Turok (video game)
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 and developed for the Xbox 360 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. Despite being genetically engineered, 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.
Upon seeing where the rest of the ship came down, Morris attempts to contact members of Whiskey Company but is ambushed and killed by a raptor. Turok then proceeds to find other Whiskey Company members on his own, following wreckage and bodies. He eventually finds Slade, who is less than pleased to meet Turok. They proceed to get to the main crash site, finding Turok's bow in the process. The pair navigate the jungles, an M-G outpost, a dinosaur-infested valley, and a raptor cave. They eventually link up with Reese, Whiskey Company's resident sniper, and stumble upon a group of M-G troops searching starship wreckage for survivors before heading through a lair of feline-like raptors. The group eventually makes their way to the crash site where they find Chief Engineer Carter, heavy weapons trooper Jericho, weapons specialist Logan, Whiskey Company's medic Parker, second-in-command Henderson, Company leader Cole, Chief Security Officer Louis, technician and pilot Shepard,and soldiers Foster and Gonzales. After resting up, Turok is sent by Cole on a mission to find the comm unit from the ship's wreckage to attempt to call for help.
The marines shortly came across what looked like an abandoned outpost, and Foster, who was on point, is shot by a sniper. Turok and Gonzales assault the outpost, before having to defend said outpost from an M-G counterattack. Moving deeper into the jungle, they finally find more wreckage from the ship. Gonzales finds the comm unit on a rocky ledge, only to be picked up and carried off by Mama Scarface, a T-Rex who has scars on her right side from battles with M-G soldiers. Turok sets off in pursuit. During the chase, Turok ends up in the nest of the T-Rex and is attacked by her offspring, which he kills. When he locates the Comm Unit, Mama Scarface herself appears and attacks him. During the battle, she gets her right eye knifed, but she throws Turok off and out of her lair. After regaining consciousness, Turok finds that night has fallen and he now has to make his way back to camp while navigating through an abandoned outpost and fighting raptors along the way.
Reaching the camp, he informs the others that Foster and Gonzales didn't make it. Slade is not happy about the news and claims that Gonzales was his closest friend. He challenges Turok to a knife fight and accuses him of being a traitor. Cowboy, having recovered, defends Turok, and Jericho drags a defiant Slade out of the way. After that argument, Turok gave the comm unit to Cowboy and thanked him for his support. Cole, about to inform Turok of something, is suddenly killed by an arrow fired from Grimes and a battle ensues at the camp as M-G troops storm the area. Whiskey Company wins the battle, fending off waves of infantry and even a spider tank, but also lost Henderson, Lewis, and Parker. Even worse, the comm unit was destroyed during the fight. A brief clash for leadership occurred until Logan, unofficially, takes command. Jericho then insists that they go hunt down M-G in retaliation for their fellow soldier's deaths but an approaching storm soon changes his mind. Upon hearing a strange noise along with a large light beam in the distance of the forests, Logan orders Turok and Slade to investigate. Knowing that this was a suicide mission, Carter speaks up but is ordered to go with them. The rest of the company then search for a way off of the planet.
When they arrive at their destination, a seemingly derelict outpost, they discover that the light emitted was from an APC that was pulled halfway into the ground. Forcing their way into the outpost, they come across a log entry from Kane, detailing scorpion-like bugs with a potent neurotoxin. Carter, who was on a separate computer, soon finds the location of a shuttle in an abandoned substation not far from the main M-G base. Turok relays this info to Logan, only to be attacked by the bugs, which drag Carter underground. Managing to escape from the swarm, Turok and Slade eventually fall into an underground cave system. Turok then had to navigate the dark caves, fending off bugs before reuniting with Slade at an underground river. Their reunion was cut short as a kraken-like creature emerges from the water and Turok manages to kill it. Slade begrudgingly thanks Turok for saving his life, having now come to respect him. They eventually escape the caves and link up with what's left of Whiskey Company.
Upon seeing a patrolling convoy coming for their position, Logan accuses Turok of drawing M-G soldiers to them since the beginning, and threatens to shoot him. A battle begins, in which Logan and Jericho are killed. The survivors reach the hangar where the ship was located, only to discover that the ship was long destroyed by the environment. With no other choice, they decide to go to the main M-G base. Upon discovering a back entrance, Reese is killed by an arrow to his eye. The four remaining soldiers enter the base, indirectly helped by Mama Scarface, who was rampaging at the base's gate. Inside, they come across another log from Kane, stating that he had developed a nerve gas from the scorpion-bugs' blood, a gas that can kill any living creature before dissipating without a trace. To prevent the bioweapon from leaving the planet, Turok sets charges on the generators. However, he and the others are captured by Kane. During the ensuing argument between Kane and Turok, Cowboy speaks out, saying none of them would have survived this long without Turok, and Kane kills him. Turok detonates the charges, which results in the death of Grimes.
