Who doesn’t remember playing Turok: Dinosaur Hunter for the Nintendo 64? That was one of the most memorable games outside of the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Goldeneye on the platform. However since that initial game, things seemed to go downhill in a hurry for the franchise, and then for a while there we didn’t hear from Turok. Now in 2008, Turok is back, and this time it is hoping the time away will make you more excited to get back into what was once a critically acclaimed franchise. Can Turok for the Playstation 3 be as successful as its original debut?
Going into a game like Turok, even the most open minded editor out there would get just a little giddy when starting it. There is of course that notion I think in everyone’s mind that Turok has always been destined for greatness, and now on the Playstation 3 you can only hope for great success. But the big question is, can Turok manage to compete in a marketplace that is full of great action games?
In the game Turok, you play the role of Joseph Turok, a pretty standard action hero, a bit of a rough-nosed guns blazing type. According to the game’s story-line, Joseph Turok used to be apart of these gruesome mercenaries called the Wolfpack. Joseph left the group and joined up with a more peaceful group called Whiskey Co., who is now on the hunt for Joseph’s old mentor and leader of the Wolfpack. The story itself was a bit convoluted, it doesn’t necessarily hold a very good pace, nor is it something that draws you into this world that of course contains some pretty ferocious dinosaurs.
So how is Turok as a game? Well it is a pretty straightforward FPS that takes you into a world that instead of taking out the Soviets or the Nazi’s, you’re mainly trying to fend off some pretty large and intimidating dinosaurs, along with a bunch of other animals and enemies in the game. One of the biggest things that struck me was the pure amount of firepower in this game. This world that the game is set in, is very much on the side of pro-guns, every turn in the game has ammunition or different weapons to pick up. I don’t remember one part of the Turok campaign where I was struggling to find ammunition, it is everywhere. This is as close as you can get to just giving the player unlimited ammunition, it is that plentiful.
There is one thing I don’t get, and that is the effectiveness of some weapons and the non-effectiveness of others. For example, the classic bow and arrow which makes a return in Turok is extremely effective. Where as if you have an automatic rifle it can take a spray of bullets to take out an enemy. The unbalanced effectiveness of the weapons doesn’t end there, the knife which is a fun little weapon to play with also is extremely effective, and at times seems far more effective then a shotgun, which doesn’t seem right.
The game itself has a good pace it moves rather fast but the pace works. What doesn’t work however is the game’s direction, especially in boss fights. In fact for the boss fights you literally have no idea as to what you’re supposed to do, and this proves to be extremely frustrating. I can remember quite a few times where I had no idea what to do and just shot at a boss until I realized that method wasn’t working. It is one thing for a game to be challenging, but when they throw you into missions blind that’s another story.
I have to say the final results of the single player is pretty mixed. The mechanics work, and there is nothing revolutionary, but they do get the job done. The story is really weak, it offers very little extra incentive to go through the single player campaign. There is the multiplayer however but for those who have played a first person shooter in the last three or four years already know what to expect from the multiplayer of Turok. There is nothing new, nor exciting about the online play. It is there, it works, but I have a feeling most will pass on it in favor of much better online FPS.
We are in the HD-era, and we are beginning to have much higher standards of what we as gamers find to be good looking games. Turok is not a "great" looking game - it has some nice touches, but never makes it to that full HD package. What you get are a lot of good and a lot of bad, areas in which the developers focused and other areas where they seemed to skim by. Turok is the kind of title that should be explosive on the screen, it is really built to do that, but the final results are some blurry environments, weak animation, and at times a choppy frame rate. The PS3 version is actually a bit worse in terms of some pretty rough "jaggies" found throughout.
For all the complaints I have for Turok, there is no doubt that there is fun to be had in the game, it just comes about sparingly. There are some good bursts of action, some great enemies, but unfortunately this isn’t a constant thing. There is far too much of the game where you’re going to be lost and frustrated and most likely wanting to just throw in the towel and move on. However for those who stick with the game, there is still some to look forward to, even if it is sprinkled a bit too thin.
Turok is one of those games that has the potential of greatness on the Playstation 3. However even with the potential, you have to capitalize on it, and this is not a game that does that. Hardcore Turok fans are still going to find some of the nostalgic touches worth the adventure. However for most, Turok is one of those titles that will look appealing but when you get down to it, Playstation 3 version does not deliver on all its promises.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.