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!
Kat Burglar is a cancelled action / stealth game that was in development by Krome Studios, probably planned for PC, Playstation 2 and Xbox. In the beginning of year 2000 Krome Studios announced a new game about a lady burglar called Katherine Kelly, who steals works of art for a collector called Hugo Biggs-Lazenby. There wasn’t much information available on the gameplay, but that sure had to be a stealthy game. Some ideas from that project were later used in Blade Kitten.
Recounting with a touch of bitterness that it was apparently okay to have a dozen identical “muscular space marine” games on the market at the same time, Steve and the team were forced to shelve the game. “They just weren’t getting it, even if they did like the characters”, says Steve, remembering failed deals with partners like Mattel. “I’ll always remember the guys came back from one meeting with a publisher, and the publishers said ‘We’re pretty sure there’s already a 60’s female thief game with a character that has red hair’, and I’m standing there going ‘Are they… talking about our game?’”.
Set on the island of Mont-St. Michael, Kat Burglar featured a number of adventure-game driven mechanics similar to those found in Flight of the Amazon Queen, as well as AI sidekicks who you could give orders to through hand gestures. The intent was to have a Zelda-style unlockable open world, with the island opening up to you as you progressed. Despite the game being developed to a playable state through one prototyped level, they were unable to secure a publisher. Opportunity did come knocking later in the year, as Sony expressed a desire to publish a cartoony platformer on their PS2 – a desire that Krome were only too happy to help fulfill. That game that would later go on to become TY The Tasmanian Tiger, and one of the company’s most iconic franchises.
Post by Chentzilla
A screenshot (scan from Russian gaming magazine “Magazin Igrushek”, №2/2000)
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (also know as Shadow Strike during its development) is a third-person stealth game in the Splinter Cell series, developed and published by Ubisoft Shanghai in 2004. Below you can see a video compiled by Silenceofthehills, with lots of early concept arts and beta screens. Text and video annotations in the video help explain the differences between the earlier planned renditions and the final version of various spots in each area.
As seen in the video, a fully missing level map is viewed under the first game‘s HUD. Since the first game had cut a level and used it as an extra in another version of the game, its quite possible that these shots are from a missing level. Its also possible that these are merely early renditions of a previous level, or even simply a test level considering the unaltered HUD.
Secondly, we can also see the previous incarnation of the PS2 and GameCube port before it had be delayed and taken under various graphical tweaks to ensure the artwork was nearer to par with the original versions of the game. This is also available in the GameInformer article scan as well, which also oddly contains a beta HUD akin to that of the online mode’s. This HUD was also apparently shared between all versions of the game.
Below is the direct quote on this from Gamespot itself, posted on February 4, 2004 by Justin Calvert.
“Ubisoft has today announced that while the Xbox, PC, GBA, and cell phone versions of Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow are still on track for release next month, the PS2 and GameCube versions will now launch at a later date. The only reason given for the delay is that the development team is committed to making sure that the other two console versions are as good as the Xbox version.”
Splinter Cell: Conviction is a stealth / action game developed by Ubisoft Montreal, released in April, 2010 for the Xbox 360 and PC. The project was originally announced on May, 2007 when Ubisoft released a trailer for the game. It depicted a more rugged-looking Sam with long hair and a fully-grown beard. He had the ability to blend in with the environment, interact with tables and chairs and engage in hand-to-hand combat with enemies.
The game was due for release in November, 2007. However, it missed its initial launch date and on May, 2008 Xbox World 360 magazine reported that Splinter Cell: Conviction was “officially on hold” and that the game had been taken “back to the drawing board.” While Ubisoft never confirmed this, they announced that the game had been pushed back to the 2009-10 fiscal year.
The game resurfaced at E3 2009 with a completely new visual style and a more casual-looking Sam. The developers confirmed that the “new” Conviction had been in development since early 2008, commenting that “the gameplay has evolved a lot” and “the visual direction is simply much better.” [Info from Wikipedia]
We can say that the original Splinter Cell Conviction was cancelled, as the final game and gameplay look very different from what was shown in 2007.
Thanks to Userdante for the contribution! Thanks to Jason for the english corrections!
Hitman: Blood Money is an action / stealth game developed by IO Interactive and published by Eidos Interactive in 2006 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360 and PC. Vicente noticed various differences in the beta screenshot that you can see in the gallery below:
Less persons and guards in the level “You better watch out”
Agen 47 disguised as a bartender in the same level (does not happen in the final?)
