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Turok: Evolution (PlayStation 2) artwork

Turok: Evolution (PlayStation 2) review


"From the start of Turok: Evolution, you’ll know you’re playing something that feels completely uninspired. The main character is a Native American whose tribe has been brutalized at the hands of evil soldiers. Through bizarre, video-game-only circumstances, he’s been transported to an ancient land where dinosaurs still roam the hills and evil alligator-looking bipeds run around with guns. This land is desperately in need of a hero. You first take control of this alternate-universe tourist..."



From the start of Turok: Evolution, you’ll know you’re playing something that feels completely uninspired. The main character is a Native American whose tribe has been brutalized at the hands of evil soldiers. Through bizarre, video-game-only circumstances, he’s been transported to an ancient land where dinosaurs still roam the hills and evil alligator-looking bipeds run around with guns. This land is desperately in need of a hero. You first take control of this alternate-universe tourist in an exotic jungle the serves as the opening level. As you progress up the rust-colored path, small gray dinosaurs emerge from the foliage and start attacking at your ankles. You’ll bludgeon these weak foes to death with your club and move swiftly up the trail, where a giant stegosaurus sits, quietly snacking next to a lagoon.

These scenes could have been impressive, invoking real feeling out of the player, but I only felt apathy the entire time. When the small dinosaurs appeared out of the brush, the player should have felt signs of them. The developers could have created a tense situation. The creatures could have disturbed the brush, growled menacingly as you moved, and then finally attacked with an impressive leap out of the undergrowth. Instead, they casually stroll out of the brush, appearing at your ankles where you'll weakly crush them under the weight of your club, probably before they can ever bite your Achilles tendon. The stegosaurus should have been more intimately introduced to the player. A cutscene showing him chomping at the grass or sloshing into the water, creating a huge splash as his large body smashed through the waster’s surface. In the game, the scaled-and-spiked dinosaur just sits there, never acknowledging the foreign intruder to his habitat, even as said intruder bashes his brains in with his club.

Even the action, the main emphasis of the game, is completely bland. The artificial intelligence driving the minds of the evil alligators is too weak to ever provide the gamer any real challenge. Too often, they’ll stand in one spot, only occasionally darting from side-to-side. In some levels, you’ll be hoisted onto the back of a tamed flying dinosaur that’s been equipped with rocket launchers and machine guns (another video-game-only moment). Once more, these levels fail to induce any feelings. These levels are too narrow and never provide any real opportunities to feel the abilities of the creature you’re riding on. Aiming at both aerial and ground targets can be problematic because aiming is tied to the same analog stick that you have to steer with, instead of the less cumbersome second analog stick. Much like everything else in this package, the graphics and sounds are competent, just never exciting.

Turok: Evolution never calls out to you to play it. It lacks any moments that really set it apart. What ultimately hurts this title most is that it could have done a lot more. While you play it, you won’t be thinking about the story, the graphics, the voice-overs, or the gameplay, you’ll be thinking about where you’ve seen better things, and what you would do if you had been developing the game. Turok: Evolution isn’t the awful game that most people paint it as; it’s just a very weak game that could have been a much better one.

Rating: 5/10

asherdeus's avatar
Community review by asherdeus (August 14, 2006)

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