Category Archives: Xbox 360

An archive with screens, info and videos for cancelled, beta and unseen videogames for the XBOX 360. Check our archive to understand what it means to preserve lost games.

Untitled Cavia FPS (aka “Catacombs”) [Cancelled - PS3 / X360]

October 31, 2013 by
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Catacombs is a cancelled FPS that was being developed by Cavia for Square-Enix in 2010. The game was never officially announced and the project was shelved in 2011, but in 2012 Siliconera leaked some screenshots and informations about it.

Catacombs was basically an interesting crossover between a RPG with random-generated dungeons and a team-based shooter. The player could upgrade the guns that he found in the ruins but also use magic. Four different characters were available, each one with its own story, which according to the narrative director Brandon Sheffield had an important role in the game:

Since we’re all inherently different and our mind is the only thing we can truly know, then our reality exists only inside of our brains. So each stage was about these people destroying their own fears and doubts and also their identity. They were supposed to be overcoming their sense of self, and how that related to their identity as an American, but also their otherness.”

EDGE in 2012 played an early build of the game that run on a heavily modifed version of Mindjack engine.

For more informations check Siliconera article and EDGE special feature.

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Wildlife: Forest Survival [XBLA / PSN - Cancelled]

October 27, 2013 by
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Wildlife: Forest Survival is a canceled game developed by Electronic Arts which it was supposed to be released in 2011 for XBLA/PSN.

The object of Wildlife was to survive in one of the eight different arenas available by exploiting the unique characteristics of the four selectable animals (a hawk, a rabbit, a gator, a fox).

Up to twelve players could also battle each other online. Sadly, it seems that EA decided to shelf the project for good. For more informations about the game check Destructoid preview.

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Fallen Frontier [PC / XBLA / PSN - Cancelled]

October 11, 2013 by
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Fallen Frontier is a 2d shooter developed by  Moonshot Games which it was supposed to be released for PC, XBLA and PSN. As we can see from the video and the screenshots below, it seems that the game was directly inspired by Bionic Commando, inasmuch as  the main character could use his grappling hook to pull enemies and to swing across gaps. An offline and online co-op mode was also available.

It looked quite interesting, but unfortunately Moonshot Games decided to cancel Fallen Frontier in 2013  because, as we can read on joystiq, they wanted to focus on mobile and social games instead:

Post-PAX we came to the grim realization that the market had shifted pretty substantially since we first started working on the game,” Isla said. “The console downloadable platforms had plateaued somewhat, and publishers were less excited about investing there. A game that had sold itself easily the first two times all of a sudden became a much harder sell the third time. By that time, the real interest and the accompanying dollars seemed to had moved on to mobile and social.”

For more informations check the co-optimus hands-on.

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INCorporated [PC X360 - Tech Demo / Cancelled]

October 3, 2013 by
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INCorporated is a cancelled multiplayer FPS set in a gritty, Orwellian future, that was in development by Galahan Games for PC and (maybe?) Xbox 360. The game was created with Artificial Studios’ Reality Engine and a single-level tech demo was released in 2005, but today we cannot find any info on the team, their official website is vanished and after all these years of we can assume that INCorporated will never be released. Did anyone still have that tech demo saved somewhere?

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Ordinary Joe (Rare Ltd) [Prototype - Xbox 360]

July 9, 2013 by
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Ordinary Joe is a cancelled prototype for a new survival horror game, that was in early development for Xbox 360 at Rare LTD, designed by Chris Seavor. There are basically  no info about this project, apart from a short interview with Chris at  Rare FanDaBase:

As for projects finished or otherwise, well first there was Killer Instinct (called Brute Force for a time).. then Killer 2, Killer Gold, Twelve Tales, Bad Fur Day, Other Bad Day, Arc Angel, Getting Medieval, Urchin (really regret not pushing harder on this one), PD Core, and a small team prototype my last job as a designer called Ordinary Joe which despite the innocuous name was my take on the survival horror genre (nothing to do with Jo Dark) .

