Easily one of the biggest releases of the year so far, Turok marks the return of a long-running and widely appreciated franchise. This next-gen iteration features the best dinosaurs to date, along with a gameplay overhaul that includes stealth, diverse dual-wield, extra competent AI, and an absolutely brutal environment. We wanted to learn a bit more about the game, so we issued our questions to the game's Associate Director, Tim Lewinson. He was good enough to provide some fine answers, and he had some very interesting things to say.
Here's our exclusive Q&A with Propaganda Games, and you should pay close attention…his descriptions are awfully encouraging:
PSXE: Technically, the game is a first-person shooter. Considering the very stiff competition out there right now for the FPS genre, how do you think Turok stacks up? And how does it separate itself from the rest of the pack?
Lewinson: Where Turok really separates itself from other first person shooters is in the strength of our AI, strong multiplayer component, signature primal weaponry and of course our vicious dinosaurs. There are many different shooters on the market, but when it comes to the AI you face off against, they’re all slight variations on the same theme, working together to kill the player. The vicious dinosaurs in Turok present a neutral AI that will go after you and your enemies without prejudice either way, and when you combine that with our vaunted dino luring technique, endless new gameplay scenarios present themselves.
PSXE: We noticed what appears to be an element of stealth in some previous videos (and the demo); can we expect some sneaking around in addition to running 'n gunning?
Lewinson: Definitely. Providing the player with opportunities to tailor the gameplay experience to their tastes is paramount, and just as important is ensuring that no matter your style, you can taste success. If you want to act as the silent hunter, creeping through the tall grass and stalking an unwary enemy, that’s up to you. If running and gunning while dual-wielding two shotguns is up your alley, more power to you – it may be a little tougher when everybody knows you’re coming, but you can still come out on top in Turok. It’s all up to you.
PSXE: Just to be clear on the setting and storyline, there are both human and dinosaur enemies, correct? Are we looking at a futuristic Jurassic Park type setting? And will you have allies – like in squad-based games – or is just the one character you control?
Lewinson: That’s right, both human and creature antagonists square off against Turok in our game. As it is set 200 years in the future, you’ll be seeing tech that’s a little off the present radar, but rest assured that this is no park. This is real – a vicious, unforgiving planet with death around the corner at every turn. While you will battle with Whiskey Company comrades by your side in some scenarios, they have their own AI and follow their own rules. You don’t give the commands – but by the end of they day, you’ll be leading by example.
PSXE: Could you tell us a little bit more about the main character? He seems incredibly fast and competent in all the early footage we've seen; is he a member of the military or a mercenary?
Lewinson: Turok is a former member of the Wolfpack black-ops military group. Having trained under Roland Kane, Turok’s skill as a tracker, weapons specialist and silent killer is nearly unmatched. He’ll be hard-pressed to use all of his abilities to survive on this brutal planet.
PSXE: Speaking of some of that crazy fast (and brutal) footage, how much of that is controlled by the player? We saw some "Dino Luring gameplay," and the main character really ripped into what looked like a Velociraptor, in what appeared to be a cut-scene. But is that controllable with a context-sensitive button-press system, like the kind we find in God of War and Resident Evil 4?
Lewinson: Our mauling system is even more dynamic than that. In the games you mentioned, timed button presses pop up on screen at different times to complete the task, but in Turok, you actually have to jam on the button repeatedly just to fight off the slavering creature that’s trying to tear your face off. It’s more interactive and definitely more visceral.
PSXE: Can you fill us in on the online multiplayer? We've seen some of that, too, and it looks sweet. How many players will be allowed per map, and what types of modes will be available?
Lewinson: Multiplayer supports up to 16 players in total, and co-op supports up to 4 players. Turok's co-op missions are a LOT tougher than the SP game. Seriously, why wouldn't it be? Nothing more irritating than missions you can breeze through with only one or two players, where's the challenge in that? You'll need to work in tandem, all four of you, to progress, flank, work together and succeed in our co-op missions. There are numerous multiplayer game types, including deathmatch, team deathmatch, CTF and Assault CTF, and a special one called WarGames. WarGames has two teams facing off against each other with specific objectives that change back and forth on the fly, depending on how each team is performing. While one team may be preparing to blow open a hole in a gate for access, the other team is preparing to counterattack through a different route. Did I mention that dinosaurs are also present in multiplayer, hunting and killing players at random?
PSXE: Anything you can tell us about the weapons would be great. We've seen a few we didn't recognize at all, and in games like this, the better the weapons, the more appealing the entertainment.
Lewinson: Our weapons range from primal to current-gen, to futuristic. Our primal weapons are the knife, which can be used as a stealth weapon to kill humans and creatures alike, and the bow. With both regular arrows and Tek arrows at your disposal, attacking from range is one of the most fun weapon options to come along in this genre in years. The chaingun is an example of one of our current-generation weapons, with an alternate fire that allows you to plant it like a turret, and then use it to rain heavy fire on enemies while you flank and triangulate hot lead at those targets. The sticky gun is an example of a futuristic weapon time that fires a sticky ball of energy at a target, which can then be detonated at will. Using the alt-fire on the sticky gun lays down a mine field, and anything unlucky enough to step into it will turn into the glorious meat fountain. Good stuff.
Good stuff indeed. We'd like to thank Tim Lewinson for taking the time to answer our questions, and we look forward to playing Turok . We're especially happy with the multiplayer possibilities, along with the variety of weaponry that will be afforded us. Things are looking good; let's hope they come through in fine fashion. Expect to see our review within the next few days!