He’s bigger. Stronger…..faster too. It’s the second member of the Turok crew! HUH!
Played on: PC (Nightdive Studios Remaster) N64
Also on: Switch, Xbox One
Developer: Iguana Entertainment, Nightdive Studios
BEWARE AS OBLIVION MAY OR MAY NOT BE AT HAND!
Date posted: 11/18/2020
Where do you go from defeating a big bad tyrant and saving your realm from a horde of viscious dinosaurs? This was the question posed to the team who worked on Turok 2 (Well, most likely posed. I wasn’t there!). Turok Dinosaur Hunter, of course, was a hit, and Acclaim had a taste for blood….they wanted more! Sure, they were publishing other games, like South Park (which…..was….. well, I’ll review it some day!) and others, but they wanted that sweet sweet dinosaur hunting money. By the that time, the N64 was doing great- I mean, friggin Ocrania of Time was setting the systems place firmly in the annals of history- not to mention competition was on the rise, as Goldeneye also solidified the N64 as a major contender in the marketplace. Iguana Entertainment had to bring their A-Game, and boy, did they go all out!
In Turok 2, you do not play as Tal’set, the Turok from the first game. Now you play as Joshua Fireseed, and this is where the plot of Turok as a whole gets super confusing. So, like I said in my last review, Turok is a mantle that is passed on from person to person. Josh was the next to take up the mantle… but apprently, there were others as well. I’m not going to bore you with the details- just know that there’s like a bunch of people who carry the name…..so yeah. You are Turok…. but not THAT Turok. Understood?
Some more background info- The Turok comic book series was bought out and then rebooted by Acclaim after Dinosaur Hunter proved to be a big hit for them- you could say that this means that Dinosaur Hunter isn’t canon… but yeah, it’s complicated. All you have to know now is that Josh is the Turok, and has been sent by some buxom alien like woman named Adon (who herself has a deep backstory I won’t get into) to seek out and destroy an ancient alien overlord named the Primagen. Yeah, behind the scenes in the comic books, things get so complicated- Aprrently, destroying the Primagen in the comics actually reset the universe and s–t. See what I mean when I don’t want to talk about the backstory so much? Like a lot of comic books, it’s crazy and convulated! So how does the story translate to the games then, you might ask?
TUROK GOES HERE AND SHOOTS THING.
Okay, so it didn’t need to be Planetscape Torment, but I think the Turok lore is worth exploring on your own, as the games don’t really delve too much into the series colorful history.
Okay, I prattled on… what do you really do in this one? Easy- everything you did in Dinosaur Hunter, but taken to 11 and ripped the knob off (Insert Spinaltap refrence here). Seriously, though, everything is improved- the weapons, the levels (well….except for one…..) the enemies, the graphics- It’s such a huge leap from DH that it’s almost hard to believe that it came out so close to the orginal…so let’s just go right into it then!
Right from the get go, you notice how great the game looks over it’s predecessor (once again, especially if you play the Nightdive remaster). Fog is reduced significantly, and environments look way better now! Enemies look great as well, sporting some great animations, especially when they die! Indeed, you can shoot the limbs right off of raptoids bodies as they go reeling, and sometimes you can blow them away completely as the top half of their body explodes in a bloody mess, as blood practically gushes forth. This results in some of the most satisfying kills I’ve seen in a FPS, only rivaled by games like Solider of Fortune and the newer Doom games. Add the dynamic shadows and lighting effects in some areas, and you pretty have a poster child for one of the better looking games on the big N.All in all, for the time it came out, Turok 2 actually still impresses to this day!
As I once said in my DH review, it’s not a Turok game without an arsenal of weapons that are just wild in nature… and Turok definitely brings the bang! Not only do you have most of the assortment from the last game, but you also have things like a sniper rifle, tranquilizer, a spinning blade that comes back to you like a boomerang, different types of energy weapons (including a mine thrower) and, of course, the most deadliest of them all- the mother f–kin Cerebral Bore! What does it do, you ask? Oh, nothing- just sends a homing drill into the victims head, where it burrows into their cranium before exploding. It has to be one of the most brutal weapons in FPS history, and it’s every bit as fun to use! On top of this, you even get alternate ammo types for each weapon- nothing is more fun then blowing an enemy apart with an explosive shotgun blast! Easily one of my favorite arsenals in FPS history! Oh, in one part, you get to ride on a rocket launcher equipped Triceratops. NUFF SAID.
No use having a huge arsenal of weapons if there’s no enemies to fight. Thankfully, the whole friggin universe seems to want your boy Turok dead! You have your basic dinos like raptors and their more deadly cousins, the genetically altered Raptoids. You also have the Bionsaurs, which are dino foot soldiers who fire plasma at you. Diving deeper in the game, and you go toe to tow with spiders, friggin zombies, leapers, several kinds of Purrlin (you pretty much commit Purrlin Genocide in one level) blind cyclops looking mother f–kers, and a nest of angry bug like aliens. Go Starship Troopers on these mofos, and watch the blood spill!
