Brave modder tries to make Turok 2 a decent game

Turok 2 is a load of old toss, and I should know. As an N64-owning teenager it was all the rage in the games magazines, with one notable outlet even awarding it a 10. The game had hype. It got on my Christmas list. What a waste of a slot that was.

Okay okay, I'm possibly overdoing it (what a WASTE of a slot), and there's a sizeable minority of folks who love this dinosaur-hunting FPS series. There is in theory a lot to like: a cool setup, dinosaurs as baddies which is always great, and random bits of future tech and aliens in there to spice things up. I feel it's obligatory to mention the Cerebral Bore, a projectile that latches onto an enemy's head and drills out their brain. Which was probably the most fun I ever had with Turok 2.

Well, modder Totalitarian is here to make everything alright again. Their Turok 2+ mod is designed for those after "an enhanced Turok 2 game experience" that doesn't stray too far from the original game's design decisions (thanks, DSOGaming). The mod is for Turok 2: Remastered by Night Dive Studios, and is one heck of an overhaul.

The Turok 2+ mod with Turok shooting a bow.

(Image credit: Night Dive Studios)

They may have actually pulled this off. Among other things, the mod overhauls various weapons to add new alternate fire modes, effects, and balancing tweaks. Enemy AI has been tweaked so that "gravely underutilized behaviour [is] put to good use", they have new attacks and a new spawning system to account for extended draw distances.

The mod adds new player mechanics, including a double jump, new alt fire modes, something called a spirit cannon (I think this is a minigun), and increases the character movement to something more akin to the original Turok's zippiness. The levels have also been fiddled about with to account for the new player and enemy mechanics, including new encounters, but the layouts haven't changed.

Then, for anyone who's played this game, the most important bit: a difficult rebalance. The mod adds quicksaves and a hint function, but more generally "is not the brutal beast the game originally was on the N64," writes Totalitarian. "If you pick higher difficulty modes you'll face more enemies (as one example) to compensate."

I also admire the modder's capacity for a sly backhand: one of the final notes on this mod is on bug fixes, and says the mod adds: "a professional standard of polish."

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."