I think I know why the dinosaurs went extinct.
A shadowy figure on a wall… The glint of tempered metal… Reflected from
the barrel of a gun… Reflected from the steel tip of an arrow…
Reflected in the cold gleam of a hunter’s eye…
The bow is drawn, tensed in your hands like a coiled snake, dripping with
stored energy. There is a small sound, the hiss of death. The startled sentry
clutches at his lacerated neck in a vain attempt to staunch the arterial
spray. Gurgling and choking, he staggers a few steps before he falls from the
You quickly stash your bow in favor of an automatic shotgun. The time for
subtlety has passed. You leap over the body of the fallen to dispatch his
comrades to a similar, if noisier, fate. Poor bastards. They really don’t
stand a chance.
Such is the life of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, killer of men, machines,
animals, aliens, and yes, dinosaurs.
All I want to say is that finally there is a really good game for the
N64. It has been 5 months (count ’em yourself) since the release of the
N64, and we haven’t exactly been bombarded with games. Even the few games
that have been released have been unimpressive: failing to take advantage of
the impressive graphical power, like Cruis’n USA,
or lacking in gameplay, like Shadows of the
Empire. Take heart, N64 owners! Your time has finally begun.
The plot of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter comes to us from a 40 year old
comic book series. You are Turok of the Saquin,
and you are one of many. The first born male children of
the Fireseed family carry a particular burden. It is their fate to become
Turok in their turn. As Turok they must protect our world from the Lost
Land, a universe of strange technologies, dinosaurs, aliens, people and
animals lost in time.
A villain known as The Campaigner is attempting to put together the pieces
of the ‘chronoscepter’, an ancient artifact that can pull down the barriers
between times and universes. With the artifact he hopes to be become master
of the whole space-time continuum. A real underachiever.
Having a bit of spare time yourself, your duty is to stop him single-handedly.
Unfortunately, the Campaigner has amassed quite an army to
stop you, full of human soldiers, ancient warriors, bizarre creatures,
aliens, raptors, and psychos packing energy weapons riding on gigantic
cybernetically enhanced dinosaurs (whew.)
Fortunately (like in most games of this genre), you are a nearly unstoppable
death machine with combat skills and firepower that make Rambo look like a
The game itself takes place from a first-person point of view. Anyone who
hasn’t been in prison for the past few years will recognize the format immediately.
With the barrel of your weapon visible at the bottom of the screen (or the tip
of your arrow or the haft of your knife), the game plays the same way as Doom,
Duke Nukem, and a host of others.
The control, however, is configured the same way as in the Marathon
series. You use the N64 analog joystick to control your view, while movement is
controlled with either a left or right D-pad configuration.
Firing, jumping, and the map toggle are controlled with the
triggers. I like this type of control and have found it to be more versatile
than most standard 3D game controls.
The graphics are simply fantastic. The 3D power of the N64 is demonstrated
brilliantly. The terrain, the fully rendered texture-mapped 3D enemies, the
barrels of the weapons themselves, gripped in your hands – I don’t think I’ve
seen a single sprite in the entire game. The movement is great with a smoooooth
30 frames/second. The graphics in Turok are certainly most similar to
those in Quake.
The enemy animations also look great. They move smoothly, their heads track
to follow you, and they can even die in several different (and sometimes
gruesome) ways. One note of warning to concerned parents. The level of
violence in the game is quite high, and is probably not appropriate for
young children. The earlier description of a man clutching his neck and
staggering about while his blood squirted everywhere was not poetic license,
but an actual scene from the game.
The attention to detail is marvelous, with bloodstains splattering the wall
behind dead enemies, real-time lighting, cobwebs gently drifting in the
breeze, and even a terrific lens-flare effect and drifting clouds if you
decide to look up into the sky.
How big is the game, you ask? There are 14 different weapons, from the knife
to the fusion cannon. There are dozens of unique enemies, from big insects
and carnivorous plants to demons and cyborgs. There are only 8 different
levels, but they are huge, with over 5 million virtual square feet to
explore. If you don’t use any cheats, this one should take you quite some
time to solve.
Of course, the game is not without problems (you knew I’d eventually get
here). The first complaint is with the N64 controller (which I don’t like).
The little stick is difficult to use and is spring-loaded, making it hard to
aim because it is always trying to pull itself back to the center. You need to react quickly in this
game, and fumbling with the analog stick can be a pain.
Some of the levels just have too much jumping. If I wanted to jump about on moving
platforms, I’d play Super Mario 64 instead. If you
miss, you usually fall and die, but you can’t always tell which pits will
kill you and which ones won’t. This can be especially frustrating because
there are some pits you have to fall into in order to find certain
So you spent $200 on an N64, and $80-$110 for Turok: Dinosaur
Hunter… Wanna save your game? That’ll be $20 more please. Like the
PlayStation, the N64 requires a separate memory pack, and so does
Turok. I would advise picking up this pack as soon as you pick up the game.
Even if the first person shooter is becoming an older genre, Turok
is a worthy new addition. The graphics are as good as Quake’s, even
after you run Quake through
a 3D accelerator! The wide variety of weapons and enemies keep it interesting
and entertaining for hours of end. This is easily the best first person shooter
for any non-computer system to date, and it ranks up there with the best that
a high-end PC can offer. Looks like the N64 in the Game Revolution offices won’t
be gathering dust anymore.