Turok Evolution - PS2

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Also for: Xbox, GameCube, GBA
Viewed: 3D First-person Genre:
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Acclaim Soft. Co.: Acclaim
Publishers: Acclaim (GB)
Released: 6 Sept 2002 (GB)
Ratings: 11+, ESRB Rating Pending
Accessories: Memory Card
Features: Vibration Function Compatible


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The 1997 N64 shoot-em-up, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was an incredible game and sold well, despite the attached £70 price tag. The series has undergone a series of changes since then, and after another three editions spread across multiple platforms, the scantily-clad hero is making his first appearance for that little console you might just have heard of - PlayStation 2.

During a conflict with his formidable archenemy, Captain Tobias Bruckner, hero Tal'Set is sucked through a rift in his world and winds up in the Lost Land. Nursed back to life by the natives of this Jurassic world, Tal'Set becomes a crucial participant in a pre-historic war against Lord Tryannus. But before long, he succumbs to the knowledge that Tobias Bruckner, also pulled through the rift, has been appointed to lead Tryannus' army. Bad news, then.

Built from the ground up, Turok Evolution, although still strictly an FPS game, is quite different from is predecessors in terms of game design and much overlooked AI routines.

Much of the game remains predictable, but doesn't detract from being thoroughly addictive. Evolution comprises of a great number of missions and challenges that encourage players to master both combat and stealth-based tasks. A seemingly limitless supply of armour and weapons are littered around Evolution's massive and exotic locations, but many are well hidden and hard to reach, so spend the contents of your inventory wisely.

But what makes the gameplay compelling in a title otherwise near identical to its predecessors, are the overhauled AI opponents. The resident 30 species of dinosaur react, almost instinctively, to their surroundings and your own actions. This frequently forces the player to 'live on the edge', never quite sure what will happen next or how an enemy will attack.

The eerie and sometimes silent setting for many of the environments is chilling, and the 128-bit Sony powerhouse does Evolution justice, despite being the oldest next-generation console on the market. The visuals themselves are better than most PlayStation 2 efforts, but unremarkable. However, the fluid animation of both ally and enemy characters is startling and the attention to detail is admirable. Technically Acclaim has done a fine job.

A broad range of samples combined with Dolby Digital or Dolby Surround Sound really help to make Turok Evolution as atmospheric as it can be. Developers often spend too much time on visuals in attempts to make a game scary or mysterious, but the quality and variety of sound does most of the work in Turok.

Also, players are no longer restricted to ground-based combat, as you are given the opportunity to ride a mythical Quetzalcoatlus in air combat sessions. Such welcomed extensions on the world of Turok are also playable in the game's polished multi-player battles, and help to boost the lifespan of an already massive game.

Turok is a game met with heavy scrutiny, but it is a rewarding experience packed with brilliant action scenes and character driven plots and we are confident gamers will find little to complain about.