It's not surprising that game developers are looking back to old titles for inspiration and possible re-vamping. The new Turok which released today, will bring back the intimidating concept of dinosaur fighting, mixed with good old first person shoot-em-up combat. Developed by Propaganda games and published by Touchstone, Turok has come light years from its meager N64 beginnings.
We had a chance to sit down and get some play time with Turok just before it's release tomorrow. Set in a primative jungle world, abound with every dinosaur imaginable, you play as Turok, ex-member of the wolf pack on a mission to find and kill your former father figure and leader of the wolf pack.
Storyline basics aside, Turok features gorgeous, interactive vegetation, nicely stylized high contrast lighting, and a very smart AI system for both the generic baddies and all the different dinosaurs you will encounter in the course of the game. The dinosaurs are perhaps the most interesting in that they aren't out to get you in particular in this game. All people, yourself included, are just meat to them and, as such, they can be used (or lured) to attack and kill for you. The alternate fire on the shotgun fires a flare that makes nearby dinos go berserk and attack whatever the flare's stuck to. This is both smart and just plain fun to watch as the poor soldier is ravaged by raptors all because of a simple little flare stuck to his leg.
There is no health in Turok, so no screen space is wasted by a health bar. Instead, as you take damage, your vision will blur and the sides of the screen will redden until you hide and regain your sight and composure or die and have to start back at the last save point. This really adds to the dark and scary atmosphere that the game is built upon. Even concussive effects of explosions will make the sounds 'fish bowl' until you've recovered.
The market is quite saturated with FPS games nowadays, but the detail and quality of the environments and animation in Turok, not to mention the brilliant idea of neutral dinosaurs, should keep players interested. While it doesn't offer the war combat of tank on tank action, Turok will really get your heart pumping and will challenge even the most seasoned gamers as they make their way through the storyline. As it is a FPS game, however, its success will be determined by its popularity online, and while it looks and feels awesome, an online game is only as strong as the community behind it. We'll have full review coverage for you shortly.