Turok: Rage Wars
Three issues ago, Quartermann got the exclusive scoop on Acclaim's next game in the mega-popular Turok franchise, Turok: Rage Wars (formerly Turok: Bloodlust). Here are the first screens of it in action.
As Qmann previously reported, Rage Wars (due out this November) will concentrate on the multiplayer side of things. The game will have 17 playable characters, 36 deathmatch maps and loads of new items and weapons. Some of the things you'll find include magnets (which are used to change the trajectory of gunfire) and war hammers with grenades on the ends of them (which explode on contact...almost as deadly as attack dogs that shoot bees out of their mouths when they bark).
The game will also have a bunch of modes including Capture the Flag, team play and an improved Frag Tag, where the monkey is no longer helpless (it can get a power-up that will allow it to grow into a monster).
Rage Wars will have an awards system as well, where you get medals for wins, head shots, kills, etc. You'll be able to unlock secrets (like new character models (i.e., "skins") by earning enough medals.
This all sounds fine and dandy, but if you remember Turok 2, the four-player game left a lot to be desired. "Turok: Rage Wars will be much faster and smoother than the Turok 2 deathmatch game," David Dienstbier, creative director at Acclaim Studios-Austin (formerly Iguana), tells us. "We will be caching entire levels in RAM, making everything run much better than they did in Turok 2." Let's hope so.
And if four-player deathmatch isn't your thing, Rage Wars will have a single-player game (arena-type combat with CPU-controlled bots) and a two-player co-op mode.
Download Turok: Rage Wars
Turok is back! The dinosaur hunter, having had a triumphant sequel tucked neatly under his belt, is now returning to the N64 for another swipe at the FPS-crown. No, it's not Turok 3, instead, Acclaim Studios-Austin has set about creating a console-friendly deathmatch-only first-person shooter. Since Quake 3, Unreal Tournament and Team Fortress are likely to be PC only for the foreseeable future, this is the only game in town this holiday season for furious deathmatching.
When asked what led the Austin team to develop a deathmatch-only game, producer Dave Dienstbier said, "We knew of Quake III Arena, and of course we thought it was a good idea, but the idea for Rage Wars started a long ways back, even before we finished Turok 2. Rage Wars was born out of knowing that we couldn't flesh out all our multiplayer ideas in Turok 2 in time for the holiday season. Multiplayer games are what give a game its 'legs' well after gamers have beaten the singleplayer game, so we figured that the time was right for an over-the-top deathmatch Turok experience. Rage Wars is deathmatch from start to finish."
Turok fans who are wondering what sort of features they will find in the game can rest easy. There will be a slew of single and multiplayer options. The game also features 36 maps and a billion weapons, both old and new (some examples include Inflator, Warhammer, Shotgun, Assault Rifle and Scorpion). Most feature a secondary fire function, practically doubling the number of attacks available.
There are some new weapons that can alter the strategies you use in the game, especially during team play. Dienstbier says, "We've gone back and decided that there were a couple of weapons from the original Turok that we liked--so people will get the chance to wield a proper mini-gun against their friends. The cerebral bore is back. There's also the Iron Claw and the napalm gel, which is particularly interesting. With the napalm gel, you can stick it to anything in the game including players and detonate it manually. This can lead to some interesting tactics. Let's say your teammate has very low health, and you know that another shot will do him in. You can cover him with Napalm Gel, send him into a pack of your opponents, and detonate him right in their midst. All kinds of confusion will take over!"
Other weapons like the Turret will offer even more strategic possibilities for players. For example, if you are interested in guarding a hallway, you can throw down the Turret (which automatically fires on any approaching enemies) and use it to watch your back while you wait for any oncoming visitors. You can mount the Turret on either the floors or walls, making it a particularly useful weapon.
There are a number of features that make Rage Wars interesting. To begin with, you can play with or against three other friends, while adding a certain number of computer-controlled 'bots to the frenzy. With 36 different deathmatch levels to choose from (which are dependent on how many gamers are playing for optimum balance, i.e., fewer players have a smaller arena so no one goes for too long without seeing an opponent), there are more than enough levels to play without seeing the same ones over and over again. In the event that no one is home (or you simply don't have any friends) you can play in any of the deathmatch levels with CPU-bots only. In addition to that, there is an extensive one-player "mission mode" that rewards the player for making progress. Spread out over a large series of personal challenges designed to inaugurate the novice player, the difficulty soon leap-frogs to levels that will have hard-core veterans crying for their mama. Based on your success and performance in the mission mode (i.e., number of frags, hit percentage, etc.) you will be rewarded with various secrets, such as extra character skins or weapons. Adding to the customization, you are prompted to select your own specific weapon library before gameplay even starts, allowing players to become comfortable with their favorite weapons. Here's what Dienstbier had to say: "Each character can hold five weapons from the 16 that are available.
This way, gamers who like heavy-duty firepower can pick those kinds of weapons, while gamers who prefer stealthy tactics can pick sniper weapons and such. The awards system also builds over time with the character. Depending on your accuracy, or total victories, etc., you can unlock new character skins, game modes and weapons. You can save your customized characters and bring them to a friend's house, and see whose character is better. Weapons are very cool, since each one has a duality, just like they did in Turok 2. Personally I like the shotgun's duality. In its second form, it'll pump four times and let out a continuous blast of shotgun ammo. It's very awesome. Even the warhammer has a powerful duality, adding rocket-propulsion to its headcrushing power."
As of this writing the game is nearly complete and going through rigorous bug-testing. The game speed has been increased (which is important in the age of Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament), and things like the particle effects and other subtle features have been optimized to ensure smooth gameplay, even in the frantic four-player split-screen mode.
With Perfect Dark out of the running this holiday season, Turok: Rage Wars may literally be the only game in town when it comes to first-person shooters. Even if it weren't, it remains a compelling game that shooter fans should definitely investigate when it arrives on store shelves this November.