Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion
|Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion|
|Developer(s)||Acclaim Studios Austin|
Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion is a first-person shooter video game developed by Acclaim Studios Austin and published by Acclaim Entertainment. It was released for the Nintendo 64 video game console in 2000. Shadow of Oblivion is the third main installment of the Turok series and a sequel to Turok 2: Seeds of Evil. The game received generally favorable reviews from critics. A separate game, also titled Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion, which is set in the same fictional universe but follows a different storyline, was released for the Game Boy Color in 2000.
Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion is a first-person shooter where the player controls the protagonist from a first-person perspective. The player can choose to play the game as either Danielle or Joseph, who both have unique abilities. For example, Danielle can jump higher and carry high-powered weapons, while Joseph can crawl into crevices and use the sniper rifle in conjunction with the night vision goggles. Each character has eight main weapons that may be upgraded in different ways for a total of 16 weapons per character, although some of them are shared. Players can save their progress at any time with the use of a Controller Pak.
In addition to the single-player campaign, Shadow of Oblivion features a multiplayer mode where various players can compete against each other in eight game types, including blood lust, capture the flag, last stand, and monkey tag. Multiplayer games can be played in 42 different maps and can also include bots.
When the Primagen's Lightship was destroyed at the end of Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, the chain reaction it triggered was so powerful that the universe as it existed was completely eradicated, pushing Oblivion, a monstrous cosmic entity that consumes bodies of the living and reigned before the birth of the universe, to the very brink of destruction. Though totally ravaged, Oblivion survived and now desperately seeks a means to punch through the Netherscape that separates the living world from the Lost Lands, a strange and primitive world where time has no meaning. The last shreds of the pure energy source that created the living world and nearly wiped out Oblivion are contained within the Light Burden, the bag that every member of the Turok lineage has carried. Deep within the Lost Lands, Oblivion's henchmen have a massive headquarters from where they assemble their armies and direct their operations.
The game begins with the current Turok, Joshua Fireseed, having dreams of a child that must be protected, as he is the last of the Fireseed lineage. During that night, Oblivion Spawns teleport into his home and try to kill Joshua in his sleep. Joshua catches them and fights, but is outnumbered. He then tells his sister Danielle and his brother Joseph to escape, while he stays behind with a bomb in his hand to blow the Spawns away, along with himself. While Danielle and Joseph drive away, they are attacked by a monster, but Adon, a female alien who helped Joshua in the previous game, saves and teleports them to a council meeting to deal with the situation of Oblivion. They decide that either Danielle or Joseph must become the next Turok, and the player must choose. The player will eventually have to infiltrate the enemies' headquarters to destroy the scourge of the universe.
Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion was developed by Acclaim Studios Austin and published by Acclaim Entertainment. Before production of the game began, the development team decided to remove the Nintendo 64 Expansion Paks from their development kits to guarantee a smooth frame rate on a standard Nintendo 64. Instead, high-resolution and letterbox settings were developed for owners of Expansion Paks. The team rewrote the graphics engine, resulting in the game having a 30 degree wider field of view and two to four times the draw distance that Turok 2 had. A co-operative mode, where two players, one as Danielle and the other as Joseph, would play through the campaign missions together, was originally intended to be included in the game, but was ultimately dropped due to technical difficulties related to Danielle and Joseph's unique abilities.
Unlike previous Turok games, where artists were limited to pre-designed levels, Shadow of Oblivion features maps that were entirely built to suit the designers' requirements. Levels also include events that unfold independently of the player's actions. As creative director David Dienstbier explained, players can "see police choppers swooping throughout the world. Police drive up to certain buildings and charge into the building to go fight. Some of this stuff is scripted specifically around the player's actions and movements, and some of it takes place completely independent of where the player is." In the weeks leading up to the game's release, the development team was composed of 21 people and worked 24 hour shifts. A separate game, also titled Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion, was released for the Game Boy Color in 2000. Although set in the same fictional universe, it follows a different storyline.
Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion received generally favorable reviews from critics. Mark Green of N64 Magazine described Shadow of Oblivion as a "gigantic, gorgeous game that's packed with goodness and perfectly playable in every way", but also noted that it failed to topple Rare's Perfect Dark, a game that was released several months earlier and that he felt the Turok 3 team was always unlikely to better. In contrast, Shane Satterfield of GameSpot felt that the game was "successful because it concentrates upon what made the Turok franchise a best-seller instead of attempting to one-up the competition, making it in many ways the best Turok yet." Shaun Conlin of The Electric Playground praised the game's unique weapons and multiplayer deathmatch variants, but overall felt that the game was worthier as a rental than as an actual purchase.
Writing for IGN, reviewer Fran Mirabella III praised the option for players to save the game at any time, saying that "You can no longer live in fear of playing for 45 minutes only to end up getting whacked before you reach a save beacon". However, he criticized the game's inconsistent frame rate and the fact that the game can look worse than its predecessor in some regards. Similarly, GamePro said that the game's "sloppy" frame rate discourages the use of "awesome" multiplayer options, especially in 4-player mode. Despite the criticism, Nintendo Power highlighted the realistic character models as well as the cinematics for their lip-synched speech, a feature that is uncommon for a Nintendo 64 game.
- Shane Satterfield (2000-08-30). "Turok 3: Shadows of Oblivion Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2015-11-07. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
- Fran Mirabella III (2000-09-05). "Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion". IGN. Archived from the original on 2016-03-06. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
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- "Prepare for the Hunt". Nintendo Power. No. 133. Nintendo of America. June 2000. pp. 26–30.
- Craig Harris (2000-08-04). "Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion". IGN. Archived from the original on 2015-11-07. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
- "Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion". GameRankings. Archived from the original on 2016-04-14. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
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- The D-Pad Destroyer (2000-08-31). "Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2004-03-04. Retrieved 2004-03-04.
- Mark Green (October 2000). "Turok 3: Shadows of Oblivion". N64 Magazine. No. 46. Future Publishing. pp. 46–53.
- "Turok 3: Shadows of Oblivion". Nintendo Power. No. 136. Nintendo of America. September 2000. p. 109.
- Shaun Conlin (2000-10-18). "Turok 3 Review". The Electric Playground. Archived from the original on 2003-01-15. Retrieved 2003-01-15.