Warm Up The Cerebral Bore: Turok 1&2 Being Revamped

Barreling on through the ’90s revival, it’s inevitable that we’d see the return of cyborg dinosaurs with guns for arms and laser eyes. Though perhaps not the most iconic antagonists of the decade, they were always there, seen in shoddy cartoons and found in toy shops alongside non-copyright-infringing bodacious humanoid reptiles. Oh, and they had a whole FPS series devoted to them.

Night Dive Studios, the folks who untangled the knot of System Shock 2‘s rights for a rerelease, have announced plans to “restore” and release “modernized versions” of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil.

Turok is a series about a load of nonsense with time travel and dinosaurs and aliens but look, ignore that, the point is: you get to fight cyberdinos. I remember the games as fairly unremarkable early 3D era FPSs, though with levels more open than was typical.

However, Turok 2 did have a weapon named the Cerebral Bore, a hefty bastard of gun which would lock on them fire a homing cyberworm to latch onto someone’s skull and drill into their brain, showering gore everywhere before exploding. Me and my young chums sure did get annoyed about that in Turok multiplayer marathons, though you had to laugh because of the horrible noise it made.

Night Dive say “both titles will be re-mastered for today‚Äôs modern computers with enhanced graphics and other improvements.” No word yet on when they’ll arrive.

30 Comments

  1. Great Cthulhu says:

    Meh. My own memories are mostly about extremely short draw distances, and horrible platforming segments.

    • DrollRemark says:

      Heh. The first thing I thought of upon seeing this title was the horrendous draw distance. Definitely the most memorable thing about the games.

      I did quite like the first one though, but I think I was a little starved for good FPSs at the time.

  2. JarinArenos says:

    I wonder if they’ll improve the draw distance, or keep the fog in for “atmosphere”

    • bjohndooh says:

      They’d be crazy not to.
      I’d like if they kept the option though – like set the draw distance to classic, low, medium, or high.

  3. crowleyhammer says:

    These were shite back then to be fair, without cheats on at least, i miss cheat codes!

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Agreed! Turok 1 I would consciously buy entirely on the nostalgia factor, but if the cheats are cut, I’ll pass. Might have something to do with me only playing it at friends’ houses and messing around with all the cool weapons, but that’s nostalgia for ya. (And yeah, more games in general need cool, potentially obscure cheat codes — enough of this intuitive, self-completing, terminal/console based junk!)

  4. AL-97 says:

    I guess it should be important to point out that this remaster is a work of Samuel “Kaiser” Villarreal. A man behind DOOM 64 EX (reimplementation of Nintendo 64 game on PC hardware link to doom64ex.wordpress.com), DOOM 64: Absolution TC (total conversion of the same game on a Doomsday Engine link to doom2.net), Powerslave EX (sorta remake/remaster of the Sega Saturn game for PC link to powerslaveex.wordpress.com) and recent Strife remaster (The Original Strife: Veteran Edition on Steam).
    I rmember Samuel saying in either an interview or in a post somewhere (can’t seem to find a link to it right now, sorry) that Turok will be built his own custom new engine with game’s features rebalanced. And yes that includes graphics. Although, I guess not the textures, which should be left in it’s original form. There will be new effects system though.
    And finally, here’s Samuel’s resume, if you want to dig deeper into things that he has been working on: link to villsa.wordpress.com

    • Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

      Thanks for this; I’ll be downloading Doom64 remakes right away.
      Unfortunately, it appears that Power Slave remake has been killed by lawyers already.

  5. FreeTom says:

    I remember enjoying these at the time but that was by the standards of full-3D FPSs prior to UT or Quake 3.

    To “restore” this to not feel just awful next to modern shooters would have to be a complete tear-down. I suspect it’s just an excuse to make a game without having to think of any design ideas.

  6. DrollRemark says:

    Also, protip: Do the platforming sections with the map overlay on.

    • FreeTom says:

      You should do that to aim where your comments are going to land. :P

  7. Anthile says:

    I found them barely playable back in the day. The only thing they had going for them was the creative designs and weapons but otherwise it had nothing on other contemporary shooters of its time.

  8. Distec says:

    I remember initially finding it so awkward to play these with the N64 controller, asking myself why they didn’t just go for some Goldeneye/Perfect Dark setup.

    I’m more familiar with Turok 2, having only played the original at other friends’ houses. Aside from the mandatory RAM pack and poor framerate, I thought it was good at the time. A more contemporary perspective would require dragging out that old Nintendo box… But I thought at the very least that their NPC animations (particularly deaths) were great.

  9. ChiefOfBeef says:

    Was planning on ending it all after getting and finishing Mad Max, but now I got something to keep hanging on for.

    • melancholicthug says:

      Don’t do it bro. There’s always more good games coming soon!

  10. Clavus says:

    They’re the kind of games that always looked better in my memory, but I’m up for it. Turok Dinosaur Hunter was the first game my parents explicitly denied me from playing at first because of the violence :V

    Kinda sad this series never got a proper modern incarnation.

    • James Lyon says:

      It did: the titular Turok came out in 2008 on consoles and PC. I can’t speak to its quality, but it does exist.

      • Xzi says:

        Pretty sure it was universally panned. I think “modernized” versions of the original games have the chance to be the best games in the series.

  11. dethtoll says:

    AWESOME. Turok 2 was one of the only 2 N64 games I kept my N64 around for; the other being Doom 64. I wonder if Kaiser over at Doom 64 EX has anything to do with this — he mentioned he was working on a Turok port last year.

    By the way, it looks like System Shock 1 has been picked up by Night Dive as well.

    • AL-97 says:

      Yes, it’s absolutely is Kaiser who is remastering Turok to work on his own custom engine. Check my post above.
      And it’s an absolutely wonderful news about System Shock 1. Can’t wait!

  12. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I remember one of these games having a massively overpowered weapon that would shoot sticky glowing orbs which would hurt other players when they touched them. Where the overpoweredness comes in is when you charge the weapon and fire one massive orb that was pretty much a guaranteed kill if your opponent hit it. It would also usually give you +100% accuracy by the time the round was over.

    • Arona Daal says:

      sounds like the Bio rifle, part of pretty much every Unreal Game.
      link to youtu.be

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Ah, the snotgun. I have a weird relationship with that one.

        …could have worded that better. Anyway, I’ve kind of always liked everything about it, except the looks. The damned thing looks like a water-pistol full of goo. It’s awful. The UT3 version was, funnily enough, a big improvement with its creepy robot spider vibes, but still not great.

  13. Thankmar says:

    Ah well, at least the first Turok must be the first full 3D-Shooter developed first for a console and to be controlled with a gamepad. Which had just then gotten analogue sticks. So it was kinda treading new ground, and the controlling issues could be possibly avoided by a remake. The platform sections though…

  14. Subject 706 says:

    Give us updated versions of the System Shock games instead!

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Just bloody re-release Terra Nova alrea–

      Oh wait that actually happened. Goddammit. What am I going to complain about now?

      Sure, go ahead and update the System Shocks then.

  15. bill says:

    There are so many other games that I wish these guys were working on. Turok was ok I guess, at least on n64, but it wasn’t anything to write home about.

    interstate 76 rerelease please.

  16. Moraven says:

    Turok 2 multiplayer was glorious.