I think I know why the dinosaurs went extinct. Review

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter Info


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Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now


  • N64
  • PC


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

. 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

… 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.


Great graphics
Good gameplay
Terrific enemies
Finally a good N64 game!
A bit too violent for the young 'uns
Tough to aim, tough to jump