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Turok review

Dinosaurs, guns, and... not much else

In a face-to-face battle, the smaller dinosaurs rarely prove much of a threat to you. However, they pose more of a hindrance while you’re waging war against Kane’s troops for the simple reason that they don’t retreat to their hidey-hole at the sound of gunfire. If anything, it seems to attract them, because despite our dino-buddies’ political neutrality, their stomachs have a vested interest in the conflict. Luckily, they find the flesh of Kane’s goons to be every bit as palatable as they do your own, so effectively - and this is the key to understanding how Turok really works - this primal third faction can be as beneficial to your personal cause as it can be deadly, and the hunters can so quickly become the hunted.

When you start out, it might seem that the dinos do little more than add a chaotic element to the proceedings. Often, you’ll find yourself lining up a shot on a far away enemy, only to find yourself flat on your back, staring upward at a maw of teeth. At first it’ll feel completely random, but to Turok’s credit the game is always fair about things. Mostly because it always gives you the chance to escape if you’re set upon by an unseen monster (no one-hit kills); but more importantly, as you grow more experienced, you’ll learn that you can ‘sense’ the monsters around you by listening for rustling noises or observing subtle movements in the grass. Other dinos slither down toward you from tree trunks, and even harmless herbivores can ram you to the floor if they feel threatened by your presence, so there are plenty of fairly neat behavioural patterns for you to learn - usually while bullets are pinging past your head, nonetheless.

Sometimes simply waiting turns out to be the best policy; if you manage to seek out a safe spot, you can watch as a passing dino trundles into an enemy outpost and munches on a platoon of troops, allowing you to sneak by undetected or, if you’re feeling particularly violent, hang around to pick off the survivors. Later on, flare guns can be employed to guide packs of dinos to precise points on the battlefield, or even turn them against each other, but that’s largely as far as the idea goes. It’s a good concept, and one that often makes for an interesting cerebral challenge during play, but it’s also one that can end up feeling slightly half-baked at times.

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DescriptionClassic N64 dino-shooter returns with new developer and new platforms but just as much bloody violence.
Platform"PC","PS3","Xbox 360"
US censor rating"Mature","Mature","Mature"
UK censor rating"18+","18+","18+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)