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Turok 2 - Seeds of Evil (N64)
Member Name: Bones
Turok 2 - Seeds of Evil (N64)
Date: 27/08/02, updated on 04/12/02 (218 review reads)
Advantages: Huge, Excellent array of weaponry
Disadvantages: Not enough save points, Frustrating occasionally
One of the most commercially successful games to be released on the N64, Turok 2 has gained a relatively high profile in the videogaming world. It was, I recall, one of the most anticipated releases of the year (the year being 1998 I think) along with The Ocarina of Time and F-Zero X. The original game, titled Turok: Dinosaur Hunter had hit a nerve with fans of the first person shooter, as it exhibited raptors, stegosauruses (I have no idea what the plural for stegosaurus is so I am guessing) and a tyrannosaurus rex, along with many other adversaries. The game gave the player one of the most impressive arsenals to grace the console world. It wasn't staggeringly violent, although in Germany the humans were changed into robots, which I thought was amusing. However the game did have a couple of nagging flaws. Firstly, the gamer often could get helplessly lost (maybe that's why they called his world the lost land lol) and secondly the game featured sections which required precision jumping with alarming regularity. I remember one section where about 30 jumps over a bottomless pit were required. The experience was migraine-inducing.
Despite this, news of a sequel was met with great excitement. The original game was the first I purchased for the N64 but I sold it so my background knowledge is rather lacking, but I believe (for those of you who are interested) that at the end of Turok 1, a huge explosion involving the destruction of a vastly powerful weapon awoke a beast known as the Primagen from his supposedly immortal hibernation. He is currently imprisoned, but is currently looking for a loophole that will allow him to weave destruction on the lost land once more. He plans to dispel this by sending his rather unpleasant cronies out to seek and destroy five energy totems that were erected to seal him in his prison. The player is Joshua Fireseed, labeled "the new Turok", so I haven't the faintest what happened to the
first guy. Your job is pretty simple, just travel through six parts of the lost land seeking out and protecting the energy totems, as well as eradicating the alien threat. It's not the most original thing I've heard, but who cares?
Firstly, I should point out that if you have played the original Turok then you will be astonished at the extent to which the series has had a makeover. The game engine is so radically different and ameliorated that it seems the developers may have discarded the original engine altogether and started from scratch. Thankfully, the developers of the sequel wisely examined all the criticisms leveled at its predecessor, and hence promised to rectify the situation. Precision jumping it now limited to three or four jumps at most, and more importantly, the level design has been greatly improved. Whilst procession through the game is far from linear, the player will no longer have the chance to travel too far from the beaten track, as they say. Fogging has been greatly reduced but is still present in certain places yet I think it is used intentionally, for effect. The enemies in the sequel have shifted away from the dinosaurs and warriors of the original, although the raptors are retained. The levels in the original were very bland, but now they are filled with delightful detail, allowing the player to identify more "points of interest", which serve as helpful reminders in case one feels that they are getting lost. Also, the levels are now comprised of sections rather than checkpoints, which have a warp point at the start and end of each section. This is good news, trust me. Each level now demands the player to complete a couple of objectives before they can progress to the energy totem at the end. I won't give a list but objectives include destroying certain objects/lifeforms and rescuing certain people. Now although I keep referring to them as "levels", they would be more accurately described as &q
orlds" or "massive gaming environments". The first two levels will take most first-timers a couple of hours to get through, and even longer to find all the keys which will allow the player access to the next level. The later levels are huge though, and may cause some players to really struggle. The levels have all been created in such a way that they feel very different to one another. The first two levels are bright and breezy, set in towns during daylight. The third and especially the fourth have a much darker feel and are a little intimidating. The fifth level, titled The Hive of the Mantids, will cause the player to notice a striking similarity with the "Alien" films, whilst the sixth... is something special.
Playing The Game:
Turok 2 is a played like a typical first person shooter (FPS), where on the screen all you see of yourself is your hand clasping onto a weapon. If you look down, you will find that you have no feet. Turok can run, jump, strafe, duck and fire a weapon just like the protagonist of any other FPS. In his quest, Turok will have to swim, climb ladders and erm... ride a Triceratops. Throughout this epic (epic is such an overused word) quest, the player's main objective is to make his way through the levels, gathering keys and other miscellaneous items, until he reaches the energy totem which he must protect. When a level is completed, he will be transported to a hub where all the entrances to the levels are connected. If he has all the keys required to open a portal to a level, he may enter it. In his quest, Turok must also seek out sacred eagle feathers that he must exchange at altars for special powers, such as the power to swim through poisonous waters or to see previously invisible paths. These special powers will allow him access to more areas of the game.
The game is fairly unoriginal as far as FPS' go, but it has some nice touches. One final point of interest is that this gam
e hosts th
e gaming debut of the "shadows of oblivion", who I believe play a far greater part in Turok 3, which I have still haven't played. They are a pretty nasty bunch who seem to have a massive asthmatic problem, and they appear now and again to hinder your quest.
