Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
When the original Turok: Dinosaur Hunter first washed up on the PC shore, it was quite literally met with "ooh"s and "ahh"s as we all stood slack-jawed in reverence at its graphical splendour. A pioneer of the 3D accelerator revolution, it dazzled us with its extreme detail, elaborate coloured lighting, and Mk ludicrous pyrotechnic effects. But that was then, and this is now.
While a cursory look at the original game still reveals a very playable experience, it is dogged by an unacceptable degree of fogging, some levels proving more reminiscent of a Tuesday evening in Rotherham than of an exotic lost civilisation. The indoor sections are generally alright, but outside, anything beyond the middle distance becomes enveloped in 'a right old pea-souper', making spatial awareness problematic to say the least. There has been plenty of time to rectify this since then though, and if the review copy arrives with even the merest hint of condensation, it's liable to be laughed mercilessly out of the office.
The other notable aspect of Turok was its ridiculous array of weaponry, rapidly progressing from a kitchen knife, through some unlikely armaments, and culminating in the frankly absurd Chronoscepter, a piece capable of tearing holes in the fabric of the space-time continuum.
Turok 2 should not disappoint, and we are promised more of the same, with some 24 weapons including such scary-sounding apparatus as the War Blade, Scorpion Missile Launcher, Firestorm Cannon, Sunfire Pod Launcher, Cerebral Bore and Storm Bow. A tranquilliser gun is also thrown into the mix, as is a fairly tasty flame-thrower which if used properly, can leave your enemies charred beyond recognition. Underwater slaughter is now also be possible, with the addition of a nifty spear gun and the small matter of concussion torpedoes, which should make for all manner of aquatic tomfoolery. There's even the opportunity to straddle a triceratops armed with its very own 20mm cannon, which certainly isn't something you get to do every day.
As for levels, Turok 2 revolves around six huge quests, spanning such cheery venues as The Death Marshes and The Underground Abyss. Each features a number of mission objectives, and the game is populated with more than 30 different enemies and five hideous bosses.
Hopefully Turok 2 will be here in time for Chrimbo, so we'll soon be able to tell you whether it's Jurassic Park or One Million Years BC.
For Nintendo 64 owners, December '98 must have seemed like Christmas. In fact, come to think of it, it was Christmas, but even if the Yuletide season had been cancelled they'd still have had two good reasons to celebrate.
Following a lengthy gaming drought, Zelda: Ocarina Of Time and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, two of the best console games in the history of everything, arrived on the shelves just in time for Christ's birthday. Us PC owners were too busy playing Half-Life to notice, of course, but more on that later. Anyway, following a brief interlude, publishers Acclaim have brought Turok 2 to the PC, where it can flourish in all its high-resolution glory. And it's still a very, very good game. But...
First Things First
If you have even the remotest whiff of interest in the storyline behind Turok 2, there's something a bit wrong with you. This is an action game, pure and simple. Still, for those of you anal enough to care, the basic premise is that you (yes, you) are Joshua Fireseed, aka Turok the Dinosaur Hunter, a Native American who's as hard as nails, and you've been sent into some place called the Lost Land to wipe out the evil forces of the Primagen.
That's the dull bit. The interesting bit is this: you get to kill loads and loads of vaguely humanoid dinosaur creatures by using a bewildering array of fancy weaponry. Some of the guns on offer are weird and futuristic, some are hideously violent (see panel on the opposite page), and the majority of them cause all manner of intensely pretty lighting and smoke effects to dance about the screen in a beguiling fashion. It's like One Million Years BCspliced together with Saving Private Ryan and fed through a mid-seventies Top Of The Pops effects desk. Kind of. For the most part, Turok 2 is a compelling mix of action and exploration. But there are some glaring problems. Which we'll examine at length, starting now.
One word: fog, fog, fog, fog, fog, fog. It sounds like a swear word, and as far as 3D games go it should be. You've played Half-Life, right? You know how you can see waaaay into the distance? And Quake It. not much pop-up there, is there? Anyone who's played multiplayer Qll could write an essay on the joy of long-distance railgun fragging. It's called depth of field. And its something sorely lacking from Turok 2.
The problem is this: the game was designed for the Nintendo 64, which, powerful though it is, can't really cope with huge 3D environments. To solve this problem, the programmers have split each level into bite-size chunks (linked together with 'portals') and introduced heavy fogging - which means you can't see structures or enemies until they're relatively close. To be fair, you soon get used to the fogging, but many seasoned PC gamers will find it unforgivable, not to mention laughable.
The other problem concerns the gameplay itself. Rather like that other classic N64 shooter GoldenEye, Turok 2 requires you to complete a set of mission objectives before exiting each level. Nothing wrong in that - except when you find yourself reaching the final portal, only to be told that you must go back and scour the entire stage again, looking for the objects you failed to discover first time around. That isn't a challenge, that's a chore. It's boring. It's dull. It should never have been allowed to happen.
At The End Of The Day...
Look, we don't want to sound too negative. Check out the score: like we said, Turok 2 is a very, very good game. We do feel that Iguana could have spent more time utilising the PC's strong points (by joining the levels together a la Half-Life and removing the fogging, for example), but despite this they've still come up with an engrossing, exciting game packed with plenty of surprises.lt's also pretty damn huge, and will keep you rivetted from beginning to end. It may be more console-oriented than the likes of Half-Life, but in the occasionally musty world of PC games a little arcade immediacy is no bad thing. Anyone should lap up Turok2. Except perhaps dinosaurs.
A Nightmare Of Ghoulish Obscenity
Turok 2 has blood, guts, and serious killing hardware that includes the most violent weapon in videogaming history
Incredibly, for a game developed with Nintendo's family-oriented console in mind, 7iirok 2 contains swathes of disturbing and bloodthirsty imagery. Fire an arrow at an oncoming dinosaur, for instance, and It sticks in him and stays there until you finish him off. Some of the tougher creatures end up running around looking like angry pincushions, skewered with more arrows than a marketing director's end-of-year flowchart. Get one in a victim's mouth and he flops to the floor, vomiting blood as he goes down.
And that's just the bow and arrow; with a shotgun you can shear off heads. There's also a flamethrower, a missile launcher, and a selection of deeply unpleasant rapid-fire machine-gun thingies. Most disconcerting of all, however, Is the Cerebral Bore. The name sounds like a phrase you might use to describe a festival of contemporary dance, but it isn't It's the most violent weapon in videogaming history. Here's what it does: It homes in on a dino's head, drills through his skull, and spurts out an arc of blood and grey matter like a whale spouting water through its blowhole Then, just to really rub It in, it explodes.lt's particularly good fun in multiplayer, and we've been fantasising about firing one at Garry Bushell for over a week now. We keep coming round to find ourselves standing still, clenching our fists, dribbling, smiling. Could somebody out there invent one, please?
Download Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features: Single game mode
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2018-12-19 Turok 2: Seeds of Evil game added.