I reviewed Turok Dinosaur Hunter a wee bit ago, having got it on the Switch during the lockdown. Once I realized I could get that and complete it without cheats after all these years I realized I had a greater goal. Its sequel I had never actually completed with or without cheats activated you will find out why.
I fondly remember getting this game for Christmas all those years ago. Box was a bit battered, presumably by delivery. But was the first game I had on the N64 and I was looking forward to this one.
Set several years after the first we find that Tal’Set (character of the first game) decided the best way to destroy the Chronosceptre (the big Magufen weapon from the first game) was to throw it into a volcano. This turned out to be a bad idea as it caused quite a bit of an aftershock which awoke an alien older than the Universe who has now been gathering beings to destroy a bunch of energy beacons to free himself, this will also destroy the Universe. This is all told to you in something this game has that the original didn’t, cut scenes. They are usually short and mainly to tell you what you have to do each level.
Oh I’m jumping ahead a bit, you play this time as Joshua Fireseed the current Turok. He’s ok but not as awesome as Tal’Set.
The game is like an evolution of the first. You play through levels like the first one gathering Keys to unlock later levels in a hub area you gain access to at the end of the first level. So far so the same. BUT first major change is right away. For one, while the first game had jungles and fog, suddenly you’re thrown right away into a city, and not an ancient one of tribesmen but one lived in. You find out not only about the location in the opening of the stage but also a set of objectives to complete.
In one way this brings the level more to life as you’re doing more that just finding keys and getting to the end of a level. You also have tasks related to the level, ranging from freeing people to stopping an army of zombies and blowing up an army of space bugs super computer. The levels are quite a bit more varied this time.
Now here’s my issue with this. Many of these tasks are not on the regular trail. In fact some are very hidden. In Turok 1, having found hidden things usually had great rewards like a powerful weapon several levels early but here, you are running through a maze of tunnels finding a hidden object that if you don’t get by the end of the level you’re teleported back to the start. Yes you can’t complete a level without completing these tasks assigned to you. In the rerelease there is an option to have markers shown to help you find where you have to go, but just kind of shows how tricky some of these were. Some of the later levels are also really damn long, the 4th and 5th ones especially. 6th is actually a good work around so it’s not bad unlike those two. (The 3rd level is the best one also being the only one set in open areas rather than confined corridors)
But it’s not all bad. While the levels went too far with evolving, the weapons went perfectly. The bow is actually a very useful weapon if you’re worried about running out of ammo since you can pick up arrows from the corpse of enemies you kill. But it’s not just the bow (which you can get a more powerful TEK BOW WITH SNIPER CAPABILITIES!) but all the weapons go up a level. While we don’t get the same weapons of last time the new ones are a welcome addition, instead of a repeating shotgun we get the shredder and what talk about weapons could go without talking about the legendary CEREBRAL BORE! A homing weapon that drills into its targets brain THEN explodes.
Now this obviously shows this game is a fair bit more bloody than the original. But this is more in the over the top way to the point of being a little bit silly, like Robocop wanted to be. A well aimed shot can cause some enemies heads to blow up.
Interestingly after playing it I looked up information on what had been dropped from the game, ooh what could have been. It felt weird only the later levels had bosses rather than being spread out like in the first.
While I would say Turok 2 is a better game than the original, the fact that the levels are that much more to navigate and that level is mandatory rather than a true reward for going further holds it back from being as replayable than it’s original. Oh there’s also a multiplayer but I was stuck in the house alone for months and outside of figments of my growing insanity I didn’t have anyone to play with.