Turok: Evolution

aka: Turok 4
Moby ID: 7188
PlayStation 2 Specs
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Description official descriptions

In this prequel to the previous Turok games, you are Tal'Set, the saviour of natives of the River Village in the Lost Lands, who must confront the evil Lord Tyrannus, leader of the reptilian hordes. Tyrannus is bent on a "Holy Mission" to purify the Lost Land through slaughter and misery.

During the fight with your nemesis Captain Tobias Bruckner in 1886 Texas, you were injured and sucked in to the Lost Lands. After recovering in the village, you discover that Tyrannus appoints a new general to his armies –Bruckner. So you begin the war in a land of lush jungles, suspended cities, mysterious temples, reptile armies, and towering dinosaurs.

In the game you can also fly a fully-armed winged Quetzalcoatlus, use the destructible environment – such as trees and massive rocks – to help your weapons, and order your troops to take cover, establish strategic positions, and even surrender.

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Credits (GameCube version)

194 People (147 developers, 47 thanks) · View all

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 66% (based on 45 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.6 out of 5 (based on 52 ratings with 4 reviews)

Dead and Bloated

The Good
Depending on how you count, Turok: Evolution is the fourth in the Turok series to which it acts as a prequel establishing how Turok became Turok. Newcomers to the series, like me, don’t have to worry about being lost, simply because it isn’t that type of game.

The story opens with the opposing survivors of a massacre: Tal’ Set, an Indian, and Bruckner, an Indian hunter. Just as Tal’ Set is about to finish Bruckner off, a portal opens (as they are wont to do) sucking the pair into the Lost Lands. The Lost Lands are an interesting setting, incorporating a Lost World with dinosaurs, modern mammals, humans, and bipedal dinosaurs called Slegs. The humans and Slegs are at war and the humans who rescue Tal’ Set hope he is the fabled Son of Stone, Turok. Bruckner, of course, falls in with the evil Slegs and is the only human general under Lord Tyrannus. The rather lengthy gameplay then follows Tal’ Set as he embraces his destiny.

Turok: Evolution is primarily a first-person shooter. Tal’ Set begins his quest armed with a warclub (the default weapon which follows him throughout the game) and a simple bow. It’s not too long before Tal’ Set finds advanced weaponry including a Tek Bow which provides him with a two-stage zooming scope and the ability to shoot poisoned and exploding arrows. Soon to follow are a standard pistol with upgradeable scope, mine/grenades, a shotgun with a quad-barrel power-up and much more. In fact, Turok’s armory is quite expansive and almost every weapon has at least one alternate fire mode—and everything makes great use of the dual shock controller.

Luckily, perhaps, Tal’ Set has plenty to shoot at with his hardware. While the standard dinosaurs typically act as background color, there are plenty of aggressive species—enough for Tal’ Set to take up Dinosaur Hunting if the Son of Stone thing doesn’t work out—including Compys, Raptors, and T-Rexes. However, the bulk of his enemies are the Slegs. Coming in various shapes and sizes, these “evolved” dinosaurs are heavily armed and armored. There are wiry snipers, massive minigunners, and atrociously huge ones with rocket launchers. As if that weren’t bad enough, some mammals are out to get you too. All I can say is, Baboons! My god, who knew?

There are a wide variety of locations: jungle ruins, Sleg bases, and plesiosaur-infested lakes. Most missions involve making your way from the beginning to the end and killing what’s in between. There are a few pseudo-stealth levels, an extended rescue the prisoner mission, and far too many kill everything levels. Breaking up the standard fps levels are flying missions.

Straddling a machine gun/rocket launcher armed pterosaur called a Quetzalcoatlus, Tal’ Set takes the war to the skies. While I’ll address this more in the section below (heh heh), there are some really nice elements. The flying interface is easy to use and there are three camera angles to choose from. These levels do break up what would be (yet still is) a monotonous game and add an exhilarating arcade element. Sadly, only in the last flying levels do we see what a great experience this could have been.

Turok’s gamemakers’ extol the AI and there are some really good elements here. Enemies take cover and flank around you. Wounded troops run for backup or surrender (but can they be trusted?). Some of the smaller animals ignore you, unless they are in a pack. Most dinosaurs only attack if you get too close. Reading preproduction interviews, it sounds like the animals also have scripted behavior towards each other, but I didn’t notice that.

Turok has some graphical problems, but many levels are wondrous to look at. Environments are somewhat destructible including trees which can be knocked down, boulders that can be pushed over, and breakable glass. Enemies can also take localized damage (i.e. beheadings and loss of limbs). Turok loses points in the sound department with muddy sounding voices, but it makes up for that with a beautiful score and great effects.

Before I head on to the next section, here are my three favorite things from Turok:

  • Soaring through the Lost Lands’ canyons, I was harassed by Slegs hanging from balloons, which seems silly… until you are in a first person level and the sky is filled with these balloon floaters heading down towards you.
  • Shooting a Sleg with one poisoned arrow and having him charge at me, start coughing, and then drop to his knees, vomiting until he died.
  • Strafing an enemy convoy and seeing Slegs come flying out of the exploding wreckage.



The Bad
Turok: Evolution is an overlong, underwritten game proudly embracing every first-person shooter cliché ever programmed.

To begin with, it doesn’t work well on the PS2. The dual analog controls are clunky and mad props to anyone who can get through it without using the auto aim feature. The PS2 also can’t handle the graphical demands. The flora is drawn in as you approach it, so while it looks like you might be walking along a barren path, bushes will pop into view when you get within five feet of them.

