Get ready Turok…again.
Turok: The Dinosaur Hunter is one of those games that sparks fond memories for those of us who played it when it dropped in 1997, while those that never experienced it are boggled as to why it is so revered. First-person shooters on consoles used to be taboo; the Nintendo 64 was the first machine to really feature the genre as more than just an afterthought.
Turok was a product of its time, by today’s standards everything about it feels like a relic of a forgotten past. From the visuals to the design of the levels, this game is a blueprint of everything that was wrong with the genre in its infancy on consoles. Still I couldn’t help feel a special tinge of nostalgia as I once again donned the classic bow and arrow and filled brainless AI with far too many shots.
Price I’d Pay: $14.99
Those looking for a re-imagining of the series should look elsewhere; this is the same game, albeit with a much better control option. Levels are massive and confusing at times. They have plenty of dead-ends to get lost in, and prepare to collect keys to open up new areas. Levels also have checkpoints, but no save-anywhere option means that dying is a punishment. Turok also does not have regenerating health; instead the classic health pickups are present at every turn.
Turok handles like a car – moving at blazing speeds and banking around corners like he is attached to an overpowered scooter. The auto-aim is extremely forgiving, thus making most of the experience a cakewalk to those used to having to adjust for headshots. The only challenge comes from enemies that are simply bullet sponges. The later bosses and larger enemies simply take an arsenal to take them down, which again is a product of first-person shooters of that time.
Even with these problems though, I couldn’t stop playing. Call it nostalgia, or my insane love for anything with dinosaurs in it, but Turok holds a special place in my heart. The guns feel great, enemies have superb death animations, and of course the towering bosses are intimidating on all fronts.
This version isn’t without some merit though. The fog in the N64 original is all but gone. This does make it much easier though, as the line of sight on enemies is still less than yours. The frame rate is also rock-solid. Running at a blistering 60 frames per second is night and day when compared with the N64 original. Playing with the Xbox 360 controller also feels a thousand times better than the atrocity that was the N64 pad for shooters. Keyboard and mouse support also works well.
Turok Remastered is exactly what I expected it to be, and I enjoyed the nostalgia trip. I hope they continue with the series, as Seeds of Evil is still my favorite in the franchise. Turok was a series that definitely had its chance, but I don’t think ever got the proper game it deserved. I love revisiting these old N64 titles in a new light, and who knows, perhaps in a few years the dinosaur hunter can once again become relevant in gaming.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.