Previews

Turok

Jurassic? No, the AI's great...

Turok isn't so much a person, as a genetic legacy - that's why our favourite dinosaur hunter has changed since we saw him in Turok Evolution. With new developers Propaganda at the helm, Turok has been transformed from a proud Native American warrior to a grizzled, no-nonsense marine who must lead his team of Special Forces blokes to hunt down his old mentor - and nasty war criminal - Roland Kane. With his new moves, new weapons and a new nemesis, you might fear Turok has lost the essence of what made his earlier games a success - namely, dinosaurs. Until you find your head halfway down a raptor's oesophagus, and - oddly - it's almost a relief to be back.

Zoom

The levels we're playing hint at an FPS with a moody atmosphere, impressive AI and some startling prehistoric pests. The latter is definitely Turok's standout feature, with dinosaurs that look like they've been ripped straight from the celluloid of Jurassic Park.

Compared to most forthcoming PS3 shooters, it looks like Turok's firefights will have a tactical edge. This is mainly thanks to the dinosaurs themselves, who can be lured into attacking enemy soldiers. At one point, we scaled a power plant in the middle of the jungle, sniped some raptor eggs in the gorge below us with a bow, and then sat back and watched as the enraged mother came storming out, eating two nearby soldiers in a blind maternal rage. You can also tag enemy soldiers with the flare attachment on Turok's shotgun, which catches the attention of any dinos in the area.

The stars of the show are undoubtedly the array of dinosaurs that populate Turok's world, from lumbering T-Rexes to speedy velociraptors. Get jumped on by the latter and it triggers a third-person minigame where you have to frantically hit the shoulder buttons. Succeed and you'll be treated to a gory sequence where Turok proceeds to stab Mr Raptor in his prehistoric hide. Fail to react quickly enough and you're dino dinner.

The intelligence of Kane's soldiers also makes the fights in Turok pretty involving. Enemies will regularly use cover effectively, will flank you at every opportunity and will even radio their team-mates with your location if you let them get away.

Thankfully, Turok can use the long grass that sprouts all over the planet's steamy jungles to avoid being spotted. Sneaking up on enemies undetected also gives you the chance to use Turok's stealth kills, viewed from a third-person perspective to show off your brutal array of close combat moves.

Given Turok's chequered past, we're surprisingly impressed by the series' confident next-gen evolution. More soon.

Comments