Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
The story to Turok: Dinosaur Hunter is based on a comic series and centers around a Native American warrior named Turok. Turok discovers that an ambitious, megalomaniac who calls himself The Campaigner is searching for the legendary weapon known as the Chronosceptor. Having the ability to travel to different dimensions, Turok is sent to stop The Campaigner and recover the scattered pieces of the Chronosceptor before they fall into the wrong hands. Unless one has the manual, the story to this game is very paper thin. The game is based on a comic series that was released in the 50s. Being an old fashioned game, the story is just there and is not what this game encompasses. 7/10
For the time of the N64, the graphics are very well done. Despite this being an old game, every detail has aged quite nicely. The levels are big and massive. Each level has wonderfully rendered and creative backgrounds that really set a lot of atmosphere for each part.
The character animations move smoothly and the voice acting is very minimal. Most of the lines consist of ''Hey", "I am Turok", or "The universe is mine!". Each character is well detailed and much of what the game encompasses is very creative. The music is also well done. Each track is very well played and succeeds at engaging the player in each level. The sound effects are also great. Every gun sounds great and none of the effects drone out.
On a technical level, this game holds up very well. One thing one may find funny is the draw distance. Most of the areas in front of the character are blurred by fog that only disappears when the player moves a certain distance forward. But like I said, this is an old-fashoined nostalgic game and the technical aspects are still good. 8.5/10
Gameplay is were this game's fun factor lies. Out of all the first-person shooter games I've played on the N64 back in the day, I remember this one having the most variety. Turok takes the first-person shooter gameplay mechanic and blends it with platforming and adventuring elements. Every one of these elements come together and play remarkably. This is due to the fantastic controls.
The C buttons move the player forward and backward. The left and right C buttons strife the player sideways while the player statically faces a certain direction. The analog stick is used to look around, or turn around. The Z trigger fires the selected weapon and the A and B buttons ascend or descend through the weapon selection screen. The controls are remarkably tight and precise. Since most FPSs for the N64 utilized the control stick to move around, this game creatively pushes the functional boundaries of the genre for the system while legitimately setting its engine apart from what the player is used to seeing for the system. The only negative thing about the controls is that there is no auto aim feature. When one has to aim up high to shoot a target that is stationed in elevated areas, one has to use the joystick to manually aim the weapon in the desired direction. This can feel weird and given the fact that the joystick can be slippery, it takes some getting used to.
The platforming and adventuring elements also do this game much justice. The L trigger activates the map screen and the R trigger jumps. Not only is the map screen useful in informing the player of which areas he/she has already visited, but it also comes in handy when the situation calls for jumping from platform to platform. It very precisely tells the player whether or not the jump was made successfully and never holds anything back when activated. Giving the player the freedom to move around freely while activated and not obscuring any of the views.
The adventuring elements also add to the challenge because each level is massive. Levels are not presented in episodic format like Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, or Doom 64. Levels are unlocked when the player collects every key that is well hidden within each level. When the player has obtained the correct amount of keys the portal will open and the level will become accessible. The levels are massive and each has hidden areas to explore as well as puzzles to solve in order to obtain more powerful weapons. There are seven boss fights throughout the game. Three take place at the end of level 3. One takes place at the end of level 6 and the other two take place near the end of level 8. Every one of them is just as satisfying as the campaign.
As I said, this game has the most variety I've seen of any FPS on the N64. There are many different weapons to choose from and each of the gunfights are intense, engaging, and chaotic. Weapons range from knife, pistol, assault rife, pulse rifle, tek bow, grenade launcher, missile launcher, etc. Each weapon is satisfying to use. Enemies range from poachers, dinosaurs, giant insects, androids, turrets, mechs, etc. Each have their own creative design choice. One thing that may drive some gamers crazy are that some of the enemies, in fixed areas, can regenerate while others can die for good. The regeneration happens mostly with the small, mobile enemies that are fixated in open areas, or the cavern areas. This can be annoying and lead to some frustration.
Overall, the gameplay is very satisfying and engaging. The aiming controls can feel weird and the regenerating enemies may be annoying, but neither one of these factors deterred me from enjoying this game's gameplay. From the massive levels, to excellent gunplay, and amount of variety, Turok successfully delivers in this category. 9.5/10
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter is a classic game that legitimately distinguishes itself from every FPS on the N64. It's an old-fashioned game that pushes the N64 capacity to new heights while operating within the console's technical boundaries. This is one of those games that proves the potential that the console has and shows that it can operate just as well as every other console that was on the market at the time. Everything from the music, to weapon variety, open worlds, and engaging gunfights, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter is a game that must not be missed by any fan of nostalgic FPS games.