Turok (video game)
For the Nintendo 64 game of the same name, see Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
Disney Interactive Studios
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
|Release date(s)||Xbox 360 & PS3
NA February 5, 2008
AUS February 7, 2008
EU February 8, 2008
JP April 10, 2008 (X360)
JP May 29, 2008 (PS3)
Turok is a first-person shooter developed by Propaganda Games, and published by Touchstone Games and Disney Interactive Studios, originally for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in February 2008. It was later ported on to Microsoft Windows in April 2008. A sequel was planned for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 but it was cancelled before it was even officially announced.
The game is loosely based on the comic book series of the same title and is unrelated to the story and setting of previous Turok video games. Players assume the role of Native American space marine Joseph Turok, who is part of a team sent to a remote planet to apprehend his previous commanding officer, General Roland Kane, now a wanted war criminal. After crash landing, Turok discovers this planet is home to all manner of dinosaurs, and must fight both the predatory creatures and Kane's private army on his mission to take down his former mentor.
The gameplay of Turok is similar to that of most first-person shooters, with a strong focus on survival in dangerous natural environments. The human enemies, under the leadership of Kane, are the main threat to the player, although dinosaurs may often be found wandering throughout the game. The dinosaurs act as a neutral force and, if the player chooses, can be used as a tool to attack enemy soldiers. This may be done by attracting roaming dinosaurs to a firefight (via: flares, gunshots, etc.) to aid the player and help dispatch the enemy, with possible other ways depending on the situation. The dinosaurs' intelligence are much alike the Earth dinosaurs, so other dinosaurs and all humans, including the player's allies and enemies, may be attacked. The game does not utilize an aim-assist feature.
The developer Propaganda Games has included an additional, stealth mechanic in the game. Because Turok takes place mostly in jungle environments with a focus on ambiance, the player may kill enemies with a bow or knife without being heard or use dinosaurs to attract the attention of other enemies and slip by unnoticed. A famed new feature into this game is the Silent Kill, which is done by drawing your knife, then attacking a human or unaware dino from behind. The kill can be utilized against dinosaurs and humans alike as a finishing blow, and can be executed from any side. The knife is also utilized as a self-defense weapon during phases known as "mauls", where the player is attacked by a dino or bug, and must hammer on the according buttons in order to counter-attack or fend off the attack.
At the end of the game, when you fight Kane as a boss, he steals your knife, and you must quickly hammer on the randomly chosen button(s) and finally kill him at the 4th or 5th set of buttons. These gameplay elements have been made optional, meaning the player is never forced to use stealth to their advantage if they wish not to. Well-known among Turok fans, the games generally feature a large, creative arsenal, with unconventional futuristic weaponry, much unlike that found in typical first-person shooters.
Online multiplayer support is also available. There is a (Team) Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Wargames, and Assault Capture the Flag. Multiplayer supports up to 16 people, and 4 players for three co-op missions. A feature in the multiplayer—randomly spawning computer-controlled dinosaurs and insects that appear in various locations in levels—adds a new factor to the gameplay. While players must worry about the opposing enemies, they must now also worry about the hostile dinosaurs that will be attempting to kill them. There can be up to 4 A.I controlled dinosaurs or insects on any map at one time. Unfortunately, splitscreen multiplayer is not supported in any form.
Originally, the Xbox 360 version of Turok was set to feature an Achievement called "Grab Bag", which required players to kill at least one enemy, one dinosaur, one teammate, and themselves, all in the same match. This caused controversy on the Internet as the Achievement essentially rewarded players for team killing. Josh Holmes, a representative of Propaganda Games, described the creation of the Achievement by saying "What we found was that players playing their first match in Turok - almost every player - was (accidentally) killing himself, a team mate and an enemy with a grenade or a Stick [sic] Bomb gun and so we thought 'hey, we should give them an Achievement for that', as kind of a joke." He went on to say that developers were planning to release a patch removing Grab Bag if excessive team killing became a problem after launch. In the launch version of the game, however, while the "Grab Bag" Achievement is still present, it removed the requirement of killing a teammate, and is awarded after the player kills an enemy, a dinosaur, and themselves in the same match. A Map pack called the "Velociraptor Pack" was later released, containing two new multiplayer maps, one new Co-op map, and 2 refurbished maps, which now take place at night.
Since February 2011, the Turok multiplayer servers have been disconnected either by the Turok developers Propaganda Games or their parent company, Disney Interactive Studios. The multiplayer had been running perfectly fine for nearly 3 years until then, when the servers went offline and no-one could access them. This problem has only been reported by PlayStation Network gamers and petitions exist to re-boot the Turok multiplayer again. The main and most recognized campaign to restore turok multiplayer is the Turok Multiplayer Revival Campaign (TMRC) with over 500 supporters.