The game is too long: It’s comprised of fifteen chapters and every chapter has roughly three levels, so you have a game hovering around fifty missions which are largely identical. It doesn’t help that Turok lacks any in-game save system (except for an autosave at the end of a level); if you die, you begin at square one. This can be frustrating during longer levels where you near the end only to miss a vital jump. Which brings me to another point; the levels are of various lengths. Some are really short and others are really long. It’s nice having that internal clock which says, Hey, I must be near the end of the level.

Flying levels: Turok’s greatest innovation and probably the worst implementation. It wouldn’t be bad if every flying level weren’t either A New Hope’s Death Star Trench Run or Return of the Jedi’s Death Star Power Core Assault. Here’s the problem: it ain’t the flying, it’s the crashing. If you hit any obstacle, you end up being a Son of Stone stain. You can’t even rely on the invincibility cheat, crashing still does serious damage (as does falling in the fps levels).

Weapons: Too many. Tal’ Set could get through this game with his warclub and the Tek Bow and it would be a much better game. It takes forever to cycle through weapons and their multiple functions, so good luck during combat. Run out of ammo and you’d better run for cover. Luckily there are plenty of crates around—but that’s not even luck, that’s an fps law.

Gore: Too much. And this is more of an aesthetic comment. By making everything gory, gore loses its impact. If on level one, you can make something disintegrate into bloody chunks with your warclub, then seeing something disintegrate into bloody chunks as the Swarm Bore takes it apart in level ten isn’t as impressive. I can blow someone’s head off when I get the shotgun, but I could also do the same thing with a well-placed arrow from the get-go.

The Bottom Line
I think being a fan of a franchise strips away the objectivity of a reviewer. I really enjoyed Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, but I don't play a lot RTS games and I am a SW fan. I do play a lot of FPS games and have nothing invested in the Turok franchise. This game might be quite entertaining for a Turok fan, since it brings it to the next level of gaming (even the PS2 version), but I know that better games are out there.

PlayStation 2 · by Terrence Bosky (5398) · 2004

He's back again

The Good
The sniper factor, seeing an enemy troop from a mile away then 5 seconds later making him slide down the wall with no head. The arsenal, I LOVE IT even after you have beaten the game there are still countless hours of fun with the anti-grav blaster and the addons to the weapons are a nice touch, so when you get a gun its not just what you see is what you get because you could be finding an addon for it soon.

The Bad
I've always hated FPS on and console game because the mouse is just so more accurate than an annalog stick. But with Turok I got over it because I loved the game. The only thing I can think of that I didnt like about the game was running through a level with 10 health hoping that I could get to the end and knowing that if I died I would have to start off where I was at leats an hour ago.

The Bottom Line
Definitely worth the money if your a console FPS player, and even if your not its worth having a look at, just so you throw an enemy trooper of a very high ledge and see if its a far enough drop for him to........well...burst.

PlayStation 2 · by Horny-Bullant (49) · 2003

It does what it does okay, but there's much better available.

The Good
Pretty good graphics - certainly an improvement on previous games in the series, but not up there with Medal of Honor : Frontline and the like.

Nice Weapons - Having this sort of setting allows more artistic rights in creating interesting weapons and the ones on offer here are pretty good.

Controllable - Being a PC FPS fan I'm glad to see the two-stick analog approach here - one for movement, one for looking. I've seen much worse cough Dreamcast cough and this is at least playable, if not easy. It's also good to see an "Invert Vertical Axis" option, which is sometimes curiously missing from console shooters.

The Bad
Storyline - Blleechh! Not interesting in the slightest. Why not just skip it and save us doing likewise?

Deja Vu - We've seen it all before.

Flight Sections - Every couple of missions you get a flight section which involves whizzing about on a flying dinosaur equipped with machine guns and rocket launchers (!) and blowing things up. Although this sounds like a hoot it really didn't fit in with me. It's like a cross between the Star Wars trench-run and Panza Dragoon gone wrong. Evidently the game engine is not really equipped to cope with this sort of stuff either as each section of flight is very short with a save/load in between. Slow-down and low frame-rates are also a problem with the flight sections.

The Bottom Line
Not a bad game, but not a good one either. It does what it does okay, but for an FPS to be a must-have on a console requires some pretty good features, and this don't have 'em.

PlayStation 2 · by Tibes80 (1543) · 2003

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

German version

In Germany, there are two versions of Turok: Evolution, an uncut USK 18 and a cut USK 16 version. The changes: * All blood and gore effects were removed. * Arrows don't get stuck inside the enemy after his death, but disappear instantly. * Enemies don't throw up when hit with a poisoned arrow. * Enemies don't get set on fire when hit with the flame thrower. * Enemies don't surrender. * There are no hanged up corpses in level four. * Death cries during the outro sequence were removed.

A detailed list of changes can be found on schnittberichte.com (German).

Marketing

Acclaim announced a Labour Day contest dedicated to the release date of the game. If a family gives birth to an infant close to 12:01 a.m. on September 1st and names him "Turok" during the next year, the company will give a $10,000 savings bond to the family. The UK version of this marketing event rewarded an Xbox, 500 pounds (about $766) in cash, and all five Turok games. The condition was to legally change the name to "Turok" for a year.

Information also contributed by Felix Knoke.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by POMAH.

Windows added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Macintrash, Indra was here, Patrick Bregger.

Game added September 2, 2002. Last modified February 4, 2024.