Malice is a platform game developed by Argonaut Games, that was originally meant to be released for the Playstation 1, using their Croc 2 engine. For some technical issues and (mainly) for marketing decisions, Malice PSX was cancelled and Argonaut though to port the game for the “next generation” consoles. It was 1999 and the PS2 was almost out in the market, with the new Microsoft’s XBOX soon to arrive too.
Argonaut wanted to be one of first Xbox’s developers and to showcase their new 3D engine to attract publishers and funds, so they created a Malice Xbox tech demo that looked really good for its time. Microsoft was really impressed by their work and used the Malice tech demo to show the power of the Xbox.
Argonaut aimed to release the new Malice in late 2001 as an Xbox launch title, but because of many problems in porting their project from the PSX to the XBOX, Malice was postponed too many times, was almost cancelled again and changed publishers before being finally released in 2004, with mediocre reviews.
In March 2010, the Playstation Museum published a deep article on the original Playstation version of Malice, sharing lots of screens and videos. As we can read on their site:
The bottom line is Malice PS1 combines the action of Croc 2 with the exploration and depth of a Mario 64 and is presented with a sense of unique style and graphic beauty and detail that would have become the new technological standard for the PlayStation.
Although Malice was released for the PS2 in 2004, the PS1 version differs greatly in storyline, graphics, design, and gameplay. Any of the former Malice designers will tell you that Malice PS2 was only a shell of its original design. Unfortunately many of the designs that made this PS1 version so enjoyable were removed in the PS2 version.
It’s interesting to note that in the video from the Playstation 1 version and in the early Xbox trailers, it was shown that the player could control a cat, but this never happens in the final game. [Info from Wikipedia]
Check the Playstation Museum for more info and screens!
The Malice Xbox Tech Demo: