When Acclaim released the Turok franchise on the Nintendo 64, it made quite a bit of PlayStation owners envious. It was visually stunning game at the time, and the thought of hunting dinosaurs in first-person was a pretty intriguing concept to many people. It was a departure from the normal Doom-like FPS games and so the franchise gained some heat. The sequel saw just as much praise as the original did. But, like many franchises, Turok would quickly rot, thanks to Acclaim. Turok 3, while not abysmal by any means, ended up being more of the same and offered nothing new to the table.
Though it wasn't until the catastrophic Turok: Evolution that the series would nosedive and become a financial disaster; subsequently being one of the biggest reasons that sent Acclaim into a bankruptcy hurl they could never recover from. When Acclaim's IP catalogue was sold off, Disney/Buena Vista Games bought the rights to the franchise...and so now we have an all new Turok game for both the PS3 and X360.
Things are looking quite good for this new Turok game. First off, it's an all new story and has nothing to do with any of the past four games in the series. The game stars Joseph Turok, a former Black Ops commando turned Special Forces officer. Turok and his squad of officers have to eliminate a war criminal (Roland Cain) who resides on a genetically-altered planet. Clearly, this planet will serve as the game's battleground. As the squad approaches the planet, their ship is shot down and they must now survive on a planet they've never been to before. But not only will you have to fight off vicious creatures, but also enemy humans who belong to Roland Cain's arsenal of troops.
Propaganda Games hopes to showcase a sci-fi world that throws you into harrying jungles filled with murderous dinos, as well as humans who utilize the latest in weapons technology. The previously mentioned "genetically-altered creatures" can either be killed, or used to your advantage, as you'll be able to trick them into attacking any nearby enemies you see. That is just one of the offensive tactics you can use when you're paving through the game. The other tactic is stealth; equipped with silent weapons like a bow or a knife, you'll be able to sneak up on enemies whilst being hidden in the shrubbery and take them out in silence. Then of course if you're all about the confrontations, run out there in mayhem and gun down everything in sight...or burn down everything in sight with a flamethrower. Yes, a flamethrower.
These days what good is a first person shooter without vehicles? Not much good. So Turok will have some wheels for the players to ride in. Likewise, all of this content will also translate when you're playing one of the game's many promised multiplayer modes. Buena Vista Games has yet to disclose details on the multiplayer aspects of Turok, but they promise it to be robust.
We're pretty anxious to get our hands on Turok. While the stealth aspects of the game aren't necessarily new, it's still a very welcomed addition to a genre that really needs all the innovation it can get. Considering that to date few mainstream games apply a stealth formula into the action (Far Cry immediately comes to mind), this upcoming Turok is bound to come off as a very fresh and engaging experience. The game is already looking terrific, as Propaganda has nailed the look quite well with well textured dinos and locales filled with immense details.
It sounds like there's quite a bit of potential behind the new Turok, so we're hoping that Propaganda gives it their all for this one. It'd surely be nice to see the franchise become a worthy staple in the FPS genre once again. Buena Vista is still mum about a release date, but the game is expected to drop sometime this Fall.
1/29/2007 Arnold Katayev