Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
It's here at last, and we've got the first proper review! With added dinosaurs!
There's an old saying, "Size is everything." There's another, diametrically opposed, old saying, "It's not size, it's what you do with it." Obviously they can't both be true. Which is correct? And why Is this usually tackle-related question dangling from the front of a game review? You'll see.
After all the waiting, and all the hype, and all the delays, the finished version of Turok 2: Seeds Of Evil is finally here. It's got hi-res graphics (if you've got an Expansion Pak plugged in). It's got a multiplayer game (which other 'reviews' strangely tailed to discuss in any detail) It's got more blood, gore and giblets than Smithfield Matket's annual screening of Cannibal Holocaust. But has is got what it takes?
64 Magazine was pretty much the lone voice of dissent when it came to the original Turok - while it certainly looked good for it's time, we thought that the amount of platform jumping and repetitive action made it frustrating and ultimately boring. Although it might have had polygon enemies Instead of flat sprites, it wasn't really any better than Doom, if anything. Doom had the edge in terms of level design and action, already being one of the world's most popular and playable games. So what about Turok 2& Have the lesson been learned?
One of the ironic things about Turok 2 is that the first level, wheге players get their explosive to the game, looks rather dull even compared to older games like GoldenEye, and definitely up against its own later level. Dropping into the Port of Adia for the first time, if you haven't been explosive to shots of the later levels (and if you haven't, why haven't you been reading the magazine recently?) you'd be left wondering about the biggest of the deal. Stone walls. Fog. Wow.
There are no such problems with the evil creatures that inhabit the game. Although it's a surprisingly long time before Turok actually runs into any bad guys, you won't be disappointed. The enemies are big, very detailed, brilliantly animated and die in the most gloriously gruesome ways imaginable. Obviously you can't do much with a bow and arrow or pokey little pistol, but once the bigger weapons fall into you hands the carnage doesn't stop until you run out of ammo. Blam! Head blown clean off! Boom! Arm severed! Buh-koom! Entire upper torso blasted into chunky salsa! Vreee-skazzzzaaarururururur-whap! Brain matter forcefully extracted and splashed over the wall!
This is huge fun at first; clever use of 2-D sprites gives the spouting blood an unsettlingly realistic look, and hitting a toothy monstrosity with a sufficiently powerful weapon actually plasters their vital fluids over the wall behind them. After a bit, though, you realise that there are only a few basic animations -standard death, lose an arm, lose the head, blown in half, and so on. Once you realise that you're going to see the same thing every time, the appeal of the OTT gore soon wears off. Yes, it is possible to get bored of exploding heads. Hard to believe, but true.
Switch Me On
Puzzle-solving in Turok 2 hasn't really moved on since the days of Doom. The process goes as follows; find switch, go through newly-opened door, kill all monsters, find switch, go through newly opened door... Although there are special items to uncover and mission objectives to complete on each level (rescue prisoners, destroy armouries, that kind of thing) the relatively linear level structure makes it pretty hard not to complete them.
You don't play Turok 2 for its mind-bending puzzles, though, do you? Killing bad guys is what it's all about. The problem on some levels is that you still frequently have to backtrack through previously-explored sections to fulfil the mission objectives. The superb visuals don't compensate for the fact that you spend an awful lot of time wandering through identical corridors and tunnels, which very quickly becomes repetitive.
Goldeneye's levels were, on the whole, fairly small, but they were so well-designed that you didn't really notice. Every section had a purpose. In Turok 2, on the other hand, the levels are huge, but most of the space is just that - space. More often than not, opening up a new section f doesn't reveal some interesting structure or complex arena, but just miles of corridors that lead to another switch (the last level, Primagen's ship, is a particularly bad offender). Along the way, monsters jump out, you kill them and move on. Not very inspiring. There certainly are clever and/or imaginative areas in Turok 2, like the triceratops ride, graveyard zombie attack, giant spider nest and Mantid egg chambers, but you have to slog to reach them.
One of the most heinous flaws of the first Turok is back - the need to make pixel-perfect jumps over huge gaps, which in a game where you can't see your own feet is always a tad difficult The problem isn't nearly as bad here as in the original game, as there are only a few places where a bad jump sends Turok plunging to his doom, but having to skip up a series of platforms only to skid off the top one and drop to the bottom again stops being fun before you even hit the ground.
After all the aforementioned waiting and hype, Turok 2: Seeds Of Evil has - as a one-player game - turned out to be good, but not the world-shaker everyone was expecting. While the hi-res visuals prove that the N64 still has a lot to offer if pushed hard enough, the gameplay underneath it is all is curiously shallow. Too much time is spent strolling through tunnels and corridors in order to reach the next gaggle of enemies, who are then despatched in a quick flurry of brainless shooting. There isn't much in the way of exploration, because Turok is all but shoved in the direction of the next teleport.
