Hey everyone! Has there ever been a point when you’re looking through your gaming library and wondered, “Huh, I wonder whatever happened to this series?” Well, I’ll be taking a look at videogame franchises and the lead up to their eventually final days. With that being said, today I’ll be asking the question: “Whatever Happened to Turok?”
To go back to the start, Turok was a first person-shooter developed by Acclaim Studios Austin. The first game in the series, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, was released in 1997 and was received with enough critical praise to create a healthy fan base towards the franchise. Riding off the first games’ wave of momentum; the sequel, Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, would be released in ‘98. It would go on to be another huge seller for the developers at Acclaim Studios Austin, resulting in a spike in fans and a spike in demand.
Things started to get bumpy for the developers during the release of Turok: Rage Wars in ‘99. The game would still garner positive reviews, but was deemed non-canon to the rest of the established story and gameplay was considered lackluster in comparison to the first two games.
Acclaim Austin took this “loss” to heart with the introduction of Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion in 2000. Upon release, Turok 3 hit the sweet spot and was loved by fans and critics alike. Some even going as far to say that it was a franchise best and that Turok had finally come into its own. This victory would be short-lived however with the eventual announcement of Turok: Evolution. Evolution was not only the first game in the series to be released in a two year span, but it was also the first to not be featured on N64. It would instead find its home on the PS2, Xbox and GameCube.
Reviews for Evolution were mixed, with common complaints directed towards a paper thin plot and terrible enemy design. This was a blow for the franchise, having only found critical praise throughout most of its games, with the exception of Rage Wars. With this minor success, it would be another six years before a new Turok game would see the light of day…
With those six long years having finally passed, 2008 rolled around and it was time for a new Turok game with a brand new developer, Propaganda Games. With no titles under their belt, Turok was a must sell for the team. Unfortunately for Propaganda, although the newest add-on was considered a success, to fans it was mediocre. A run of the mill FPS that had been done before and done better, the reboot to the Turok franchise had made the mistake of incorporating all the clichés from modern shooters of the time.
Although, as mentioned earlier, it still was enough of a success to warrant a sequel. This sequel, however, wouldn’t see the light of day and would eventually be cancelled. This would be the end of the franchise for nearly a decade and brings us to where we are today.
Not a lot of news has followed since then. There was an HD remaster released by Night Dive Studios recently. However, in the months that followed, news of an up and coming System Shock 3 had more than fizzled out a lot of the flare from the HD remasters release. With this being the case, it seems that Turok has not been forgotten, but is in need of a brand new title to bring focus back towards the series.