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February 26, 2008
Turok - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
15/11/2007FuntasticDisney Interactive StudiosPropaganda Games12-16
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Attracting dinosaurs with a flare.
It's hard to believe but it has now been a decade since Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was released on the Nintendo 64. It not only did well critically, but managed to sell by the truckload. Sequels soon followed however their quality seemed to diminish over time, as did sales and interest in the series. With publishers Acclaim shutting up shop a couple of years ago many thought the franchise was dead in the water. Disney Interactive Studios picked up the rights however and handed development of this latest 'reinvention' of the series to Propaganda Games. While we won't get any answers to questions raised in the previous games, we can expect plenty more action in this latest title, simply called Turok.

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Quick, save your mate!
In Turok players take on the role of Joseph Turok, a former black ops commando, now part of an elite special forces squad, known as Whiskey Company, which is on a mission to take down a war criminal – Turok’s former mentor, Roland Kane. While Whiskey Company is traveling to the genetically altered planet inhabited by Kane and his soldiers, Whiskey Company’s ship is shot down. Turok must use his elite military training to elude Kane’s well-trained army, known as Mendel-Gruman, and the ravenous, unpredictable dinosaurs, huge insects and other massive creatures that populate the dangerous environment. Turok’s mission? Survive at all costs.

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Using two weapons at once.
As you are probably aware Turok is a First Person shooter. Not only will you be taking on enemy soldiers, but also a tonne of dinosaurs from the smallest Compy's to the largest T-Rex. Turok can carry several weapons at once, some will allow dual wielding (with L2 and R2 as fire on each weapon, and L1 and R1 and alternate fire modes), some are more powerful then others. The main guns include machine guns, shotguns, and pulse rifles. Turok can also carry several grenades and, more importantly also a knife as well as bow and arrow.

The bow and arrow allows some one-shot kills on many enemies from a distance, it sure makes it safer, but the rate of fire is fairly slow. One annoyance I had with this weapon is that it doesn't allow you to disengage the arrow when you start pulling back. No matter what it will be lost if you start to draw it back. The knife is also quite impressive as, when dinosaurs get close, you can press the R2 button to engage the dinosaur (or human enemy) and, often, perform a quick kill. If anything this method of attack is a little too powerful. Flares can also be used in rather inventive ways. If you fire them into the ground dinosaurs will congregate around it. If you shoot it into a dinosaur others will attack him.

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Better take that shot - quickly!
One of the biggest problems we have with this game is the difficulty in actually targeting the fast-moving dinosaurs, and they do move fast. Certainly when they get up close to you they could run around you three times before you've even managed to turn around half way. It makes targeting dinosaurs, including those up close, extremely difficult. But that's not all you see the game has wildly variable difficulty. Some sections are a walk in the park, others will have you repeating the section several times over and tearing your hair out. Finally we come to another issue - the boss battles. While the bosses themselves look quite impressive, there is no easy way to determine how to defeat them, and you'll be getting quite pissed off.

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No giant crabs, we have giant scorpians!
Turok includes quite a few online multi-player modes. As well as Deathmatch, War Games and Capture the Flag, which all play as well as one would expect it's the three co-op mission that keeps things fresh and offers quite a few more gameplay thrills. To be honest we haven't really been able to play this game online as much as we would like due to a lack of players, however this review was completed pretty close to the games release. The games we did manage to get into were very entertaining and we expect as sales increase we could be spending quite a bit of time online with Turok. Sadly there is no multi-player modes for a single console - co-op would have been a blast but we have to go without.

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A fantastic looking game, no doubt about it.
Using a modified version of Unreal Engine 3.0 Turok certainly manages to impress visually. Firstly the levels are quite expansive. It's quite glorious to look over a large area to see dinosaurs roaming around, and even more impressive when they are in a battle with other humans. Having said that there are some areas where this game could have been improved. Screen tearing is evident - strangely this seems to occur during cut-scenes more then in-game. Some of the textures look pretty murky and could have been improved while edges on characters and other objects in the game world often look like they have some form of edge enhancement on them with a glow from behind. While nothing is game breaking it means that overall Turok isn't quite up to expected standards in some areas.

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Taking on a massive T-Rex.
Sonically Turok also manages to make its mark. From the ambient effects, to the speech, to the gunfire it's all pretty solid. Music ramps up and down with the action as expected. Where the game shines though are the wonderful dinosaur noises. From their calls, to their movement around the levels not only are the often recognisable by their sounds, but it's crucial to your chances of survival.

Another key element to this game is the use of Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. It really plays a critical role in detecting the direction of attacks in the game. You'll be able to locate enemy gunfire, or the stomping of dinosaurs simply by listening to the audio. It certainly helps with the gameplay, and the atmosphere.

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Enemy soldiers Vs Enemy Dinos = Cool!
Prior to release we had some pretty high hopes for Turok on the Playstation 3. Just the thought of taking on some dinosaurs had us excited, and we were pleased to discover that for the most part Propaganda Games have delivered the goods. While the game suffered some delays, it really could have done a little more development time to level out the difficulty and iron out a couple more wrinkles. Still, if you like your First Person Shooters then Turok remains a game worth adding to your collection. Not perfect, but quite entertaining.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSDinosaurs look fantastic, levels a little generic, but overall solid.
SOUNDAll aspects of the audio in this game are very solid. Impressive surround use.
GAMEPLAYDifficulty could have been more balanced, a few other niggles, but overall a solid game.
VALUESingle player is long enough, some decent multi-player modes as well
OVERALLWhile not the best FPS on the PS3 Turok will likely keep fans of the genre quite entertained. Solid production values, a lengthy game and solid online gameplay make this worth considering.

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