A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a violent, bloody shooter with a prehistoric twist. Beyond the assortment of firearms ranging from machine guns to rocket launchers, players will use a compound bow and combat knife. Players can sneak up and execute a quick knife kill. You can kill by slitting another's neck, and when done on Dinosaurs, those deaths look particularly gory and involve a lot of blood. The game is also open to online play, which could expose players to foul-mouthed opponents.
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What's it about?
TUROK is a first-person shooter with a prehistoric twist: You can shoot aggressive dinosaurs. The main character, Joseph Turok, works for commando unit. The group must hunt down Roland Kane, Turok's former mentor and colleague in a black ops squad called the Wolf Pack. During Turok's mission, Kane's troops force Turok's ship to crash on a planet littered with dinosaurs. Throughout the game, Turok confronts two enemies: Kane's forces and bloodthirsty dinosaurs.
Is it any good?
Ferocious dinosaurs aren't enough to make this game stand out in a crowded genre. The planet's jungle landscapes look vast but lack polish. Ambient sounds are crisp, including branches crackling under your feet. While the standard arsenal of guns and grenades are at your disposal, the knife and compound bow stand out as the most notable weapons. Turok can sneak up on enemies and execute a quick knife kill with a timed press of the right trigger. The compound bow requires precision, which makes long-distance strikes rewarding. Targeting is tricky, since the reticle moves faster than in most shooters. Your character, on the other hand, is sluggish. It takes a second to get him moving, and he feels slow even when running. Dinosaurs are aggressive, particularly once you're spotted. Kane's troops aren't as smart. Occasionally, they employ clever battle tactics, like flanking, but sneaking up on them is way too easy, as they seem oblivious to most noises.
Turok's single-player campaign strikes a healthy balance between dinosaurs and human enemies. The sudden presence of an angry dinosaur can create some tense moments at times. You also get the chance to battle more menacing foes, including a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a underwater behemoth. Unfortunately, the story is bare. Few background details exist, particularly about the origins of Turok and this mysterious planet. Multiplayer modes boast the usual deathmatch and co-op options. The inclusion of dinosaurs as well as the knife attack allows for interesting combat strategy. Diehard fans of the first-person shooter should enjoy this fresh entrée into the genre. Unfortunately, with so many stellar first person shooter choices, Turok fails to do enough to differentiate itself.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this game compares with other first-person shooters. How does this game rank in terms of the level of violence involved? Is there such a thing as a shooter that's more accessible to younger gamers? Is the character justified in killing these aggressive dinosaurs?
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