Review by The Archon

"Violence in a box."

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter is one hell of a game. I’m not the biggest FPS fan you’ll ever find, so it takes a lot to impress me in this category. Turok is one of my favourites in the category, falling second only to the might of Goldeneye. But Turok is very strong in it’s own right, and is also a very tough game. The story is pretty simple. You are Turok, and you are good. The Campaigner is your enemy, and he is evil. Shoot everything everywhere until the Campaigner is dead. Okay that is over-simplifying it a little, but this is an FPS after all, and nothing gets my eyes rolling quite like hearing FPS fans go nuts over the “great story” such a game can present. I didn’t come for story, I came to blow things up. And I got just what I came for.

Graphics: 8
I want to address something right off the bat, one of the complaints I keep hearing about Turok, and that is the fog. I’ll make this short and simple. I got the game when it first came out, and I’ve never been shot ONCE by an enemy I couldn’t see due to fog. So in other words, it’s a total and complete non-issue. If I was getting shot because of fog it would be different, but it simply does not happen.

Beyond that I love the look. Everything seems to fit with everything else, and though the characters are not the most detailed ever it’s a great look overall, and the environments look totally superior to the terrible ones in the Gamecube’s great disaster, Turok: Evolution. The dinosaurs look good too. The different weapons all look good too. I particularly like the quad rocket launcher myself. I also like that you can blow up parts of the environment, like trees. That was a new touch brought in for this game and it’s very cool, and realistic. I like the deaths of your enemies as well, particularly when you shoot say a grenade launcher or a rocket launcher and your enemy goes flying through the air. Strangely satisfying indeed.

Sound: 9
I love the soundtrack to this game. The music is very well done and helps to build the atmosphere while staying in the background at the same time. All the explosions, guns going off, swinging of blades and such is all superb. Basically I have no big complaints in the sound department. It would have been neat if some of the enemies had some voice action though, they’re all pretty much silent unless they’re dying. No other complaints though.

Play Control: 8
I don’t understand why people dislike the system used in this game. I felt it was tremendous, and original. Granted, it took a bit of getting used to, but that is precisely why there is a tutorial mode in this game, and playing through that a couple of times should teach you all the basics you need. My only complaint is that I have lost lives just jumping from platform to platform on occasion, and I admit that is rather maddening. But in combat I find the controls are great.

Game Design: 8
I like that instead of many small levels, you are presented 8 very large ones. At first I was upset when I heard there were only 8 levels. I didn’t understand they’d all be so big! This game has a save feature for a reason: the game is huge. The transition from jungle to cave to installation is done very well and doesn’t seem at all contrived or fake. My one big beef is a common one, and that's no multiplayer feature. This is solely a one-player game, and I know a lot of hardcore FPS players hate that. Otherwise I like the game. Good variety of terrain, enemies, and weapons, and the search for keys will keep you busy while also throwing lots of enemies in your path. The bottom line is we play games like this for violence, and you will get your fill of it while you’re also given enough to do searching for new weapons and keys that you shouldn’t get bored. I would have liked a couple more bosses though.

Challenge: 9
Even on easy I found it a good challenge. And I have to admit, I’ve never beaten the game on hard. This is not a game you can breeze through. It will take time to work your way through the world of Turok and there are plenty of challenges for you to face, be it fighting dinosaurs, big cyborgs, or avoiding big swinging blades on the celing. Plenty of challenge to go around.

Overall (Straight average of the above scores): 8.4 out of 10
Definitely worth your time, and money. This is a classic shooter, full of violence but also with some decent amount of needing to explore the worlds to find everything you need. I think it’s a great game, one of the best for the N64, and a worthy addition to any gamer’s catalogue. Big levels, lots of enemies, great weapons, and a few mazes along the way. If you haven’t played it yet but like shooters, you need to play this one.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 01/02/04

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