Monday, January 26, 2009

Turok: Rage Wars

Have you ever played a game, that pretty much sucked in everyone's eyes, but you still liked it so much, that you kept playing it? Well, that's the case for me with Turok: Rage Wars, which is pretty much the Unreal Tournament of the Turok series and even was developed in the same year, because Acclaim decided to follow the trend of those arena shooters at this time. So, it was based on the multiplayer mode of Turok 2: Seeds of Evil and focused on multiplayer deathmatch only. The game featured 17 different characters, 20 different weapons, 36 maps and 4 multiplayer gametypes.

Well, where do I start? There were five different ways of playing this game. The Multiplayer, the One Player Trials, Two Player Trials, Time Trials and Frag Fest. The Multiplayer mode let you play with up to three other players or bots. You selected your favorite character, weapons, the map and the rules before the match. Basically the map determined, which gametype was played. There were Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Frag Tag and Capture the Flag. Yes, Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch got different maps, which was pretty weird. Frag Tag or "Monkey Tag" was a Deathmatch variant, where one player got turned into a monkey, a chicken or a small dinosaur. He had to reach a platform, which transformed him back into normal and the other players had to kill him. There was also a "retaliation" pick up, which you only could collect as a tag and transformed all other players into tags. Capture the Flag on the other side was one way, there was only one flag and one or two delivery points, no bases. The singleplayer, however, had a different ladder for every character using the maps and gametypes from the multiplayer mode to create different scenarios including up to four bosses. You could unlock new characters and weapons here and collect the minigame icons, which unlocked Time Trial and Frag Fest. The Two Player Trial let you clear the complete mission tree with two players, you could earn a medal for doing so (well, at least in the European version). Time Trial offered the whole ladder, but with time limits for every mission. And Frag Fest featured an insane ladder with nearly impossible to beat scenarios for skilled players.

At the beginning you had only three characters to choose from, but you could unlock 14 more including the boss characters. Unlike in Turok 2 they were basically all the same except for the Raptor, the Mites (some kind of bugs) and Tal'Set. The former two were faster, but had to rely on melee combat only. Tal'Set on the other hand was a Weapon Master, he could carry all weapons in the game, but switching weapons was based on random input. All the other characters had to choose 5 different weapons before the match. Two weapons using bullets, two energy based weapons and one weapon using explosive projectiles. In addition you got the Warhammer as your default melee weapon. The armory included most of the weapons from previous installments as well as some new entries, including the infamous Chest Burster, Napalm Gel, Inflator or the Cerebral Bore. Latter was one of four pick up weapons including the Proximity Mines, the Iron Claw and the Sentry Turret. Next to those the maps contained different sized health pick ups, three different types of ammunition packs and the Power Core. The Power Core was the only power up, but it gave you a random ability, like different shields, Regeneration or Massive Damage. There were 13 different abilites alltogether.

If you'd like to know my favorites, my weapons of choice were the Shotgun, the Minigun, the Rocket Launcher, the Inflator and the Plasma Rifle or the Flare Gun. My favorite characters were Bastille or Tal'Set, both being unlockable boss characters. And my favorite map was Hopeless, you can see the map on the picture above (though with different textures than in the final version). I even tried to remake this map for UT2004, but never finished it. The maps of this game are all pretty simple, but their layout offered a very nice gameplay, so they are totally worth being remade.

So much about the gameplay, what I also really liked about this game and which was different from other arena shooters, was all the unlockable stuff. In the singleplayer you had to unlock weapons and even their secondary fire modes, as well as more health and ammo capacities. You could also unlock 14 new characters for all the game modes there, which was the most encouraging reason to play the singleplayer. And another task was to collect 36 minigame icons to unlock the Time Trial and Frag Fest game modes. But the best is yet to come, the real deal were the 50 medals. Basically you got those for different achievements in all the game modes, mostly in the multiplayer. There was one medal for every map and some special achievements like "Attained 25 frags in 10 minutes" or even funny stuff like "Killing yourself 5 times". It was fun to collect all of those and they gave you new skins for the characters as well as new ranks and even new "cheats". I managed to collect all except for one, which required four controllers to beat, but I only had two. You can see a photo of my collection on the picture above. As you can see I named myself "Majora" at that time, not the most imaginative nickname, I know.

Well, that's it. I had a lot of fun playing this game with friends back in the old times. This was my Perfect Dark, even though I would never dare to compare these two games. I consider Rage Wars to be the best Turok game next to Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, which was the best singleplayer Turok game. But that doesn't really mean anything, since most of the Turok games were all just pieces of crap, especially the not so cool new one using the Unreal Engine 3. However, I hope, you enjoyed reading this rather untypical entry on my blog, see you next time.

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