Thursday, February 28, 2008

Video game review: Turok

Turok is the first title from Vancouver’s Propaganda Games. A rambunctious re-creation of a character that first appeared more than 50 years ago, the new game is a science-fiction-themed first-person shooter for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

You play as Joseph Turok, a Native American former black-ops commando who is part of a mission to apprehend Roland Kane, the leader of Wolf Pack, a rogue commando unit that disappeared three years ago. As a former member of Wolf Pack, Turok doesn’t have many friends in Whiskey Company, his new squad. You don’t know much about his past at the start of the game; you pick up details from flashbacks as you progress.

En route to your destination, your ship is shot down and crash-lands on a planet that happens to be inhabited by dinosaurs. That’s right, dinosaurs, and as one of the loading-screen tips reads: “Dinosaurs eat meat. You are meat. Run away!” As if dinosaurs weren’t enough, you’ll also have to deal with the heavily armed and armoured Wolf Pack troops, who control the planet. And the artificial intelligence controlling your enemies will have them flanking you at every opportunity.

You’ll engage in both melee and firefight combat. While you’ll have access to a variety of automatic weapons, including a few futuristic varieties, you’ll find that you’re plenty dangerous armed with only a knife and a bow. At times, you’ll find yourself in close combat, and pushing the correct button sequence will execute a special knife attack to get you out of trouble.

In addition to the single-player game, there are multiplayer modes, and you can play with up to three friends in cooperative play, in a variation on the single-player story mode.

Turok sports a cinematic look, with dizzying swoop and zoom effects used to smoothly transition between movie and interactive sequences. Not to mention the vertigo that comes from the sense of scale—what seems to be a rock wall at first may turn out to be a giant skull, foreshadowing the types of creatures you’ll confront later in the game. Don’t forget that not only are dinosaurs smart predators, they have the benefit of camouflage in this lush environment. Watch your back. Rated mature.

[originally published in the Georgia Straight]

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

No comments: