Quiet…. can you hear that? It’s not far off… maybe thirty yards away. That sound- it can only be one thing.
Now I’m not one to usually voice my overwhelming disappointment in a video game ( I usually save that for real people and situations) but this is one infraction I just can’t let slide.
Propaganda Games bit off more than they could chew when they signed up to do a remake of this N64 game. It being Propaganda’s first major product I was just a little worried walking into it, but I was more then happy to give the game a far shot, as the original still to this day remains one of my favorite FPS’s ever.
With an actual characterized storyline, new graphics, a fresh feel, as well as a new platform to play it on they could have done so many things right, but fell so short as a whole.
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
Weapons: There has been this overwhelming trend in FPS’s lately to do away with the old Doom-style of weaponry. Let’s not let players decide between 8 different weapons, no, instead let us lock them into repetitive fights with a choice between two to three weapons. What’s even worse is the fact that when we do dual-wield some weapons, the accuracy drops so much on them it’s not even fun to do so. The vast number of weapons to choose from, and their design in the original was one of the things that made the game so fun. I mean come on, an AK47 against a raptor?! Can’t get much better then that.
NPC Enemy: You’re faced with 6 guards who all know right where you are. You pop your head up to take a few clips worth of shots but even before you can down one, you have to take cover to hide. The NPCs in this game were insanely hard to down, and sometimes when you think you had them they stood right back up. Now I’m all about having the standard one badass in a group of grunts, but getting 5 badass and 5 grunts together that are equally hard to kill? A little frustrating at times.
Health/Dying: Another trend we see a lot in FPS’s as of late is the whole idea of doing away with the “Counter Health Meter” on your HUD, in which a lot of times you had to run around and find health kits. In place they’re using a “Cover Recover” Health method of you being able to only take so many hits before dying, and it’s shown to the player by coloring the screen (i.e. redder as you get closer to death). Now it works well in some games (Call of Duty, Medal of Honor) but Turok just had it off. By the time your screen begins to change you may not even have time to move before you’re splattered across the wall. Also when you die the game seemed to have an issue in some places with respawns at previous save locations. One level in particular had you going up in a lift and if you made it near the top and died, you had to start all the way at the bottom again, a ten minute process.
Dinosaurs: Needs…more….Dino’s! And different ones, it got kind of boring killing raptors for the whole game. The original had 8 to 10 types throughout the game.
So with all that they did wrong they MUST have done something right…..right?
Don’t worry, they did.
Storyline: I was really glad to see Turok get a storyline, and this one considering all the disappointment wasn’t half bad. We had him referenced as a Native American, Check. We had some back-story as to how he got trained, Check. And we get to see his cute, cuddly side, wait what? No, not really.
Knife/Bow: Now one of the most fun aspects about the original was you got to use a bow, and they didn’t make it boring to do so. The new game came through for us there. I must have used the bow to down 60% of the enemies I came into contact with, which is a godsend compared to the weapons you get to use. The knife was also fun, going in for cut scene kills on dinos was a very nice touch…THOUGH I wish they had more then the 3 different cut scenes.
Graphics/Level Design: The graphics are amazing. The feel of trudging through a prehistoric jungle is right on the money. Level design was also OK, though it felt tight and restricted a lot of the time. Tall grass swaying in the wind, and squeezing between huge cliffs really made the game a joy to look at.
By the time I was done playing the game I think I had a visible frown on my face. I was hoping for so much from this game; exciting dinos to kill, beautiful terrain to traverse, a good storyline to follow, a cache of weapons to choose from, and sadly, it wasn’t all there. The best aspects about the original had faded from view and left me craving to go buy an N64 and the original just to make myself feel better.
Propaganda… you’ll be getting an angry letter from me, you know, once I stop crying with disappointment.