Also, in another interview at Eurogamer:

Chris Seavor: Yeah. We did some tech for it. It was all right. It was okay. But I knew at that point I was never going to get a team to finish this, so it was just a matter of time. I only worked on it for three or four months, and there were three of us in a corner with a big sign saying, keep out. I really enjoyed that period because we were just being really creative. Even though no-one else could give a s**t, we were being really creative and doing some really good stuff. It’s a pity no-one really seemed that bothered, certainly Microsoft, who were only interested in Banjo. That was fair enough I guess.

We hope that in the future someone that worked on this Ordinary Joe prototype could share some images or videos, to preserve the existence of the project.

Retribution [XBOX 360 / PC - Cancelled]

June 27, 2013 by
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Retribuition is an early XBOX 360 & PC first person / third person shooter, that was in development in 2005 / 2006 by U-235 Studios. It was planned for the “XBOX 2″ even before the final spechs of the console and it would have been created thanks to the “Reality Engine” developed by Artificial Studios. The player would have been able to hire a crew to help in battles, and they would had learned to fight depending on the action they saw, or the training they have been placed in. Also, it would have been possible to buy, hijack, steal or ransack boats, to go aroung the sea or to sell them for cash. Sadly U-235 Studios never found a publisher interested in the project and Retribution was then cancelled.

Click here to read the original Press Release ▼

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Video (Reality Engine Tech Demo):

Max Payne 3 [Beta - PC / Xbox 360 / PS3]

May 9, 2013 by
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Although Max Payne 3 isn’t drastically different from its original beta design, there have been some interesting things cut out or changed. The majority of the research here has been done by me over some long nights.

Article by Dean

The Logo and Design
One of the first minor things changed was the logo for the game. In the picture below, the top logo was first used in promotional material and screens and was likely used to signify the run-down favelas that were first revealed of the game. It’s possible it was changed to accompany the new design choice of chromatic abberation and disorientation that’s currently in the game.

In a 2009 Game Informer article, the game was also initially supposed to take 12 years after the events of Max Payne 2. This was later changed to 8 years in the final product.

The Voice and Body of Max Payne
Something else that was changed during early development was the voice and face of Max Payne. In Max Payne 1, Max’s face model was that of the lead writer, Sam Lake, as there wasn’t a big enough budget to hire an actor. When Max Payne 2 came around, they had a big enough budget to hire actor Timothy Gibbs. Rockstar Games ended up having the series mainstay voice actor, James McCaffrey, as the face model for Max Payne 3. However, he wasn’t always the main choice for the model or even the voice.

In early promotional material and game screens, Timothy Gibbs was still the face model for Max in Max Payne 3. In this image, you can see a promotional image of Timothy Gibbs for Max Payne 2 on the left, and an early promotional image for Max Payne 3 on the right.

In this one, the top is an early beta ingame image of Max Payne 3 using Timothy Gibbs’ face, with the final version of Max Payne 3 using James McCaffrey’s face at the bottom.

There were also changes to Max’s model a few months from the game’s release, as evident by some early screenshots after James McCaffrey was announced as Max’s face model. In this image, you can see the beta texture for Max Payne’s tropical shirt on the left, and the final release shirt on the right. It is also possible to see a small part of the texture for the beta shirt in one of the final tropical shirt textures if you use a texture viewing tool for Max Payne 3.

Actor James McCaffrey, who voiced Max in the first two games, also wasn’t always enlisted to voice Max Payne in the third installment. In a 2009 issue of Game Informer, Rockstar Games stated in an article that James McCaffrey wouldn’t be returning to voice Max, citing age difference as the reason.

Rockstar believes it needs someone older, but doesn’t intend to replace him with an established star, VP of development Jeronimo Barrera pointing out, “We’re good at [casting].”

In the end, James McCaffrey ended up being the voice actor, face model, and doing the majority of the motion capture for Max in the final version of Max Payne 3.

Cut Gameplay
Max Payne 3 was always intended to have the Shootdodge and Bullet-Time gameplay staples of the series, but some new mechanics were added into Max Payne 3 to accommodate modern audiences. The majority of these additions made it into the final game: Last Man Standing, a cover system, and slow-mo action setpieces. One addition that was not in the final game was the ability for Max to take human hostages. This was likely changed because it didn’t fit the fast-paced, dynamic gameplay that is standard in the Max Payne series.

