Game Review - by Jeremiah Pratt
Acclaim was a little late on the release of Turok 2. But it is finally here; Turok fans will not be disappointed. Your cry's of anguish have been heard and answered.
The Legend Continues, when Turok destroyed the Campaigner and the Chronoscepter, he unwittingly unleashed a new threat, this one even more menacing than the one he'd mastered. For back when time began, the one they call Primagen challenged creation and was caught up in a prison of his own making. The Lazarus Concordance realized the danger and erected a series of Energy Totems at places thought to vulnerable to the Primagen's power. Awakened by the destruction of the Chronoscepter, the ancient Primagen urgently calls upon his hapless Fireseed, the new Turok, to confront the challenge as he struggles for the very existence of the Lost Land! He must pay close heed to the wisdom of Adon, the Speaker of Forever Light as she guides him through multiple levels of new adversaries. As Turok, you will meet some familiar foes, like the hideous Purr-Linn, and come face to face with a blood-chilling cavalcade of new adversaries. As Turok, you will need daring, cunning, and all the wonderful weapons at your command to defeat the Primagen and save the Lost Land and perhaps the Universe!
One of the great things about the N64 is its multiplayer modes, since you can have four players playing without having to buy an expensive utility to give you four extra controller ports, which made Goldeneye 007 immensely popular. Add Turok 2 to that list with its multiplayer mode which includes several different playing styles. Blood Lust, a basic shoot-out, Team Blood (which includes a red team and a blue team), and Frag Tag, one of the best multiplayer options ever devised. In every mode, you can choose between multiple arenas and different textures to add even more variety, you can disable certain weapons (there are eight in multiplayer, including one you can't get in the single player mode), plus you can set a time limit/kill limit. Once you start the game, it will be one player, with anyone able to jump in at any time by hitting start. You can choose between several different characters, each with certain physical pros and cons. For example, the Raptor is fast and agile, but cannot carry any weapons, whereas the massive Purr-Linn is a huge target and moves slowly, but packs an incredible punch, and can take a lot of abuse. In Frag Tag mode, one player is randomly chosen to be "It". This person's maximum life meter is 20, and his character is a small, chattering monkey. He has to make it to a specific checkpoint before the other players kill him. When he is killed, or makes it to the checkpoint, another "it" is chosen. The monkey cannot attack at all. And perhaps the best part, before hand you can put in your name, so when you are killed, or make a kill, it will announce on screen that killed whom.
The first thing you'll notice right off the bat when you play Turok 2 is the graphics. Turok 2 possesses the finest graphics yet seen on a home console. Gone are the numbingly repetitious texture patterns found in the first game that resulted in those incredibly monotonous environments. Each of the six levels in Turok 2 contains its own exclusive texture data, meaning that no two levels will look alike. Gorgeous lighting effects abound, along with other visual tricks and eye candy. Once you're done gawking at the environments, you'll soon take notice of the creature models. Although humanoid, there are no human enemies in the game. Instead, you have a large portfolio of reptilian monstrosities to share your ammo with. Each of these monsters is rendered so realistically (if any of this can be called "realistic") you'll probably catch yourself getting beaten while you watch these "beauties" in motion. Of extreme significance is Turok 2's compatibility with Nintendo's 4-Meg RAM Pak. If you manage to obtain one of these little wonders, stick it in where the N64's Jumper Pak lies and watch the game lap to the next visual level. If you thought Turok 2 was good looking, wait until you see it running in high resolution.
The sound effects are basically the same as the original, as there's only so much you can do to change the sound of a pistol being fired. The screams, grunts, and cackles of the enemies are much improved, and more varied than before, but the biggest jump this game took was in the music department. Now, you can choose between what music plays during the levels (though each has default anyway) instead of the native drums.
The first Turok got some bad reviews because of its controller configuration, which used the C Buttons to move, and the control stick to look around. It took 10-15 minutes, although you have to get used to it, I found it to be much better (in some respects). This time, Acclaim put in an option to go between expert (the control configuration above) and Arcade (where you move with the control stick) modes, as well as having the option to switch the C buttons functions with the Directional Pad. The best part of Turok was the incredible weapons you could wield, and the sequel does not disappoint, from the Sniper mode on the Tek Bow, to the brainwave-seeking Cerebral Bore. Since they dropped the maximum ammo limits, I found it much easier to run out of ammo (especially with the standard pistol), but in the end, It improves your ammo consumption.
Overall this game is a step forward in console gaming, it shows off the true power of the Nu64 in graphics and gameplay. It is extremely fun to play and the fascination of exploring is tremendous. Acclaim didn't make just a better sequel they made one of the best games of the year. For Turok and action fans you're in for a treat. Expansion pack isn't required to see awesome graphics but it raises resolution to give it a slick more detailed look, which is appreciated.