Turok 2008 is a FPS for PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 with very stunning and exciting cutscenes. The player takes part in the military operation which occurs on a planet populated with dinosaurs. While it’s a first person shooter, Turok features a lot of third person moments, creating original and unique gameplay experience. It uses Unreal Engine 3. It was developed by Propaganda Games.
PC version of the game’s folders TurokGame\Baked and TurokGame\Live contain beta / unused maps. It’s possible to get the maps to load in game by copying these folders to TurokGame\Content\Maps folder. After that it’s required to remove the .u files from the Baked folder, otherwise the game will not launch.
The beta / unused maps can be loaded from the game console with the open command. Most of them contain only few brushes or a black room, or crash the game. But there are exceptions: developers’ test maps and prototypes of the game content.
L02_06 map contains early version of the jungle. There’s some of the game’s early content.
Lv02_htest and Lv02_c seem to be terrain testmaps.
First three maps shown in the second video are testmaps from TurokGame\Content\TurokDLC1 folder, other two are from Baked. The last one, LV_15_WB, contains very early prototypes of the game content.
RaptorTest map is an early prototype of the jungle.
Third video shows bunch of testmaps from Live folder. One of them contains unused tyrannosaur.
It’s possible to view Turok’s packages with the viewer which you can get here. Thanks to this program, we can see beta / unused models from the game.
Little information exists on Turok 2 since the game was canceled before its official announcement in January 2009. As indicated by Kotaku, it seems that it was the economic crisis of 2008 which was the reason of it’s cancellation when Disney Interactive, owner of Propaganda Games and the Turok’s license, decided to lay off 70 Propaganda employees and cancel the game:
“Sources tell us that Vancouver based Propaganda Games is in the process of laying off approximately 70 employees. That reduction in workforce is likely closely tied to the cancellation of Turok 2, a title never officially announced by Disney, but one of two projects that Propaganda was working on, we’re told.”
“As you can imagine, given economic conditions, every industry has been impacted on a global scale. In response to this challenging business environment, we have examined ways in which we might be able to work more efficiently. The elimination of existing positions that we communicated today was a necessary step that we had hoped to avoid.”
We can speculate that the gameplay would have been similar to the 2008 reboot with some never-before-seen additions, like new environments (swamps, desert areas) or new enemies in the series like renegade soldiers named Savage or creatures called Ork, as can be seen from the many concept arts that subsequently leaked onto the net, and hosted by the Turok Wiki Fandom. Another novelty would have been the addition of new firearms like the assault rifle, apparently already planned in the 2008’s game before being cut in the end, and the Jak, a modified version of the well-known cerebral bore, firing this time projectiles allowing to control for a certain period of time the enemy in order to be able to neutralize other threats, as we can see it in action on a raptor on one of the rare in-game screenshots. A multiplayer mode was also planned.
In June 2015, Tim Lewinson, who was senior designer and associate game director at Propaganda until his departure, spoke briefly about the game during an interview for duke64nukem.com:
D64: In percentage how far along was Turok 2 before being canceled?
T.L.: “Without putting too fine a point on it, we were moving out of pre-production and making significant headway on a vertical slice. In development terms, that refers to a small level that provides a polished core gameplay experience. The expectation is that a tiny portion of the game is brought to as near a ship state as possible to properly demonstrate how new features will work, etc.”
The same month, director and animator Jeremy Brown posted on his Vimeo account a short teaser for the game as he himself explained under the video:
“Years ago I worked on a game that was canceled. This is the trailer I had in mind for it while we were working on the game, and nearly a decade later, I made it for fun.”
On the 25th June 2022, Youtuber Matt McMuscles was able to get in touch with former Propaganda’s art director Daryl Mandryk, who shared some new information about the game and what precisely happened during that time:
“The basic idea for Turok 2 was that it took place some time after the events of the first game, on the same planet. But now the human elements had all gone feral and crazy for some reason. It mainly took place in a badlands/desert area environment. I think the team had learned a hard lesson about how difficult it was to pull off a jungle environment on the Xbox 360. So it had a sort of Mad Max meets Jurassic Park feel. The big hook was going to be the return of the cerebral bore, which would allow the players to control dinosaurs and wreak havoc. We had this prototyped and it was awesome! The project was basically put on the back burner when Disney needed a studio to develop the movie tie-in game for the new Tron. I don’t think Turok 2 was officially cancelled, but after Tron : Evolution was shipped the studio was really focused on its other project : Pirates of the Caribbean : Armada of the Damned. And many people were moved over to work on that. I think Disney felt this was a better financial bet than the Turok sequel. Regardless, within a few more months the studio was shut down and that was that.”
Since the cancellation of Turok 2, the series has stalled, although we were able to see remasters of the first two games by Nightdive Studios, released in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
The original Turok: Evolution is a FPS developed and published by Acclaim Entertainment for the GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2002. After Evolution, a small Acclaim team was trying to work on a direct sequel, but the project never got off the ground so they soon moved on to other projects. Only few artworks remain from this Turok Evolution sequel that never was. When Acclaim was closed, Turok vanished from the gaming scene untill when Disney Interactive Studios purchased the rights to the Turok franchise. Propaganda Games developed the next Turok, that was released for XBOX 360 and Playstation 3 in 2008.
Published in 1997, Turok has been one of the first Ultra 64 titles to be developed for the console. The game is based on the homonymous comic series, about a native american and his fights between evil cyborgs and dinosaurs. Thanks to its famous fog effect, which covered almost every part of the immense game levels, the game became an icon of the “fog problem” but it surely marked the hearts of many Nintendo 64 owners for its fun gameplay.
Proto / beta:
Before the release, the game has been shown in magazines with some pics taken from the early prototype. One of the images show a very raw 3D model of a T-REX: this enemy should be the “alpha” version of Thunder, a genetically modified dinosaur, which later has been used as a boss. The proto differs from the final version by the absence of the metallic parts covering the head and the foot of the dinosaur. Also, the polygonal model was less detailed. At any rate is difficult to note any other details, due to the blurryness of the image. The prototype colors are less shiny and “realistic” than the final version. It’s interesting to note how the fog effect was allready present: this makes us to wonder if Acclaim really intended to use that effect in the game and not just to cover eventual pop-up problems.
Surely the images in the gallery below represent an early beta stage of development, in wich they were still creating the 3D models and the scenario with not much gameplay finished. Do you know if some of these models were not in the final game? Acclaim begun to work on Turok in 1995, initially thinking to make a third person shooter, but later they chosed a first person view, in order to make it more involving.
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