Advent Rising is a science fiction action adventure developed by GlyphX Games and published by Majesco for Xbox and PC in 2005. As we can read on Wikipedia, Advent Rising was the first in a planned trilogy which also saw the development of Advent Rising PSP, a side story that took place at the same time as the first game. However, the first game’s retail performance fell short of expectations. By the end of 2005, Majesco Entertainment had completely revised its business plan and canceled plans for future Advent Rising games. Advent Rising was an ambitious project, but even the only released chapter was cut and changed before the final version.
Greg was able to find a lot of unused content in Advent Rising that is still accessible through the PC version’s console. This includes content that was promised in trailers, E3 demos, and the like, but cut for various reasons. Much of the content still exists in partially usable form once you spawn it into the game.
In the gameplay trailer they released in 2004 there are some noticeable differences from the final game, as the unused healing psychic power, grenades equipped on a hand (they’re unrelated to your weapons in the final game), the Seeker Speeder, a long jump move, a weapon throwing ability, and an upright wall-leaning mechanic (the game only has a crouching wall-lean move).
You can see (and listen to) more unused models / audio in Greg’s Youtube Channel! Some notable deleted content: several vehicles, two playable characters, several weapons, an enemy type, an extra psychic power, and over 40 minutes of audio dialogue.
The Robosapien was an unused enemy creature assumed to appear first in chapter four and then six. Some of the game’s unused audio files referred to it as a “Replicon,”
[…] a screenshot of the ATV, which doesn’t even seem to exist in the game’s code. Similarly, the human tank only appears as wreckage in one section in chapter three.
Ethan_Playable and Marin_Playable imply that at some point the two were intended to be controlled, probably very early in development before they had settled on focusing on Gideon.
The Diplomatic Shuttle (ambassadorial shuttle) was a vehicle you were supposed to be able to drive to and from the Aurelian mothership in-game, instead of it just being a cutscene.
[…] a Razor and drove through the Chapter 6 escape sequence with it, as it was originally intended to be. This section takes ten times as long with the Gnash.
More differences can be seen in the old beta screenshots:
A removed ATV vehicle (seems vanished from the final code too)
The ability to wallrun is referenced in the game’s code, but this is the only screenshot that showed its existence.
An early screenshot of the psychic power selection wheel. This is interesting because Heal, Confuse, and Mind were ultimately cut. Confuse would force enemies to attack each other or let you make a sound to distract them, and Mind (I believe its name was “Roving Mind”) would let you possess an enemy or make it fall asleep. The other powers listed have different names from the final game: “EB” is Energy Blast, which was renamed Aeon Pulse. “Pull” was renamed Lift. “Push” became Surge. “Shield” became Negate, and “Speed” became Timeshift. Shatter, the final psychic power in the game, doesn’t appear here.
In a preview on IGN, they called the psychic power Lift “Wield,” and these screenshots showed Gideon picking up vehicles with it, which isn’t possible in the game. Even targeting vehicles like they show here is only possible with one specific vehicle, and only if it is being piloted.
This is the OXP7 which belongs to Advent Shadow’s protagonist, Marin. There was an entire level cut from Advent Rising which involved you using the OXP7’s turrets to fight Seeker Fighters while you escaped the planet. They removed that and turned it into a cutscene, and turned the OXP7 into a prop.
This screenshot shows Gideon wielding a Seeker Mass Disruptor (which you can see in the unused content video), along with the “massdisruptor_implosion” effect in the background. It’s the only official indication that it was a usable weapon.
The beta screen below shows a Seeker Speeder in a city you go to in the game with completely different geometry. Originally you were intended to drive to the city on a Seeker Speeder, but regardless, this low cliff below the city doesn’t exist in the final game.
GlyphX was very proud of how large the Warhammer was, and it was probably one of the most popular topic in interviews. Most of the areas you see in these screenshots were redesigned or repurposed because the Warhammer didn’t work.
GlyphX unfortunately has disbanded since the game’s release and is now part of Sandman Studios, but most of the developers actually moved on to form Chair Entertainment, which made the very popular Xbox Live Arcade game, Shadow Complex.
Huge props to Greg for all these finds! Check the Advent Rising Unused Playlist for more