The Turok: Evolution is an interesting creature. It's story alone chews away at a person's suspension of disbelief—a Native American and a confederate get sucked into an alternate dimension, where dinosaurs have the upper hand on technology and territory. This is probably what would have happened had Mark Twain and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ever collaborated on a novel. Considering the story only has to go as far a setting a premise for the gamer to blow the heads off dinosaur-men, making complete sense doesn't really matter all that much.
Unfortunately it's a little more engaging to consider the oddities of Turok's story rather than play through the game. Turok: Evolution feels like every other game in the series. While Mike is right in saying Evolution brings together a more holistic experience than preceding series titles on the Nintendo 64, it's still unimpressive when stacked up against recent first-person-shooters. It might sound harsh, but first-person-shooters just have to provide a lot more than Turok does to keep up these days.
Mike referred to Halo several times in his review. Who can blame him? A chasm of difference lies between Turok: Evolution and Halo. Those who have played Halo have experienced a game that makes a person feel like they are part of something bigger and striving toward an ultimate goal. Turok: Evolution has a player blasting his or her way from point A to point B and waiting a horrendous amount of time for the next stage to load up to do the same thing. That kind of gameplay really isn't engaging anymore, if it ever really was. I'm not touting Halo as the greatest game of all time, but in terms of setting up a first-person-shooter it does set the mark that all other titles in the genre at least have to meet if they want the same degree of success.
None of this makes Turok: Evolution a bad game. It just doesn't help it stand out in the crowd. Evolution's gameplay is dated. It really doesn't utilize the capabilities of current videogaming technology. Evolution gives players the same thing they've had before but with clearer resolution in the graphics. And most games today can pull off pretty graphics. We've seen how all the games on the next generation consoles can look. Innovation must also be made on how the games play. The proverbial bar has been raised. It's time for developers to start reaching higher.
Disclaimer: This review is based on the GameCube version of the game.
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