Turok. We all have fond memories of playing the original game and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil. However, the series has waned with Turok 3: Shadows of Oblivion and more recently Turok: Evolution. With a new generation of consoles can Turok once again be one of the top first person shooters? You're going to have to read on to find out.
Graphics + Audio:
Turok runs on the Unreal Engine, the same engine that Gears of War uses. One would expect the graphics to at least be close to that of Gears. However, the answer is a resounding, no. Running through the jungle and seeing several 2D clumps of grass doesn't exactly meet standards set by other games using the Unreal Engine. Aside from certain graphical call-backs to the days of Turok on the N64, there is also a lot of texture pop-ups. One specific instance is seeing a T-Rex come charging on screen. He appeared to have slick skin, then the texture popped in. Characters look fine and on most occasions so do the graphics. While Turok is aiming to regain the status of the first few games in the series, having the same graphics 10 years later is not the way to go.
All sound effects are pretty realistic. Some of the guns sound a bit scaled back when being fired, so they don't give you that nice powerful *boom* that you may be used to. Dinosaurs sound like what you would expect of them. The small ones growl and hiss, the large ones roar. The cast of voices for this game is exceptional, all the soldiers in Whiskey Company and Wolf Pack sound great. The soundtrack is ok, mostly tribal-sounding music.
The game starts off looking like it will have a pretty good one, showing a cutscene of Turok in Wolf Pack (the group of enemies you face) and his new Whiskey Company teammates' hesitance to accept him. However, when the ship crashes down, so does the story. After you crash, the story switches from hunting down Kane, to finding a way to get off the planet. This is fine, but the fact that the original story is never advanced in any significant way is very disappointing. At least answering several questions that are very significant to what occurs in the game would be nice. Such questions are: why is Kane on this planet, why is he so wanted, and why did he screw with this planet's ecosystem so that dinosaurs (and giant scorpions/flies) are created? Oh and there is a bald Wolf Pack second in command (maybe) that appears in several flashbacks and pays Turok visits a few times on the planet. What happened to him?
The controls are typical for a first person shooter. D-pad selects weapons, right trigger fires and left trigger throws grenades. There should be a dash control though, seeing as you will be in many situations where you are surrounded by dinosaurs and facing almost certain death. Rushing out is the only way to survive. Like most other aspects of Turok, controls are fine, but not amazing. One awesome return to the series is the bow. You can perform quiet kills from a distance to keep guards unaware of your presence. Also, you can pull back long enough and actually pin enemies to the wall, which is pretty cool. While the bow is nice, the real star is the knife. You have it for the entire campaign. It kills almost any enemy with one stab. All you have to do is get close to an enemy and pull the right trigger when the indicator pops up, then just sit back and watch your jaw drop as you see an awesome knife kill. There are several kill animations for each creature and Wolf Pack members. Unfortunately the game loses touch with the original’s habit of having over the top weapons. They keep the arsenal pretty tame with the standard machine guns, shotguns, rocket launcher and flamethrower. Aside from the knife and bow, the most unique weapons in this game are the sticky bomb gun and the plasma rifle. However, the fact that each weapon has an alternate fire is pretty cool.
There are five different modes to choose from including Small Free For All, Large Free For All, Small Team, Large Team, and Co-op. There really is no difference from Small and Large modes other than the fact that it is possible for Large games to have four more people play. Even this is not likely since so few people play it. You will be lucky to get four people in either FFA and six people in either team. FFA is always Deathmatch, which is extremely annoying. Team games have Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Wargames, a mode where one team defends their base while the other team attempts to activate bombs planted there. To tell you the truth, it’s not that fun, but seeing as there are only two other game modes, Wargames is a much needed addition to multiplayer. A unique feature that really sets Turok’s multiplayer apart from other first person shooters is what sets it apart in single player, dinosaurs. Dinosaurs roam around certain areas of each map and will attack anyone that comes near them. They add another factor to watch for in multiplayer.
Co-op is a mode where up to four players can work together completing three (four, if you get the DLC pack) different missions. Since there are four people playing, the amount of dinos and Wolf Pack are drastically increased. While difficult, they are quite fun to play. Each checkpoint rewards several more lives for the players to share. It’s a shame that so few people play Turok’s multiplayer because this mode is truly the star of it.
The majority of these achievements are earned in multiplayer which is a shame because when I first played there was a still a decent amount of people online. Now, you'd be hard pressed to get more than 2 people in a game. If you feel like trying to get the online achievements legitimately, there is a good mix between easy and hard ones, but odds are you will have to boost. There are 2 achievements, play a 6v6 public game and an 8v8 private game, that will require you to set up a gaming session. There are only about a dozen campaign achievements. These are mostly story-progression and getting kills with a certain weapon either cumulatively or in one shot. Completing the campaign on Inhuman difficulty is extremely challenging and at the moment I've only managed to get about halfway through.
Graphics- 7/10- Having 2D clumps of grass is unforgivable. Overall game looks good albeit some pop-up issues.
Audio- 8/10- Nothing done bad here, and the work done by the cast is great.
Campaign- 7/10- Story starts off good, then seems to take a backseat by the end.
Gameplay- 8/10- Controls are fine, knife and bow are sweet. Disappointing array of weapons.
Multiplayer- 8/10- Lack of modes and players keeps the game from attaining true multiplayer greatness.
Achievments- 6/10- Fairly good list, however since most are MP and few people play anymore it loses a lot of its appeal.
I personally really enjoyed this game, a true diamond in the rough if you ask me, so while most people would probably give this game a 3/5 I'm giving it a 4. Seeing as Turok sells for around $5 on Amazon, there is no reason not to pick this up if you are at all interested.