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The Classic N64 Game ‘Turok: Dinosaur Hunter’ Is Being Remastered for PC

The early Nintendo 64 game has dinosaurs with laser beams attached to their heads. What's not to love?
Image: Night Drive Studios

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, a first-person shooter in which you hunt dinosaurs (duh), is being remastered and will soon release on PC via various digital distribution platforms. First released on the Nintendo 64 in 1996, Turok was a weird game, stuck between the old school, Doom-style first-person shooters where you simply run and gun around abstract environments, and more modern, linear shooters that took hold after Half-Life was released in 1998.

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It's based on a comic book series in which a Native American warrior named Turok travels to the Land of the Lost to shoot a variety of dinos with friggin laser beams attached to their head, aliens, and other bad dudes. The game follows that general outline with but with more shooting than talking. There isn't a super deep story to follow, but as you run through the jungles and alien facilities, collecting floating weapons and other goodies, the environments start to fit together in a way that almost makes sense. More importantly, they're interesting to run around.

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was also one of those early, polygonal first-person shooters that hardware at the time (just barely) allowed, so there are some annoying limitations. The game is known for its heavy fog, a way to mask its very limited draw distance, or inability to render 3D objects or terrain more than a few feet in front of you.

According to Night Dive Studios, the developer responsible for this re-release, it will "restore" and "modernize" the game, though it didn't explain exactly what that means or if the infamous fog will be lifted.

"When Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was first released it was nothing short of revolutionary," CEO and Founder of Night Dive Studios Stephen Kick said in a press release. "To that point, no game had ever offered the combination of graphics and an open world environment that Turok featured."

The sequel, Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, is getting a re-release as well. It was also first released on the Nintendo 64, and was very similar to the original, but with smarter enemies and cooler weapons. A personal favorite is the Cerebral Bore, which fired a homing projectile at the enemy's skull that then drilled into their brain. When I was 12, it was just about the coolest thing I'd ever seen.

Night Dive Studios didn't say when it will release the game, but it will be available through Steam, the Humble Bundle store, GOG (Good Old Games), GamersGate, Greenman Gaming, and the Night Dive Studios website.