I’ve got a pretty fancy gaming PC. I’m not bragging or anything; PC gaming is a pretty expensive hobby and I’m sure there are plenty of orphans who’d put the money to better use than I would. Still, orphans won’t get me 60 FPS in Crysis 3, so it goes to speedy GPUs and RAM instead. My point is that I play a lot of modern games, which means a lot of modern first-person shooters. They’re nice to be sure, but sometimes I want a retro hit.
Thank goodness that there’s now a PC port of the Nintendo 64 classic Turok: Dinosaur Hunter Remastered Edition on Steam, reborn and ready to scratch that retro itch so hard that it bleeds.
This, simply put, is Turok: Dinosaur Hunter – only remastered. It’s the game you played on N64 all those years ago. There’s still fog, though significantly less than there used to be. The level design is still super goofy. You still run around grabbing keys and lifting them victoriously over your head. Now it’s running on your PC, which is likely to be several orders of magnitude more powerful than the N64 ever was – and if it’s not, you might want to consider an upgrade sometime soon. Chances are you’ll be enjoying glorious 60 FPS gameplay from this one.
This game plays pretty much exactly the same as it did way, way back in the digital stone age of 1997. There’s a plot…somewhere, but it doesn’t matter: you are Turok, you need to run around shooting people, dinosaurs and mutants and collecting keys. Shooting is done using guns, of course, and there are plenty available for your shooting purposes. There’s even a bow to use, though it’s largely terrible outside of the odd set of explosive arrows you’ll find laying around. The head honcho of weaponry is the mighty Chronoscepter, though to use that one you’ll need to find pieces scattered throughout the many levels.
Collect keys to get into levels, which will contain more keys; said levels are largely long hallway-shaped shooting galleries with the odd branching path here and there leading to secrets and bonuses. Eventually you’ll defeat the Campaigner, the big bad, who probably did something awful and has it coming. Once that’s done, you’re done, though you might want to come back and try out some hilarious cheat codes.
The biggest change in terms of gameplay is the addition of mouselook. The original N64 game wasn’t designed for this level of precision, naturally, and this means that if you’ve got any experience with first-person shooters you should be able to completely wreck face. It does a lot to make the game much easier, and it wasn’t especially difficult to begin with. Even playing on a modern gamepad is easier than using the comically awkward N64 controller. The revised controls also make Turok’s many platforming segments vastly easier to deal with. Maybe a little too easy.
In the end, though, this is a largely perfect port of the original N64 classic. If you’re feeling some nostalgia for retro first-person shooter action, then you’re going to love Turok: Dinosaur Hunter Remastered Edition, even at the surprisingly high price of $20. If you’re glad we’ve got a more cinematic experience from our shooty mans games in 2016, you might want to stick with the excellent – and slightly more modern – Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. Either way, it’s nice to have a game that provides this sort of comparison.