NEWS - Friday, August 18, 2006

The Return Of Turok

Turok is back, this time on Xbox 360™ in his latest adventure, Turok: Heart of Darkness. Developer Propaganda Games is trying to breathe new life into this franchise, and if details and screens are anything to go by, there’s plenty to be excited about. Like most games in this series, Heart of Darkness is a first-person shooter that contains lots of blood, high-powered weapons, and quite a few rampaging dinosaurs. It also features Turok, the ripped bad ass that refuses to back down from anything that gets in his way, even if it’s a fifty foot tall T-Rex. This time around, Turok joins up with what appears to be a military unit and rockets off into space in the hopes of capturing his former mentor, an evil doer by the name of Joseph Kane. Kane’s set up shop on some mysterious planet, a place that contains tons of dangerous creatures, most notably dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes, as well as plenty of large bugs and evil soldiers. Dinosaur Hunting In typical fashion, Turok’s drop ship is gunned down, his "team" is scattered all over the place, and he has to pretty much hunt Kane himself. Being that this is a Turok game, it doesn’t take him long to build an arsenal of weapons, all of which feature primary and secondary functions. Propaganda hasn’t released an official list, but based on what I know it’s the standard issue group of toys that appear in most first person shooters. A mini gun, combat knife, bow and arrow, flame thrower, rocket launcher, pistol, and a couple different shotguns are but a small sampling of what to expect. In addition to unloading clips and slicing throats, the dinosaurs can be used to attack enemies. These creatures operate off basic instinct and have no allegiances, so they’ll just attack what or whoever’s closest. Turn the tables on your opponents by lobbing a grenade or a flare in their general direction and whatever’s pursuing you may turn its attention towards them. There’s no guarantee of success, but it’s better to take the chance than risk being devoured by a pack of famished raptors. Multiplayer Details On the multiplayer front, look for the usual modes such as death match and capture the flag. The inclusion of those same creatures from the single player campaign will add an interesting dynamic to the gameplay. So, for example, if you’re pinned down and in need of a diversion, you can sick a slobbering T-Rex on your enemies. Aside from the aforementioned multiplayer modes, there will also be co-op play, but Propaganda hasn’t announced too many details, other than a group of players will be able to tackle a series of missions. Whether or not they’ll be anything more than blast fests is unknown, though there are vehicles in the game, so it may be possible for everyone to hop into a jeep and get the hell out of harm’s way. I certainly hope the dinosaurs are able to keep up. Judging from the screens, Heart of Darkness is one of the most gorgeous games ever made. The jungle environments are rich with all types of foliage, and the creatures are fantastically detailed. The pictures are very pretty, but we’ll know more when we see some in-game footage of the action.

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