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 until Kane is dead, shooting down his escape craft and engaging him in a knife fight, coming out the victor. Immediately, Turok is confronted by Mama Scarface, driven insane by the loss of her brood. Turok manages to get a grenade in her ruptured eye, which causes the T-Rex's head to explode. Turok is then picked up by Shepard and Slade in their ship, and the three friends finally escape 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 that holds a grudge against Turok after his older brother Robert, a member of Wolf Pack, was killed in action, something he blames Turok for. Slade has a short temper that is seen many times throughout the game (sometimes snapping at Carter), and whose best friend is Gonzalez. He takes a particular delight in using the flamethrower. Slade finally respects Turok after Turok slimes him from a giant serpent seen underground. One of only three marines who survives to the end of the game. He is a Corporal according to the other characters but, like Cowboy, he bears no insignia on his armor.(Voiced by Ron Perlman)
- Shepard - A technician for Whiskey Company that is prone to complaining and annoys Turok because he talks too much. He is the only one able to pilot a spacecraft in Whiskey Company. One of only three marines who survives to the end of the game. (Voiced by Donnie Wahlberg)
- Cowboy - A marine and the only one that accepts Turok from the start. When Turok first encounters Cowboy, Cowboy is shot by an arrow and Slade blames it on Turok. He is one of the final four marines but is shot in the stomach by Kane for speaking out. (Voiced by Timothy Olyphant)
- Reese - Whiskey Company's sniper, an albino. He saves Turok from a raptor attack. He appeared as a very calm person throughout the game. He never really showed any emotion even during the ambush that killed Cole. Reese is one of the final five marines and dies while assaulting the M-G base when he is shot through the eye with an arrow, likely launched by Grimes. He was a Private First Class based on the insignia on his armor. (Voiced by Gideon Emery)
- Logan - The senior ranking Corporal of Whiskey Company. He becomes increasingly unstable as the game progresses. While attempting to find a spacecraft to escape the dinosaur planet, he accuses Turok of alerting M-G soldiers to their position, and promptly reveals their positions to the soldiers, who hadn't actually been aware of their location. Logan is killed by an M-G helicopter while trying ineffectively to destroy it. Logan had also taken command of Whiskey Company after all higher-ranking officers had died. He suffered brain damage during the crash, something that was not apparent to the others at first though Cole notes that Logan took a bad hit to the head. Unfortunately, he was the highest-ranking member of Whiskey Company after the ambush which killed all the officers. (Voiced by William Fichtner)
- Morris - An NCO of Whickey Company. Morris is the sergeant encountered at the beginning of The Lost Land. He is the senior NCO of Whiskey Company and therefore is fourth in command of the company after Cole, Henderson and Louis. He, besides Turok, is the only one to survive the escape from the engine chunk of the ship after it crashed. He and Turok are also the first ones to encounter the dinosaurs. He notices smoke on the horizon and says that that is where the rest of the ship came down. He then walks off to contact several members of Whiskey company. Just as he comes in contact with someone, he is carried off into the bush and eaten by a raptor. He is also one of the men seen exiting cryo sleep with Turok at the beginning of the game.
- Cole - Captain and the leader of Whiskey Company. He is usually calm but can be sharp if needed. When Turok, Slade and Reese arrive at the main crash site, he orders Turok to search for the comm unit. Turok contacts Cole several times throughout the game. After Turok finds Cowboy, he sends Logan, Parker, Foster, Gonzales, and Slade to rendezvous with them. When Turok returns to the camp without Foster and Gonzales he doesn't question it. He is killed by an arrow to the abdomen by Grimes at the start of a large battle with the M-G soldiers. (Voiced by Mark Rolston)
- Jericho - Whiskey Company's heavy weapon specialist. He is dedicated to his men and persisted on going after the M-G soldiers after they killed many marines. Jericho dies when he stays behind, fighting M-G soldiers, to let Turok and Shepard escape to the station.(Voiced by Christopher Judge)
- Gonzalez - A marine with what seems to be latino heritage. He had gone with Turok in one mission to recover the long-range radio but was carried off by Mama Scarface, the massive T. Rex, who likely fed him to her offspring. Slade was his best friend. (Voiced by Lombardo Boyar)
- Carter - Another technician for Whiskey Company. He worries a lot and annoys Slade. Carter was sent with Turok and Slade to go see what was making an odd sound after he had complained to Logan. He was killed by the giant scorpion bugs and dragged underground. (Voiced by Jason Harris Katz)
- Henderson - Whiskey Company's second-in-command. He was only seen once in the game and was said to have died when the M-G soldiers attacked Whiskey Company's campsite. His death was not shown unlike Louis and Cole's deaths. (Voiced by Steve Van Wormer)
- Louis - Another high-ranking officer. He died in the ensuing battle that also claimed the lives of Henderson and Cole. He was gunned down by machine gun turrets.
- 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. He tried to treat Cowboy for his arrow wound before taking him back to camp for better treatment. It is unclear how he died, but he does not make it off the dinosaur planet at the end with Turok, Slade, and Shepard. It is thought that he was either killed during the attack as he is not seen during the meeting to decide who will lead Whiskey company or he was killed on the return journey to the main crash site as he is not seen when Turok returns with the comm unit. (Voiced by Josh Gomez)
- Roland Kane - The AWOL leader of Wolf Pack. After Kane left the military he began working with the Mendel-Grumman Company. Kane set up a base on a planet, and among other things, genetically engineered quite a few species of resurrected dinosaurs, and created an incredibly potent toxin that he planned to sell to the M-G Company. Kane also kills Cowboy when he speaks out. He failed in his attempt to escape the dinosaur planet after his facilities were destroyed when Turok blew up his escape vessel and defeated him in a knife fight. Roland Kane was the person that trained Turok to his amazing combat level. (Voiced by Powers Boothe)
- John Grimes - Wolf Pack's second-in-command. He is seen multiple times throughout the game, the first is outside an M-G base on the second level, when he confronts Turok, briefly seen after he killed Cole with his bow and when Kane captures the four remaining members in Whiskey Company. It is unclear whether or not he survives the events of the game. He may have been killed when the reactor room exploded and he was hit by a falling metal beam. Grimes also causes the death of Cole and Reese, and is likely the one who injured Cowboy. His signature weapon is the bow, and his skill with the weapon is exceptional.
- 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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