Turok Evolution


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 7.5

Overall: 7.5

Turok has really been a hit or miss series for Acclaim. Getting a start early on with the N64, Turok: The Dinosaur Hunter was an enjoyable early FPS for the console. The sequel did quite a bit right with frame rate issues bogging it down. Rage Wars and the Game Boy versions won't even be mentioned. With the first 128-bit incarnation of the series, Acclaim stays with the roots of the series and provides a decent upgrade to the struggling franchise.

Once you've popped in your mini-disc, you'll be treated to the most hilarious (and goriest) logo screen you've ever seen, nearly worth the price of admission alone. Into the game, players are treated to a great one-player mode and stacks of multi-player deathmatch options. The sheer amount of weapons included into this game is downright ridiculous at times, each one providing a new way to watch your opponent die in agony.

Players are tossed into a thick forest setting when they begin the single-player campaign, filled with numerous dinosaurs including the small but deadly Compy and the massive Brachiosaur. The enemy also lies in wait from their positions, trying to finish off Tal'set. The AI is a bit weak at times as most of the enemies simply hide behind rocks (not even trying to move if you approach them) or charge. The snipers are highly inaccurate until you get much later in the game, making the first couple of encounters too easy.  

Not every battle takes place on the ground. A few times during the game, you'll have the opportunity to fly on the back of a Pterodactyl, Star Fox style. These stages are well designed, with the only exception being the fact that you'll sometimes not have a clue where to go, resulting in an instant, unwanted death. There's even a few points where the stages open up allowing for free flight as opposed to just flying on rails. This is some excellent variety, and with work, an entire game could be wrapped around this code.

Animation seems to the be the first thing on the designers minds. Killing an enemy not only results in an awesome display of gore, but an equally disturbing death animation. Just hit an enemy with a poison arrow to see what happens. It's a damn shame the rest of the game doesn't look this good. Up close, most of the foliage looks disgusting. The blurry textures look like they've been ripped right from the N64 versions and the low polygon counts of the animals and enemies is highly disappointing. To offset this flaw, a rock solid frame rate remains at 60 throughout with only a few minor hiccups.

Very little music is present and it's saved for tense shootouts, mass battles, and other stress-related points in the game.  The game does support Dolby Pro-Logic II, so those with the proper set up will be satisfied. Enemies attack from every conceivable angle and so do the effects. Your able to instantly tell where a bullet was fired just from the sound alone.

The massive, sprawling levels usually provide a decent challenge, but be prepared to play through them a lot. Like the second game in the series, Seeds of Evil, very few checkpoints are provided in even the largest stages, so dying always take you back to the beginning of the stage. Even more frustrating can be the jumping mechanincs which requires the precision of a 2-D platforming title, something hard to deal with in any FPS. One miss could result in a quick death, sending you yet again to the starting point.

When it's all over, it's hard not to be satisfied with Turok Evolution. Granted, it's not quite the evolution the marketing team makes it out to be, but it still manages to be a great ride covered with tons of glorious red blood. Fans of the series will be enthralled with this entry, especially with the addition of the flying stages. This series has officially been brought back from the dead.

Note: The GameCube version surpasses the other consoles. The Xbox suffers from floaty controls and the same graphical issues. The PS2 has the worst graphics of the three, making it almost unplayable.


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Last updated: Monday, September 26, 2005 01:23 PM