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Eschewing the series' traditional first-person viewpoint, Turok: Evolution offers handheld gamers a side-scrolling action title patterned after such familiar classics as Contra and Metal Slug. The storyline precedes the events in the previous Turok games, describing how Tal'Set came to be the defender of the Lost Lands. While locked in mortal combat with captain Tobias Bruckner, the two Old West natives are pulled through a dimensional rift. In this strange land, Tal'Set champions the cause of a small village. Bruckner, however, serves Lord Tyrannus, the reptilian despot of this world. As opposed to the console versions of the title, GBA owners are able to select from two playable characters and, with the aid of a second copy of the game and the GBA Link Cable, can participate in two-player cooperative play. The two protagonists are the aforementioned Tal'Set and newcomer Djunn, each of whom is armed with a unique melee weapon.
Basic platform-jumping elements aside, Turok: Evolution remains true to the formula perfected by the genre's forbearers. Constantly on the move, players are tasked with using whatever weapons they have at their disposal to dispatch the constantly spawning enemy droves. The 16 weapons on offer include the likes of pistols, machine guns, and lasers, all of which do differing amounts of damage to the human, alien, and dinosaur units that stand in your way. Complementing your cache of weapons are power-ups found strewn about the levels, with effects that range from restoring health to temporarily imbuing your chosen character with invulnerability.
Providing brief respite from the side-scrolling levels are stages in which the action switches to a third-person perspective. Here, as in Cabal (to which these segments bear a striking resemblance), the action takes place on a horizontal plane, requiring players to move an aiming cursor around the screen, shooting hostile enemies while avoiding any incoming projectiles and attacks. Unlimited continues are offered, but should players succumb to their injuries or any deadly traps, they'll be forced to restart the level from the very beginning. A two-password system allows players to record their progress. The first keeps track of progress through the stages, while the second restores the status of your weapons, health, and other such variables. ~ Gavin Frankle, All Game Guide