Review: Turok 2 – Seeds of Evil (PC)

In this review, we check out the FPS game Turok 2 – Seeds of Evil. We find out if this console port is worth trying.

This game was released in 1999 and is a port from the N64 console which got a very positive review here.

This review will simply focus on the differences between the N64 version and this version. There really is very little difference. We should note that newer machines will have issues running this game, but thankfully, a third party patch exists that fixes a number of issues including the random crashing. We tested this and it definitely removed the crashing bug. We also never encountered some of the other bugs some have noted during their playthroughs as well, so we can confirm this is a working patch.

One really nice feature in this game is the ability to save your game anywhere. The upside is that you don’t have to put up with the sparsely placed save points that N64 players had to use just to save. The downside is that it more or less renders the save points practically useless. You can still use your one ammo and health refill per level, but on easy, this never became an issue.

One of the complaints we’ve read about this game is constantly running out of ammo when something was missed. The complaint suggested that because you’ve cleaned out all of the ammo from the previous run through, and that some enemies respawn, you end up dying a lot in your second run through a particular level. The problem with that complaint is that there are certain parts throughout the various levels that have ammo and health respawn locations. If you find one of these locations, you’ll hear a sort of metallic sound. This sound indicates an item or health power up is being respawned somewhere nearby. Often, though not always, you can simply search the area and find that location. One can easily camp there and refill all ammo and health as long as you don’t mind hanging out for a little while. While some players may frown on this practice, it also renders that criticism null as there are plenty of opportunities to not run out of ammo. This goes for every level in the game.

Another criticism is the fact that the game forces players to replay a level if objectives aren’t met. The thing about that complaint is that if the game allows players to leave the level without finishing an objective, then the objectives are simply a useless feature in the game. It also serves as an extra bit of challenge that just wasn’t found in the original Turok game. Can it be annoying? Sure, but you need some form of challenge somewhere along the line or else the game would become boring.

An additional criticism I’ve seen with this game is that this game forces you to go back to find keys you’ve previously missed. I wasn’t sure if the criticism suggested that you aren’t allowed to leave a level before you find every key, but if that was the case, it’s wrong because you can leave a level while missing a key, talisman, or sacred eagle feather. You simply can’t complete the game without getting every special item is all, but it’s possible to get them in a different order.

Along the same vein, another criticism is the need to backtrack and replay a level. The thing is, when you play a level the first time around, everything is locked and you have to take the longest rout to complete it. When you replay a level, everything you’ve unlocked stays unlocked. In fact, in some areas on most levels, you can simply bypass entire sections of a level. In the Port of Adia, for instance, there is a multi-level room with doors on the first and second level. The door on the second level leads you to the last portion of the level. You can skip the area where you have to walk along high ledges altogether which does take a bit to cross over.

Two criticisms that are similar are that the levels are confusing and that the levels were too large. For the confusing part, I note that you have an automap that draws itself as you explore. If the map is already drawn, you’ve visited the area already. If it isn’t, then the area is new and you’ve found an area where you may find something useful. Unless you use an all map cheat, this helps significantly with navigation. Another point to be made is that there are trails of gold and red life force items. By collecting 100 points worth of life force, you get a free life. These life force trails can help you along the way as they can serve as navigational beacons as you explore. So, items point you in the right direction on top of it all. For the remainder of the confusion, I simply thought of it as part of the games challenge. As for the point about the levels being too big, I thought this was what made this game stand out. Some games last only a few short hours and have linear paths to walk through. This game offers an impressive amount of variety and complexity that will keep you busy for hours. You really go through a large journey when travelling through the 6 levels offered in this game. There’s very few moments where things get dull on first play throughs of levels.

So, for the most part, I disagree with a lot of the general criticisms that were levelled against this game.

Generally speaking, I thought this was a great game to play through. I’ve played this game first on the console and enjoyed it. The PC port was also a nice game game to play through.

Graphics got a lot of criticisms as well. One criticism I read was that the games textures were dull and predominantly grey. It really sounds that the person who remarked on this never got to the Hive of the Mantids because those hallways towards the beginning were bordering on psychedelic. There was the key rooms in the Lair of the Blind Ones which showed an impressive amount of color. Some areas have plenty of grey like many areas in the first level. The city featured tonnes of stone sculptures and stone walls along with wooden features that may show shades of ancient Rome. It wasn’t that unexpected. The River of Souls had a nice number of areas with lots of gold. The Oblivion portals had a sort of steampunk look going for it, but mixed in with the metal were splashes of color including red lava-like areas and weird blue areas. I personally don’t think the textures were that bad and some of the feature rooms were nothing short of impressive. One of the few criticisms I do agree with is the draw distance. This is covered up by the fog, but it’s annoying to see such short draw distances in this game. It’s especially bad when utilizing the sniper features of certain weapons. I think that’s the only legitimate point to complain about in this game as it is a PC game after all. The graphics were improved from the console version. weapons and scenery look slightly sharper and the lights and light textures are much more vibrant than before. In addition to this, some weapons have a lot more color. The weapons fire from Entrails on the N64 version was always purple. On this version, there is a whole rainbow of colors you could encounter. I’ve seen blue, white, green, and a whole lot more. This was an unexpected surprise for me. Another positive surprise was the fact that some teleporters also got a whole rainbow of colors going for it. Teleporters were always either light blue or purple in the N64 version. In this version, I also saw orange, yellow, green, and a few other colors. I thought this was an interesting detail added to this game.

Very few complaints were made about the sound, though I would like to comment on the music. The music got a slight makeover. This had differing effects. The Port of Adia music definitely seems improved over the last version. I think the N64 version of the River of Souls was better. Hive of the Mantids had me wishing for the N64 version, but it was a good track in the game. So, I would say music is about the same in quality overall simply because some track were improved while others, well, it was a case of fixing something that wasn’t broken.

Overall, I thought this was a highly enjoyable game. It was definitely a lot longer then other FPS games (my run lasted 15 and a half hours in total and I knew were many things were prior to playing the game). There is a tonne of things to experience and the complexity of the levels adds a nice amount of challenge to the experience. There were a lot of criticisms of this port out there, but I disagree with a vast majority of them. Graphically, one criticism I will agree with – the draw distance. It was simply too bad that this wasn’t increased to the PC port and it does get in the way of the gameplay from time to time. Otherwise, the graphics were pretty good. The audio was about the same experience in the N64 version. Enjoyable, though some tracks were fixed when they weren’t broken (others were improved, though). At the end of the day, I would say this is definitely a recommended game to play. If you haven’t already tried this game, I would say you should give it a try as I think it was worth it.

Overall

Beat the game on easy in just over 15 and a half hours.

General gameplay: 23/25
Replay value: 8/10
Graphics: 8/10
Audio: 5/5

Overall rating: 88%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.



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