you for the kill.