Turok on Xbox One is a Remaster of an N64 title by developer Nightdive Studios. This FPS has the player taking control over the Turok and it’s his job to preserve the universe from the Campaigner’s desire for control. Let us see how Nightdive Studios has chosen to Remaster this iconic classic and if they’ve decided to take any liberties or have remained faithful to the original.
Release date: March 1, 2018
Approximate Size: 442.93 MB
Genre: First Person Shooter
Developed by: Nightdive Studios
Published by: Nightdive Studios
Reviewed On Xbox One, Also Available On PC, Original On N64.
Let’s keep in mind that this game is from a time where there wasn’t such a strong emphasis on story, at least not as deep or detailed as what we have now. What I’m saying for new players is not to expect a presentation of something like Uncharted. Also, the story is just there as an excuse to give the player a reason for moving forward and there was a point where I even forgot what it was. That being said, there is a plot and it sounds awesome.
You play as Tal’Set, the current Turok, and he is a formidable time traveling Native American. It is your job as the Turok, a prestigious title that is given in every generation to the oldest male, to protect the veil that lies between Earth and a place called the Lost Land. This Lost Land is a realm invested with dinosaurs and aliens. That’s right, you read that right and it’s as awesome as you imagine. The Campaigner is your antagonist and is searching for an artifact known as Chronoscepter, a weapon of immeasurable power that is currently shattered into pieces to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. The Campaigner’s goal is to destroy that barrier and intersect the two realms and control the universe. Your job, as the Turok, is to stop him.
It’s not the deepest story and it won’t have the immense pressure it sounds like you would have, that you would have in current games, but at least they implemented a story. It serves it’s purpose as a reason to play but, to be honest, the gameplay does enough for that. At its time, well, it’s a story that has filled every child’s imagination and that’s what makes it awesome.
Right off the bat it’ll become apparent that this first-person shooter is from the era of classics such as Doom and Duke Nukem. Gone are the now tropes of the genre such as limited number of weapons you can carry at once, regenerated health, and giant set pieces. Instead, when you take damage, from humans, dinosaurs, other enemies, etc., you have to find health scattered around the map. The game allows you to carry an insane number of weapons, each one with different pros and cons and areas in which they thrive. There are no set pieces that move the story forward, the game makes sure not to pull you out of the action unless its an absolute must. You add this with the locked, silky smooth, frame rate at 60FPS and you have yourself a fun action-packed experience.
Essentially what you will be doing is entering several worlds with the goal of finding pieces of the Chronosceptor. You will be doing everything from crawling to swimming to running and climbing all in an attempt to find pieces of the key that unlocks the level. You will be fighting against a variety of enemies who will drop items for you, usually ammo and such. The highlight of these encounters has got to go to the boss fights. If your familiar with my reviews you know I place a strong emphasis on these encounters because, to me, it’s the ultimate way to test your skills with the mechanics the game gives you and is a sign, if successful, that the game has taught you correctly in order to proceed forward. This game is successful in these experiences; boss fights are fun and a joy to play.
Your enjoyment of this game may come down, for some, whether or not you can adapt to this now classic gameplay style. If you can’t, and I can admit that some games have spoiled us with these modern elements that have made the FPS genre such a spectacular genre, I feel you would be doing yourself a disservice because the game is a blast to play and the graphical upgrades have elevated this game to another level. For those who have played the original and are unsure about making the leap or concerned this game has been altered to play like modern shooters, let me ease those worries. This is the same experience you had back on the N64 but at a higher resolution and a perfect 60FPS.
Let’s take into account this is a Remaster of a twenty year old game and let’s understand the fact that developer Nightdive Studios are wizards. I mean they surprised me with what they were able to do with the games graphics. Now a days it seems like Remasters are either poorly done or used to modify and change things that were originally desired when the game was first developed. Some Remasters are just higher resolution and better frame rate and some go above and beyond, bordering the line between Remaster and Remake. Turok is a Remaster but it adds a little more while remaining as true to the classic as possible. Returning players will be hit with a wave of nostalgia as they traverse a world from generations ago. The game looks great, the environment looks to have been touched up but not changed and the resolution is far above anything the original N64 release could dream of. Speaking of dreams, the game runs flawlessly and spectacularly. Turok at 60FPS has never been this fun of flawless and the game suffers no performance issues at all.
Character models look better and the dinosaurs look as awesome and formidable as before but in better rendering. Your wide arrange of weapon models look nice and all the items scattered around the world look better than ever. It’s obvious as soon as the game boots up and the Acclaim logo sequence starts and then the games title appears, all of it Remastered and preserved with care. I can not sing the praises more for the graphics because I know what they set out to do, make the game look pleasant on modern televisions while still keep the spirit of the original, and they nailed it.
New players, well, they may feel differently about the games visuals. We live in an era where the graphical bar of games are raised every couple of months and, as it pains me to write, Turok hasn’t aged well and has a lot of archaic features and mechanics. Essentially what the developers have done is take a critically acclaimed game from the past and smooth it all out so that it looks great as a Remaster but can never measure to the standards of today. Personally, this didn’t bother me or hinder my enjoyment in the slightest because I know, I was around in the beautiful era in which this game first launched. Nightdrive Studios have done a good job, they really have, and I hope this opens the door for them to tackle more entries in the series or, perhaps, try their hand at a new entry.
I want to start off with the sounds of the dinosaurs. They sound less like the manufactured roars your hear in Hollywood films and more like demonic robotic moans. It’s awesome. Terrifying. The first time one of these reptile beasts makes their presence known, be ready for an audible cue that your not expecting. Guns make the sounds one would expect but some of them don’t have the impact perfected in more modern games. The enemy death sounds are scathing bellows of torment that other games need to implement.
In a game where you are surviving against humans and dinosaurs out for your blood, the music is oddly upbeat and sort of motivates you. I was feeling pumped as the heavy, deep, beats played in the background as I navigated the world. I don’t remember how it compares to the original sounds but I do not I was pleasantly surprised at how everything sounded and I overall enjoyed it. It’s not perfect or revolutionary but it is good.
Nightdive Studios took on a beloved series and Remastered them better than anyone could have expected. While keeping the core gameplay from the 90s they’ve given this classic an upgrade in visuals that allow it to fit in modern consoles. In some areas the game hasn’t aged well but the upgraded visuals alleviate many of the poor areas, some gameplay elements are archaic and it may take some time getting used to this style, especially when we’re used to modern controls and tropes, and the story isn’t as fleshed out or placed as important as I would have hoped but gameplay makes up for this. Overall, Turok on Xbox One is a great experience, a fun return to a classic, and the perfect showcase for Nightdive Studios to be proud of and an excuse for them to Remaster the rest of the series.