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Game Over Online ~ Turok 2: Seeds of Evil

GameOver Game Reviews - Turok 2: Seeds of Evil (c) Acclaim, Reviewed by - Wongmo / MagikCow / Cyrus

Game & Publisher Turok 2: Seeds of Evil (c) Acclaim
System Requirements Pentium 200, 16MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 79%
Date Published Wednesday, February 3rd, 1999 at 11:49 AM


Divider Left By: Wongmo Divider Right

You know, being a real life dinosaur hunter gives one a unique perspective when playing games like Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Revenge of the Wizzles (or whatever it is). You see, years of trial and error have proven that the most efficient way to kill a dinosaur is not with Tek-Bows or Ultra-Muon Cannons, but rather to just sit around and realize they've all been dead for millions of years. Since nobody bothered to clue Iguana Entertainment in on this fact they decided to bless us with a second Turok game. Based on the most popular comic strip nobody has ever read, all I could decipher about the story was that you are Joshua Fireseed, aka Turok the Nth and you're trying to defeat the evil Primagen which has...oh, god, I can't even say it.. but let it be known that it involves someone called 'The Speaker of Forever Light'. I'd rather not give anything away, but it must be stated that Turok 2 has one the weakest endings in videogame history, beating out 'The Karate Kid' on the original nintendo where Mr. Miyagi says "Good job!" and the game ends.

Graphics:

Either "Oh what a blessed cornucopia of splendor and delight, Xanadu approacheth" or "Ooh, kewl" will probably be the first thoughts to run through your head when playing the game, depending on how poetic a soul you are. The graphics are for the most part clean and crisp, using a wide variety of nifty 3d effects. The biggest surprise is how small a load they put on the processor considering the quality, probably because it was co-developed for the relatively weak N64. Turok 2 supports Glide and D3D taking full advantage of their ability to just be plain cool. The graphics that generally stand out the most are the various weapon effects and the myriad of death animations. I honestly think Iguana spent more time and resources on the death animations than any other part of the game. Arms and heads can be blown off, and just about every monster has some variant of the old 'blow off its head and torso leaving just the legs with a giant spine wriggling around' routine. After a bit I truly began to feel pity for all of the poor dinobabies I was brutally slaughtering.

A note: While the graphics are stunning at times and good for the most part, there are areas where the textures are bland, repetitive, and thoroughly banal. Im willing to look past this because at other times they're so nice, but there are definitely points where the visuals are less than impressive. Also, the fogging is truly awful. Its obviously a hold over from the N64 version, and on a decent system serves no purpose other than to annoy you.

Sound:

The sound effects are all high-quality, basically what you would expect from a company of Iguana's calibre. In fact, the only thing that really jumped out at me was the voice of Adon, the ahem 'Speaker of Forever Light' (you cannot possibly know how much it pains me to say those words). I want to make it clear that I have nothing against people with lisps as a whole, but damnit, they shouldn't be providing voice overs for video games. Everytime she said "Defend the Energy Totem at all costhtsth" I just felt sorry for the poor girl.

Gameplay:

Turok 2 is a perfect example of a game that should be great but just isn't. Its full of neat innovations like a sniper bow, cerebral bores, battle-triceratops and other tiny things that greatly add to the gaming experience. Somehow though, the designers forgot to add in one other neat little feature: a fun game. A NOTE TO ALL DEVELOPERS: It is no longer acceptable to make a 3d game where you run around pulling switches, shooting everything that moves, and picking up keys (Unless you happen to be ID Software, those no-goodniks). Every level in Turok is basically the same thing...you run around, pull some switches, get really lost, pull some more switches, free some prisoners or something to that effect, then run around some more until you finally get really mad and use a cheat code to get to the next level. Seriously, I finished the first 3 levels (which are huge in both a good and bad way), and it was one of the less pleasant experiences of my life. After that I did what any rational person would do and resorted to cheat codes. I pride myself on never using cheats or walkthroughs, but there’s a point where a mans gotta draw the line, and Turok 2 draws that line fairly early on.

Multiplayer:

Turok provides support for multi over the internet, lans, ipx, aeiou, and sometimes y. There are lots of nice little touches, such as being able to play as a number of different characters and monsters (which all have slightly different characteristics) and as a raptor where you're a speedy little devil facing the cruel and lonely world with nothing but your claws. I have no idea how the lag is for you modem peons, but from the people Ive talked with it seems to be ok. Basically, the multiplayer is fun and well implemented, but I dont see it being a huge success when compared to some of the other games out there.