The sound design in the original was good, but my god, the soundtrack in this one is just too good! My favorite track is probably the River of Souls, though their all pretty good. That have that distinct sound, you know? That “Your a stranger in a strange land killing anything that moves” feel to it. Just have a listen!
The levels are just as big as before, but now, things have changed, as now everything just feels bigger (and in some levels…. too big. See CONS section). Like the OG, you still need to find keys (which feel a bit easier this time around) but also have to do several mission objectives that can be a bit tricky (I swear some are just pretty much hidden. The Nightdive port helps out by pointing out where objectives are on your HUD). On top of this, you have optional “dungeons” where you face off against a mysterious group of enemies who have been sent by an enigmatic force only known as Oblivion (which won’t factor in Turok 3 at all! I swear!). Completing these gets you a piece of the ultimate weapon- a f–king nuke! Ont top of that, you must also find feathers that will give you different abilities like using pads to fly over gaps and swim in poisoned water. You use these abilities to backtrack in levels almost like a kind of semi-metroidvania, as you can use said abilities to find secret areas, as well as the last set of keys that open the last boss fight against the Primagen himself! This can be pretty rewarding in itself…until an old flaw from the original game comes back to haunt you…..
There’s backtracking, alright! Like I said- the new abilities do add some intrigue to this, though. Who knows what you are going to find? Okay, so it’s usually just a Primagen key or maybe a weapon you don’t have, but hey…..The problem comes from that, sometimes, the levels just seem TOO complex! You can literally spend hours exploring a level if you don’t know what your doing! You always seem to have one missing key, or one missing objective to complete, and based on your temperament, could either make you lose interest in the game, or maybe you like exploring. Either way, have a walkthrough on standby, especially for the dreaded Lair of the Blind Ones.
What is the Lair of the Blind ones, you may ask? Well, it set of caves and flooded tunnels designed to effectively make the player quit and never pick the game up ever again. It is a long slog of a level that has it’s moments… but also has areas were you need to fight giant spiders. It’s just…. UGH. A map of some sort is pretty much mandtory here! The Primagen Lightship can also be a pain in the ass, especially since everything looks the same. I think my favorite level is still the River of Souls.
Pro Tip: If you can’t find the last vent that you need to block, try looking in the area right after the waterfall where you get the feather. There some climbable pillars you can jump to that leads to a vent shaft. Hope that helps!
Though the levels are big, there are only six of them. Yes,they are varied, but I feel at least one or two more levels, maybe one that was a bit more linear, could have worked a little better. I actually like the level set up in the first two Turok games… they just could have had better QoL additions, you know?
This Turok introduces multiplayer, and it’s not terrible, but it does feel rushed in parts- almost as if they were answering the call left by Goldeneye 007, which was wildly popular for it’s multiplayer component. There’s fun to be had here, but Timesplitters this is not. That’s right- Timesplitters. (I’ll review this series, someday, but all the games are worth playing- even the hard as hell jank first entry)
Also, I’m not sure what the point of the energy totem parts was, because most of them were easy and trivial. Feel’s like they should just ended the level. No big deal, really.
Do I even have to say it? Also going to start adding links to Steam and such because I’m good like that!
N64– This is the OG, and a stable of most N64’s owners library. Has a sleek, black cartridge that is pretty much iconic. Ironically, you don’t hear a lot of people saying they ever finished the bloody thing, for a number of reasons (Lack of Memory Card, Difficulty, etc.) I think this one’s a bit more playable then the first on a controller, and MUCH more playable then 3 (well get to that). Also super cheap, which is a nice plus- just make sure you have a expansion pack to get the most out of the game’s graphics!
PC (OG Port)– This port, from what I heard, was much better then Dinosaur Hunter’s. However, there is no real reason to find this, unless your like LGR and like collecting big box PC games. Nuff said.
PC (Nightdive Studios Remaster)– Do I need to say ANYTHING? Everything has been improved. Graphics. Lighting. EVERYTHING. Mouse and keyboard control feels fantastic! Has new accessibility options that help you find objectives. Oh, and mod support. Even has multiplayer! Think it’s on the Xbox One as well.
Switch– Same as above….but no Multiplayer. Have no idea why. Maybe a good port? I’m a hack fraud who refuses to do research. PC WINS BY DEFAULT! Also has a Limited Run physical copy that’s probably out of print. THANKS, LR!
Winner: PC Remaster by Nightdive Studios
Pretty Good: Everything else.
All in all, Turok 2 is an improvement in most ways. The level design can get a bit obnoxious, but look above that, and you can see why Turok 2 is often regarded as not only the best game in the series, but one of the better FPS games from the late 90’s, especially with the stellar PC remaster. If you enjoy FPS games from the god tier time that was 1998, you are sure to like Turok 2…at least, for the most part!
The game, of course, garnered rave reviews at the time, and was even nominated for a few awards. However, Ocarina of fu–king Time came out the same year. Yeah… it still sold well to warrant a sequel…… Yeah, it’s time…..
Agree? Disagree? Good! Leave a comment about how terrible my taste is in the comments below!