Xbox

Deus Ex 3: Insurrection [Cancelled Concepts – PC, XBOX]

Deus Ex is a highly popular sci-fi game that is set in a dystopian future on Earth, it has a very cyber-punk feel to it and its gameplay mechanics are described as a first person action role playing game. There are currently four games in the series, the first two were developed by Ion Storm, while the third and fourth games were developed by Eidos Montreal. What many people do not know though is that Ion Storm worked on a third game in the series twice, called Deus Ex: Insurrection and Deus Ex 3.

Art Min was a programmer on the second game in the series Deus Ex: Invisible War, as soon as development was finished on this he became project lead on Insurrection. There were at least four different story lines set out for this iteration of the game and many of the core concepts, were thought out.

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In a initial design document submitted in February 2004 many of these concepts can be seen with the team vision for the game being to create an accessible and believable Deus Ex game with emotional depth and epic choices. It was slated to be released on both the Xbox and PC platform but what is interesting is, it is noted that a PS2 version would be made if an external team could be found to make it, and the “Xbox 2” for launch if green lighting was approved as soon as possible.

At the time of writing this document the team were in pre-production and were ready to go to full production by July 1st, 2004, it was written that they would have the game finished by January 2005. There is a very high concept for the game that is described, the game was to be based in 2027 and that there were five superpowers in the world who would either rise or fall depending on the intelligence that you would give to them.

The game setting was that America was falling into bankcruptcy and the other rising superpowers like China and Russia were trying to utilise this and bankrolling insurgents on U.S. soil. The EU was also trying to bring the U.S. under the jurisdiction of international bodies like the UN. The U.S. is also split in two with patriots who want to keep the U.S. as is and the globalists who want the EU control. 

Myst IV: Adventure Beyond the D’ni Ultraworld [Cancelled]

Myst 4 IV Adventure Beyond the Dni Ultraworld cancelled

In 1998, Cyan Worlds Inc. and Mattel decided to outsource the work on future Myst game to other developers. This would let Cyan work on their upcoming project Uru while still keeping the Myst main-series afloat duringsaid development period.

Various developers were given a chance to pitch their idea for a story and soon enough Presto Studios was working on the next game in the series, Myst III: Exile. However, they were not the only developer to be assigned the Myst license.

DreamForge Intertainment, the developers of the horror themed adventure game Sanitarium, started work on the fourth Myst game one year after Presto Studios effort. This game, known internally as Myst IV: Adventure Beyond the D’ni Ultraworld, would never be released or shown to the public during its development.

After having worked on the game for two years (June 1999 to June 2001), it was cancelled as the rights to the Myst franchise transferred from Mattel to Ubisoft. Myst III: Exile was released the next year and the next game in the franchise was to be developed internally at Ubisoft and was released in 2004 as Myst IV: Revelation.

Patrick Fortier, the creative director of Myst IV: Revelation, opened up about the unreleased version of Myst IV, hereby referred to as Ultraworld to avoid confusion, in 2004 on the Uru Obsession community.

According to Fortier, Ultraworld’s development was only about 20% finished, but the designs themselves were completely done. The game was presented in realtime 3D, a first for the series at that point. Some ideas from Ultraworld even managed to carry over into Myst IV: Revelation. Specfically the inclusion of Sirrus and Achenar, the two brothers from the original Myst. 

Ace Squadron [Cancelled – GameCube / XBOX / PS2]

Ace Squadron is a cancelled flying shooter that was in development by Atomic Planet for the Playstation 2, GameCube and Xbox. The game was set in World War II and offered various arcade air-combat missions to play and as we can read from the official press release “gamers will be given the opportunity to shout ‘Tally Ho!’ and dive their trusty Spitfire into a dogfight with swarms of Nazi aircraft. There are scores of missions to play, from the heady days of the Battle of Britain to dangerous raids on secret weapons factories in the last days of the war, and dozens of different and powerful warplanes to fly, such as the majestic Spitfire, the nimble Mosquito and the sturdy Lancaster”. The project was never released for unknown reasons and we don’t even know if the game was finished or not as the few screenshots available look like target renders and not actual gameplay.

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Thief: Deadly Shadows [Beta – Xbox / PC]

As we can read in Wikipedia, Thief: Deadly Shadows is a stealth game developed by Ion Storm and published by Eidos Interactive in 2004 for Xbox and PC. After Looking Glass Studios, the developer of the original two titles, went out of business in 2000, many former employees moved to Ion Storm Austin. Here they began developing the long-anticipated third part of the series, Deadly Shadows. It is the last game produced by Ion Storm before its demise in February 2005.

The idea originally was that Thief: Deadly Shadows would let you customise difficulty similarly to in System Shock, with you able to tweak how smart the AI was, what your objectives were and so on. It’s a feature which survived until the last betas, but was suddenly cut out of the final game due to the extra work it created for testers. Instead, Thief: Deadly Shadows only has the usual Easy/Normal/Expert skill settings from the older Thief games.

You can get more detail on the cut, as well as RPS co-founder and comics writer Kieron Gillen’s take on the game, in the Unlimited Hyperbole Podcast. If you have more info, screens or videos with beta differences for Thief 3, please let us know in the comments below!

Thanks to Joe Martin for the contribution! 

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