Turok 2 is a canceled first-person shooter that was developed by Propaganda Games and published by Disney Interactive from 2007 to 2009, probably for the PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 systems. It was the sequel to the reboot of the Turok game series released in 2008.
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.”
Steve Wadsworth, president of the Walt Disney Internet Group, later said:
“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.