Turok Producer Interview
Turok, long-time dinosaur hunter, comic hero and star of numerous video games is getting the next-gen gaming treatment in the spring of 2008, Feb 5, 2008 to be exact. Developed by Aspyr Studios (PC) and Propaganda Studios (Xbox 360, PS3), Turok will debut on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Rated M for Mature this new imagining of Turok will place the gamer in a first-person environment where they will assume the role of Turok, a former black ops commando who's now a member of the Whiskey Company, a special forces unit sent to hunt down and capture one Roland Kane. Kane is Turok's former mentor who's set himself up a quite the warlord. It's up to Turok to navigate the planet where Kane's army as setup shop, a planet inhabited by dinosaurs, large insects and other nasties just waiting to make a snack of Turok, his squad, even Kane's army.
The game will utilize stealth as well as guns blazing glory, but the most intriguing aspects may just be turning the dinos loose on Kane's army, pit one enemy against the other. Until we get our hands on the game there is not much more we can tell you. The story is original, created from the ground up. It shares a name with the comic series many of us have come to love, but what else? We turned to Studio Head Josh Holmes of Propaganda Studios to fill in a few of our aching questions. Check out what he had to say.
Q: Disney Interactive, known for its kid friendly games brings us Turok, a mature first-person action game. When I first heard this at E3 I was really surprised. What reaction has the team received from the gaming press as Turok has been shown, and when it was first announced, coming from the studio it is?
Turok is actually being published under the Touchstone brand, which caters to a bit more mature content like the movies produced under that brand as well. We've received positive feedback from the games press when we've shared with them that the game is under the Touchstone brand.
Q: Being set on a distant planet in the future, Turok seems to have kept some of the Native American heritage (Mohawk, bow) of the original comic character intact. How much of an influence were the comics in the design of Turok?
We felt it was imperative to keep Turok as a Native American because it is synonymous with the franchise. You will notice other aspects of Turok's Native American heritage in the game – including the use of knife and a bow/arrow.
Q: Are there any special in-game treats to fans of the comics?
You will have to play through it to find out – isn't that the whole point of a treat?
Q: Did any particular comic series stand out, any artist work influence the design? (Bart Sears work on XO and Turok for Valiant Comics really stands out for me)
We really aren't comparing this new Turok to any of the previous artwork – we are simply adding our own style that we feel makes a great game and does the idea of the franchise justice.
Q: This is not the first Turok game, but it is by far the best looking (and shaping up to be best playing). Did you start from scratch with the gameplay, or did you (design/dev) spend time with previous Turok games to brainstorm?
We played through all of the previous Turok games for inspiration. We then decided we had to have the key elements – dinosaurs of all varieties, a Native American main character and an enthralling single player experience. From there, we decided to make a completely re-imagined game with a new story and new characters.
Q: From watching the trailers I see a wee-bit of influence from Sam Fisher and Solid Snake. Stealth kills, sneaking, diversionary tactics (Dino on bad guy action). Where did the design team say 'wow, we want to take that gameplay to the next level' and where did the design team setout to create something new and unique, gameplay wise?
The quiet kills are featured in the game though stealth elements are an option in the game, unlike games that rely heavily on stealth. So players can choose whether to try to creep up on enemies and take them out individually or go in with their guns firing. We saw this power of choice as imperative to the experience and separates Turok from other games.
Q: Touching on gameplay, you can pit the dinos against your enemies. Can your foes use the same tactics against gamers and their team?
The enemy soldiers in Turok use the flare launcher to attempt to lure dinosaurs toward you as Turok. You can also lure dinosaurs toward enemies in the multiplayer matches.
Q: I know you've been mum on if raptors will be playable online, but can you comment on if they'll be present in the online environments to drive against your competition?
Raptors will be in the multiplayer modes. You won't be able to play as any dinosaurs, only humans.
Q: For many games, sequels are planned and worked on even as the first chapter rolls out. What ideas have you not been able to get in to the iteration of Turok that we can see in Turok II?
Nobody can say for sure if there will ever be a sequel, but if the title is well received, you just never know.
Q: I'm a new gamer, just purchased my PlayStation 3. Why should I choose Turok over any other title, why is Turok the game to have in the New Year?
What distinguishes Turok from other games is the dinosaurs – there is a wide variety of creatures with realistic AI. But Turok has a lot more to it – an engaging cinematic story, interesting characters and dynamic multiplayer.