Developer: Nightdive Studios
Publisher: Nightdive Studios
Release Date: 18/03/2019 (Switch)
Price: £15.79 / $19.99
Eshop Page: Turok Dinosaur Hunter eshop Page
Okay let me start by saying the minute I received the email saying I could review this game from my childhood I was almost dancing around the room like a member of S Club 7 back in the day! That’s right it’s the triumphant return of that wily dinosaur hunter Turok as he makes his debut on the mighty Nintendo Switch, read on for our review.
I am Turok!
Maybe it’s nostalgia, maybe it’s rose-coloured glasses, who knows but the moment I installed Turok on my Switch I instantly remembered all the great times I had back in 1997…ok maybe we shall leave that for another day. I remember when I had this game on the N64, back then I really loved the game but got put off by the terrible control system and the trident controller, whilst revolutionary, didn’t help matters.
Turok is from an era of gaming that was vital to the FPS genre. In the ’90s we had seminal games such as Goldeneye 64, Doom 64, Perfect Dark and the aforementioned dinosaur hunter. Without these games, it’s safe to say we may not know the genre as it is today.
Thanks to the fantastic team at Nightdive Studios Turok has been given a new lease of life on modern-day platforms and now it’s time to bring the hunter back home to his roots on Nintendo’s hybrid console. The team have given Turok a nice cleanup and sharpened it up for an HD generation to scrutinise. Having played this game all those years ago I look at this game not just with nostalgia goggles but with a longing to see it do well again.
A welcome upgrade to Turok is the implementation of gyroscopic controls and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how well this works. The game being as old as it is I wondered how it would hold up in an age where gamers can feel spoilt. I’m going to say that Turok has many of the features that we take for granted in modern FPS games.
You only have to walk around the maps a little to see how open and vast they are. The AI whilst obviously basic can become relentless especially, with dinosaurs and other countless creatures respawning at the drop of a hat. Turok comes from a golden era of FPS. There were so many different games to choose from each offering their own unique style of play. From Turok to Goldeneye it is clear to see the advances that were made but, Turok still holds its own 22 years after it was first released.
Everybody Walk The Dinosaur…
Bearing in mind the games age the graphics are not going to blow anyone away after they have played the modern versions of let’s say DOOM or Wolfenstein. The graphics are a little crude and can be rough around the edges but, to me that’s where the game’s charm lies. At the moment there is a massive resurgence in retro gaming and the release of Turok (And its fantastic sequel Turok 2: Seeds of Evil) on Nintendo Switch can only be a good thing. A whole new generation of gamers can explore these titles and have hours of fun.
This game can be unforgiving if you aren’t careful, the blue portals that lead to another place can be a source of frustration and the jumping if not timed correctly can really drive you crazy but, when playing this game remember the tiny team that put this wonderful game together. Developer Iguana at the time really pulled off something special and the gameplay still holds up well now.
Chasing round levels in a fast-paced way, taking out dinosaurs and other humans as you find your way around the wide open maps. Nightdive Studios have really spruced up the game when comparing it to the original. Some of the original sacrifices have been cut for the modern age. With a choice of 14 different weapons, from the Grenade Launcher, Plasma Pulse Rifle and Alien Weapon, to the Quad Rocket Launcher and, the mother of all guns, the Atomic Fusion Cannon!
The run and gun nature of the game is the most satisfying fun you’ll have and even if you didn’t play this back in 1997 you’ll have fun with this fully loaded and fast-paced, run and gun game. It’s magical to play it again with nearly all of its original drawbacks gone. Bosses can be a test of your resolve as they come at you relentlessly.
As a child I was never really interested in the story for Turok, let’s be honest all I cared about was running around killing things in the level. I had to look up the story and this is what I got from Nintendo: A world where time has no meaning – and evil knows no bounds. Torn from a world long gone, the time-traveling warrior Turok has found himself thrust into a savage land torn by conflict. An evil overlord known as ‘The Campaigner’ seeks to shred the fabric of time and rule the universe using an ancient artifact known as ‘The Chronoscepter’.
The Chronoscepter was shattered thousands of years ago in an effort to keep it from falling into evil hands. The Campaigner has constructed a massive focusing array which he plans to use to magnify and pervert the power of the Chronoscepter in order to shatter the barriers between the ages and rule the universe. Turok has vowed to find the eight pieces of the Chronoscepter spread throughout the Lost Land and put an end to The Campaigner’s evil plot… I know right!!!!
The best bit is the game looks barely any different handheld or docked and playing in handheld still plays brilliantly well. The best thing I can say is that after 22 years this game still plays really well. It’s fun and frantic and will certainly keep you coming back for more. The soundtrack is upbeat and pumping and really sets the frantic tone of the levels whilst you hunt down dinos and find the keys you need to progress. You might struggle with the sharp polygons but once you embrace the gameplay, my guess is you will love the style the game has and this is a great credit to the team at Nightdive Studios for cleaning up the visuals to make it looks crisp and clear on modern consoles/PCs.
I feel I have to mention the games save mechanic. During your frantic time chasing dinosaurs, you will need to keep an eye out for save points as Turok does not Auto-save which in the modern era we are all used to. It seems odd that this wasn’t addressed during the porting process unless it was a conscious choice to be in keeping with the retro side of things.
When I thought of Nintendo 64 games to come to the Switch first, I’ll be the first to admit that Turok was nowhere near the top of my list but now I’ve played it, I’m bloody glad it’s come out and I really can’t wait to get stuck into Turok 2 when it graces the Switch with its presence as I never played it originally on release so, I get to suck at it first time around now!
Check out the trailer for Turok below:
The Review Key For Turok was provided by Nightdive Studios for the purpose of this review – and we are so grateful.