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stealth game

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! 

Kat Burglar [Cancelled – PS2, XBOX, PC)

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.

As we can read in an article on Games.on.net:

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

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A screenshot (scan from Russian gaming magazine “Magazin Igrushek”, №2/2000)

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Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow [XBOX PS2 GC - Beta]

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.”

Thanks to Silenceofthehills for the contribution!

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Splinter Cell: Conviction [X360 PC - Beta]

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!

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