Also available for Nintendo 64 and Xbox One
Back when Turok was first released 20 years ago (Jesus Christ, I'm getting old), I didn't have much opportunity to play it. I was, after all, but a child - kindergarten or first grade, if memory serves - and my mother wasn't too keen on letting me play M rated games in high school let alone when I still had all my baby teeth. I did get a couple opportunities here and there to play bits and pieces of it at friends' houses, and I was always enamored by it; a lone man in (what at the time was) an incredibly realistic looking world filled with dinosaurs and gun toting enemies. Despite my fascination with the game, I never owned it, so I never got to play more than a little bit of it. Then this remaster pops up on Steam, and I end up with it in my library. I don't remember how (seriously, I have over 700 games installed on my PC, and I have no idea where half of them came from), but there it was, so I finally sat down and played it.
Even in this remaster, you can tell that visuals are those of a game that's old enough to drink and have a Bachelor's degree. They's increased the draw distance, spruced up some effects, and cleaned up the models, but at the end of the day, it's still a remaster of a (by modern standards) extremely primitive 3D game rather than a full remake. If you're familiar with the visuals of the original release, however, then it's still an impressive upgrade nonetheless. The game definitely feels its age when playing as well; this is very much a first person shooter from that rather awkward time period where FPS games were every bit as labyrinthine as a third person action game, and as a result, the challenge is often as much finding your way to the objectives and the exit of each level as the enemies you'll encounter. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of personal preference; I, personally, like a bit of exploration as opposed to the hyper-linear shooters that you see in recent years (especially on PS3 and 360), but Turok is a tad too cryptic for me in the later levels.
The plot is definitely the game's weak link simply because there's barely one. You play as a time traveling Native American man whose duty it is to maintain the boundary between Earth and the "Lost Land," a realm where time has no meaning and enemies range from dinosaurs and spear wielding tribesman to giant robots and aliens with lasers. There's this one bad hombre who's trying to assemble some super weapon to break down that barrier and destroy everything in existence, and you've got to go kill dinosaurs and aliens and stuff to stop him. That's it. That's the whole plot. At least all I could figure out. Not bad, per se, but extremely bare bones.
Turok is an enjoyable experience, but even with a modern HD remaster, it shows its age, and it frankly hasn't aged particularly well. The game mechanics, level design, and visuals (even with the remaster's fresh coat of paint) all belie the fact that the game is, at the end of the day, from 1996. It's certainly not a bad game, and I had a lot of fun throughout most of my playthrough, but it's not a game that feels at all modernized, and younger gamers probably won't appreciate it the way those of us in our late 20s or early 30s will.
My Rating - 3 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.