Jan 29, 2008
Edit: After being told the game was "4-5 hours long" during our preview time, we have been asked to clarify that the game is in fact 12-15 hours long, and are happy to do so.
If ever a series lost its way, it's Turok. After a couple of brilliant N64 games, it combusted. First it went darker (d'oh) added zombies (gah!), then went back to dinos only with added mediocrity (sigh). It looked like a sure candidate for extinction. But all that could be reversed if the new Xbox 360/PS3 iteration lives up to its potential. We were given exclusive hands-on access to a near-complete build of the game recently and it's looking... surprisingly Halo-like. Check out the vid below then we'll get down to the nitty-gritty.
First-off, it's borrowed some of that game's best ideas - the ability to dual-wield certain weapons is cool, plus the now commonly-used time-triggered health recovery is in, so there's no health bar or unrealistic medipacks to think about. Even the graphics are Halo 3-like, with similar environments and effects to the first level of Bungie's masterpiece. But remember Halo doesn't look as next-gen as it could have done...
Graphically, Turok is solid, but there's little sparkle to elevate it beyond that description. Although the tall grass moves under your character and waves in the breeze, you can still easily see where flat ground ends and foliage models begin. It's rather angular and a bit sparse, although the rocks and trees make for a good sensation of being in a valley. Peter Jackson's King Kong on 360 looks better (apart from the darkness, obviously), despite its age and multi-platform origins. In fact, we'd go so far as to say new Turok could probably run on the old Xbox, given some tweaking. It's no disaster, though - there are some lovely mist techniques and the filter that covers the screen when you're almost dead makes it all suddenly look amazing - blurry and scarlet-hued while you watch your feet flapping around helplessly.
Above: Frying dinosaurs is fun, there's no denying it. There's a lot of potential here