Bringing an old classic bang up to date isn’t anything new in the game world. Blimey, barely a week goes by without some aging classic being transformed into some gaudy modern day title to extract a quick buck from us types that remember the gaming days of old.
Turok, however, finds itself suddenly updated with little reason. While the initial N64 release was entertaining enough, a stream of rubbish sequels seemingly relegated this one to never being revisited. Yet come the introduction of the new immensely powerful HD ready consoles, Turok makes an ill informed appearance.
As expected, Turok plays in the same manner as any old generic FPS shooter. Only instead of a mass of semi-intelligent humans to obliterate, here they’re replaced by huge hulking dinosaurs.
The storyline has been fiddled with, giving this modern Turok a much more sci-fi feel than the previous time-travelling focus. Playing as a chap with the horrific name of Joseph Turok, who is seemingly being blamed by his colleagues for the death of one of his fellow fighters, you’re dumped on this dinosaur infested island, and soon you’re slaughtering as many prehistoric beasties as possible.
This difference in opponent makes Turok a much more enjoyable game than it should truly be. While human enemies do make infrequent appearance, offering up the kind of dull blasting action seen in virtually every other FPS on the market, the chance to take on different brands of dinosaur is a real treat.
Different brands of opponent possess different abilities. So while Raptors will utilise their astonishingly quick movement to skip around your line of sight and attack you from behind, the lumbering great T-Rex will use sheer might to tear you limb from limb.
Fighting these new brand of enemies can be a real treat, with many scripted events proving to be astonishingly enjoyable. It’s unfortunate then that the developers have blatantly come to the same resolution, and decided to elongate every single major event to ridiculous proportions. It’s not too infrequent to find yourself stuck within some scripted event for an astonishing length of time, way past the moment that real frustration, and even boredom sets in.
Outside the exciting dinosaur battles, things take a rapid turn for the worse. Human battles are dull, with your enemies barely showing an ounce of intelligent thought, allowing you to pick them off with sublime ease.
The modicum of story certainly doesn’t give Turok any kind of depth either, with dull objectives taking you through to the game's eventual conclusion of escaping the island. There’s little in the way of chatter, or any form of cutscenes meaning that Turok feels a quite lifeless example of FPS gaming. It’ll last a fairly decent chunk of time, even perhaps towards 12 hours for gamers who like to take their time.
The jungle settings sadly aren’t anywhere near as detailed as a title such as Crysis, and even on HDTV they can’t fail but appear muddy and drab. Turok is a heck of a long way behind the likes of Call of Duty 4, and even the now aging Resistance.
There’s just so little reason for Turok to even exist. While the dinosaur battles can be fun, they amount to less than half of the game length, making this a real lifeless affair in comparison to the best the genre has to offer.
I’m all for updating some of the greats, but when they’re of much poorer quality than their aging parents, perhaps its best to leave well alone.