Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (PC) Review

By Athanasios 25.12.2015 3

Review for Turok: Dinosaur Hunter on PC

Like with all consoles, N64 had a list of "mandatory" titles that everyone was eager to get, and in the case of FPS, the Kings of the Hill were GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark. There was a third champion, though, that was sort of a cult classic, despite sales suggesting otherwise. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was the name, from Iguana and Acclaim, and although quite popular, it wasn't exactly in every house. Night Dive Studios, which specialises in restoring golden oldies (like the recent System Shock: Enhanced Edition), has been given the task of reminding the world about it, but, although the job was carried out as best as possible, this trip back to the past isn't as impressive as it used to.

The titular Native American hero and the strange, dinosaur-inhabited Lost Lands, have always been the central core that the Turok comic book series revolved around; a series spanning for more than 50 years, and under the roof of five different publishers. Typical of Night Dive Studios, the original has only been lightly enhanced, with the most notable visual upgrade - amongst things like Dynamic Lighting, Bloom, and water reflections - being the widescreen support. Besides these, the level design and enemy AI have also been tweaked a bit, some rough edges (bugs) have been ironed out, and the controls are now 100% remappable. For some strange reason, however, the console-esque checkpoint system of the N64 hasn't been replaced with the, now standard, mechanic of being able to save anywhere.

Problem numero uno: the weirdness of the comic book is almost nowhere to be seen. In fact, despite the title being Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, a more appropriate one would be, "Turok: kills many men, and, once in a while, a dinosaur or two." Furthermore, it's one of those games that haven't aged so well, with boring-looking levels that are just a bunch of differently coloured jungles, annoyingly repetitive tribal drum-filled music, and bland enemy design. Sure, the mecha-Tyrannosaurus, which scans the room with a laser eye, as well as the way blood gushes from the throats of shot humans, are cool, but they can't really improve things on the whole.

Screenshot for Turok: Dinosaur Hunter on PC

Gameplay-wise, it's all about the good ol' FPS formula of shooting everything that moves and isn't the main character, stopping only once in a while to collect a required key. Initially, many will be surprised, or even annoyed, by the protagonist's speed (which is, undoubtedly, marginally faster than the speed Doomguy and Serious Sam can reach), as well as by the way the first-person camera bobs around, making the view feels as if piloting a hovercraft. Fortunately, it's not hard to get used to all this, and, to be honest, running like crazy and shooting down baddies is probably the best thing here.

Note that while enemies never appear in large groups, they respawn quite fast, and since ammo is somewhat scarce (as they rarely drop any), there's a wonderful feeling of restlessness, forcing Turok to keep on moving forward in order to avoid facing a foe more than once, spending his much needed ammunition. Gunfights, however, are not without flaws. Besides some minor problems, like an unfair melee hit distance or bullets hitting thin air from time to time, the enemies either fall into the ridiculous strafe-to-avoid category, or the extremely cheap 'rifles-never-miss' one.

No matter how fun they are, all simplistic shooters such as this can soon become very repetitive. Doom took care of that problem with a fantastic level design (and atmosphere), and the Serious Sam series oversimplified stages in exchange for an insane amount of enemies per area. Turok's solution? A tedious array of strikingly linear stages, and lots of mind numbing, plus, to tell the truth quite awkward, platform sessions! As for those who were eagerly waiting for their beloved FPS to come to Steam, they are advised to put pitchforks and torches aside, and take a good look at the price. If £13.39 for an 18-year-old videogame sound good, then this humble reviewer has nothing more to add.

Screenshot for Turok: Dinosaur Hunter on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

The blame should definitely not go to Night Dive Studios. It has, once again, done what it is best at, which is publishing various greats from the past, and with as little alteration as possible. The thing is, though, that Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was never exactly one of those "greats," something that is far more obvious after all these years. Of course, when it comes to personal taste, everything is subjective, right? That's correct, but there's a second problem with this version, even for those who loved Acclaim's original release, and that is its current £13.39 price tag, which should be forbidden for such an old product, enhanced or not.

Developer

Night Dive Studios

Publisher

Night Dive Studios

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I considered getting this recently. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was the first game I had on N64. I didn't care much for it, but it wasn't bad. With the Big Cheat on, it was playable, but I was never able to stay interested past the first level when trying to play legitimately. When I saw it on Steam, I thought about grabbing it, but that price tag was way too high for me.

Has Anyone Really Been Far Even as Decided to Use Even Go Want to do Look More Like?

Its the appeal of the concept combined with a ok game that gave people good memories I think. 

Incidentally, its based on a comic book series thats still going.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turok#Dynamite_Comics

http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
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I believe the first one was OKish, but it's truly the second and third game, which were truly impressive visually for the N64 (the first one with its very foggy environments looks poor by comparison) and to me that's the appeal of the original trilogy. Once it went multiplat, it was nothing special anymore, it pushed nothing exceptional out in terms of gameplay or visuals.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

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