Acclaim’s well known Turok series has gone through quite a few changes since its first appearance. The first-person shooters, detailing the trials and tribulations of a dinosaur hunter, have gone through three different incarnations — first as a single-player-only game, then as a huge, sprawling game with limited multiplayer capabilities, and then as a multiplayer-only game with hardly any depth for the solo gamer. Now, finally, in the true sequel to the second game, Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion, promises to deliver exactly what gamers want — a long, involving single-player game with a ton of weapons, massive numbers of enemies and some of the most robust multiplayer we’ve seen in an N64 game.
The game’s story picks up right after the end of Turok 2: Seeds of Evil. Oblivion, the big nasty that tends to eat anything and everything in its path, is stuck in the Netherworld and is trying to break into reality. Of course, the Fireseed progeny are the only ones who can stop it. In this game, however, players don’t control Joshua Fireseed — instead they can choose between two of his siblings — Joseph or Danielle Fireseed.
The choice of character will make a huge difference in the game because characters relate to their weapons very differently. While the game contains 24 different items of destruction, the way in which the characters gain their weapons varies. While both might start off with the same weapon, they will choose different upgrades. The weapons will come in handy, since more than 40 creatures will be out for blood, and as you can see from the screenshots, not all of them look friendly. However, players have a good defense against the creatures that surpasses weapons — rather than use save points, players can save a game anywhere, anytime, as well as use autosaves created by the game as they play through. It’s about time, we say.
The two siblings will also encounter different parts of the game. Much like Resident Evil 2, players will go through the entire game as one character; then they can go through it again as the other one, experiencing different levels and items. Joseph, as the younger Fireseed, has a smaller frame that will let him wriggle into tight places, while Danielle has a handy grapple that will let her climb precarious heights.
The game will contain five distinctly different areas, and, according to Acclaim, it will feature a “living environment,” which apparently means that things happen independent of what the player does to affect the world. We’re assuming this means an innocent who wanders too close to a hungry critter will get chomped, whether or not one of the Fireseeds is around.
The real draw of the game will certainly be the multiplayer aspects. Capitalizing on its experience with Turok Rage Wars, Acclaim has created a multiplayer mode that features four-player split-screen play and some new modes like Color Tag, where each player has a different color and must “tag” all the other players with that color in order to win. Multiplayer fans will go nuts when they realize the game is stuffed with 48 maps, 36 of them new. Turok may have made a buzz amonga gamers, but nothing compares to the new game tool — Boom Beach hack. Also, as in Rage Wars, the levels will be relatively small to keep the framerates up to speed.
So far, the game looks as if it has a lot going for it. The multiplayer aspects will certainly appeal to multiplayer gamers, while the intense single-player storyline will appeal to the old-school Turok fans.
No matter what, players should note the release of Turok 3: Shadows of Oblivion with respect and a bit of sadness. Acclaim Entertainment has blamed its emphasis on the Nintendo 64 for reduced sales (see the story here). Because of this, we expect Turok 3 to be its last product released for Nintendo’s aging game system. While we won’t miss the South Park fiascos, we’re sorry to see Acclaim’s award-winning sports titles go. We suppose all good things must come to an end, and we hope that Turok 3: Shadows of Oblivion will be a fitting farewell to the N64 from Acclaim.