by Dave Szlavik
If you’ve played Turok on the Nintendo 64 then you will pretty much know what to expect. If however like you myself you have not played the original game, then you are in for a treat. The game (by Acclaim entertainment, Iguana entertainment and Nightdive studios) downloads and is ready to play in less than a minute, and within ten or so minutes of playing it is easy to see why this game was so popular.
The tutorial is very brief. It takes about five minutes to complete and teaches you everything you will need to know. Then it’s on to the game for real.
Turok is a fast-paced first-person shooter platformer with puzzle elements and a focus on exploration. In fact, for a linear non-open world game of this era, I was pleasantly surprised at how much exploration is actually involved. From hidden weapons and ammo to secret areas, you will find yourself searching every corner and nook on the maps. The player’s map itself (which you can zoom in and out) overlays on the screen but doesn’t obstruct the view, this is very handy when trying to locate areas that you may have missed and get to them quickly.
The movement is fluid and aiming (with a set reticule, no iron sights) is fast, although enemies do seem to have a large hitbox. I tested this by aiming slightly to the side of a target and I still hit it. Enemies range from people to creatures to dinosaurs.
There is a nice array of weapons to choose from. You start with a knife and a bow and will find and collect other weapons as you progress. The downfall here is that you have to cycle through them using LB and RB, which if you’re a bit inundated by enemies, can seem to take a little too long to do, and could have benefited from a selection wheel. That being said, this in no way detracts from the enjoyment or gameplay.
As you progress, you will be collecting keys to open up levels in the hub, and also pieces for a weapon called the Chronoceptor, some of which will be hidden in secret areas. If upon completion of the level you have not found the respective piece, do not despair as you can revisit the level from within the central warp hub. Each area within the levels seems to have two or three enemy respawns meaning if you have totally cleared an area you can return and explore it unhindered by enemies and saving your valuable ammo. You will know when a respawn happens as there is a tell-tale beam of light as enemies are teleported in.
Although there are checkpoints where you will respawn upon death, keep an eye out for save points, there are several per level. There is also one at the central hub which I suggest you save your game at before entering a new level. Trust me it can get annoying if your last save is way back on the previous level.
Having not played the original I cannot really do a graphics comparison, so here are my general thoughts. They are still a little old looking (and a few sound bites seem like they belong to the SNES / Megadrive era) but do not distract from gameplay. I did sometimes mistake switches for paving and ergo discovered the switch quite by accident, and it can sometimes be difficult to tell a climbable section when running.
There was one very important switch which I missed and as a result could not reach a boss. This meant that I ended up searching for and using some cheat codes. Should you choose to do this you can get codes for many cheats from all keys to infinite ammo to quirky game altering presentations such as a big head mode and a pen and ink mode which removes the colours and it looks like your running around a black and white drawing. Be warned though, if you use cheats it will deactivate achievements for that gaming session.
In conclusion; a well rounded, well-presented game with hours of fun gameplay that will have you revisiting it, even if only to find all the secret areas and items.
Overall Score – 6/10, Could have had some more things to do, but this is retro gaming at some of its finest. Available now on Xbox store.
What did you think of the Turok Remaster? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below
by Dave Szlavik