November 30th, 2007
When a lot of people think about FPS games on the N64 they often draw their minds back to thoughts of Goldeneye or Perfect Dark but during the console’s era the Turok series was also a popular FPS franchise for the system. Following the success of Turok 2 developer Acclaim decided to create a multiplayer based Turok game instead of finishing off the trilogy. This game was Turok Rage Wars.
Turok Rage Wars is a bit like Quake 3 compared to the other Quake games; everything here is based solely on the death match formula, you know so because multplayer is the first option on the selection screen. So obviously you’ve got a hoist of multiplayer options. As for the single player, you select a character and follow a map like layout in which you select what levels you wish to play. For the most part this is linear but as you unlock more characters the routes will become more open. You can also play the single player co-operatively with a buddy. As you’d expect (being a Turok game) theres a nice selection of interesting weapons at hand.
I don’t even think that there is a story in this game and if there is then its not really interesting.
Turok RW boasts a nice selection of multiplayer match customization which is terrific. Unfortunately its nothing on the scale of Perfect Dark but there is more than enough on offer here to satisy fans of the genre. To give you an idea of the game’s scope, here’s some stats ripped straight from the back of the box:
- 36 multiplayer levels
- 16 weapons
- 8 game modes (4 multi/4 single)
- 4 players per game
Acclaim seem to love everything in multiples of 4.
In terms of multiplayer game modes you have Death Match and Team Death Match (called Bloodlust), Capture the Flag and Frag Tag (characters turn into monkeys). So all standard FPS game modes, its unfortunate that Acclaim didn’t introduce any new game modes here. A little bit of innovation here would have gone a long way. Also the level selection is based on the game mode, so if you want to play the Frag Tag game mode you can only play Frag Tag on ‘Frag Tag only’ maps. Much like other FPS games each stage has a special power item which will give you some sort of power for a limited amount of time in Turok RW they call it a Power Core.
Something that I noticed when playing this game with my mates is how slow Turok RW feels compared to Quake or Perfect Dark. This can often make combat feel old and sluggish. Although as you progress in the game you unlock faster characters which does fix this to a degree.
What makes Turok RW so interesting is it’s creative assortment of weaponary. You’ve got your standard pistol, shotgun and rifle configuration but theres also some really creative weapons in here. I’m talking a flare gun, boomerang, plasma rifle, freeze gun (which slows down characters speed) but my favourite has to be the inflator. As the name suggest when you hit people with this gun it increases their size. On secondary fire you can charge up a shot and watch them inflate until they explode. Awesome. What Turok 2 fans will notice is that instead of the standard crossbow you have the Tek Bow and your default weapon is now the Warhammer.
All of the weapons are split into categories, so each player has 2 standard guns(shotguns, pistols, rifles), 2 science based guns (plasma gun etc.) and 1 explosive based gun (rocket launcher etc.). In single player your weapon selection is predetermined depending on the character that you are using. But in multiplayer you select which weapons you want to use per category.
The weapons overall are fairy balanced and its clear that a lot of thought has been put into not only balancing these weapons but also designing them to look and feel right. And it definetly shines through as its the game’s main highlight.
As I mentioned before the weapon selection in this game is superb and is definetly the main highlight of the game. The game’s textures also looks much more crisper than other FPS games for the console (even Perfect Dark). Although its not hard to see why as the game arenas are kept in doors and generally feel quite small and cramped. The game can also take advantage of the N64 expansion pack although it isn’t necessary.
I think as a package this is definetly something that multiplayer FPS fans should be happy with. With 4 dedicated players this game is a blast. It capitalizes on the multiplayer strength of the N64 which is definetly a good thing. Its also a lot more stable to play than Perfect Dark as it stays within the limits of the console’s requirements.
If you’ve played a Turok game before then you’ll know that the game is littered with dinosaurs. Because of the nature of this title this isn’t so. Thankfully this has been fixed as you can unlock a raptor. Unlike the other players the raptor is restricted to their claws as their only weapon(also has a powerful swipe for a secondary function). The raptor can move around much faster than all of the enemies. These attributes actually ensure that the raptor doesn’t out balance the character set.
Unfortunately Perfect Dark had to come along and blow this game out of the water. More guns, levels, options, modes, bots. To this day Perfect Dark remains one of the most customizable console FPS games around. Its hard not to recomend Perfect Dark over this.
The main gripe for the multiplayer would have to be the small stages and 4 player restriction. Most of the stages early on in the game are just a giant square room with some stairs and corridors. Later on these go outdoors and contain various gimicks to make them more interesting. But you are still walking through the same not too interesting environments, they lack natural creatures like fish, even plants aren’t included. So it makes the environments feel very hollow and lifeless. The 4 player restrictions apply to bots as well so you can never go beyond a total of 4 players.
The single player can also get a bit tiresome as the majority of levels have the same goal of fragging bots, the tight and enclosed areas don’t really make it any more interestig either. When you are playing one on one it gets a bit frustrating trying to hunt down that one last bot through the maze like environment.
Turok Rage Wars is a great addition to the Turok series, in its glory days on the N64. It also capitalizes on the strength of the system which is good to see. For Turok and FPS fans this comes highly recomended but for everyone else theres Perfect Dark.