Beta 3D model for Lorne de Havilland (sitting near the fireplace)
Different concept design for Lorne de Havilland
Different concept design for Anthony Martinez
An unknown enemy
Agent 47 had a slightly different face
Beta Flatline level (different layout?)
Beta model of the optional target called “?” with a tattoo on her back.
Vinnie’s wife in the pool, in the level “A new life”
Before being cancelled, a version of Metal Gear Solid was in development for the ill-fated Game.com, a portable console released by Tiger Electronics in 1997. It seems that the game was going to be a port of Metal Gear Solid PSX, but there are just few info on the project. At one point, a gameplay video of this game was distributed among group members of the now-defunct America Online account “TigerGcom”, but sadly this footage seems to have been lost forever.
After many researches, Celine was able to find a screenshot of Metal Gear Solid Game.com in Console Plus magazine issue #90! On the 22 January 2010, Parasyte posted some more screens in the Lost Levels Forum.
La Femme Nikita is a cancelled action game that was in development in 2000 / 2001 at Infogrames Lyon House: the project originally started in 1999 as “Mission Impossible 2″, a sequel to the original Nintendo 64 game. It seems that Infogrames soon decided to stop the development for the N64 and port MI2 to the new-released Dreamcast.
Fabien Lacaf, a professional story boarder, worked on MI2 and created different level environment (for 3D artists) and some parallel action designs for the missions. The first concept to MI2 was based on levels that would have been completed following the progress of the main protagonists that worked in parallel at the same time. The player was going to use different characters to complete the missions divided in different parts: in every single part the actions would have affected the next parts of the mission with the following characters.
After some months of work, the studio did not have the “Mission Impossible” license anymore and so they had to change the game into “La Femme Nikita”, based on the film / TV series with the same name. The project was then moved to the Playstation 2 but after 2 years of development, the publisher (Atari) decided to cancel “La Femme Nikita” for economic reasons.
That was the end of “Mission Impossible 2″ for the Nintendo 64.
Thanks to Hey Hey for the contribution and to Rodolphe for his help to preserve more images from the project! Continue reading →
Career Criminal is an action game that was in development at Midway Austin (formerly Inevitable Entertainment) for the XBOX 360 and PS3, but later cancelled because it was too risky economically. It seems that the game would have been about stealing jewels / other precious stuff and it was set in a sandbox world. Sadly the studio closed its doors in December 2008, laying off the entire local workforce as part of a larger, company-wide, action.
As we can read on Kotaku, the president of Midway explained that: “The Career Criminal title was a large, ambitious, open-world project. Midway management recognizes that ambitious games need extensive resources and can require lengthy development cycles with much iteration. We are willing to invest in the long run and we need to continue developing new intellectual properties. But all of our projects have to demonstrate a likelihood of success and profitability. The resource needs, feature set, schedule and financial profile for the Career Criminal project were not converging towards a reasonable chance of success.”
Tenchu: Stealth Assassins is a stealth game released for the original Playstation, in which the player takes the role of a ninja, progressing through 10 stages set in ancient Japan and accomplishing the tasks therein. [Infos from Wikipedia]
Thanks to Mozguswe are able to see an interesting video from an early prototype of the game, that was found in the Japan-exclusive disc Tenchu: Shinobi Hyakusen. In this old build, it seems that Tenchu was going to be more “futuristic” and the style of the game was very different from the one in the final version.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is a stealth action video game. Directed by Hideo Kojima, Shuyo Murata and Yoji Shinkawa, Guns of the Patriots was developed by Kojima Productions exclusively for the PlayStation 3 video game console. It is the seventh title in the Metal Gear series and the first in its fourth generation. The game, designed around the motto, “No Place to Hide!”, is the last Metal Gear game developed by Hideo Kojima, and the last game in the series starring the protagonist Solid Snake. [Info from Wikipedia]
Looking at some old screens from the game, it seems that there are some scenes that i don’t remember to be in the final version, or that are a little different. Also in some screenshots, Snake’s face looks weird. Thanks to Segagaga Domain we can also check an old tech demo that was presented at the Tokyo Game Show 2005, in which Konami shown various real time effects and details from its 3D engine.
An interesting beta-version comparison between new and old MGS4 trailers was already made by people at Kotaku some time ago, where we can see some little differences in the cutscenes of the game, like different colors for the 3d models.. As they said: “Kojima Productions went through and made various changes, alterations to assets that appeared in earlier trailers. But what kind of changes? Are they changes for the better? Or not? Below, is a comparison. On the left is footage from an older, yellowish MGS4 trailer, while on the right there’s brand new footage.”