Playstation 3 (PS3)

Clockwerk [Cancelled – Wii, PS3, Xbox 360]

Clockwerk is a cancelled puzzle platformer game, which was in development at Next Level Games; the creators of the Super Mario Strikers games, as well as the unreleased Super Mario Spikers. The title was planned to be worked on for multiple unspecified home console platforms during mid-late 2011 (believed to be Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3) , but was never produced.

Two Grumpy Old Men Who Just Want To Retire

The project began towards the start of 2011 and was being worked on in tandem with Next Level’s other main undertaking at the time, which was Captain America: Super Soldier for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Clockwerk Next Level Games Concept Poster

A poster created for the pitch of Clockwerk.

It was conceived as the story of two old men, Otto & Herman, who work as Hausmeisters (caretakers) in a magical floating clock tower suspended in the clouds called ‘The World Clock’, that governs the flow of time throughout the universe. On their final day before retirement, a faction of evil gremlins attack the tower, dismantling its innards and disrupting the behaviour of time. In order for the grumpy twosome to finally retire, they must defeat the invaders and repair its inner workings. 

Black 2 [Xbox 360, PS3 – Cancelled]

Black 2 [Xbox 360, PS3 – Cancelled]

Black 2 is the cancelled sequel to Criterion Games‘ 2006 shooter, Black, which was being worked on by the same developer for publisher and IP holder, Electronic Arts. It was planned to be a co-op shooter for the Xbox 360 and PS3 with a release in late 2007/early 2008.

Black 2 Logo

Concept art for Black 2’s logo.

The Original Idea For Black 2

Despite recurring rumours of Black 2 rumbling for several years after the release of the original game, its development was, in actuality, rather short-lived and it never was able to leave pre-production. As it turns out, EA and Criterion had plans to expand Black into a franchise for some time before the first game was even released. Preliminary work on the sequel commenced as early as April 2005, a whole 10 months before Black was finished.

Artists were contracted externally to produce conceptual documents for the game, including drawings of the protagonist, Jack Kellar. According to one of the artists who spent a short period of time on the project, there was some debate over the direction the follow-up would take. One possible path, for example, would have continued the story of the first game, as Kellar continues his hunt for Lennox at the behest of the US government. 

The Last of US [Beta – PS3]

The Last of Us is an action game developed by Naughty Dog and published in 2013 by Sony Computer Entertainment for their PlayStation 3. The project was started in 2009, after the Uncharted 2 team was split in 2 to create a a Jak & Daxter reboot along with Uncharted 3. When they designed some concept arts for the cancelled Jak & Daxter 4 project, they thought that the style and target they were aiming for was too distant from the J&D IP and so decided to create a new IP, using some of Neil Druckmann’s ideas from an old concept that he did at school. That new IP was initially known as “Mankind” before to be changed into The Last of Us.

As we can read on TheVerge:

Just like in The Last of Us, [Mankind] was set in a world where Cordyceps has leaped from insects to humans, turning the infected into dangerous monsters and bringing down civilization with them. The key difference was that in Mankind, the virus only affected women. An early version of Ellie was the only female who was immune, and Joel decided to protect her in order to bring her to a lab where a cure could potentially be created.

During the development of The Last Of Us, many features were removed and the story was changed a lot, before to arrive to the final version. As we can read on GameInformer, in the original plot::

Joel partners with Tess to smuggle Ellie out of the locked-down city. In the alternate story the gang is halted at a security checkpoint. Ellie is screened for infection and comes up positive, but the guards don’t care that she may carry an immunity that could save humanity. Joel sees Ellie at gunpoint, which reminds him of his dead daughter, and goes berserk. He kills the guards, leaves with Ellie, and ends up betraying his partner Tess, who embarks on a cross-country pursuit of vengeance.

Neil Druckmann also shared some memories from a different ending for the game:

“The original ending when we pitched the game was a much more hopeful ending, where Joel and Ellie make it to San Francisco and that is a town run by people who are trying to restore society,” he continues. “Joel has killed all these doctors and lied to Ellie, and Ellie just fully buys into the lie. So, you’re left with the idea that they are going to live the rest of their lives in this town. The camera pulls back and maybe everything is going to be alright for these two. I was working on writing, and it didn’t feel honest anymore. After everything they’ve done and everything they’ve been through, that was letting them off a little too easy – especially for Joel.”

Some more changes and removed content are:

  • Downgraded Artificial Intelligence: it seems that enemies were “too difficult” for the players and it was not fun to always get surrounded and killed by a group of “intelligent” enemies (see the videos below).
  • Marlene was originally meant to die in the surgeon room
  • Some enemies were cut or the design was heavily changed, see them in the gallery below
  • They removed a dog companion that would have followed Ellie and Joel during the game

An unseen epilogue scene performed during The Last of Us: One Night Live was set 4 years after the end of the game with Joel and Ellie talking and playing a guitar, but it seems that this scene was never meant to be added ot the game: it was just a scene wrote for the live show.

More concept arts and info on the development of the game could have been published in the Art of Last of Us artbook (23$ on Amazon COM, 20£ on Amazon UK, 27 euro on Amazon IT), if you have the book let us know! If you notice more differences in the early beta screens and videos from The Last of Us, leave a comment below!

Images:

Videos:

 

Rayman Legends [Beta / Concept]

Rayman Legends is a 2D platformer by developer, Ubisoft Montpellier, and the follow-up to Rayman Origins. It was released in 2013 on Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Vita and PC. It originally started as a Wii U exclusive, billed as a launch title for the console’s November 2012 release.

Leaked NFC Concept Trailer

On April 27 2012, the very first footage of Legends emerged online. This was a conceptual video intended for internal purposes only, which was leaked by an anonymous source on YouTube from inside Ubisoft.

The build of the game shown in the reel wasn’t terribly different from the final release, but it did reveal one quite significant feature that was never implemented; nearfield communication support. Towards the end of the clip, it demonstrates a work-in-progress concept for NFC figures, which would have worked with the Wii U gamepad’s built-in chip.

Rayman NFC

Ubisoft’s video contained two uses of the proposed accessories: a heart figure, which would replenish the player’s health and a Rabbid toy that would cause Rabbids to appear in the game as enemies, as well as in the backgrounds of levels. Towards the end of the video, it hints towards the possibility of other Ubisoft characters, when a figure of Ezio from the Assassin’s Creed series appears. 

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