The real shame is the lack of imagination. All the creatures look great, but they don't really do anything surprising - they just see you and either start shooting or charge. The occasional sideways roll or dodge behind a boulder apart, there isn't the slightest hint of intelligence between the lot of them. Even the bosses, which are stunning to watch, just follow familiar old patterns. Find the first weak spot, pick it off, find the next one and so on until it screams its last.
Die! Die! Die!
What saves Turok 2 is the multiplayer game, which is faster and smoother than Goldenеуе, and has tighter levels that are better suited to pure insane gunplay. It's the nearest thing you'll get to Quake 2 on the N64 - well, at least until Quake 2 itself arrives.
With the smaller deathmatch levels, you are - especially with four players -never more than a corner away from running into somebody with a very large gun. This makes things a lot more frantic, and the emphasis on the vertical axis - several of the deathmatch arenas are multilevel extravaganzas, with plenty of platforms for sniping - means that you can be attacked from almost any angle. Some arenas even have underwater sections, where combat is wrought with harpoon guns and torpedoes, that really turn things on their head!
The only disappointing thing about Turok 2's deathmatch is the lack of options, which in Goldeneye allowed players to create the perfect custom killing zone. All Turok 2 offers is a weapons screen where the appearance or otherwise of particular bits of hardware can be set - fed up of being whacked in the back of the head by the Cerebral Bore? Switch it off! - and a fairly basic handicap setting. The equivalent of the Licence To Kill mode would have been fun, though to be fair this can be simulated if players concentrate on getting instantly-lethal head shots. The actual characters are nondescript as well - hunting some generic dinosaur bloke isn't nearly as engaging as chasing down Oddjob. Piffling little quibbles like these don't prevent Turok 2's deathmatch from being fantastic, and good enough reason to buy the game on its own. Is it better than Goldeneye?
Arguments raged over this point for quite some time. Ultimately, it's probably as good - the characters don't have the instant recognition value of Goldeneye, but the speed and furious nature of combat compensate, and the sheer glorious sadism of Frag Tag is what videogames are all about!
So, going back to the question at the start of the review, what's the answer? In the case of Turok 2, size definitely isn't everything. The sprawl of the levels makes getting around a long-winded business, and most of the time you know that the only thing at the end of it will be another switch or a teleport.
What's missing from Turok 2 is something that Goldeneye had by the bucketful - involvement. Rare's game had all kinds of different objectives, hidden secrets, little quirks and opportunities to try alternate ways to complete the missions. Turok 2? Kill enemies, find switches, reach teleport, ifs Doom, basically - a glorious-looking update of Doom, but Doom nevertheless.
Fortunately, the deathmatch game compensates - if you can get three friends around they won't want to leave, and at the very least the one-player game offers stunning eye candy and a lot of challenge. Besides, at the price, you can't go wrong. It's just a shame that the fabulous advances in visuals and audio weren't accompanied by similar strides in gameplay.
Four On The Bоге
The one-player game may look great, but the real meat of Turok 2 is in the deathmatch! Up to four people can square off against each other with big guns and see just who is the hardest of them all. When Cerebral Bores start flying around the place like lethal confetti, crying like a baby won't help you!
There are three different modes of play in deathmatch. Enjoy them while you can, for the repressive forces of No Fun will doubtless soon try to crack down on this sort of thing and ban it. What's your favourite?
Simple and to the point. Run around the arena and kill everyone you see. The person with the most ears on their necklace at the end wins.
Cruelty to animals for fun and profit. One person becomes a small and helpless monkey, the icons on their screen turning into a target Just to rub it in. Everyone else has but one objective - kill the monkey! If the monkey reaches a teleport, the player regains human(oid) form and someone else becomes the target. Start running, Diddy...
Co-operation, not random brutality, is the key here. Players join either the red team or the blue team (their skin and clothing turning that colour) and then start gunning down the opposition. Your team-mate will inevitably shoot you in the back at some point. Still, that's life... well, death.
Walk The Dinosaur
Level 2, The River of Souls, is a level you won't have seen much of in any other magazine. Why is this, we wonder? Obviously it's not because the game was 'reviewed* from preview versions that didn't have Level 2. No decent mag would ever do that!
Still, never let it be said that 64 Magazine doesn't do its bit to make up for the shortcomings of others. The start of Level 2 sees Turok playing mahout on the back of a heavily-armed triceratops as he ploughs through a city that has been overrun by the dinosoid forces. Let's get horny!
2nd rating opinion
This game is huge and has some extremely cool monsters, weapons and puzzles. However, that doesn't detract from the fact that a lot of your time is spent running endlessly down tunnels. Luckily the deathmatch game more than makes up for this!
