When the first title of the Turok franchise was released for the Nintendo 64, it was shortly followed by the PC version, which impressed the public with a quality graphics engine (backed up by those new 3dfx video boards) and encounters with fearsome dinosaurs in a spooky jungle. Unfortunately, the other PC titles that followed were quite mediocre and got easily lost in the mist of time.
After a while during which Turok was almost proclaimed dead, Touchstone, together with Propaganda Games, are trying to give a new life to the series with a new first person shooter. Initially it was created for consoles Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, while PC fans were “threatened” with the imminent release for PC without offering any new upgrades.
In this new title (which has no real connection with the previous Turok games or the cartoons, being a reboot), you get to play as Joseph Turok, a soldier with a real bad ass temperament, recruited and trained by Roland Kane in order to become a member of the fearless and ruthless team of special forces called the Wolf Pack. After an unhappy incident, Turok has to leave behind his colleges, being accounted as a traitor. Years pass by and a second chance comes for Turok when he joins the Whiskey Company, having a simple, but dangerous mission: the capture of his old mentor, who is now wanted for criminal activity. However, Kane now belongs to a new world, being the leader of a secret paramilitary organization created by the Mendel – Gruman mega-corporation in order to protect its interests. And because things don’t always as planned, when the Whiskey team approaches the planet, their space ship is downed by enemy forces
The story will not impress anyone, and unfortunately for many, the first contact with this title will prove to be “fatal”, being synonym with an uninstallation. You can’t really say this isn’t fair, because the game looks like a low budget title… The game seems like a “cheap” console port, with dialogues full of stereotypes, frustratingly placed checkpoints and a not so working control scheme (which is usual if a game was developed mainly for another platform). The health system follows the trend of modern shooters, as you regain your health progressively while being hidden a few seconds away from enemy fire. On the other hand, while you advance the game (if you decided not to uninstall it already), the encounters with some of the most dangerous dinosaurs that ever existed before, among them being T-Rex and Velociraptors, will provide a feeling hard to find in similar shooters.
As in many other modern counterparts, in Turok you will benefit from the help of your comrades. Unfortunately, the members of your team do not posses any advanced AI routines, which is pretty disappointing for a game in 2008. More to the point, your team mates are only there just “to be there” and nothing else; you cannot control them and they will not attack any enemies unless they enter in their field of view. On the other side, the AI for the enemy soldiers tries to catch you by surprise, but even on the hardest difficulty level, the fights against them is easy; the only problem regarding the difficulty of the game remains the rare checkpoints.
The dinosaurs are aggressive and strong, having a particular behaviour, which later in the game will definitely prove interesting (as well as dangerous), but even they have a habit of entering in your gun’s fire whenever they do get the chance. In this way, the feeling of the game is much lowered by the absence of a more advanced AI, but also by the cheats it uses against you: ordinary respawn or a view too strong from your enemies, the AI being capable of seeing you with an absolute precision from miles away.