|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|
Regardless of how you take out the scaly-skinned and human trash, you'll need to plan your attacks carefully. Turok is by no means a stealth game, but the A.I. is smart enough that running-and-gunning will leave you staring at the red screen (which means you're deader than dino bait). Taking cover, diving from grenades and flanking are all in the human A.I.'s repertoire, and, unless you plug 'em in the noggin', they can absorb several shots. Those with a sick sense of humor can keep baddies at bay by firing a dino-attracting flare at them; sitting back and watching a raptor feast on your foes is fun, but it would've been nice if this was an integral part of your defense. As is, you'll rarely find the opportunity to pull off this cool mechanic.
Traversing Turok's terrain is a fairly familiar experience as lush jungles and decorative interiors have been done to death in other games. And visually, the environments can't quite compete with recent horsepower whores like Call of Duty 4 and Assassin's Creed. Still, the environments generally gets the job done, and some beautiful set pieces--the volcanic landscape is notable--offer a fair share of stop and smell the charred corpses moments. Character designs, especially the dinos, look great. One particular moment sees a T-Rex gobbling up enemies as if they were appetizers at a dinosaur buffet; witnessing this and few other T-Rex-centric moments will have you recalling the first time you saw these impressive giants rumble onto the silver screen in Jurassic Park. The sound work is a pretty solid mix of strong voice-overs, appropriate weapon blasts, and Earth-shaking dinosaur effects, and the score is paced nicely with the survival theme of the game.
The one major flaw in Turok's next-gen debut is its lack of checkpoints. The game saves automatically but far too infrequently, resulting in players running on the trial-and-error treadmill to the point of frustration. Sadly, this can't be easily overlooked, especially for casual gamers just looking for a little dino-blasting fun. We were sent back to multiple checkpoints over and over again, sometimes halting our progression for nearly three hours; this might acceptable for the hardest of hardcore gamers, but the frustration will likely turn off anyone who wasn't brought up on hair-pulling titles like the original Ghosts 'n Goblins and Ninja Gaiden.
If you're up for the challenge, Turok is definitely worth a play-through. The addition of dinos to this often generic genre of gaming is refreshing. And whether you're blasting them to bits, planting arrows in their eyes, or slitting their scaly throats, you'll never tire of you're next man-versus-beast brawl. The prehistoric element also factors into Turok's multiplayer; the modes are your typical slate of Death Match, Team Death Match, and Capture the Flag, but throwing neutral dinosaurs into the mix adds a nice wild card to the usual multi-player mix. Three co-op maps also offer a short but sweet experience. If you're tired of killing zombies, soldiers, and aliens-- or zombified alien soldiers--then you'll appreciate dealing Turok's brand of Jurassic justice. Just be prepared for a level of difficulty that'll have you restarting at the same checkpoints more times than you can shake a fossilized stick at .
CCC Freelance Writer