Turok: Evolution

Overview

You play as Tal’set, a character first introduced in the first Turok game and you must…er…kill dinosaurs. The story has little bearing on the game and even less important to the player and seems to take a backseat throughout. This is to the extent that I cannot even remember it. This is when you start to get the feeling your beginning to play just another average FPS.

Gameplay

Basically it’s traditional style, blast your way through dinosaurs with big weapons solving puzzles which open doors and finding people/things. Turok really seems to have gone back to basics in a bid to win back its loyal fans. Basically there are two types of enemy to deal with, the devious patrol forces and the dumb wild life. Forget what your heard about the intelligence of raptors in Jurassic Park as here they’re just plain stupid. They don’t surround you and foil you with genius tactics, they just run at you with their mouths open. Thankfully as I said before though, the humanoid foes have more brain power and know when to run when they are losing, however, when pushed they can be just as stupid and most of the time, if you’re in the right position, really bad aims. The enemies towards the middle and end of the game are really well designed though and have some meaty weapons on them.

There are occasions when Turok is a lot of fun as is the case with many FPS’s. Picking off unsuspecting forces at distance and watching their blood paste all over the place is still a lot of fun. A lot of the time though, the great action and puzzles lapse in favour of tedious jumping tasks. It is important to give the game a little time as it does start off pretty slow but when you progress and get to your bigger guns, more cunning enemies and action packed situations you find an above average shooter shine through, the trouble is it doesn’t seem consistent.

One good thing that can be said about the gameplay is the good range of devastatingly accurate and fun weapons on offer. There are all your favourite Turok styles here from Bows and axes to pistols and guns. They would be a lot more fun to use if the controls where a little more sensitive though as movement with the analog sticks to aim is pretty slow. The rubbish aim of the enemy gives you more than enough time to over come this at certain points though. Other than that, the controls are also another good thing about this game and I can’t imagine playing it with a hulk of an Xbox controller.

Sounds are pretty good and the bone crunching snaps and grinds add some little needed atmosphere to the game, which seemed to be done a lot better in previous outings.

Graphics

The graphics here are unfortunately mediocre and nostalgic, being in the sense that it looks like it should be another N64 game. If you forgot what N64 graphics were like then think about when you’re drunk and everything blurs, and then you get a headache, got it? That’s them. Obviously these are better than the N64 could manage but it still looks like one of grans’ watercolours. Anti-aliasing has obviously been applied here but to no great effect. Having said this though, the slightly blurred textures makes the surrounding foliage look surprisingly better and very bushy.

The foliage blows a little in the wind but things like the water are done poorly. Unfortunately animations are also rushed and linear. Big plant eating dinos seem to do nothing more than eat and move their necks and seem to be unaware of you hacking at their leg with an axe. Other dinosaurs just seem to move in the same way with one movement. They don’t turn their feet or their bodies when running but instead slide their feet around like Michael Jackson doing the moon walk. However, the more intelligent forces armed with weapons like your own know how to hide behind trees and shot out in style. They also make surrendering gestures when you get close and their heads can be severed to reveal blood flowing from the wound like a hose. These details are down with little graphical presence though and the bodies disappear…Comes on boys, we’re not in the dark ages.

The textures are also pretty tame and the blood just spurts out in an old fashioned doom/mortal kombat way. The environments and some of the dinos are detailed on the whole but things could have been so much better than this. There seems to be little effect on things from your actions and from the things going on around.

What the hell are those borders doing there as well?

Fun Factor

There are instances when the action in Turok is intense and fun filled but the multi-player is the best place for it. On offer are several modes with dedicated multi-player maps making others cower in comparison. If flying on the back of a dinosaur equipped with futuristic style guns isn’t fun then I don’t know what is.

Overall

An average FPS which tries to win back it’s following with lame PR stunts and back-to-basics gameplay. Occasionally it succeeds but most of the time it falls short of the mark with instances of unadulterated tedium. The multi-player mode succeeds in being the most fun area of the game and offers some replay value but too many flaws make this a rent only title for the PS2. Try it on one of the other consoles instead.