Ben evaluates the latest edition in the countless series.
Turok. Now here is a series that started well and slipped into mediocre, there are only so many times that you can shoot a dinosaur before it gets boring. The developers had found a genre that had worked very well with the N64's buyers, so they flogged it until the dinohunter was as extinct as his prey. So, what have we here? Another fossilized FPS polished up nicely for a new console? Well, no, not really.... Firstly, Turok Evolution is set before the N64 titles; it is essentially a prequel, which is a clever way of avoiding going over the same old ground again. However, I do get a sense of Deja Vu when I start playing, as the plot seems quite similar to other Turok titles. Oh well, what goes around comes around, I suppose! This time you take on the role of Tal'Set a Native American on a quest through the ancient 'Lost Land' to discover his true calling in life, and hopefully, uncover the mystery of a strange 'seer' who saved his life in battle and transported him to this realm through a portal... It all seems quite deep and meaningful, yes? A pilgrimage? Well, no. You basically degenerate into shooting anything that moves and quite a few things that don't move, but just bug you. But this is a Turok game and if you bought it for the plot, you most probably think Chris Ryan novels are the height of literary genius. This is a fast and furious FPS designed for thrills, not for deep and meaningful reflection... One factor that has always helped the Turok games are the graphics. The original on the N64 amazed everyone, then the sequel; Seeds of Evil used the brand new expansion pack and raised the bar once again. So, hopes are high for this new title to do likewise... Well, its not mind blowing, but it is quite good. Turok Evolution is no Halo, but the graphics get the job done, they are crisp, solid and the dinosaurs and enemies move wonderfully. The only problem is the fact that the graphics appear quite bland after a while, there is too much gray, brown and green, although bright blues and purples are not usually something found in the late Jurassic period, so I guess I'll let them off... Speaking of which, there are hundreds of animals and insects in Turok, just buzzing around, setting the scene. Its a really nice little touch and helps in making the atmosphere that much more authentic, just watch out for those bloody mosquitoes, Tal'Set will be scratching for days.... Another strong selling point of the Turok games have been the weapons, they are always well designed and 'meaty', giving immense satisfaction when used on the enemy. Evolution doesn't disappoint, all of the weapons are well designed and give a real feeling of power when used, and you find yourself searching for an enemy to mutilate with your shiny hardware. Its great fun, something lacking in quite a few games today, it’s quite an easy thing to program in, surely? I feel Halo could have been improved if more thought had gone into weaponry... There is one problem that lets Turok down quiet a bit. The enemy AI. It’s a problem that appears in quite a few games, although it shouldn't appear in any. I found myself walking (not creeping, just walking) up behind an enemy, drawing my bow and then letting it rip into his skull. It seemed like I was the master of stealth, until I did it again, again, again and again. Sometimes you don't have to be behind the enemy either, just off to one side. It's a real shame that these dinosaurs are so short sighted as it takes most of the fun out of hunting them. If you want to see how enemies should behave, look at Halo.... Also, just a word of warning, this game isn't for kids. There is a lot of blood and I mean a LOT of blood in Turok. You shoot anything and it looks like you have tapped a claret barrel, the stuff spurts, pours and dribbles. Which is great for sickos like me, but not for kiddy winks. Before you tell me it can be turned off, don't you think kids that can control and master this game are clever enough to work out how to turn it on again? Duh... All in all, Turok plays more or less just how it should. Quick thrills, cheap kills. It’s a no brainer of a game perfect for a rental or if your fancy blasting your enemies into little blood spurting pieces. It’s a good little game that’s fun, as long as your brain is switched off. Just don't think, play! A gory-fied,