HomeReviews3/5 ReviewTurok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered Review

Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered Review

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It appears that there is still an appetite for going back to games of the past. And let’s face it, without that appetite, what else would Nightdive Studios be doing?

After remastering not only Turok but also Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, they have looked to complete the set by pushing out the third installment, Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion, Remastered. The original game released back in the year 2000 onto the N64, and now the Xbox family can finally get hands on with it. The question is, is this a gift that we want, or would a pair of socks be more welcome?

turok 3 review 1
Ready to finish the Turok trilogy?

Looking at the story first and the events of Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered take place about two years after the events of Turok 2. At the beginning of the game, the current Turok, Joshua Fireseed, is attacked and killed – despite having just gone through the whole of the last game with ease. The hunt is on for his replacement. Now, as luck would have it, there are two candidates for the position – Danielle Fireseed and Joseph Fireseed, Joshua’s sister and brother respectively. One of them must be the next Turok, and so we get to choose which character we want to play as for the rest of the game. In fact, it’s down to us to stop Oblivion again, and so the mission is set. Vengeance for Joshua and saving the world, sounds like a regular walk in the park, no?

The news from the presentation front is a little more mixed. Despite the promises that Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered uses the latest iteration of KEX engine, “which utilises an improved renderer to achieve a higher tier of visual fidelity across 3D models, textures, and graphical effects”, the game still looks like it has been ripped from the year 2000. This is good in a way, as it is exactly as you remember, but it must be said that it is still a bit rough looking. It may seem unfair to criticise the game for being true to the original, but the fact remains that Turok 3 is not a looker. 

The palette of the game appears to be mainly grey and extremely drab, the enemies are pretty generic and the weapons that we find and can equip all look a bit weedy. Other than that, Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered is as it was 23 years ago. Even the cutscenes have the peculiar way of showing the characters walking all present and correct. And while on the subject of the cutscenes, the voice acting from the original game is all there in its unrestored glory. As a remaster, it is nigh on right, but as a game for this day and age, it is a little wide of the mark. 

turok 3 review 2
Pretty much correct as a remaster goes

So have the development team done anything new with the gameplay? Well, yes and no seems to be the answer here once again. 

Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered is still a first person shooter, but the developers have taken it upon themselves to redesign some of the levels slightly, which is a little annoying when you think you can remember the way to run through things. As an example, one of the levels sees us emerge from the sewers and then we have to find our way through a kind of building site. In the original game, one of those buildings had a net that went all the way to the top of the level, but in this remaster, the net only goes halfway up the building. It took me ages to figure out, but in the spirit of helping, when you get to this bit, equip the grappling gun and look up. Helpfully, grapple points are only visible when the grapple gun is equipped, so this took a while to suss out. 

The rest of the gameplay works as an odd mixture of frustration and exhilaration. The actual shooting action is okay, but the aim assist is so strong that things are a bit laughable. Wave the crosshair somewhere in the general direction of an enemy and it immediately snaps into the perfect position for a headshot. This is useful if somewhat lacking in skill. The bosses that we have to fight have the opposite problem, being bullet sponges that the crosshair seems to be allergic to. This means the difficulty spikes are truly unreal. It doesn’t help that there is no sense of impact from the guns, whether if you are hitting an enemy or they are hitting you – quite often you will drop dead because you didn’t realise pain is being dished out. This is the frustration part of the game, in case you were wondering. 

On the flip side, there are some set pieces that are pretty cool, like running through a subway train (and on top of it too) in order to bring it to a stop. In these moments, you can see the essential solidity shining through. However, sadly I haven’t finished moaning yet, so hold on tight. The traversal mechanics in Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered are ropy as well, with Turok (whichever one you choose) unable to walk down a narrow passage they passed only two minutes earlier. Further, the ladders that you have to climb push you off to the side, making exiting the ladder in the correct place very difficult. In fact, getting about the place seems a bit like hard work, and the mapping of the jump button to LT makes no sense to my FPS brain. 

turok 3 review 3
Proper old school shooting

I’ve done a lot of complaining in this review, and I don’t want you to get the impression that Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered is a bad game. I mean, it isn’t great, but it wasn’t great back in the day. As a remaster then, it is a very good one. This is like a time capsule, or watching a TV show from the ‘70s – looking at it with today’s eyes, you can’t believe how bad we used to have it. 

If you like Turok and want to finish the trilogy, then Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered is the only game in town. But for anyone else, there are better games to play. It’s a bit of a cop out, I know, but this will appeal to fans.

Edit: We originally mentioned the game launched on GameCube, when in fact it was N64. Edited to correct.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Faithful re-creation of the original
  • Set pieces work well
Cons:
  • Faithful re-creation of the original
  • Why mess with the level layouts?
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Nightdive Studios
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch
  • Release date and price - 30 November 2023 | £24.99
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Faithful re-creation of the original</li> <li>Set pieces work well</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Faithful re-creation of the original</li> <li>Why mess with the level layouts?</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Nightdive Studios</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch <li>Release date and price - 30 November 2023 | £24.99</li> </ul>Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered Review
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