Saints Row: Money Shot was an action/adventure game scheduled to be released on the Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network sometime in late 2011. It was never officially announced by THQ or Volition, but it was leaked to the web in August 2011. From the existing screenshots and video, we can see that it was going to be some kind of on-rails game where you have to control a bullet in slow-motion through various obstacles before finally hitting your target. Here’s its official description from the leaked XBLA entry.
You are Cypher, a deadly assassin in the world of Saints Row, and you hunt the most elusive targets with the most sophisticated weaponry that Ultor has to offer. How sophisticated? You have the ability to control the path of your bullet to such a degree that you can weave through the hallway of an apartment complex, steer through the legs of a hooker, and even snake your way through a moving train! Avoid striking solid objects and unintended bystanders and make sure you hit your mark!
Within a week of its leaking, Kotaku discovered that the Australian Classification Board had rated Saints Row: Money Shot already, hinting that it was possibly close to release at this point.
In an interview with Worthplaying.com, former THQ boss Danny Bilson stated that Saints Row: Money Shot was still not shelved and that it would possibly be released on the PSN instead as a free game.
On the XBLA, the game would have cost 800 Microsoft Points, and it appears that playing through it would earn you unlockable items for Saints Row: The Third. These items would later be released as a DLC pack called the “Money Shot Pack,” which contained the gun and suit seen in the game as well as a new hover bike, but the “Money Shot” game itself was never included and was officially considered cancelled by this point. Here is some leaked footage of the game from a Czech gaming site.
As we can read on Wikipedia, The Simpsons Hit & Run is an action-adventure game based on the animated sitcom The Simpsons. It was released for the GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation 2 on September 2003. The game’s developer, Radical Entertainment, received the rights to create games for The Simpsons franchise when they demonstrated a playable prototype. Radical released its first The Simpsons game in 2001 called The Simpsons Road Rage, a parody of the Crazy Taxi series of video games. After Road Rage was released, the development team for Hit & Run decided not to create a direct sequel to Road Rage. Instead, Radical wanted to steer the franchise’s video game series in a different direction by giving the game engine a complete overhaul.
In the game’s booklet, there are some beta images that shows the character mission mugs were in 3D too rather than animated. One has a display mode in options. In Tips & Tricks No. 105 in 2003, some character’s clothes were identified in the wrong episode. For example, Lisa’s “cool” outfit info says that it’s from the episode Little Girl In the Big Ten, but it’s actually from Summer of 4 ft. 2. Lisa didn’t wear that outfit in Little Girl In the Big Ten. Marge’s inmate outfit from Marge in Chains is originally periwinkle and short-sleeved, but the red-orange color may come from another episode. Facts say that Maggie is a playable character in the game, but for unknown reasons, she was replaced with Apu Nahasapeemapetilon in the final game.
As we can read from Wikipedia, Crackdown 2 is a sandbox third-person shooter game developed by Ruffian Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox 360 in July 2010. Thanks to a post at Sean Noonan’s blog, we can read some interesting info about the beta and the development of Crackdown 2:
We had these cavernous locations for these monstrosities to roam, but the Goliath’s slow movement pace just couldn’t cut it against our nimble agent characters – no matter how powerful we buffed the Goliaths. Their great size meant any quick movements looked jarring and totally unconvincing, so the speed couldn’t change. [...]
We pulled an all nighter or two and redesigned the Goliath. We adopted an approach whereby the Goliath would completely ignore the player. The Goliath would sprint as fast as possible to the beacon at which point he would pummel it until it was destroyed – the player’s job was to kill the Goliath before that could happen. It was simpler, cleaner and had a much more interesting visual impact. [...]
The old Shai Gen Car Park in Unity Heights Square is roughly a tenth the size it originally was meant to be with the old Goliath design …in fact the old Shai Gen Car Park was once meant to be a freak infested mall as an homage to Dawn of the Dead but it’s location being on the final island best suited a Goliath encounter. At one point we talked about having a Goliath climb the agency tower as a final, but the idea was scrapped [...]
Saints Row is an action-adventure open world video game developed by Volition Inc. and published by THQ. It is the first title in the Saints Row series. The development of the game began at around 2004 or 2005 and was originally named “Bling Bling” which in it’s sequel, it has a certain store with the exact same name. Thanks to a certain person down in the comments who said this, The game was originally for PS2 and PS2 only at the time it was in the making.
