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Review by: Shawn Quigley
Published: March 3, 1998
Can one of the most successful console games be brought over to the PC and made a success? Acclaim has made the attempt with their hugely successful N64 title Turok Dinosaur Hunter. On the N64 this game was a huge success. At the time of the release, there were slim pickings for good titles, but Turok Dinosaur Hunter offered a whole new experience most console gamers had never had. The lush graphics, awesome sounds, and amazing weapons drew them into the polyganized jungle of this title.
Turok Dinosaur Hunter on the PC is a direct port of the popular N64 game. To pull off the graphics and effects that a N64 can handle, Acclaim made the bold move of making the title require a 3D accelerator. What this gives gamers is a game that actually looks better on the PC than the N64, mainly because of a higher resolution. It also carries over some of the limitations that the N64 has.
The concept behind Turok Dinosaur Hunter is loosely based around a comic book hero, Turok. There is a storyline weaved throughout all the action found in the game; Turok learns of an arch-nemesis, the Campaigner, who has plans to conquer Earth. To defeat the Campaigner it is up to Turok to locate all the pieces of a mystical weapon, the Chronosceptor. With the Chronosceptor, Turok will have enough power to rid the Campaigner from the Lost Land.
The game takes place in a 3D world filled with caves, water, cliffs, and dinosaurs. One of the most exciting aspects of Turok Dinosaur Hunter is the dinosaurs. Their animations and reactions are startlingly life-like. The different levels inside Turok offer changing environments with lush detail that has been missing from some of the more successful 3D games. The levels make up miles and miles of mountains, cliffs, ridges, forests, streams, caverns and caves, and just about anything else that you can imagine in a jungle. At times you will be standing there and a flock of birds will fly by, or monkeys will run and climb up trees. There has been a lot of attention paid to detail to ensure that the gamer will actually feel as though he is in a lush jungle. Most of the game takes place outside and the visualization of achieving this was a feat in itself. By using the right amount of detail, Turok definitely gives a good awareness of being out in the open space of the outdoors. The speed and pace of the game is very fluid and allows players to move at their own pace.
A lot of people wanted to compare Turok to the Quake titles, but that is not a fair comparison. Turok is more of an exploration and adventure title that includes a lot of cool action. Dave Dientsbier, Lead Designer/Project Manager, explains it like this, “You have to understand that Turok was never intended to be merely a 1st person shooter. It’s as much about exploration and discovery as it is about blasting.”
There are 14 weapons found throughout Turok, and they’re some of the most intense you will find. You start out with a knife and progress up to rocket launchers and other weapons of mass destruction. Although many people will tell you that the knife is a weak weapon, it actually is very good. If you can move around fast enough and run and slice at the enemies at the right moment, you will take them out and earn special bonus points. This, of course, does not work on all the enemies in the game. If you used this technique on some of them, you would not even make it two steps towards them before they blew you away with a projectile weapon. All the weapons are fun to fire, but I particularly found the tek bow and arrow the most exciting. There is something to be said about seeing someone perched on a cliff in the distance, then seeing them grab their neck as you put an arrow in them. This effect is excellent and should be used in all games.
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