For those of you who have never heard of the Turok series, don’t worry there are tons of people like you. The only reason I knew what this game was, is because a friend of mine had a later game from the series when we were kids. So just a little background to get everybody up to speed, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter is a game from 1997 and was (I believe) only released for the Nintendo64. It was a dinosaur gun and run kind of game. Like take Rambo, have him go to Jurassic Park and fight like he’s from the original DOOM games, that’s Turok. Let me just say that this review is going to be a little all over the place because I didn’t play the game for N64, I played the recent PC port of the game (that you can get off Steam). So because this game is so old, I’m going to be doing something a little different with this review. I’m going to give it both a review of how it would have been back in the late 90s and how it stacks up today. You’re probably going, “It’s not fair to judge it by modern standings, the game is literally 20years old.” You’re right it’s not fair, but it does give us an opportunity to see how far we’ve come in the past 20years.
The graphics for this game were on par back in the 90s. The models for the characters/creatures were consistent and fairly well designed. The only thing that holds this game back is the wall and ground textures are just a repeated pattern, and many games did this as well, but it wasn’t quite as noticeable. Obviously, by modern day comparison, this game can’t hold up. If this game tried to be sold nowadays, no production company would even endorse it. The developers would have to pull a “No Man’s Sky” and advertise the game differently than it really is. But to be fair the technology and skill were nowhere near what it is today so the developers will get off easy….this time.
RATING: Back then 8.7/10 Now 3.5/10
The mechanics of this game are basically stripped from DOOM. I’m not saying they stole this from anywhere, that was the style around that time and DOOM is the most relatable game to reference. It’s a simple gun and run game, you run and shoot. There is literally nothing else that has to be done as far as control goes. So back then that’s pretty solid work. By modern standards, the gun and run type games are still fairly popular. I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but a prime example is the newest DOOM game. Yea it has some new features, but bare bones it’s still just a gun and run. So an updated graphics version of Turok would probably do great sales wise.
RATING: Back then 10/10 Now 7.5/10
The reason this is ranked so low in this category is that it’s a linear game, there’s really no need to go back and play again once it’s done. Back then it would have been more worth going back to play because Turok did have some “secret areas” but for the most part these areas had items used to progress or gain an advantage. For modern day play, the only reason to go back and play through after beating it already (aside from absolutely loving the game) would be to try for speed runs.
RATING: Back then 7.0/10 Now 4.0/10
Is It Fun?
I give it a nine out of ten for both back then and today. Regardless of how old and out of date the game is, it was still fun to play and that’s what really counts. If you don’t let the lack of modern mechanics and the unpolished visuals bother you, it’s still a pretty fun game. It’s like if you went back and played the original Crash Bandicoot or Spyro games, the graphics are kind of bad by modern comparison, but it’s still a fun play through.
BACK THEN 8.7/10 B NOWADAYS 6/10 D-
Back in the 90s this would have been a great game, and even by modern standards it's still not that bad. If you got a couple bucks and want to try something different, I think Turok is worth a try.
As always, I'd love to hear what any of you think about either this game or my review of it. Feel free to comment or send a message/post to the KeyBound Facebook or Twitter.