June 7, 2023

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Turok 2: Seeds Of Evil (N64) remastered – XBox One Review


More of the same I hear you say. Well not exactly. Although the base gameplay is basically the same, there have been many improvements since the first game, the first of which is the graphics. The main elements remind me of games like Morrowind but utilising cell shading there are a lot of items such as log walls and guard towers that would not look amiss in Borderlands. Some excellent use of colours, in fact, level five (being my visual favourite) uses such a vibrant colour palette, which I feel is lacking in a lot of modern HD games.
There is now a defined storyline, starting with you meeting your guide; an extra-terrestrial being who will guide you through your quest to defeat the Dinosoid invasion. Checkpoints now warp you to a zone where she will grant health and ammo, and you can fast travel to any discovered checkpoint within that level.
I loved that you can now save at any time from within the main menu (which I did often). The menu now also has a picture glossary of characters and enemies that you meet, including how many of each you have killed, not exactly useful but a nice additional element to the game.
N64 Screenshot
A major improvement is the introduction of a weapon selection wheel. Although you can still cycle through weapons, being able to quickly choose a weapon in a crunch is a definite advantage that will get you out of some sticky situations. There is now a wider array of weaponry, some of which have zoomed scopes, however with no tutorial it took me a moment to figure out how to activate the scopes, clicking every button until I found the correct one.
No tutorial also lead to another minor bit of confusion. I kept coming across glyph stones, the first of which was a point which it enables you to make a massive jump. I could tell what the stone did but could not figure out how to activate it, clicking different button combinations, jumping on it and even shooting the thing.  However, I later discovered that you can are granted skills by a spirit ancestor which allow you to utilise these glyph stones (which are only at certain points within the levels) which can range from making long jumps to walking in toxic water. Some important items (like some keys) can only be reached by using these stones, for which you may not yet have the skill, which encourages you to go back and revisit previous levels and explore them further.
Each level now has a set of mission criteria which must be fulfilled. While I enjoyed having set goals (as opposed to just running and gunning) I did not like that you cannot return to the hub until these criteria are met, essentially trapping you in the level until you completed the tasks.
N64 Screenshot
Some of the bosses will have some hidden surprises waiting in store for you and are extremely challenging, but once they are defeated it leaves you feeling a definite sense of accomplishment. Difficult but enjoyable and rewarding. However, the final level is just a boss. After eventually defeating this final boss you are teleported back to speak with your alien friend, where she starts a monologue at which point I was getting excited thinking I was going to encounter another battle, but then it went straight into the final credits. This for me was the most disappointing part of the game. Although at one point you do get to ride a dinosaur with guns and a cannon which I thought was extremely fun, this happens once for a five-minute section. I would have loved for there to be more sections of this kind, as it introduced a wonderful element of gameplay which was underused and essentially tossed out the window.
If you have played this on N64 you may notice some areas have slightly changed, example, a key had been moved out of an alcove into main view and the alcove patched over. This in no way affects the gameplay.
In conclusion; yet another example of retro gaming at its finest, and also highlighting the point that gameplay is more important than graphical presentation. I absolutely loved this game and now that I have better knowledge of it and no time restraints to take into account, I’m definitely going to give it another more in-depth play through.
Overall Score – 8/10
Turok 2: Seeds Of Evil is available now on Xbox store.