Turok (2008)

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Turok
111255-turok-playstation-3-front-cover.jpg
Turok, man-stabber.
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
Xbox 360
PlayStation 3
Release Date: Xbox 360 & PS3
NA: February 5, 2008
AU: February 7, 2008
EU: February 8, 2008
JP: April 10, 2008 (X360) & May 29, 2008 (PS3)
Microsoft Windows
NA: April 22, 2008
EU: June 13, 2008
AU: June 19, 2008
Game Engine: Unreal Engine 3
Developer: Propaganda Games
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Made in: Canada
Franchise: Turok
Previous Game: Turok: Evolution


Turok is a first-person shooter developed by Propaganda Games and published by Disney Interactive Studios under the Touchstone label in February 2008 for the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, and ported to PC in April 2008. It was an attempt to reboot the Turok series as a generic shooter for modern audiences, and as of the time of writing is the final entry in the series.

Why It Sucks

  1. As mentioned above, it's a generic modern FPS with no connection to Turok beyond the main character's name.
  2. Turok's movement speed has been drastically reduced, but the design of levels is still similar to the previous games and there's no sprint function.
  3. Bizarre controls on the PC version, such as Shift+RMB (Right Mouse click) to throw grenades and Shift+LMB (Left Mouse click) for alternate fire mode. Even worse, the game doesn't tell the player how to use the grenades, meaning that unless you look at the game manual of a physical copy or look up the controls on the menu, you won't know how to unless it's done on accident.
  4. Lack of aim-assist, which makes the console versions extremely annoying to play.
  5. On that point, the field of view is set very low, which can obscure the vision especially when taking massive damage thus blurring vision in addition of the violent shaking of the camera from shooting, and from nearby explosions only make it worse.
    • Gmanlives, in his review, used console commands to adjust the field of view as even the PC version lacks an FOV slider. In doing so, revealed that due to the game not being designed to be viewed on a higher FOV, cutscenes will break from such change. This will result in the camera being farther away than usual and showing broken animation from body parts not seen on camera.
  6. Uninspired selection of weapons, most of which look like Nerf guns painted silver.
    • On that, the weapon selection is small and feel weak compared to past installments on the series.
  7. Weapon balancing problems.
    • The flamethrowers in the game are useless outside certain sequences, due to short range and complete lack of damage-over time effects.
    • The knife is overpowered against dinosaurs since the execution move has no cooldown and will instantly kill most enemies, meaning the player can endlessly kill dinosaurs without expending a single bullet. Only boss enemies, scorpions, and certain dinosaurs are immune to the attack. Human enemies are affected by this attack, but it is a bad idea to use a knife against them outside stealth because unlike dinosaurs, the human enemies have guns; they will attack Turok during the execution animation and Turok will more likely to take massive damage just to kill a human enemy. Because of this, there's no point in using it's alternate attack.
  8. All of the characters are bland and forgettable, making for a very uninteresting story.
  9. Bland and repetitive setting on levels coming down to from too much dull green on the jungle levels to too much grey on the indoor levels.
  10. Stealth generally sucks since stealth sequences are few and far between, not punishing, and it's too easy to break, meaning that it's easier to go guns blazing.
  11. The gore system is the worst in the series; presumably because the developers did not want to make a special version to sell in Germany as in previous Turok games, human enemies do not bleed, with stabbing them just creating a shower of sparks. This gives the uncomfortable feeling that they are actually robots. It's also inexcusable as the dinosaurs bleed a lot more and if you kill them with explosives, they turn into pieces of flesh.
    • This can be supported by the fact that the human enemies speaks with an unfiltered voice at times, but other times, they make inaudible radio chatter and when they die, they make a filtered robotic death scream.
    • It also may have something to do with Japan CERO rating board to get a marketable D rating and not the infamous Z rating as Japan is very strict on gore.
  12. A lot of the boss fights and some sequences are incredibly difficult for various reasons.
    • The Tyrannosaur boss fight is incredibly difficult, with a only a few weapons scattered around, Turok's slow speed, the inability to keep track of the boss, and the numerous lava pits around the area all at the same time make avoiding the dinosaur almost impossible.
    • The giant eel boss is also overly difficult, as you're stuck with a flamethrower which as mentioned is ineffective at range, thus relying on pits that the eel has to lunge it's head to in an order for the player to deal damage to it. The boss also does not really acknowledge if the player is dealing damage to it and has a ton of health.
    • The sequence with the Spider Tank is ludicrously hard. The player needs to get RPG ammo at the starting area because the RPG for some reason, spawns with no spare ammo. If the walker starts firing while the player is heading towards the RPG ammo and they have not taken exactly the right route, death is more or less inevitable. Allies constantly nagging the player to kill the Spider Tank as if they'd somehow forget makes the whole thing even more frustrating.
  13. The boss fight with the human antagonist is nothing but a QTE sequence.
  14. On the topic of QTE, there's lots of times where you have to mash a buttons on a controller or a key on the keyboard, from opening doors to breaking free from dinosaur mauls.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. As boring as the fight with the human antagonist is, at least it's the most forgiving of the sequences.
  2. The execution animation with the knife looks good, even if it eventually becomes repetitive.

Reception

Turok received mediocre reviews, with its Metacritic scores hovering around the range of 69% for all formats. Overall the opinion was that the game was hamstrung by shoddy execution and frustrating gameplay, though it was often praised for its technical achievements. It sold around 1 million copies in its first two months and did at one stage have a sequel planned, but this was cancelled due to layoffs at Propaganda Games, which was busy killing itself making Tron: Evolution.

Trivia

  • This was the first (and only) M-rated game to be published by Disney Interactive, under the name Touchstone Games.
  • Following the game's release and then the animated film Son of Stone by Classic Media, the rights would transition to Dreamworks after Classic Media got bought out.
  • This game is not available on GOG, Steam, or any other online game distribution site, making it abandonware.

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