Title  : Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
Platforms  : Nintendo 64, Windows
Publisher  : Acclaim
Game Rating  : 9.2
Review by  : Ken Gagne

What moron would defeat a land-threatening evil — only to inadvertently awaken a universe-threatening monstrosity? Leave it to Turok, the dinosaur-hunting hero of Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, a Nintendo 64 game from Acclaim. 

Played in the tradition of first-person shooters such as Doom, Quake, and Goldeneye, Turok sets players in a land of dinosaurs bent on the freedom of the ancient Primagen, a creature with the power and desire to destroy all existence. Gamers must be swift of foot and finger to overcome the many trials and master the many weapons of Turok, a game based on a comic book series by Valiant. 

The stages are huge and often nonlinear, leaving the player to explore, or to determine the proper sequence of events. Each stage has a set number of goals, which must be accomplished before leaving the level. There are also various items to find, such as keys to other levels; pieces of the ultimate weapon; and talismans, granting new abilities. As Turok grows, revisiting past stages is necessary to find everything. 

Players need not worry about making the many precision jumps required by the first Turok. Unfortunately, also gone is the frequency of wilderness settings and human opponents, leaving players to fight a variety of intelligent dinosoids in cities, temples, and catacombs. 

Settle in for long gaming sessions with Turok: the save points are few and far in between, making the quest more difficult and frustrating than it need be. And be sure to clean out your memory paks, as Turok game files eat a whopping 90 pages. 

The control has many more features and options than the original Turok. Basic movement is possible through two configurations, satisfying both Turok and Goldeneye veterans, and weapons can be chosen by the standard scrolling method or a new quick-select. Functions are assigned to every button, which may require some inconvenient reaching; fortunately, this is seldom necessary in the heat of battle. 

The graphics are some of the best in the biz, especially if Nintendo's Expansion Pak is plugged into your system, giving the game the added memory (RAM) required to run in high-resolution. In this mode, the frame rate occasionally suffers, but the letterbox high-res mode relieves this ailment. 

With or without RAM, the graphics are smooth and shaded. Gone is the rampant fogging, obscuring most of the levels. There is some slowdown when occurs huge explosions or large battles, including four-player multiplayer. 

Music dwells in the background, sometimes aiding the atmosphere but usually letting the action speak for itself. The sound effects of scurrying spiders or ravenous raptors do a better job, keeping the player on his toes. 

The multiplayer mode is nearly on par with Goldeneye's. The stages are more numerous but smaller in scale, and more weapons are available per bout. Various characters, each with strengths and weaknesses, can be chosen as your avatar. 

A special "Frag Tag" somewhat emulates Goldeneye's "Capture the Flag" mode: one player is "it" and turned into a monkey, unable to wield weapons, until he either finds the gate that turns somebody else into "it", or he is "tagged" — by being blown to smithereens. It's frantic, furious fun! 

Turok gives players much to do, whether its hunting down all the switches, keys, and items in the massive one-player mode, or fragging and tagging their best friends in the endless multiplayer mode. A long, action-packed quest with great graphics and control — time to take the safety off your shotgun!

This article is copyright (c) 1998, 2007 by Ken Gagne. All rights reserved. Not to be distributed without permission.

Original publication: Sentinel & Enterprise, 04-Jan-98