Max will be able to take human shields, and will be able to recover from near-death with a last-minute bullet to his murderer restoring some adrenaline.

Kidnap Gamemode
That’s about as much as I could find for the singleplayer, but there were also things cut out of multiplayer. There’s evidence inside Max Payne 3 code that suggests a kidnapping gamemode was planned. These are entries inside a language file, which contains on-screen prompts for singleplayer and multiplayer.
“|0\ Kidnap Victims Freed” (where the |0\ is a number that would be displayed in a user’s multiplayer statistics)
“|0\ Kidnap Victims Recaptured”
“KIDNAPPED” (this would be displayed if you were kidnapped, obviously)

This also appears to be the description for the gamemode for the different teams playing:
“Get the kidnap victim back to your safehouse. The victim will follow the designated player. Victims will try and escape – shoot to recapture”

“Prevent your team member from being taken to the safehouse. Shoot their kidnappers to give them a chance to escape”

There’s no code left of the gamemode, but it’s likely that there were two teams with one or two players appointed on one team as VIPs, with the other team attempting to kidnap them and bring them to a certain spot on the map alive, while the first team attempts to get their VIP(s) back.
“You are the kidnap victim – while kidnapped you will automatically follow an enemy player. If they get you to their safehouse, your team lose”

Payne Killer
The Payne Killer multiplayer gamemode was in the final release of the game, but it underwent some small changes. In the final version, one to two players are on one team as Max Payne and his buddy Raul Passos respectively, with the other players on a team trying to take down Max and Passos and try to play as them. Whoever plays as Max or Passos the longest with the most kills wins.

It wasn’t always just Max and Passos, however. Looking into the same language files from earlier, there’s evidence that show Mona Sax, the femme fatale from Max Payne 2, was supposed to be playable in Payne Killer. It’s unknown if she was supposed to be a third player, or if she was intended as a substitute for Passos in some maps. Here are some of the lines found in the code of Max Payne 3:

  • “BECOME MONA”
  • “LOOTED MONA’S CORPSE”
  • “YOU ARE MONA SAX”
  • “YOU ARE THE NEW@MONA SAX”

It should be noted that Mona Sax was available as a Deathmatch character in multiplayer if you purchased the Classic Characters DLC pack.

Unused/Scrapped Multiplayer Characters
Max’s Missing Model
There are a number of unused multiplayer character models in the files of the game. I’d like to start off with the ‘Classic Max Payne Character’ DLC. You can buy this DLC for a dollar and play as Max’s model from Max Payne 1 in Deathmatch modes. The actual ingame model used is a high-definition and completely redone one by Rockstar for the game. This isn’t a big issue, except that the picture advertised for this DLC uses a model that is nowhere in the game’s files. The one in the advertisement appears to be Max’s low poly model directly from Max Payne 1, but his jacket texture is redone with modern shaders. It’s likely this was unused. This was the picture used in the advertisement:

And these images are of the HD remodel done by Rockstar and the original model directly from Max Payne 1 from left to right:

The model used in the advertisement may have been scrapped late in development, or acted as a placeholder.

Classic Characters
Continuing along the same line of classic Max Payne 1 and 2 characters in Max Payne 3, there was also a Special Edition DLC pack released for the game’s multiplayer. Included in it are many of the series’ most famous and notable characters, from Mona Sax to Jack Lupino. All of these characters were remodeled with high-definition textures and shaders by Rockstar’s staff, but there were also the low-polygon models directly from the characters’ respective games included in the files of Max Payne 3 that were unusable (with one exception that I will mention in a minute).

I thought these low poly models were initially left in the game accidentally, and were used merely as placeholders for the Special Edition pack while modelers made the high-definition models. However, there’s some code in the game that mentions the high definition and low definition models as completely separate characters. It’s possible they were intended to be in a different pack, or included as alternate versions of the HD models. Like most of the characters in this section of the article, they can be used online again with some code altering.

