The title entered pre-production in May 2008, shortly after Stranglehold’s release in September 2007. It was planned to continue the ongoing story of Hard Boiled and Stranglehold. Chow Yun-fat was down to reprise the lead role of the gung-ho Inspector “Tequila”, lending again both his likeness and voice to the character.
A New Identity
Gun Runner was proposed as the start of a campaign to rebrand Stranglehold, in order to increase its mass appeal. Despite taking place after the first game, its story was going to be completely self-contained, one developer told us.
A key aspect of this new direction for the series was the introduction of Vin Diesel. The actor would have voiced another character, alongside Tequila. A former member of the team we got in touch with described Midway’s idea for the two as “a buddy cop story“. Full multiplayer co-operative support was planned for the story mode, wherein players would have each controlled of one of them.
Contra Spirits 64 is a cancelled shooter / action game in the contra series that was in development by Konami Computer Entertainment Osaka for the Nintendo 64. There are just a few info about this unreleased project as Konami never shown any official screenshot or concept art, but the title was in many list of games to be released for the N64 and the hopes went up for many Nintendo gamers that wanted a new and fun game for their 64bit console. Unfortunatly it seems that as the Nintendo 64 sold poorly in Japan, Konami decided to stop the development of the project and disbanded its team.
Contra was planned, but the original team was disbanded and all team members now work on different projects,” said a company spokesperson. [Contra] has pretty much been shelved. […] There is concern over the poor N64 console sales in Japan […]
Contra 64 would have been a sidescrolling 3D game, with some sessions in which the camera would have switched angles or move behind the characters, possible for boss battles. There are some rumors that say that the Contra Spirits 64 concept was resurrected and became Contra: Shattered Soldier for PS2, but as Contra N64 was in development in 1998 and Contra PS2 was announced and released in 2002, it’s hard to say if the 2 project have anything in common.
Below you can see some scans from old magazines that wrote about Contra Spirits 64 (if you have Next Generation Issue 29, Volume 3 May 1997 and can make a bigger scan of their N64 article, please let us know!).
Thanks to Celine and Contrapedia for the contributions!
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.
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.
[spoiler /Click here to read the original Press Release/ /Hide the Press Release/]Retribution uses Artificial Studio’s advanced game engine – Reality. It is a FPS or 3rd person shooter (your choice) with a movie like script. A large variety of photo realistic scenes to explore as you work your way through the game ensure that you never feel the game is repetitive. Featuring open play which enables you to hire and improve your crew members and their abilities, build an arsenal of weapons, acquire a range of equipment, and complete numerous mercenary tasks for cash. Attempt the main storyline missions at your leisure.
Primary Objective- Take retribution on your parents’ murderer.
Sounds – Simple
Difficulty – Hard
Problem – Finding him
Problem – Women…well…one woman
Problem – Your target commands a navy vessel and has a trained army at his disposal
Intense action, coupled with the most intelligent team management seen to date, artistic diversity rarely seen in a computer game, and a script that reads like a movie. Plus the advanced features of the Reality engine which utilises the latest in artistic techniques. At U-235 Studios just having the ability to do something isn’t enough, we set out to fully utilise and exploit every new technique. It’s not good enough to have an advanced physics system, but each object in Retribution is carefully modelled to our ‘game standard’ so interactivity is realistic.
Couple this with a multiplayer element across 11 unique scenes, each very different and so well crafted you’ll forget you’re playing the same game.
Scenery: 11 unique land-based scenes, ranging from your tropical beach hideout, a marine corps camp, a drug lords compound, the port area of Miami and more.
Ocean: Realistic water techniques never achieved before in real time in a computer game.
AI: Elaborate and intelligent AI which makes you re-think the way you play computer games – without taking away the joy of beating impossible odds.
Damage System: A unique damage system devised in conjunction with gamers to enable enjoyable game play, visual effects, and a realism level that doesn’t detract from the fun.
Crew Advancement: Once you hire your crew members they begin to advance depending on the action they see, or the training they have been placed in.
Crew Battle Management: Unique battle management techniques to interact with your crew that are sure to become standards once other companies see what we’ve come up with.
Interaction: A detailed level of interaction between characters including realistic cause and effect. The days of ‘3 phrase characters’ are officially over.
Transport: Buy, hijack, steal or ransack boats in the Caribbean. Clean them up and sell them for cash. All attacks on vessels are done in FPS/3rdPS mode, use your brain as well as brawn to make your attacks as clean as possible.
FPS or 3rdPS: Play in first person or 3rd person modes (switch at any time) throughout the game.
Hostages: Take hostages from a battle, be it an attack on a vessel in the Caribbean you have coordinated, or a mercenary task. Manage your hostage negotiations and build up your cash, but be careful not to attract too much attention.
Environment: Realistic day/night cycles and advanced world time system which ties into various elements such as crew advancement, financial management etc.
Time warp: Retribution is played over a large geographical area, however, a unique time warp system ensures you won’t waste time waiting while travelling.
Multi-Player: Death match, team death match, cooperative and team cooperative modes.[/spoiler]