So in the video below, you can see many beta differences between the gameplay such as:
True Crime: Hong Kong is a sandbox action game that was in development by United Front Games and was to be published by Activision. It was going to be the third installment and a reboot of the True Crime series, but in February 2011, Activision announced that the game had ceased production along with their Guitar Hero franchise. The game was declared cancelled for being “just not good enough” to compete in the open world genre. Activision didn’t expect it to generate enough profit and stopped development. “True Crime: Hong Kong was playable from start to finish and ‘virtually complete’ in terms of content before Activision canned it,” the developer behind the game told CVG. [Info from Wikipedia] In February 2012, it was announced that True Crime: Hong Kong will go trough some changes and it will be released by Square Enix as a different game, named “Sleeping Dogs”.
inFamous is a game for the PlayStation 3, developed by Sucker Punch. The project is a third-person sandbox game that combines elements of the superhero MMO City of Heroes with a roaming open-world, allowing the player to make choices between being a hero or an antihero that will affect the game accordingly.
In the gallery below we can see some old concept artworks from Sucker Punch, in which it seems that the game was originally know as “True Hero” and the style was different (more similar to the Sly Cooper art) from the one in the final version. Probably the style was changed to appeal more to the PS3 target.
Underground is a cancelled action / open world game that was in development by Volition for the Playstation 2 / Xbox. The game was set in england and players would have took control of a thief, free to explore the city and to decide what and how to steal. Undergound was in development for about a year, but after the release of GTA 3, Volition though that their project’s quality was not up to the expectation that gamers had from an open world game and decided to stop working on it.
LA Noire is a third person action / investigation game developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar in 2011. In an interview with Brendan McNamara, we can read that the game was going to have a desk where you would have to deal with burglaries and fraud – the desk was known as Bunko and Burglary. The entire desk had about eleven cases, all of which were cut due to the fact that the cases couldn’t fit on entire blue ray disk. Quoting McNamara from another article:
“We had a Bunko and Burglary desk – bunko is fraud and burglary is just people robbing houses and stuff – we had eleven full cases for that, which we wrote and did the design for to a certain extent – we even did the art for them too, but it just got to a point where we were never going to fit it on one Blu-ray,”
Evidence of the Burglary desk can be found in the game, such as at the beginning of the homicide desk, where the captain of homicide greets Cole Phelps after he earned a promotion from burglary. It’s also implied during the case Manifest Destiny that Harold Caldwell was Cole’s partner for that desk. Dialog implies that Harold Caldwell knows Cole Phelps – again implying that burglary was going too planned for LA Noire.
Finally, there was also a type of Mini-game (that was also cut) where the player could have made a captain angry. The player and assigned partner would have to complete certain crimes (car chases, shootings, etc) in order to get another case from the captain. Quoting the article
”There was a kind of system where if you failed a case your captain would scream at you and you’d go out and do hot car chases or smaller robberies and muggings and all that kind of stuff in the world”
“You’d have to do enough of them to get to a point where you get offered another case, but as I said that got cut because I thought it was too much of a distraction.”
If there is any concept art from the cut desk, please share it here so we can add it to the article!
Steambot Chronicles 2 (AKA Poncotsu Roman Daikatsugeki: Bumpy Trot 2 in Japan) is a cancelled steampunk sandbox / action mech game that was in development for the Playstation 3 by Irem, originally announced on September 2006, at the Tokyo Game Show. Steambot Chronicles 2 was officially canceled along with several other Irem games following the Japanese tsunami / earthquake in march 2011. It’s possible that Irem had already some problems with the development of Steambot Chronicles 2 and the natural disaster in Japan was just the nail in the coffin for this interesting project.
it seems that the original Steambot Chronicles is doomed to remain a one-off work of genius, an inexplicably deep and mold-breaking PlayStation 2 game where players finally got to see the civilian side of mecha. There was a living, breathing world outside the game’s mechanical boss battles and pitched tournaments; loading up lumber on your clunky steam-powered robot’s flatbed to help construct a bridge in-between playing the harmonica in a touring band and helping root out vast conspiracies seeking to control the world’s oil supply immersed you into something deeper than any other game has ever hoped to.
This is Vegas is an action / sandbox game that was in development for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 since 2006 / 2007 by Midway Games / Surreal Software, but sadly it seems that the game was cancelled in fall / late 2009. Due to Midway’s financial troubles in 2009 the company sold certain assets to Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment which included This is Vegas and developer Surreal Software. SS then worked on some animations and characters for Snowblind’s LotR: War in the North. In December/January 2010 there were some layoffs and departures and in June 2010 the studio was closed down. 4 years of work on This is Vegas went directly into the bin.
The game’s story follows you, an unnamed nobody, as you arrive in Vegas with 50 dollars in your pocket and hazy goals. As luck would have it, you’ll cross paths with Joey Nissan, a local “entrepreneur” who winds up working to get you in with the Vegas crowd. From the sound of it, this bit in the game will be your license to be decadent as you play. Of course, all good things don’t last forever, and soon you meet your nemesis: Preston Boyer, a fast food tycoon bent on cleaning up Vegas to be a family-friendly tourist trap. This doesn’t exactly fly far with you and your new crowd, so your goal will be to stop Boyer and preserve the town’s special atmosphere.