Fun Factor:

As I said, actually trying to wade through the game is a difficult endeavor. On the flip side, once you've joined the dark side and started using cheats its great fun to run around with super-spiffy weapons blowing everything up. Of course this is a cold, empty, and soulless fun, but I'd still recommend it.

Summary:

Usually the games that do the 'little things' right which show a developer was really on the ball are what seperate the classics from the forgettable. Somehow though Turok 2 managed to nail all of the small stuff but forgot to put a decent game around it. Its just overflowing with nice touches, yet it doesn't come together as a whole.

 

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Rating
79%
 

 

 
 

 

 

Divider Left By: MagikCow Divider Right

Dinosaurs go roar and you go bang bang, then Dinosaurs go splat. That's the whole idea behind the Turok series, and every single game that ever had dinosaurs (ex. Carnivores, Trespasser). Most game developers try to talk to the "inner child" within us, the "inner child" that used to talk to his seven year old friends about which dinosaur he likes most and how he's going to become a paleontologist and find a new dinosaur. Most developers think that if they add in a few dinosaurs then the game will be great and everyone will love it. That, however, is not the case most of the time (Ex. Carnivores, Trespasser), and sometimes the developers while doing all this dinosaur rendering completely forget to add in gameplay, and fun factor into the equation. Turok 2, the new first person shooter from acclaim, makers of NBA Jam and Turok, try to solve the frame rate problem that was encountered in the Nintendo 64 port of Turok 2 by bringing forth the power of the 3d accelerator.

The story of Turok 2 starts where Turok 1 ended: you killed the Campaigner and the Chronoscepter. But wait, all is not well, you broke the Chronoscepter and being a fan of sequels you go and unleash an even powerful evil called the Primagen. Now it's up to you, the new Turok, to go and stop this evil from spreading across the galaxy.

The graphics in Turok 2 are great and can truely be defined as eye-candy. The graphics are extremely effective in portraying the fantasy environment of Turok 2 but one is inclinded to ask how this measures up to unreal or half-life? The answer for the inquisitive type is that there is absolutely no way a person can compare these 3 games. Half-life was meant to create a realistic atmosphere, Unreal was supposed to create a sci-fi world, and Turok 2 creates a fantasy world. Turok 2's graphics are great and I found the frames per second to be constantly high on my Pentium II 266. The only complaint that I can think of for the graphics of Turok 2 is that there is always an overwhelming amount of fog everywhere on the outside levels, and I mean everywhere. I was hoping that this sheer quantity of fog was fixed from Turok 1, and it's too bad that there wasn't. There was also no option to turn off the fog, which was extremely frustrating. This drastic use of fog detracted from the realism and immersiveness of the game quite considerably.

I found several nagging issues when I examined the gameplay of Turok 2. One of them is that you can't run in this game so you're stuck with walking at a speed I could crawl faster than in levels that are utterly massive. The levels are tied together through warp gates and separate passages similar to half-life. The levels in this game get so huge that you can easily get lost if you don't watch where your going. In Turok 2 you have mission objectives, (Ex. Save 3 children, kill this kill that.) which could have been well implemented. Unfortunately this is not the case as I often found myself standing at the warp gate to a level still missing one objective and thus having to backtrack for a significant portion of time to complete it. Overall though the gameplay is similar to most first person shooters. In the essence of the find the key routine that you all know so much about already. There is thus nothing special in this department.

The Fun factor in Turok 2 ranges from average to thrilling. There are the instances where you must search for ages for some non-descript key and then there are the weapons, aaah the weapons. There are weapons of every kind, my favorite being Cerebral Bore. It homes onto the enemy's brain waves then sends a device to drill into their heads. The result: a nice bloody mess all over the place. Wonderful isn't it?

Turok 2 really shines in Mutiplayer mode. Though I haven't had enough time to try it on my modem I did have enough time to try it on a LAN and the gameplay was great. You can pick from 11 characters and play Capture the flag, team deathmatch and a variety of other games. Turok 2 can only hold up to 16 players though, but this is none the less better than the 4 screen split from N64. Imagine seeing a whole team of raptors vs a whole team of original Turoks, now that's called fun Capture the flag.

Overall Turok 2 is one step above it's N64 counterpart. The graphics are great but the gameplay is a little lacking. I did notice however that some people overlooked the gameplay bugs when they had a tiny little drill launched towards their head.

