Turok is a well remembered title from the Nintendo 64 days. It had a couple of good runs, but recently, it’s been more than dead. There’s probably a good reason for that. It’s not the idea behind Turok that’s horrid. It’s the developers that feel they need to invent something new, when in actuality, most Turok fans were perfectly fine with Turok 2: Seeds of Evil. Instead of improving on that game, the developers think it’s time to have some futuristic sci-fi space marine game.
This new Turok is at least better than Turok Evolution, a game which seemed broken at the time of it’s release. So broken, in fact, that I e-mailed Acclaim to tell them I think they released an unfinished beta to the store, and in all honestly, I thought it was. You star as Joe Turok, a Native American an ex-member of Wolfpack and current member of Whiskey Company. You and a crew of space cadets are on their way to find Roland Kane, the leader of Wolfpack and bad guy all-around. Apparently, Joe has betrayed Wolfpack, and certain members just don’t trust the guy. So, while not only trying to find Kane on a dinosaur infested planet, you’re also trying to clear your name.
As far as the story, it’s at least interesting in a ‘B-movie’ sense. It’s not ground-breaking, but that’s not a big issue as at least it’s not completely full of holes. One of the problems with the game is it’s ability to not feel like a Turok game. Going back to the roots of this series, Turok was fighting aliens, dinosaurs, and native-types. It would have been a lot better to take that list and add a few things to it. You do manage to fight a lot of dinosaurs, a lot of the same dinosaurs, but none-the-less you’ll walk away cutting at least 50+ raptor throats in the game. But somehow, they made the game feel like another shooter that just threw dinosaurs into the mix. It’s not a bad game, and the gameplay is at least fun, but it just didn’t capture all of the Turok feel. Maybe it’s just the lack of jungle settings and too much of the base infiltration that irritates. However, with all of that said, I can say they the developers are on the right track to making a game feel more close to the original games.
The weapons are some of your basics: smg, rocket launcher, knife, plasma, minigun. The bow is probably the most Turok-ish of them all, aside from your Rambo blade. They’re all fun to use, and after you get used to the controls (which are a little weird when coming from more modern shooters), the game becomes a blast to lay waste to the unforgiving enemies. Usually, you’ll knife wild dinosaurs while using your guns to take down gunships and Wolfpack team. Thing is, the weapons are fun, but they’re not really too original. I’d have been more happy to have played with some of the Turok 2 guns again, such as the brain-eating gun or the techbow with explosive tips. There are explosive tips in this game, but the tips explode more like a grenade instead of sticking into someone and making their body part explode. All in the name of good graphic violence!
Probably my biggest problem with the game is it’s auto-save feature. There’s parts of the game that are very difficult, but what makes the difficulty frustrating is the saving process. You’ll end up clearing out a nice pile of enemies, get to the next area, clear out a hole mess of enemies again, and then die on the next area. Sometimes, these areas can take a good fifteen minutes to clear, yet there’s just no saving done. The checkpoints are just really far out there. This might not be an issue in the lower difficulty settings, but on really hard, it’s annoying. There’s several moments where I wanted to take the game out and smash it, burn it, and put it out with urine, especially when you’re replaying the same area over and over because something keeps killing you after you clear several areas and no checkpoint. While I find the enemies to be much more merciless in Modern Warfare, Turok takes the difficulty level to new ‘grenade-spam’ heights by not letting me choose when to save nor letting me checkpoint when I’ve cleared a huge wave of enemies.
Multiplayer is at least a bit fun. It’s a typical arena shooter, and you really can’t go too wrong with added multiplayer if the general mechanics are good. Again, it would have been nice to take some pointers from previous Turok titles. While Turok Rage Wars wasn’t the best Turok title either (as it was generally just Turok meets Quake III Arena), there were a few really unique game modes that kept me playing when I was younger, such as shooting the monkey.
This Turok title isn’t evolved enough to be highly recommended, but it’s still a fun play through at least once. If it weren’t for the annoying save features, I’d probably have a different tone.
TL;DR: Rent, but buy Rogaine for those ‘pull your hair out’ moments.