For many years, a far off race on the planet Landorin have been locked in a deadly battle with a tyrannical force known as the Machine. The rebels managed to destroy their central complex, which was based on an artificial moon orbiting their planet. However, the Machine’s robot forces were still left on the planet, gradually taking over the world – even as deep down in the surface as the secret shelters that the Landorins had built to protect themselves underground. Just before the last remaining Landorins left the planet, they sent out a Mayday message – a message that was picked up by none other than Turrican.
You take control of Turrican as he lands on the outer surface of Landorin. Since his last mission he has been streamlining his abilities and improving his armour. He is still armed with the multi-purpose laser cannon, but a host of ‘alternations’ have been made. To begin with, Turrican must move around the planet’s surface destroying any enemies he may come across. Later, secret entrances into further caverns must be found, so that Turrican can make his way deeper into the planet and stamp out the enemy threat, as well as having to find and steal a spaceship to navigate the speed tunnel – a deadly corridor that is packed full with deadly machine guns. As Turrican works his way deeper and deeper into the planet, the machine guards get tougher and meander, throwing all manner of defences at you to try and stop your advance into their newly-claimed territory.
However, even if you do get stuck in small places with a seriously nasty guard, there is always the ‘Death-Blossom’ type of weapon which unleashes a few seconds of laser death at any enemies that are in the area. It is the gameplay, though, that is the icing on Turrican II’s cake. All the addictive shoot ’em up action that made the first game so enjoyable has been retained, yet somehow this new version seems fresh and different. The re-jigged weapons and smarter aliens make for a real challenge, and although the power-ups are spread quite generously through the game, its difficulty level is pitched to make the game challenging without being frustrating or too easy.