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Turok Review

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The dinosaur hunt is on...

★★★★

Following in the wake of last year’s earth-quaking blasters - BioShock! Halo 3! Call Of Duty 4! – it’s going to be hard for any new shooter to make an impact as we roll into 2008. And although there’s nothing actually wrong with Turok’s return to console land, there’s little new to seduce inveterate gorehounds, or anything this game does significantly better than its rivals.

Set on an alien planet where the titular hero crash-lands with a battalion of buddies, the adventure finds players butchering both humans and dirty great dinosaurs, the latter of which don’t give a damn which side they’re chomping on, so long as it tastes good. This dynamic – where you can lure dinosaurs towards groups of enemies, then sit back and enjoy the fireworks – adds extra energy to the action, as do the knife and bow-and-arrow stealth attacks that must be used to avoid alerting lurking lizards, and each weapon’s secondary function that allows you to hatch different combat tactics on the fly with the simplest of button presses.

But while it’s all tremendous fun and genuinely thrilling to battle a towering T-Rex, the action doesn’t feel different to any other quality blaster currently doing the rounds. Crucially, the game also lacks the unique visual style of BioShock – where an imaginative world helped to wind you inexorably into the experience – and the grand heroics of Halo 3, where players were happy to spend time with a standard blaster as they’d invested emotionally in Master Chief and his excitable companions.

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