Back when the game came out for Nintendo 64 in 1998 (!), Turok 2: Seeds of Evil set a great new standards for shooters on consoles – even in the face of the superior Goldeneye: 007. It managed to create a whole new world that went miles above the one from the fog-laden original release; and it also produced some great new gameplay perks, mainly with the new weaponry you could use on the various soldiers and monsters that got in your way. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a heat-seeking device home in on an enemy, drill its way into their skull, and then blast it to pieces. BOOM.
Fast-forward to nearly 20 years later, and the team at Nightdive Studios reworking a bit of its own magic on Acclaim’s game, and you have a definitive version of Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, this time for PC. (Don’t worry, console owners – there’s word that a Turok compilation is coming your way sometime this year.) While age continues to be a factor with some portions of this game’s design, it still remains as fun as ever – especially if you played the original.
Our favorite dinosaur hunter returns, this time facing off against a distinctive alien race that means no good to the universe. They’ve gone and kidnapped kids, loaded every nook and cranny with well-armed soldiers, and pretty much set themselves up as overlords. Turok just can’t have this, so it’s your job to eliminate foes, save the kids, and kick ass while you’re doing so.
Jumping Back Into The Action
The game’s design remains unchanged, as Nightdive did a wondrous job following the game’s original programming code. However, they made notable improvements, like getting rid of the fog (making it easier to navigate around levels than ever before), and making animations a slight bit smoother (even if some of the death animations are still the same – like a creature pulling the most dramatic demise ever before it collapses). It looks great, and the lighting has been improved in some spots as well. This is as good as remasters get when it comes to classic first-person shooters making another go-around (instead of a full-on redesign, like Wolfenstein and Doom recently went through.)
That said, I wished more was done with the audio. While there is a great option that lets you choose between the N64 and new PC soundtracks for the game, it’s a bit on the muted side. Even on the maximum volume setting, it still seemed a bit low. Maybe that’s for the best, since the tracks seem to repeat after a little bit anyway. At least the sound effects are great, between creature screeches, laser blasts, and, of course, our hero bellowing out, “I…AM TUROK!”
The gameplay really works with Turok 2, mind a couple of caveats. It’s fun running through stages and blasting enemies to kingdom come, especially with some of the imaginative weaponry introduced here. Yes, we still love the Cerebral Bore, and there’s nothing that will really change that. The controls are responsive, so that you can make precision kills with ease, especially with sniper-based weaponry. That said, you’ll have to get used to a couple of things.
A Fun Throwback To The N64 Era
First off, some bigger enemies take forever to kill. Even if you unload multiple rockets into someone’s backside, they’ll only drop after you’ve diminished a good deal of your weapon supply. It’s always nice to restock later on, but, man, you’d think they’d get the point and just die. (This is especially true on higher difficulty settings.) Also, navigation can take a little bit, as the levels are bigger and more complex than you’re used to in shooters like these. Fortunately, points are marked on your HUD, so you can always see where you need to go next, whether it’s crucial switches or a door that you need to get through.
While some aspects of Turok 2 haven’t aged the greatest – it’s not nearly as sophisticated as some of the other stuff on the market – it still stands as a blast from the past, especially to those that grew up in the Nintendo 64 era. This is as good as the game can possibly look, and it plays just as well, with controls that really make you feel like you can tear apart a renegade army. It could use some tinkering in areas, but there’s no question that Turok still has that spring in his step. Especially when it comes to letting loose with a rocket launcher.
What? The aliens were totally asking for it.
RATING: Four out of five stars.
Disclaimer: A review code was provided by the publisher.