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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Acclaim

 

Developer

Acclaim

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q3 2002

 

 

- Constant action FPS

- Some inventive weapons

- Flying missions RULE (although are freaking hard!)

- Probably the goriest FPS series on the market

 

 

- Disturbingly linear game play, even for an FPS

- Some absolutely horrible textures on some surroundings

- Claustrophobic level design (can’t venture very far away from path)

 

 

Review: Turok: Evolution (Gamecube)

Review: Tribes: Aerial Assault (Playstation 2)

Review: Turok: Evolution (XBox)

 

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Turok: Evolution

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

There’s just something about the name Turok that makes me want to run through the open jungle shouting TOOOOORRRROOOOKKKKK!! I can’t explain it, it’s just one of those primal instincts – like my unnatural desire to roll around in the grass whenever it’s sunny or to smear myself in chocolate pudding every time that I hear the word “vitreous”.

 

Anyways, I digress.

 

Turok: Evolution (TE) is the latest return to the Lost Land, this time following Tal’Set of the Saquin nation. As the game begins, you witness the slaughter of Tal’Set’s people at the hands of the Captain Bruckner (a dangerous Union soldier who leads a division of soldiers in campaigns against Indian tribes). After the two are transported through time and space, Tal’Set’s wounds are tended to and he is pressed into battle for control of the Lost Land. Taking the mantle of Turok, Tal’Set is going to have some difficulty in lasting through the brutality and the shear numbers of the opposition. And unfortunately, Captain Bruckner is here as well (aligned with the enemy, of course) and odds are that you’re going to have to cross swords with him at some point.

 

turok-evolution-1.jpg (120552 bytes)          turok-evolution-2.jpg (112909 bytes)

 

For the unitiated, TE continues in the same vein as the previous Turok games – you have to fight against both superior numbers (dino-like soldiers) and the occasional dinosaur that thinks you might be a tasty snack. Most of the Turok games have been best known for their difficult battles against numerous enemies – the battles here are more like moving between stationary fights than a search and destroy FPS. As a result, using any opportunity to thin out your opposition is highly recommended (I’d definitely recommend getting familiar with the sniper options of your favorite weapons). Because of these frequent ambushes, your opposition has a tendency to just sit and camp (hey, they’re lizards – what do you expect? Nobel Laureates?); while this certainly makes it easier for you, the shear numbers and amount of ammunition being thrown at you will whittle down your health continuously. The level design really magnifies these types of attacks – despite the fact that a majority of the levels are open jungle, you’re still kept within a couple hundred feet of the main path at all times. (Why they couldn’t open up the levels more is beyond my comprehension.)

 

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For a FPS placed in a pre-industrial revolution jungle world, there certainly are vast number of weapons to choose from (most of which also possess modifications to inflict additional modes of pain on the opposition). The old Turok mainstay of the bow is back (as well as everyone’s favorite Tekbow), a handy club (just isn’t an FPS without some blunt instrument right?), as well as the pistol (with its Sniper scope modification), the shotgun, grenades, flechette gun (with a 

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mini-gun transformation for mass destruction capability), my favorite, the flamethrower (with a napalm option), the spider mine, the super-fun rocket launcher (with nuclear warhead attachment option), Plasma cannon, anti-grav beam, gravity disrupter, and the extremely destructive Dark Matter Cube (think Star Trek style destruction… anti-matter breaches, tears in the space-time continuum kind-o-destruction). Despite the large number of weapons to choose from, odds are that you’ll run out of ammo for the cool weapons quickly – so most of your killings should be used with the simplest weapons possible, so that you’ll have some of the best weapons just in case.

 

The intermission levels are my favorites though; when traveling between combat areas you get to take to the air on the back of a quetzalcoatlus. Although you’re limited to a machine gun and some rockets – these missions are disturbingly fun and are complete with some nasty flying physics. The hardest part of these missions is avoiding slamming into walls and other large objects. (You hit those walls and you are reduced to an unidentifiable red streak.) These missions aren’t as difficult as the FPS levels, however, that isn’t saying much as they can be downright difficult at times. (Not to mention that I always seem to run out of rockets at the end of the missions.)

 

The graphics in this game were rather surprising. This is the first time that I’ve ever seen a game in a series where the graphics on the predecessor were equivalent (the PC version of Turok 2 and this version on the PS2 look about the same) and that’s really not a good thing with there being about 4 years since the last game. The worst offenders are the foliage textures (which look downright terrible – as though they were picture inserts) and the enemy character designs that look downright blocky. This is a real shame when compared with some of the other texture work on this title, especially the weapon fire textures (the flamethrower textures are awesome).

 

turok-evolution-3.jpg (99099 bytes)          turok-evolution-4.jpg (96364 bytes)

 

In case you were afraid, this game continues the trend of gore and blood present in the Turok series – most people will be surprised the first time that they blow off the head or limbs of an enemy target (accompanied by the traumatic blood loss as well as the blood-curdling screams of a dying enemy). The sound effects and musical score are good – the score doesn’t overtake the action and the sound effects are excellent which really help to establish the mood of the game.

 

All in all, Turok is a difficult FPS-style game that suffers from a few short-comings that prevent it from being a truly great game.

 

- Tazman

(November 16, 2002)

 

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