|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Propaganda||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Touchstone||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: April 22, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
To operate the bow and arrow, you simply engage the action button to draw back the bow while you line up your shot through the crosshairs. The longer you hold the button, the further back the bow will be pulled for a more powerful shot. It's not unusual to pin the enemy to the back wall with a powerful arrow. The dagger requires more close-quarter contact. You can sneak up on a guard, grab him, and sink the knife into his skull. It can also be used to slit the throats of dinosaurs and other monstrosities if you can get close enough.
There are four slots for weapons, and you can practically dual-wield any combination of them. Each weapon has both a primary and secondary component. For instance, you can turn a machinegun into a turret, which can be set up at a particular chokepoint to fire automatically at intruders. The sticky bomb gun also has a minefield component that comes in quite handy. Once you shoot a sticky bomb at an enemy and detonate it while it's attached, you can then litter the area with bombs, which you hope the enemy will walk right into. Great fun.
The human A.I. aren't all that intelligent, but what they lack in brains they make up for in resilience. While they may run right into your line of fire, they aren't so easily killed. A headshot will typically take them out, but if that fails, you'll have to resort to a spray of firepower to kill them. It's not the controls that make headshots a problem, it's just the nature of the game, since both sides are moving around a lot and there is all kinds of cover and obstacles in the way. Despite all the great weapons and the game's encouragement to exploit them at all cost, you still can't run-and-gun. You can walk, jump, and crouch, but you can't run. I just find it kind of odd, and more than a little frustrating when trying to escape the jaws of a terrible lizard.
The dinosaurs are a Turok staple. A Turok game without dinosaurs is like Kraft without the Dinner. While there is no point in pretending that the actual gameplay is not redundant, it's extremely well-blended with the variety of weapons and range of beasts. The dinosaurs include huge horned triceratops and small, but deadly, raptors. Each puts up a different fight. Ultimately you'll be pulling the same tactics with your knife when you run out of ammo, but going after different beasts seems to freshen things up a little. Unfortunately you'll be going after a lot of the same class of monsters as well.
Turok looks a lot better than it did on the N64, but it could sure look even a lot better. The jungle can get claustrophobic. At times I felt like I was in a theme park as opposed to an actual planet. The flora has a flat, fake look to it. The monster character models are good, but there is a lot of repetition as these same monsters recur in swarms with little variation. Slowdown is experienced on occasions when things get a little heavy onscreen. The sound effects are good, and even though the voiceacting isn't terrible, even DeNiro couldn't make this script believable. The story falls apart as soon as the premise is laid down.
Turok is not a masterpiece of gaming. It already had its day. I consider this a revival of sorts but to suggest that Turok is getting a second lease on life may be taking things too seriously, and I already warned you about that.
CCC Senior Writer