Whenever I see the adjective “Remastered” next to a game title, I shudder. Many remasters nowadays are just a sacrilegious appropriation of the original game. So understandably, I’m a bit cautious. Thankfully, Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered is not such a remaster, and it remains faithful to the original, while also adding a lot of QoL improvements.
The Story of Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered
The story of Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered is exactly as it was in the original. No new “lost chapters” and no “additional content” slapped on. It remains faithful to the original vision from start to finish. It’s so faithful in fact that they didn’t even rerecord some of the voice acting that was present in the original, which leads to a lot of “funny moments” in certain cutscenes.
As uncanny as it feels, I’m actually a big proponent of that approach. Sure, it leaves a big discrepancy between each of the scenes, but at least you get the same feeling that you got when playing the original. It’s the small imperfections that make an art piece memorable. So long as it doesn’t take away from the whole, it can be forgiven.
Now let’s get back to the story. In Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered, you pay as either Danielle or Joseph, the sister and brother of the former Turok Joshua. As the new Turoks, you’re tasked with getting rid of the big baddie of this game, the entity known only as Oblivion. A cosmic horror that has existed since before time, that’s somehow susceptible to bullets.
Do I Choose Danielle or Joseph?
When faced with the decision between Danielle or Joseph I reminded myself of a quote from The Interview: “Same-same, but different.” That’s how it felt to pick between Danielle and Joseph. Both get access to roughly the same tools, and both go through roughly the same experience. However, the difference in their capabilities is what makes them notable.
Danielle prefers the use of explosive weapons as well as the Energy Grapple. She can also jump higher than Joseph. Joseph on the other hand prefers the use of Sniper Rifles and can squeeze into tight spaces. He also gets access to night vision goggles.
It’s a minor thing, but the difference between the siblings is actually quite significant at times, especially when faced with a certain problem. The way one sibling would go about resolving the problem is different from what the other would do and vice-versa. I actually find this design choice rather humanizing.
It’s humanizing in the sense that it makes the characters feel real. Every human has something they’re good at, and something they suck at. By supporting each other we’re stronger together. That lesson is perfectly apparent in Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered.
The Gameplay of Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered
If I had to explain the gameplay of Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered with a single sentence I’d probably say something along the lines of: “90s shooter but with a fresh coat of paint.” While playing through the game, it’s incredibly apparent that the game is a retro shooter at heart, that being said, it does have a lot of QoL improvements.
The most significant improvement is the UI interface. It’s definitely much more pleasing to the eye than the original’s was, that’s for sure. Another thing that got a major improvement is the sound design. You can discern what type of enemy is near just by the sound of their footsteps, which is pretty neat.
The Enemies All Went to the Same School
I hope you can forgive the rather sarcastic title of this heading, but it’s about the most accurate description I can give for the enemy types in this game. Each mission has its own set of unique enemies, however, their differences are only superficial. The behavior of each enemy type can be summed up with the following phrase: “Shoot at the player then charge him.”
That’s basically the only behavior that the enemies in this game have. They shoot at you and then they charge you. It doesn’t matter what they look like at the end of the day, as they all practically do the same thing. Oh, and if you thought the bosses would be any different, you’re dead wrong.
The bosses do practically the exact same thing as their inferior henchmen but on a larger scale. Instead of shooting you a little and then charging, the bosses shoot you a lot. Or melee you a lot. Or whatever it is they do to kill you. The only unique thing about the bosses is the gimmick that you have to use to kill them, which most of the time is just a simple “Shoot this spot.”
The Things I Liked About the Game
The most charming thing about the game is the weapons. You have a whole arsenal of unique weapons available to you. My personal favorite was a gun that shoots a homing bore that seeks out enemies, after which it drills into their skulls and explodes from the inside. Completely impractical, however, extremely fun to use.
Another thing that’s quite charming about the game is the puzzles. The original game was from a time when games didn’t have obvious flashing indicators telling you what to do next. Solving the puzzles gave me a feeling of agency that I’ve missed. In my opinion, a lot of games nowadays hold your hand too much, which just takes the fun out of the game.
The Things I Didn’t Like About the Game
My biggest gripe with the game mainly comes down to how disappointing the enemies feel. Sure, they look cool, however, at their core, they’re all the same, and it’s such a shame too. Why go through the effort of designing cool enemies if they’re all going to act the same anyway? It makes no sense to me.
Another gripe I have is that certain areas have infinite spawns. That mechanic is probably my single most hated mechanic in gaming. Combine that with the fact that every enemy type has aim hacks and you have a recipe for frustration. Seriously! You could be three postal codes away and in a quantum leap state and they’d still manage to hit you somehow.
Final Verdict on Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered
As a remaster, I think that Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered is spot on. It perfectly captures the feeling of playing the original game. Most of my gripes with the game really stem from certain design decisions in the original, so it’s not fair to blame the Remastered version for those.
In reality, that’s exactly what a Remaster should do. You recreate the good parts, but also the bad parts indiscriminately. If you want to replay Turok 3 again, then Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered is the perfect version for you. It remains faithful to the original while delivering much-needed improvements across the board.
What did you think of our review of Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered? Share what you think about it in the comments below.
This review is based on the PC version of Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered Review. The key was provided by UberStrategist PR Team and Nightdive Studios.