Turok Sucks!

Let’s get something out of the way right off the bat:  Turok is another totally shitty PS3 game (see  my Viking review).  I only bought it b/c I got it for $20 and I’m waiting for a good game to come out on PS3 (some good ones coming up in October).

The storyline is stupid, often nonsensical, and you won’t give a shit whether Turok lives or dies.  It doesn’t even really deserve a long review, so I’ll just post a list of things that are dumb, stupid, or crappy about this game.

It appears the plot was developed by some drunk 13 year olds sitting around talking about what would be really cool!  Guns, soldiers, outer space, dinosaurs, Indians (Native American), bows and arrows, jungles, giant scorpions, military compounds.  Wow.

The graphics suck, the targeting is clunky as all hell, no finesse whatsoever.  Some guns allegedly have silencers, but they still make loud noises.  Crouching does not markedly improve your stealth or your protection behind objects; and stealth pretty much doesn’t exist in this game.  There is no HUD or map.  You somehow find a compound bow and explosive arrows all over the place on this planet (as if these are common weapons for future space mercenaries).  Slow movement, confusing perspective and controls.  You cannot reconfigure the controls whatsoever, so you are stuck with the designer’s control set (which sucks).  You cannot pick up an enemy’s uniform to disguise yourself and elude them.  The game alludes that the bad guy’s big secret on the planet is to create a race of giant scorpions (how unoriginal and stupid).  But why would you want to create a race of giant scorpions when the planet is already highly populated with dangerous dinosaurs (raptors, T-Rex, etc.)?  It makes no sense whatsoever.

You will run through long boring caverns.  You will run through long, boring jungles.  You will run through long, boring military bases.  And then you will run through them some more!

Oh, and did I mention that when you somehow find yourself in an underground cavern (and encountering giant scorpions that somehow erupt from solid rock!) you will have to fight a giant kraken, just like in Lord of the Rings!

At the end of the game, you’ll have to fight your former military commander, who is now the rogue leader in charge of the Giant Scorpion Breeding Doomsday Plan!  Smash R2 and L2 together to kill him and you have the most anti-climactic fight scene ever!  And you still will not really understand why you were mad at him, or what he was up to with breeding giant scorpions, and how the building of massive military bases to breed those scorpions made sense to anyone in the universe from a financial perspective.  “Yes, go to the planet of dangerous dinosaurs.  Build a $500,000,000,000 base and breed giant scorpions!  Never mind that the dinosaurs living on that planet are already more dangerous than the scorpions, and it would make sense to use them instead!”

Whoever made the design/plot decisions for this game should be relegated to some sort of Commodore 64 programming hell for no less than 10 years.

I hate myself for feeling compelled to finish this game.

Turok. 1.5 out of 10.


Folklore: First (and Last) Impressions

My brother sent me Folklore, a game he’s played and finished (review here).

In theory, this game mixing occult, fairie, Celtic myth, and the netherworld should be right up my dork alley.

Unfortunately, while the concept is great and the visuals were beautiful the gameplay and mechanics are anything but.  That simply made the game unplayable for me.

The game starts out interestingly enough, mingling the story of a young woman who receives a letter from the mother she thought was dead and a cynical reporter for an occult magazine.  The young woman receives a letter from the mother she’s thought dead for years.  It simply says, “Meet me in the Village of  Doolin.” Meanwhile, the reporter receives a mysterious phone call imploring the same of him, “Come to the village of Doolin.”  Doolin, as we see in a cutscene is a town thought to be haunted.

That’s as far as I’m going with the story.  You get to pick whether you want to play a chapter as the girl or the reporter.  If you’re familiar with the old (and classic) King’s Quest series, Folklore is merely a mentally challenged, graphically beautiful descendant of that series.  Gaming has come a long way since King’s Quest, but Folklore’s programmers didn’t quite realize that.  Aside from the beautiful scenery, you cannot manipulate any of your environs.  Want to talk to a bar patron?  Can’t.  Want to go behind the bar?  Can’t.   Want to go check something out that doesn’t pertain to the immediate quest at hand?  Can’t.  I hate that type of linear crap in this day and age. There is nothing to do but run from scene to scene and incur significant loading times between each screen.  On a PS3, in a game that does not even come close to challenging the PS3 pixel and frame rate, that is completely unacceptable.

I got far enough to engage in some minor combat.  Like the game, the combat system is intriguing in concept (you suck out the Id, or energy of your enemies and use it to attack others), but fails in execution.  It’s just old school hack and slash using one button at a time.  Square Square Square, enemy dead!  Oh the thrill.

I’m sure the story is interesting, but I simply don’t have the time or inclination to suffer through endless load times, non-manipulative environments, repetitive quests (see Greg’s review again, you have to play each level w/ both players—lame), and constant running back and forth.

Sorry Folklore people.  You had a great story, but you botched the execution.  Folklore is a loser.