Going back to the one exception where the low poly character is used, one of the last DLC packs released for Max Payne 3 was called ‘Painful Memories’. This pack included an HD remake of Roscoe Street Station from Max Payne 1 as a multiplayer map. If you happened to play the map in the Payne Killer gamemode, the person playing as Max got to use the low poly model directly from Max Payne 1. A very nice little Easter egg and nod to the original game. Here are a few examples of the low and high polygon models in the game:

Captain Baseball Bat Boy
The case of Captain Baseball Bat Boy as a multiplayer character is very peculiar. He was originally featured in Max Payne 2, and was in several television easter eggs in Max Payne 3′s singleplayer. A few weeks after Max Payne 3 launched, a few people found multiplayer taunts for Captain Baseball Bat Boy in the game’s files. It’s worth noting here that only his sound files were in the game at this point. You can listen to some of these taunts here.

A scrapped character is understandable, but that’s not the peculiar part of this story. Those taunts were included with the game, but not the model. When the very last DLC pack came out, ‘Deathmatch Made in Heaven’, it added a few new gamemodes. One of the gamemodes added was called ‘Run & Stun’. The goal for this gamemode is that one player acting as ‘Saci’, a character from the Captain Baseball Bat Boy universe, has increased health, stamina, and a stungun and must convert players to his side by stunning and punching them. Players on Saci’s side respawn with a stungun and a novelty Saci mask on their character. There were three extra unused models released with this DLC pack, and I have absolutely no idea what they were going to be used for. One of them is actually Captain Baseball Bat Boy’s model as a teenager, another version of CBBB as an old man, and a CBBB mask similar to Saci’s. One can only speculate at what these could have been used for in the gamemode.

The Rest of the Unused Gang
There are a couple other multiplayer characters left in the files of Max Payne 3 that weren’t used in the final game. It’s possible they may still be unlocked, but it seems very unlikely. Looking into the code, the majority of them were supposed to be rewards for winning Rockstar Social Club Multiplayer Events, but it has been a year since the game came out and none of these Deathmatch characters have been unlocked. I am taking that as a sign that they won’t be unlocked. Some of these include some characters unlockable for use in the game’s ‘Arcade’ mode but not in multiplayer, like the black & white noir Max Paynes or the Gameboy Advance Max. Some of these characters are just plain bizarre, like the inverted Max Paynes (the white Max Payne in the picture below) and the Curupira, which is a demon baby with backwards feet out of Brazillian folklore. The Curupira is by far the strangest thing in the game, and even has a black & white version of its model complete with terrifying taunt audio.

I have no idea why it wasn’t included as a usable character in the final game’s multiplayer.

Project Delta [PS3/X360 - Cancelled]

April 19, 2013 by
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Project Delta is a cancelled FPS that was in development in 2005 by PlayLogic for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. The game was announced when the “next gen consoles” were still not released, but it soon vanished without any official statement. It’s possible that Delta was originally in development for the PS2 and XBOX, with the code name “Project Snap”, another cancelled FPS that Playlogic was working on in 2004.

Project Delta’s gameplay was going to be more tactical than the usual first-person shooter: while shooting with our main character, we would had to command a team of soldiers and comfort or threaten them during the battles. The game was set in different time periods, as the story dealt with time travels from the future back to the dark ages.

Project Delta was cancelled for unknown reasons, but we can speculate that the team had some development or quality problems. Only few concept arts and models remain from the project, preserved in the gallery below.

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Tomb Raider: Ascension (2013) [Beta / Prototype - PS3 / Xbox 360]

March 27, 2013 by
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Tomb Raider 2013 was released recently to welcoming applaud and incredible reviews. The team at Crystal Dynamics have managed to reboot the Tomb Raider franchise successfully. However, it seems that the development process took a rather sharp turn. Or at least we’ve accidentally received a peek of Lara’s future…

Concept art was released immediately after announcement which holds lots of things not included in Tomb Raider’s final draft, and the concept lead many people to believe Tomb Raider was going to become something of a horror-genre game. And only recently, a video revealing a prototype Tomb Raider was released online (with some scenes that almost look like NICO / Shadow of the Colossus, with an huge enemy and Lara on a horse). Perhaps there still remains to be a sequel involving these aspects of the prototype, or perhaps these early foundations have been totally discarded, but we must wait and find out.