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil DownloadsTurok 2: Seeds of Evil download
A breathtaking follow-up to a superb original, with an eye-melting hi-res mode. Alongside Zelda, an essential purchase this winter.
Big, brash and very violent. But what I really like is that you can't just run around shooting everything in sight and expect to get away with it. Turok's just as much about stealth and strategy as it is spilling monsters' brains over the floor (although there's quite a bit of that, too).
Because it's the only game in the world where you can blow a hole the size of a football in a giant green monster's stomach, and slice teeny weeny dinosaurs into chipolatas with a razor-sharp claw. I'm still trying to find the cheat to make the kids killable though.
Pee-yoo, wooor! That's the Cerebral Bore, that is. A missile that gets fired from the barrel of a gun that's the size of a television. Bzzz! That's the sound it makes as it lodges into an enemy's head and starts burrowing into their brain. Boom! And that's when it explodes. Bloody. Beautiful.
There's just something very special about brain-draining enormous mutant monsters. Buckets of blood, bags of guns and kids who say "Thanks Turok" in chirpy Waltons-esque accents when you rescue them: superb!
Dino/alien blaster. GoldenEye and Turok beater.
Originally, you may recall, Turok 2 was pencilled in for late October, but problems optimising the code - and ensuring that the awesome multiplayer ran super-smoothly - meant the game unexpectedly slipped a month. Which, obviously, means our exclusive review of the game was a couple of months back now. But, because we haven't stopped playing it since (and, in the process, discovered tonnes of extras), we've decided to provide a refresher. Read on and find out why you just have to have this game on your Chrimbo list. Yes, yes...
Characters: Made up of: Turok, Adon, Tnceratops, Flesh Eater, Purr-Linn, Endtrail, Fireborn, Raptor, Primagen, T-Shirt Turok and Old Turok.
Basically, all characters can carry weapons except the Raptor whose arsenal o' death relies almost entirely on a natty pair of claws and speedy hind legs. The three versions of Turok, Adon and the Primagen seem to be fairly equally matched, while the Endtrail and Fireborn behave similarly, i.e. powerfully and at a middling pace The slow boys are made up of the walking Triceratops. Flesh Eater and monstrous Purr-linn. but their lack of pace is levelled out in the strength department.
Weapons: Made up of: Charge Dart Rifle, Firestorm Cannon, Assault Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Cerebral Bote, Grenade Launcher, Scorpion Launcher, Torpedo and the Harpoon Gun.
All fairly self-explanatory except, of course, the Assault Rifle which is quite similar to a rapid-fire PP7. The Torpedo and Harpoon Gun can only be used underwater. Our advice? Use the Cerebral Bore. As much as you can.
Play Modes: Made up of: Bloodlust, Frag Tag. Team Mode.
Bloodlust is an all-out fight to the death. Frag Tag sees one of you as a monkey - or, more obviously, 'it'. As 'it', you need to reach a central warp which then makes one of the other players 'it'. As 'it' you can't operate any weapons; your primary objective is to reach the warp. However, we did manage to stick an arrow through the eye of the monkey. Top fun!
Team Mode is two against two, or three against one. One team becomes blue and the other red. Your objective? To maim plentifully.
Arenas: Made up of: Experimentata, Moonlit Mayhem, Close Quartered, Vulcan's Forge, Teleportastic, Mirrorrim, Fish in a Barrel, H 2 Whoa!, Escheria, Mosh Crypt, Squares Cubed, Crazy Eight, Bullseye.
Don't expect real life locations like GoldenEye, Turok 2's arenas are very similar to Quake's: multi-levelled and scattered with lava pits and lifts. Mosh Crypt has the best layout - square, with platforms in each comer and linking corridors - but Crazy Eight is probably the best for four-player dog fights. The most interesting, though, is H 2 Whoa! which has shimmering vertical water 'walls' like the portal thing in Stargate.
Textures: Made up of: Castle, Steel Mill, Oak Fort, Catacombs, Jailhouse, Big City, Red Dragon, Paintball, Mr Happy.
Mr Happy makes the most obvious difference, giving every wall stackloads of colourfully curtained windows. However, Big City is great, bricking off every single surface, while Red Dragon tinges everything red and a bit alien. Oak Fort and Castle do a Ronseal-like job too, making everything wooden and stoned respectively. A top idea, this.
Riding The Triceratops
Right at the beginning of Slaughter by the River of Souls, there's a pen which, when you enter, presents you with the opportunity to ride a cannon-firing Triceratops. Just walk up to it and the game switches to a raised position on the back of the dino, Boom... boom...
Okay, so we promised you that we wouldn't spoil the surprise of the bosses for you but, having reached all but the last one - your nemesis, the Primagen - we can't help ourselves. Here's just a taste of what to expect, should you rise to the challenge of Turok 2. Roooar!