Turok: Dinosaur Hunter gets a remaster that no one expected

Turok (PC)
Acclaim

Credited as the very first third-party game developed for the Nintendo 64 system, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter made its way onto the system in March of 1997 and on the PC later that same year. Players control Turok, a Native American time traveling warrior that is charged with protecting the Lost Lands where time does not exist.  The Lost Lands are filled with Dinosaurs, insects, and even aliens that Turok must confront and defeat.  Throughout the game, Turok must find the eight pieces of the Chronoscepter to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands of the evil Campaigner and causing destruction of the Lost Land. Originally developed by Iguana Entertainment and published by now defunct Acclaim, Turok was a major release for the company and quadrupling the company's stock after initial projections for sales were increased greatly. Remember, this title was released before Goldeneye and during a time when players were itching to get their hands on a more mature Nintendo 64 software title.

Look ma, no fog! Image courtesy of Night Dive Studios

Turok was mostly remembered for two things. The first is awesome, you get to hunt dinosaurs in a first-person shooter. The second is the dense fog that constantly surrounds Turok, preventing him to see what is further ahead in the area.  The latter is actually a technical limitation of the Nintendo 64 system at the time, the developer used the guise of the fog to make the game run smoother.  One thing that Turok does not regularly recognized for is the similarities to another hit franchise Tomb Raider. Unlike Doom or other first-person shooters, Turok must climb, swim, and jump between platforms to progress through the levels of the Lost Land.  This gameplay mechanic gives the game a bit more depth than say a generic first-person shooter would.

All kinds of beasts await Turok in the Lost Lands. Image courtesy of Night Dive Studios

The announcement from Night Dive Studios to remaster the game came as a bit of a surprise to some people. Night Dive Studios is a developer that is famous for bringing classic games back from the dead like 7th Guest, System Shock 2, and I have no mouth and I must scream. Screenshots of the upcoming Turok remastered (above and below) were released on their Facebook page earlier this week. It looks like Night Dive Studios was able to clear up the fog issue, a major complaint from the original release. The initial reactions around the web are mixed due to the graphics not being up to par with current releases.  However, what most people do not understand is that a remaster and a remake are two different beasts.  A total remake of the game would require a lot more time and resources than tweaking the original visuals of the game and making it playable on a PC or newer console.

Quit bugging Turok, he has a destiny to fulfill! Image courtesy of Night Dive Studios

Overall, I am impressed that this is even being attempted and I will definitely be keeping an eye on this project. Hopefully we will be able to review this for you in early 2016. There is also a rumor that Night Dive Studios may also be working on a remaster of Turok 2: Seeds of Evil. Turok seems to have been lost in video game history with sub-par sequels that have been cranked out over the recent years. This may be a great chance to kickstart the franchise, and maybe see a developer take a shot at a AAA release. Because honestly, who doesn't like time travel and fighting dinosaurs?

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