Below is listed the most significant changes to Tomb Raider in list form:

Article by Euan

- The name changed from “Tomb Raider: Ascension” to just “Tomb Raider”. Relating to the ascension of Lara Croft from naive student to the lady as we know it, and the ascension of Queen Himiko’s soul from one body to the next, the name of the original game changed to show that the series is truly being rebooted by sharing a title with its earliest predecessor. Thankfully, this action meant there was no clash with the most recent God of War title.

- The fantasy aspects have been reduced vastly. Ascension appears to have had many different enemies that were rather fantasy-orientated. Giants and undead-like creatures can be seen fully drawn in concept art and even fairly close to completion in the leaked prototype video at the bottom of the article.

- Lara can no longer ride horses. The concept art and the prototype video both show Lara riding a horse.

- Lara once had a young companion. Similar to the renown Walking Dead game, Tomb Raider appeared to have a child companion by Lara’s side to both help her fight (seemingly) and for Lara to take care of. It would be interesting to see this side of Ms Croft. The child (little girl) can be seen in an image and in the prototype video.

- Lara’s cleaver/machete. It seems by the look of things that Lara was once designed to have a cleaver or machete. This could have been where the idea of melee attacks originated from.

- Lara’s doppelganger reappearance. In both the original game and in TR: Underworld, Lara almost met her match when she met her own doppelganger (clone). It would appear that by this leaked in-game image (which judging by the level of rendering and familiarity of the scene was stripped from the game quite late on) Lara comes face to face again with her doppelganger. Though it’s not easy to tell, the silhouette figure attacking Lara bears a striking resemble to the girl herself and even holds her pickaxe. Perhaps this is where it was originally intended she found it.

- The forgotten survivor; Steph. If you are familiar with Tomb Raider’s multiplayer you will know that there is a character who is never mentioned in the campaign. This girl is Steph. It is thought that Steph’s inclusion flatlined due to her unnecessary presence. There was no way for the player to connect to her, especially as her personally would resemble Sam’s to much seemingly. Her shorts also make many of us reminisce about nostalgic Lara. Steph is playable in multiplayer, but in rather late footage of Tomb Raider we hear her talked of by Lara, specifically the Crossroads trailer (below). Steph is mentioned twice, as Lara leaves the scavenger’s den we see Steph’s strung up, dead body and hear Lara’s shock. When Sam is kidnapped and the other survivors rescue her we hear her tell Roth that a man took sam and Lara exclaims that he was “like the one who… killed Steph.”

Below is the Crossroads trailer for TR. The start time is at 34 seconds in so that it is already skipped nearer the part mentioning Steph.

- Lara’s look. It seems that lara’s iconic look has ranged from what it is now to the gunslinger style we’ve grown to love throughout the development process. (See prototype video)

- Total Free-roam. The high demand for Crystal Dynamics to include free roam into Tomb Raider meant a lot of experimentation for the franchise. The finished result is now hubs that are efficiently proportioned and varied over Yamatai. But, it seems from the prototype video that early Tomb Raider included it. See below for more:

TOMB RAIDER: ASCENSION PROTOTYPE VIDEO:

Dreamers [Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC - Cancelled]

March 26, 2013 by
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Dreamers is a action adventure game that was in development by Dreamgazers Interactive, for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. The project was announced as in development for “next gen consoles” in 2004, but as of today (2010), Dreamers remains unreleased and probably it will never be published. In 2008 PSU had an interview with Dreamgazers President and Creative Director George Georgeadis, asking for more info about their game:

“Haha, yes we are still alive,” said Georgeadis. “However many changes have occurred regarding the company and project, changes that I am unfortunately not in a position to disclose.”

Sadly the latest entry in Dreamgazers’ Blog is from 2007 and even if their website and Dreamers’ official website are still online, the lack of news make us to assume that the team was disbanded and their game cancelled, probably because they never found a publisher.

Some more info on Dreamer’s story can be read in the official website:

Dreamers is a game about a young man in his 20′s, Jorge, who suffers from a bizarre form of narcolepsy. Characterized by sudden and uncontrollable attacks of deep sleep, narcolepsy is a disorder that is also sometimes accompanied by paralysis and hallucinations

Players would had to explore Jorge’s dreams and nightmares to heal him from his problems and find more about his past. It’s currently unknown how much of the game was completed before the development was stopped.

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