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Playstation 3 (PS3)

Jak & Daxter 4 [PS3 - Cancelled / Concept]

Before to fully work on  The Last of Us, Naughty Dog was planning to create a new, even more grittier Jak and Daxter game for the Playstation 3, but after the concept art team drawn some Jak and Daxter artworks to use in this “reboot” of the series, they thought that they would have more freedom to just create a new IP for the mature audience, and thus the project evolved to became The Last of Us. After Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, Jak 2 and Jak 3, this project could have been the 4° title in the main Jak series (or even the 5th one if you consider Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier). In the end, Naughty Dog never released any new Jak & Daxter game for the PS3, only an HD collection with their first 3 PS2 games.

At the IGDA Toronto 2013 Keynote, Neil Druckmann (Creative Director & Writer from Naughty Dog) talked about this cancelled Jak & Daxter concept:

Our task was to reboot Jak & Daxter. We spent a lot of time exploring the world of Jak and Daxter and how we would reboot it; how we would bring these characters back, some story ideas that we were getting excited about.

As much as we like these concepts and exploring these fantastical worlds, we found the ideas that we were getting passionate about were getting away from Jak & Daxter. We were questioning ourselves, were we doing this for marketing reasons and naming something Jak & Daxter when it really isn’t Jak & Daxter, or were we really passionate about it?

As we can read at GameInformer:

Shelving the Jak and Daxter ideas meant the team could begin work on a fresh idea. Shedding the restrictions of an existing IP allowed directors Druckmann and Straley to let their creative juices flow and explore whatever they wished.

Some concept arts from this cancelled “Jak & Daxter 4″ project were shown by Neil Druckmann at the IGDA Toronto, in the “A Tribute to Naughty Dog: 30th Anniversary” exhibition in september / october 2014 and in the “Naughty Dog’s 30th Anniversaryart book (you can buy it on Amazon UK for 20.39£, Amazon USA for 25$ or Amazon IT for 32 euro), as posted by Junkie Monkeys!

Thanks to Loïc Caria for the contribution!

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Saints Row: The Cooler [Cancelled - Xbox 360, PS3]

Saints Row: The Cooler is a cancelled fighting game, which was in development for the Xbox 360 and PS3. It was being created by Heavy Iron Studios in Los Angeles and was funded by THQ.

“It was a brawler game. Go to a bar, pick a fight, smash a bottle over someone’s head” – Former Heavy Iron Studios artist

Work began on the title in March 2010 at developer, Heavy Iron. In partnership with THQ, the company sought to create the first Saints Row game controlled entirely by motion; a ploy to capitalise on the rising industry trend at the time.

Two versions of the game were planned initially: an Xbox 360 game using Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral and a PS3 port with Playstation Move support. The Xbox 360 was the lead development platform for The Cooler, as the team’s creative focus was very much on Kinect.

A team of around 40 people were put on the project, while the rest of the studio was occupied with another Kinect-centric project for Disney called ‘E-Ticket’.

We were able to get in touch with several people, a mix of both former and current employees at the developer, who shared some details with us on the game’s lifecycle. According to these sources, the title was a brawler set in the Saint’s Row universe and was, in contrast with the rest of the series, not an open world game.

“It was a ton of fun to work on because we got to use the original Saint’s Row locales as concept art, basically, and give them a redesign and a highly upgraded art treatment (since Saint’s Row was open world and our game was not, we could afford to devote more time and engine resources to artwork)”

Saints Row The Cooler

One of the gritty environments of Saints Row: The Cooler

 

Kinect lap dancing

Despite it ditching the free roaming traditions of the previous games, The Cooler apparently offered a myriad of activities to experience. Its main premise was of motion-controlled fighting in various parts of the Saints Row universe, but players would have also been able to compete in poker tournaments and other miscellaneous mini-games. 

Splinter Cell: Blacklist [Beta - Xbox 360, PS3, PC]

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist is an action / stealth game developed by Ubisoft Toronto, Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Shanghai, published for PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360 and PC in 2013. As we can read on Wikipedia, in November 2010 Jade Raymond from Ubisoft Toronto announced that the studio was developing a new Splinter Cell game. During the Microsoft’s press conference at E3 2012, Splinter Cell: Blacklist was officially revealed with a beta video that you can see below and Jeff Wheaton noticed a number of notable differences (in chronological order of the video):

  • The level shown is not in the final game. No exact designs are taken from it, though many of its assets do appear.
  • Sam is never wearing the enemy uniform in the final game, nor are there any player-driven animations of him carrying an unconscious or dead character.
  • At no point in the final game do button prompts appear in any language other than the selected localization
  • The animations for most of the stuff in the cutscenes are absent from the final game.
  • The icons for marks in the final game are slightly different.
  • A lot of cutscene dialogue never appears in the final game.
  • A lot of HUD differences
  • Several plot differences. In the final game, the Blacklist is masterminded by a borderless group of individuals calling themselves The Engineers, not a group of nations.
  • Different sound for being detected. The final game also does not feature a “Warning” message.
  • The Ghost, Panther, and Assault point indicators are absent from the entire demo.
  • There is no instance of being able to trigger a UAV strike in the manner shown in the demo in the final game.
  • Jadid’s dialogue is different than it was in the final game, and no Spare or Kill option is given.

Very interesting nonetheless! Thanks a lot to Jeff for the contribution

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Earth No More [Cancelled]

Earth No More is a cancelled FPS that was in development from 2007 to 2009 by Recoil Games (a studio based in Finland and founded by Remedy Entertainment co-founder Samuli Syvahuoko), using UE3 game engine, and it would have been published by 3D Realms / Radar Group for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Earth No More would have been set in a small New England town quarantined due to a mysterious environmental apocalypse. Sadly the development had to be stopped because Recoil Games had some financial problems. After a while, they were able to create a new game, Rochard, that was released as a digital title for PC, Mac and PS3, but it’s currently unknown if Earth No More will ever be resurrected for current-gen consoles. You can find more about Earth No More on Wikipedia, IGN and Gamasutra.

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