Title: Turok 2: Seeds of Evil Remastered
Available On: PC
Developer: Iguana Entertainment, Nightdive Studios
Publisher: Nightdive Studios
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Official Site: http://store.steampowered.com/app/405830/
Release Date: March 16, 2017
Where To Buy: Steam
The Nintendo 64 was the first console that threw me into the world of gaming I would quickly become infatuated with. It allowed me to play a spy named James Bond, a Bird-Bear combo named Banjo-Kazooie, and race my friends in Mario Kart. But one of the games I was immediately drawn to as a kid obsessed with Jurassic Park was the idea of fight Dinosaurs with guns, lasers, and a trusty bow and arrow. Turok. So you can imagine my excitement hearing that I’d be able to play it again with the new advances in technology we have now.
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil was originally released in 1998, but was remastered by Nightdive Studios for Steam with graphical improvements and mouse and keyboard support. It is important to point out that it is still in the 64-bit style, as it is not a full “remake” but more of a high-res port to PC. Fortunately, both the single player and the multiplayer are included in this port.
The story follows Turok right at the end of the first game as he is commanded by Adon, a female alien, to go forth and protect the five energy totems scattered around the Lost Land from the evil Primagen, an evil alien who is trapped on his ship by the totems. When Primagen sends his forces, a variety of alien and dinosaur beings, to destroy these energy totems, it is up to Joshua “Turok” Fireseed to protect them and keep him from destroying the universe.
If this story seems a little hard to follow, it may be because it’s all told in a brief cutscene at the beginning of the game by the limited audio capacity of the N64’s original game and holds fairly minor relevance to the core gameplay. The unfortunate reality of the old school video game era is that the story elements were fairly terrible in explaining the background plot. This is easily the biggest drawback to the game, but one that falls less on the remaster and more on the original creation.
The gameplay of the original gave the player access to a number of ridiculous weapons, getting progressively more absurd and awesome in later levels. Turok uses this arsenal to blast and shred aliens, dinosaurs, and alien dinosaurs while completing different objectives. These range from saving soldiers or children to fixing issues in the environment. Some of these are a little difficult to find, but not in any way where they felt impossible. Each level also requires you to collect keys to the other worlds, pieces of a nuke weapon, and various feathers that give you access to abilities that allow you to activate certain places and find new parts of the world. After each level you finish, you return to the overworld to apply these unlocks and gain access to new levels.
The remaster makes Turok 2 feels amazing. The ability to use a mouse and keyboard to both shoot and navigate takes this game from the slower N64 version to an almost Doom–like speed with excellent accuracy. This makes traversing the world a truly enjoyable experience. Suddenly, those weapons that felt a little lackluster in the older game feel relevant again, and the bow becomes a force to be reckoned with. The addition of portals that allow travel between the levels themselves makes things even easier to get around, making backtracking less annoying and mundane.
The issue comes again the original Turok 2‘s format. Left unfixed in the remaster, there are certain portions of the game that can lock the player into certain levels when they don’t have the right gear. This means reloading a save from before the player entered that level which, if you’re not lucky, can take you back a pretty long way. This gets increasingly annoying when the thing you missed doesn’t appear to be anywhere, meaning you have to retrace your steps through a number of levels searching for anything you missed.
Finally, the multiplayer is epic. The newly updated speed and accuracy of the overall game make this ridiculous arena style combat a crazy and epic experience. Fortunately, they also made it so that you can pretty much play any way you’d like, whether that be online or offline, LAN or split-screen. The new mode, “Last Turok Standing”, is an even more crazy free-for-all of trying to be the last person left alive. This definitely felt like a return to classic multiplayer from the old era.
I was pleasantly surprised by how great this remaster felt, both in single- and multi-player. The team at Nightdive Studios did a stellar job of making Turok 2 lose the clunky feel that came with the N64 and change the dynamic to a fast-paced experience. Unfortunately, when you remove the rose-colored nostalgia glasses, you realize that the base product has some serious flaws in both an incoherent story and some untouched game flaws. If you’re looking for an updated N64 game, dive in, but be aware that the product is what it was at its core.
- Gameplay: Much faster and more accurate, some still remaining errors
- Graphics: High-res’d 64-bit textures
- Sound: Poor voice quality, similar sound FX to the original
- Presentation: Much better overall feel, same issues with story
- Quick, fluid gameplay update
- Solid updated multiplayer
- Stays true to the original
- Story is still poor
- Game can lock players into levels
- 64-Bit voice effects difficult to understand