I remember when Acclaim started releasing screenshots of this game. It was enough to make one drool at the time. This game was the first to utilize the 4MB expansion pack, which effectively doubled the N64's built-in memory. As a result, games can shift twice as much information around at once. The difference it makes the game is dazzling, and even now it remains one of the best looking games for the console. I would recommend buying this device, but since the little black box is a mandatory purchase for one to play Perfect Dark, I assume you all have one already. In FPS' graphics I believe have a little more influence than in other genres, as players will always be attracted to a FPS if it looks amazing. One look at Halo for example, and I want to play it. The enemies look amazing, and the weapons have been meticulously drawn. There's not a lot that I can say here, but unless you own a quality PC you will be impressed by the quality and interestingly, the diversity of visual flair on show here.
Fan-flipping-tastic. Turok 2 has an amazing musical score, simple as that. The music is looped, but it is very well disguised and is therefore barely noticeable. Most tracks last between 5 and 8 minutes before looping over. The music is dramatically scored, filled with strings and strong bass lines. The score for the first level, The Port of Adia is so cool I have it downloaded. As with the levels themselves, the music for each level is surprisingly unique.
Unfortunately, despite all of the above credentials supporting this game, once again playing the game is not nearly as thrilling as it should hav
e been. My firs
t complaint is saving: when are developers going to learn. I don't want to scour around for half an hour looking for a save point. This is not a game where you can just spend a few minutes playing then quick save when you want. It is so frustrating when you make it through a really tricky section of the game but can't save your progress. The main culprit is an underwater section on the fourth level, which is brain-numbingly confusing and complex, not to mention infuriatingly difficult. When you complete it after trying twenty times, where's the bloody save point! Playing this game is nowhere near as fun as it looks. Another point of criticism is the fact that despite all the fancy weaponry (that I will come on to later) there seems to be an emphasis in this game on survival and conservation of ammo. Where's the fun in that? Where's the fun in running away from an enemy because you no longer have any more ammo for your magnum, or your flamethrower? This happens far too often. Finally, throughout the levels are loads of life tokens. One hundred of these results in an extra life, and they are all over the place. This is I believe, because the developers expect you to die - and this is their way of solving the problem with the game's difficulty. There are three difficlty settings. The easiest setting is perhaps too easy to begin with but the game does get higher, and if you dont like dying then maybe this is the best setting. That said, though if you want a real challenge, I would personally go for the medium setting.
However the gameplay does have its good points which you will discover early on. The artificial intelligence is pretty good, although not remarkably so. Enemies do duck behind crates, sidestep and run for backup occasionally. Most of the time they'll come pummeling straight at you. A friend informed me that the expansion pack boosts the A.I in the game, although I have my doubts about this. Also, the gam
e does throw up a fe
w bosses from time to time, and they are excellent.
Turok 2 boasts possibly the most incredible arsenal I have ever had the pleasure of experimenting with. There are 21 weapons in total. You start of with a talon and a bow, before picking up a pistol, a shotgun and a special "tek bow" which has a sniper scope attached, and can fire exploding arrows. Nothing special at the moment you would say, but after that comes the fun. The following weapons are sheer brilliance. Highlights include the shredder, which can be fired around corners (ping, ping, splurge), the firestorm cannon which is similar to a mini-gun (let's rock! - woooooaaaaaaaaa) and the cerebral bore, possibly the finest device of destruction ever conceived (wheeeeoirrr, buzzzz, splurge). Worthy of a merit too is the flamethrower, which is extremely fun to use. Oh and the razor wind... and the scorpion launcher.. and the (shhhhh), don?t tell em, pike.
Perhaps you didn't already know, Turok 2 does feature a deathmatch multiplayer mode, which can be played by 2-4 people. The format is similar to Goldeneye, but it not quite as enjoyable. No music is played, so the only sound you hear is that of ammo boxes reappearing or of deadly projectiles being fired. Still, it isn't a big problem. Multiplayer modes include a simple combat mode, a frag tag mode where hilariously, one person becomes a monkey and must reach a safe area to get a point before he is killed by the other players. Then another person becomes the monkey and the person with the most points wins. There are ten arenas I think (maybe more can be unlocked) and most are pretty good, if a little too small for my liking. There are about eight characters also (again, more can be unlocked). When you select one or when one wins a game they have a trademark line. My favourite is the "old" Turok, who says "Only the Strong Survive". The w
eapons are certainly of more interest than those in goldeneye. For any of you who have played this, you will know how fun the multiplayer can be if you have been fortunate enough to use a charge dart rifle followed by a cerebral bore on someone. If however, you have been on the receiving end of the above combo more times then you may disagree. Of course, no one is going to buy this game for the multiplayer. However it is a welcome addition and if you liked it, you may want to check out Turok: Rage Wars which is a multiplayer-only spin-off of the Turok series.
Although this game does have problems, I still can't see why so many people stare at it with such derision. It is certainly an above average FPS and is worth a purchase. However I do feel there is something wrong on the gameplay front when I become more inclined to put certain cheats on when playing a game just because I find it more entertaining that way. The game is quite violent, but is fairly tame by some other FPS'. It has a 15 certificate on the box if that's any help. I just hope Turok: Evolution can convert even the most cynical FPS gamer. It looks absolutely marvellous, but then again, we all said that about Turok 2.
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