|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Propaganda Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Touchstone||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 31, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-16 (online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Jwan Jordan
August 2, 2007 - For those of you who don't know, Turok is an Acclaim Entertainment comic turned video game which was developed for the Nintendo 64. It has received several iterations since then, but only recently has it been revealed that Turok is coming to the new generation consoles. Every Turok game is different but holds foundational similarities, the biggest being dinosaurs.
This iteration of Turok puts you in the first person perspective of Joseph Turok, a special ops agent who has to hunt down his former mentor, Kane, who has now turned rebel and escaped to another planet. It is up to Joseph and his crew to chase and capture Kane. Problems arise though when Joseph's ship crash lands on a genetically altered planet lurking with horrifying predators. Joseph Turok has to not only take down enemy soldiers and find Kane, but avoid becoming lunch for roaming dinosaurs.
Crash landing on an alien planet would spell certain doom for most of us at CheatCC. Joseph Turok, on the other hand, is courageous and ambitious with everything to prove. Joseph won't just sit around and die either. With the use of an array of creative weaponry coined by the series, stealth tactics, and the manipulation of enemy A.I., our protagonist just may stand a chance. Turok is a first person shooter, but certain actions trigger brief third person cutscenes. For instance, walking behind an enemy with your knife and pressing the right trigger will cause Joseph to kick the legs from beneath his enemy and stab him. No, this game is not making Nintendo Wii's top list. What I really like is how simple and quick switching weapons can be. By pressing the directional pad, you can instantly change from your combat knife to your crossbow or double wielding pistols. Judging by the trailer, there will be plenty of futuristic weapons to use. From pistols to shot guns, knives, crossbows, and unique weapons yet to be named, the options are plentiful. A specific unique mechanic is the use of the crossbow. How long you draw back your arrow determines the strength of impact. For instance, shooting arrows rapidly will cause weak impact that some enemies can even pull out of them, while holding the arrow for too long will cause your arms to shake and disturb your aim.
The environments looks large, ominous, and unforgiving. You will never know what is lurking behind the tall windy grass fields, and it is not unusual for beast of any size to leap out at you. In the event you are caught off guard by a dinosaur, it triggers a third person perspective showing what situation you are in and you must hectically mash the right trigger button to toss the beast off you. Succeeding in doing this will toss the beast off you, while failing, well, we don't want to discuss that part. Adding more to the game is the beautiful and ironically terrifying graphics. You will definitely want to stop and marvel at the massive world filled with lush fields, never ending skies, and suddenly you are facing a giant T-rex. The light and particle effects are great, even down to the small metal sections on Joseph's gloves which reflect light naturally. The texture mapping on the dinosaurs is very well layered giving the illusion of real reptilian skin. As you walk through the tall grassy fields, the wind blows tossing the grass to and fro with a very natural feel. The grass seems to move independently and naturally, often misleading you as to whether or not a dinosaur is lurking just in front of you.
What is really awesome about Turok is the enemy A.I. You have the enemy soldiers, who are obviously after you and the dinosaurs who are neutral. This makes for some interesting combinations while on the field. The dinosaurs are neutral meaning they hunt and prowl the area naturally without a specific enemy. This means you can intentionally use the dinosaurs to your advantage. Should you want to take the path of the stealthy killer, you can observe your enemies from the distance. Should you see a dinosaur to your left and a soldier to your right, all it takes is a simple flare toss or shot at the dino and it will violently attack the nearest enemy. Don't think they'll stop there though, afterwards they will look for more prey, namely you! The dinosaurs in Turok are subjective to noise, flares, combat, bullets, and chaos so you can imagine the pros and cons of certain strategies. Developer Propaganda Games doesn't force you to be either stealthy or aggressive. It is completely up to you; there are no predetermined penalties for such choices. Be warned though, if you go Rambo on an enemy camp with guns blazing you may wake a school of predators within range and they too will join the foray. If you've watched Jurassic Park you should know, dinosaurs are never your friend. Turok is shaping along well and looks to be a great iteration to the series. I'm looking forward to slaying dinos with the best of them 1st quarter next year.
CCC Freelance Writer