Dinosaurs, as you may have heard, play an important role in Turok. They are big, scary, and seem awfully fond of the taste of human flesh. Lucky for Joseph Turok (worst. last name. evar.), he just happens to be a badass killing machine (probably as a result of the endless childhood teasing about his stupid name). We had a chance to take Turok's brand of dinosaur destruction for a spin at E3, and we jumped at opportunity like a dilophosaur on Newman.
First thing's first, the game is gorgeous. The outdoor environments feature lush grass, moss covered rocks, with a thick canopy overhead worthy of a rain forest. The grass in particular is important, because it will mask your approach. You'll want to sneak around in Turok as much as you can, because it's the only way you'll get a chance to witness its breathtaking stealth kills. You can kill your foes silently and from a distance with your trusty bow and arrow, but using your knife for a little up-close-and-personal wet-work is where it's at. When you execute a knife stealth kill in Turok, the camera pulls out to a third person perspective so you can appreciate the gruesome wonder of it all. Oh, and by the way, those oh-so-important dinosaurs? You can stealth kill them too, knife-to-brain style like Crocodile Dundee. Speaking of the knife, it would be nice to have the ability to call it up a little more quickly, as it's the only melee option in the game (you can't melee with guns at all).
Unfortunately, we broke our cover pretty damned fast, so no stealth kills for us, save for a few with the bow. Don't worry if you blow your cover though, Turok is more than capable of defending himself with a variety of weapons. Most of the weapons come with alternate modes of fire. The shotgun, for example, launches a flair that's handy for pointing out some tasty enemy soldiers to hungry dinos (or for getting one off your own back). All of the weapons have a big, beefy sound to them, too. You can mix and match dual-wieldable weapons. Mixing up an SMG with a shotgun makes for a decent long and close range combo, for example. Propaganda's Chris Haluke, level designer for Turok, told us there will be plenty of interesting weapons, which is in keeping with Turok tradition. As an example, he told us about a sticky bomb launcher with a remote detonation feature. Sounds like fun to us.
While there are plenty of human enemies to slaughter, the real meat is obviously the dinosaurs. The level we played only featured velociraptors, but there will be many more dinos -- as well as other creatures like giant bugs -- in the final game. If you're not careful, dinosaurs will make quick work of your health (which regenerates in much the same way as Halo or Gears of War once you find cover). They can easily knock you off your feet -- you can actually see your feet fly up into your field of view, a nice touch -- and then jump in for the kill. Should this happen, you are prompted to mash the right trigger like a mad man as Turok slashes at the mouth of the beast. Succeed and you'll get back on your feet for a second chance to do the job right.