By Sam Coles:
Nostalgia is an emotion where you’ll swear by something that has some questionable things in terms of quality or in the case of this review video games. You swear that Goldeneye is still a great shooter despite the frame rate and you think Ocarina of Time still holds up despite the horrible camera. Turok 2 is one of those games, now I remember loving this game when I was a child but I bought it for my N64 recently and I found it incredibly frustrating and I don’t know how some people can hold it in the same regard as Doom or Quake. I do have some positive things to say about this game but the flaws out shine the good aspects.
You step into the shoes of a new iteration of Turok and you have been summoned by Adon who wants him stop an evil alien race called the Primagen. They have influenced other races to take down these energy totems with promises to restore their races to their former glory but they’re actually going to destroy them after the deed is done. What I like about this game Adon will give a brief synopsis of each level before you start and talks about the lore of the area and will discuss the alien races you’ll be up against.
Let’s get all the positives out the way first Turok 2 looks much better than the first game the character models look less polygonal and have more detail. Each environment is different and varied from the foggy docks at the start of the game to the dark and forbidding Death Marsh as you hear distant grumbles from monsters. The atmosphere is fantastic they nailed it in that department. The weapon models look great with different blemishes and quirks to them from the shedder shotgun to minigun coupled with great sound design.
Let’s talk about the weapons shall we because if you know people who have played this game they’re generally talking about the weapons and with good reason because they avoid the standard arsenal which is there but they add some unique ones. The most notable weapon is the Cerebral Bore which is a rocket launcher that locks on to intelligent life (flesh and bone) and then proceeds to burrow into their brain then it explodes and it’s as awesome as it sounds. You have a saw blade weapon you can throw that acts like Captain America’s shield where it bounces of walls cutting down any unfortunate enemy that gets in the way.
This game is also very violent and shows off an impressive dismembering system depending on where you’ve shot an enemy such as their arms being blown off or leaving a hole in their chest it’s gory and wonderful.
Now let’s get into the problems I have with this game the first is the gunplay and controls which is a big aspect considering it’s a first person shooter. The gunplay is unresponsive at times and annoying to aim your weapon because unlike the first Turok where the enemies were generally on the same level as you where you could gun them down with ease, this game has them up, down and everywhere. Aiming is a huge pain in the neck as the analogue stick on the N64 is not designed for that type accuracy and I found myself standing still trying to aim at something as I take a ton of damage it’s like I’m playing a survival horror game.
Another problem is that the game has inconsistent hit detection and the bow is a prime candidate for this because you could shoot an enemy in the chest 3 times then you come up against the same enemy and it takes 7 shots to the chest it’s aggravating as ammo is sparse too.
Let’s talk about ammo. Ammo is stupidly sparse and I don’t understand this design choice it’s a first person shooter where I have a gun that sucks out an enemy’s brain GIVE ME SOME AMMO! You can only hold 50 pistol bullets, 10 grenades and 150 cells for the plasma rifle which you would think is enough right? No the plasma rifle uses 5 cells with each shot so you only really have 30 shots with the weapon. You can replenish your health and ammo in each level when you visit Adon but this is a onetime deal and when you go back into the level the enemies respawn, but the health and ammo pickups do not and you’ll find yourself low on ammo and health very quickly.
At the end of the day I can’t recommend Turok 2 because it has aged horribly and I don’t understand how people can hold it in the same regard as Doom and Quake as one of the best first person shooters with these glaring flaws. If you’re really curious maybe pick up the PC version, but otherwise don’t bother.