Following the success of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Acclaim saw fit to create not one, but two immediate sequels; Turok 2: Seeds of Evil and Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion. The latter of which has not been remastered by Night Dive Studio, or at least it’s yet to be announced if it has. I made a point in my review of the Turok remaster that GoldenEye 007 stands out as the best FPS game on the Nintendo 64. However, it couldn’t completely overshadow Turok. Turok, much like Seeds of Evil and Shadow of Oblivion, more than earned its own unique footing and widespread accolades. The series is known for its deep level design, unique story, and solid gameplay. Criticisms for Seeds of Evil mostly consisted of troubles with the framerate, more so when a lot of enemies and action were on-screen at the same time.
This isn’t too unlike its predecessor, which also suffered with similar issues in addition to some wonky controls. That being said, it was still a remarkable experience to say the least, and now thanks to Night Dive Studio, new players and returning fans can go at it once again. Do note that there are some unavoidable spoilers regarding the first game here. So if you want dive into that game without any plot knowledge, now is the time to turn away. If not, read on. The story of Seeds of Evil is somewhat more in-depth than that of its predecessor. Players take on the role of Joshua Fireseed, the new ‘Turok’. Tal’Set’s actions at the conclusion of the first game didn’t come without consequence. Upon defeating the evil overlord known only as the Campaigner, Tal’Set ditches the powerful Chronocepter weapon into a volcano.
However, this causes a tremendous blast that only serves to awaken an even deadlier foe, the Primagen. The Primagen rallies together several races from the timeless, primitive, Lost Land, in an effort to destroy a collection of Energy Totems. Joshua is now tasked with thwarting the Primagen’s plan, which will not only save Earth and the Lost Land, but the entire Universe too. So, no pressure, right? Despite the added story emphasis, the core formula of the game remains much like Turok; go here, shoot that, collect this, and so on and so forth. Safe to say that if you enjoyed the first remaster, or even the original release, you’ll enjoy what’s up for grabs here. That being said, problems are not nonexistent, but much of these tend to be a product of the game’s age rather than how the remaster has been handled.
It’s immediately apparent that this game looks much better than the first outing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a revolutionary step forward, but one that I found myself appreciating nevertheless. Improvements here include; sharper textures, increased draw distance, and a stable framerate. One problem with Turok, especially when you take into account that it’s being judged in 2018, is the simplistic level design and gameplay structure. That’s not totally alleviated in Seeds of Evil, but the design, at least, is much better. The environments actually make sense and are pretty interesting, too, rather than trudging through forest after forest. The same can be said about the enemy variety. Sure, Turok has no shortage of different foes to tackle, but your opposition in Seeds of Evil are vastly more engaging and unique. The weapon pool also sees a few new additions, such as the devastating cerebral bore.
One problem that I did have with the game, and again this is due to its age rather than it’s recent development process, is that there’s far too much senseless exploration. The larger maps don’t sit well with progression. This concept may have been passable back in the nineties, but here in 2018, I don’t suspect newcomers will appreciate wandering around large maps whilst looking for a way forward, for excessive amounts of time. Speaking of the actual gameplay, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Seeds of Evil, despite the niggling issues. It doesn’t feel quite as refined as its predecessor, at least in terms of combat, but it’s certainly the better game of the two. It comes with the original multiplayer too, with online functionality to boot. Sadly, the servers do not seem to be populated. That may be because people are playing Turok before Turok 2, but still, it’s not a good sign as far as longevity is concerned.
Much like the first game, there’s a heap of secrets and collectibles to seek out, which does add to the replay value to some degree. Character and enemy models look sharper, as well as the animations. Not just because this is a remaster, but because of the notable jump in quality, as outlined above. There’s roughly six-plus hours to pull from the experience, and maybe an extra hour or two on top of that if you’re fortunate enough to play online. It’s here in which my main problem comes into view, the price tag. Two twenty year old games that still look particularly dated for £15.99/$20 a pop, just doesn’t cut it. Night Dive should at least offer a bundle option with a discounted price, and possibly consider lowering the individual tags to a third off. Still, with that to the side, there’s no denying that both of these remastered games are an absolute joy to play, even twenty years later.
Much like Turok Remastered, Seeds of Evil is overpriced. The game doesn’t come without problems, many of which are due to its age. However, if you can overlook dated visuals, basic gameplay functionality, and a multiplayer component that lacks population, there’s a decent amount of refined chaotic fast-paced fun to be had, within.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.