 

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Rating
79%
 

 

 
 

 

 

Divider Left By: Cyrus Divider Right

Console systems have always been ahead of computers as far as speed, graphics capabilities and sound. This gap is starting to narrow as faster 3d accelerators, better sound cards and new processors hit the market. Game developers have noticed and are starting to develop for both PC and console at once. Turok 2 is a byproduct of this development cycle.

In Turok 2 you play the part of Turok, dinosaur hunter. Turok is a popular comic book character from Valiant publishing. Your mission is to save the galaxy from an interglactic menace that has been asleep for eons. You must do this by protecting towers that keep him imprisoned. Along the way there are several other quests which you must complete. You are guided by a mystical angel who tells you what goals you must complete and how to proceed. Overall a good plot for a first person shooter and it holds well with the comic book.

Graphics:
The graphics in Turok 2 are pretty good but suffer from several annoying quirks. The most annoying is a fog effect that restricts your vision. It appears to me as if it is a way for the programmers to have large outdoor spaces without having to optimize the engine. The effect gets out of hand when you are inside and fog stills mars your vision. Another annoying quirk is the overuse of mip-mapping and anti-aliasing. Every texture takes on a certain muddiness and appears to have been smoothed over several times. The models are well rendered and move fluidly. Especially impressive are the animations in the cutscenes. Besides facial expressions the characters appear very lifelike. The blood in the game fits perfectly with the comic book theme. The characters can be gibbed and blood appears on the wall behind them. The weapons are all very well modeled and the blast effects are very cool. Smoke and fog are rendered very well and obviously use most of the power of the 3dfx card. The arrows are my favorite graphical effect overall. When you hit an enemy with an arrow it protrudes through them and it can be seen poking out their backside. The part of the body where they are hit ceases to function and they start to limp. Overall incredible modeling but unimpressive looking levels and textures.

Sound:
The sound in Turok 2 is well recorded and well sync’d. The effects are varied enough that they are not annoying and the stereo imaging is very well done. Unfortunately there is no 3d sound support which is a necessity in first person shooter games today. The sound also skipped occasionally for me but I would expect this to be due to the large number of background tasks I have running and not the actual game. Overall I was very impressed with the sound.

Multiplayer:
I was only able to play two player multiplayer but it was lag free and played quite well. There are several different types of play to choose from including CTF and team battles. The levels were way too large for two players but when we found each other the battle was good and fast. The large number of weapons in Turok 2 leads to some interesting matchups and requires you to strategize on your weapon choices. It is possible to tell which weapon your opponent is carrying and you can plan accordingly. Perhaps the coolest feature is the ability to choose which type of character you want to be. It is possible to pick from most characters in the game and each one has different abilities. The raptor is amazingly fast but cannot hold weapons while another character may be slower but have more health. Overall a pretty good multiplayer experience. I did feel that it lacked the kill or be killed feeling of Quake 2 or Half-life.

Gameplay:
The gameplay in Turok 2 is its real drawback. It gets boring and repetitive. Often I saw the same structures in different parts of the level and it made me wonder about the originality of the level designers. Most of the time is spent wondering from one switch to another, just to open a door. I admit that most first person games are like this but in Turok 2 it is a bit excessive. The gameplay is also very slow for a FPS. It is impossible to adjust mouse speed or even to run. I felt at a tremendous disadvantage against the much faster enemy. The weapons do add a bit of excitement and so does the locational damage. It is the most realistic I have ever seen and it is cool to be able to kill a large creature with one arrow shot to the neck. The bow is by far my favorite weapon as you are able to pick up your arrows after you have used them. The artificial intelligence is very poor and I feel that the enemies are a bit too easy to kill. Ammo and health are provided in large quantities so there really isn’t a danger of running out. Overall mediocre gameplay that needs to be tweaked and accelerated.

Fun Factor:
Turok 2 is fun for about twenty minutes and then it becomes very repetitive. The slow nature of the game along with the unexciting plot makes it pale in comparison to other first person shooters like Half Life.

Overall Impression:
Turok 2 is your average first person shooter. Good graphics, good sound and mediocre gameplay. I like this game and will probably continue to play just to hold me over until Kingpin is released. Pick this one up if you enjoyed the first one or you like the comic book. Otherwise pass this one by.

 

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Rating
79%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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