Indian shoots dinosaurs with a bow and arrow. Even for comic books—where carnosaur-slayin' Native American Turok debuted in 1954—the concept was preposterous. But Turok's silly, pulpy appeal has rusted a bit since then, largely thanks to a series of increasingly shitty first-person shooters that began in 1997 and ended in 2002. Six years later, Turok's returned—and while the core concept is somehow even more ludicrous than before, Turok's gameplay is fantastically dull.
In his latest incarnation, Turok's a grim, grizzled space marine(!), part of an outfit called Whiskey Company that's crashed on a dino-infested planet. All of Whiskey Company's members bear suspicious resemblances to both Gears of War's 'roided-out thugs and James Cameron's wiseass Aliens soldiers, but it's too bad they're just ripoffs—Marcus Fenix and Ellen Ripley would be welcome, here, since the men of Whiskey Company, for all their clichéd tough-guy talk, apparently use bullets made out of marshmallows and literally curl up into the fetal position whenever things get rough. (They also growl lines like, "Shit, that was a dinosaur!" and "Let's go get these guys!" Apparently—despite distinctive, well-written games like BioShock, Mass Effect, and Portal—fucking terrible videogame dialogue isn't going anywhere.)
The rest of Turok's cast isn't so bright, either: While the dinosaurs are smart enough, the developers at Propaganda Games have also thrown in some remarkably stupid human storm troopers for target practice, and also (why the hell not?) some Buick-sized scorpions and a sea monster. It's all hackneyed, unsurprising FPS stuff, and while there's a stupid sort of fun to any game that lets you light a velociraptor on fire, Turok's charms are few and far between. (It's never a good thing when a game's most memorable moments are ones of controller-hurling frustration, of which Turok has several.) For a concept as batshit crazy as Turok's (For fuck's sake! He has a mohawk! He's in outer space! He's SHOOTING DINOSAURS with A BOW AND ARROW!), it's weirdly impressive that Turok is utterly generic.