Propaganda Games and Disney Interactive Studios are tomorrow launching Turok for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 in Europe. Some of you might still remember the glory days of the Nintendo 64-era and the classic Turok, running around blasting a gigantic T-Rex with bow and fire - and the next generation game is not so different afterall. I have been playing the game and inside you will find my impressions and a big bunch of gameplay videos from the it.
Do not take the part about the Nintendo 64 cousin version as a negative thing - I was pleasantly surprised to see that though you now are surrounded by space marines, the base structure from the old games is still there. You still have the bow and you are still chasing dinosaurs. Unreal Engine 3 and some solid gameplay makes this game a worthy successor of the Nintendo 64 games, as we still have Turok: Evolution burried somewhere in the back of our minds.
The game starts of with Turok meeting up with his new squad on a space shuttle, somewhere in the galaxy. While preparing for entering a planet, a missile hits the ship and the crew crashes down on the surface. The plan is to find the other parts of the ship to meet up with the rest of your squad, but the player soon realize that the planet is nothing like Earth - the ground is filled with dinosaurs and gigantic scorpions, besides from the expected enemy soldiers.
As Turok starts the journey to find a man, Kane, he instantly have the choice to either kill everything in his path or have some help from the dinosaurs to kill the soldiers, Kane's Wolf pack. Turok has a couple of gadgets to use in luring various dinosaurs towards the Wolf pack soldiers, but you often see yourself in a too stressful situation to do this. It is not rare being surrounded by both enemy soldiers and dinosaurs, forcing you to shoot everything on sight.
The gameplay is solid and while the way you setup kills offers nothing new, the Turok series have always been rather unique thanks to the fact that you have to face dinosaurs. Documentaries on TV have given us an image of how dinosaurs are "supposed" to act, and the game does a pretty good job in recreating that. Many developers get this part wrong, but they move in Turok the way you expect such large animals to do.
Using the knife is the most effective way to end a battle, as Turok most of the times can kill enemies with one button click. Sneaking works well, as you crouch in the high grass waiting for the soldiers to walk by. The dinos on the other hand move fast, and can sometimes be hard to get close to. If there was no other enemy close-by, I could often run to them and do the melee attack - but occasions where you are against just one enemy are rare.
Turok offers a bunch of online multiplayer modes, introducing online co-op online mode to the series. What it does not offer, on the other hand, is an offline multiplayer mode in any sort, which may disappoint eager gamers out there. There are 10 online maps, where three of them are playable in co-op mode for up to four players. The rest are available in the other modes, including Deathmatch and Capture the flag for up to 16 players. A pleasant surprise is to see dinosaurs implented in certain areas of the maps, bringing up the tension when you hunt other players.
Finding bad things about this game is not easy, as Turok does nothing that is purely wrong. The graphics are impressive without being revolutionary, the sound is great and the gameplay does not offer much that will go into the history book. It does the atmosphere great, as you crouch in the grass around several dinosaurs while helicopters swing by your head. The soldiers you meet are not behaving in the smartest way, rarely taking cover when you enter a firefight. I played it in hard mode, but could still often just aim and shoot without having to think where they would go next. These are not things that will ruin the experience with the game, but they are still factors that will affect the gameplay quality. On the whole, Turok is a great first game in the series on current-generation consoles. It offers impressive graphics, interesting moments and the same fun experience many of us had 10 years ago when the first game came out.
Below you will find some gameplay videos and all of them should be considered spoiler-free, as they are from the first hour of the game.