The player controls Corporal Joseph Turok, former member of the Wolf Pack, a specialized military detachment whose members were trained in black ops by General Roland Kane. After a falling out with the group, Turok was reassigned to a general military unit known as Whiskey Company. The team has been assembled to apprehend his former mentor and return him to Earth. After committing various war crimes, Kane had disappeared three years earlier only to surface on a backwater world. Unbeknownst to Whiskey Company, the planet is under the jurisdiction of the Mendel-Grumman (M-G) Corporation, and Kane is in command of a private army of M-G soldiers and equipment.
At first, the crew shuns Turok, thinking that he is an inexperienced fighter, untrustworthy, and a liability. One particular member, Slade, has a personal grudge against Turok because his brother Robert was also a member of Wolf Pack, and was killed in the same battle in Columbia from which Turok had reputedly fled, earning him his dubious reputation.
On approach to their destination, their starship is shot down from orbit and crash lands on the terraformed surface, where Turok quickly learns that the jungles covering the surface, even the planet are inhabited by dinosaurs. The dinosaurs are wild and dangerous, and the M-G soldiers have been capturing them to be used as experimental weapons for General Kane, meaning a three-way battle between Whiskey Company, the M-G soldiers, and the dinosaurs takes place throughout the game. Upon crashing, many of Whiskey Company are killed by the crash or are either killed by dinosaurs or M-G soldiers.
Turok, Shepard and Slade navigate their way through the collapsing base, battling MG soldiers and raptors. Soon they reach the ship but Turok refuses to board it and goes to prevent Kane from escaping. He destroys Kanes ship using rocket turrets. After destroying the starship, Turok is faced with an intense knife battle under the ruins of the MG Base with Kane, in which Turok kills Kane. Soon after this event had occurred, Turok is confronted by Mama Scarface, who is driven insane by the loss of her brood, for the final time. Turok manages to eventually put Mama Scareface at ease by carefully placing a grenade in its ruptured eye which causes the T. rex's upper jaw to explode. Turok is showered by the blood of the T. rex whilst witnessing the other members of Whiskey Company (Shepard and Slade) return to save him in a Starship. Turok enters the ship and the three friends finally escape from the planet.
- Joseph Turok - The game's main titular protagonist. He was a former member of Wolf Pack, and a former military operative given extensive training in knife fighting and use of the longbow, in addition to training with more conventional firearms. Turok left Wolf Pack because he did not agree with the orders he was given. He joined Whiskey Company and was one of the few that survived. Like Tal'set and Joshua Fireseed in the previous continuity, Joseph has Native American heritage, specifically Kiowa. He is one of only three marines who survives to the end of the game. (Voiced by Gregory Norman Cruz.)
- Slade - A member of Whiskey Company. (Voiced by Ron Perlman.)
- Cowboy - A marine and the only one that accepts Turok from the start.
- Reese - Whiskey Company's sniper, an albino.
- Logan - The senior ranking Corporal of Whiskey Company.
- Morris - An NCO of Whiskey Company.
- Cole - Captain and the leader of Whiskey Company. (Voiced by Mark Rolston.)
- Jericho - Whiskey Company's heavy weapon specialist.
- Gonzalez - A marine with what seems to be latino heritage.
- Carter - Another technician for Whiskey Company.
- Henderson - Whiskey Company's second-in-command. (Voiced by Steve Van Wormer.)
- Louis - Another high-ranking officer.
- Foster - A soldier paired with Turok and Gonzalez to retrieve the comm unit. He is shot in the head by an M-G sniper. (Voiced by John Curry.)
- Parker - Whiskey Company's medic. (Voiced by Josh Gomez.)
- John Grimes - Wolf Pack's second-in-command.
- Mendell-Grumman Corporation - The paramilitary company that is funding Kane's research on the planet and providing the soldiers that kill the many stranded members of Whiskey Company.
In terms of individual reviews, Turok has received a 9/10 from Play magazine and a 7/10 from both the Official Xbox Magazine and the Official PlayStation Magazine. Both praised multiplayer but commented on the "sketchy enemy awareness" and "dodgy textures". Game Trailers, which gave the game 8.3/10, highlighted the game's use of the Unreal Engine 3, believing it to be "the best use of the tech outside of Epic's own efforts" and praising the modeling and animation of the dinosaurs in particular. 1UP.com gave the game a score of C+, specifically complaining about its stealth mechanics, the use of camera shaking, and occasional graphical glitches in the PlayStation 3 version. Hyper's Yuri Spadeface commended the game for its "solid frame rate" but he criticised the "frustrating level design and average execution". Turok received 3/5 from X-Play, who commented on its aim-assist being woefully inadequate both in multiplayer and singleplayer, but praised its graphics and "outlook".
Turok was a commercial success, shifting over 1 million units in its first two months of sales. The game was popular enough for Propaganda Games to begin working on a sequel for the Xbox 360 before the Touchstone games division was shuttered.
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