Microsoft

Arcturus (BlueInca Studios) [XBOX, PC – Cancelled]

Arcturus is the name of a galaxy revolving around one of the brightest stars, and at the same time the game from BlueInca Studios, laid on its stocks in the summer of 2001.

The plot told how two alien races, when colonizing the aforementioned galaxy, unexpectedly discovered the existence of each other. Humanity was not in the game, but both races behaved in a very human way: instead of solving the matter peacefully, they started a fight.

In the distant future, a war between the Lumerans and the Xizons rages on.
You play Torah and can choose as either faction and lead them to victory in campaign missions.
Victory will mean more resources to build your ships and better your people.

The Lumerans are the weaker outnumbered faction but they have powerful abilities.
The Xizons are the militaristic faction with ambitions of conquest.

Military operations in Arcturus were supposed to proceed as follows: the attacking side sends a flotilla of fighters to the enemy’s planet, smashes enemy aircraft, and then moves on to the next territory – and so on until they capture the enemy’s capital. Battles in space were absent as a class – apparently, the aliens took care of the fleet as a memory.

Thus, the player played two roles. In the role of the so-called Leader, he was directly involved in battles. The accompanying equipment also fought with him. The authors promised a wide range of weapons, from miniature fighters to huge dreadnoughts.

The game was unique in that you move ships around in third-person like an RTS.
Different ships to order around include gas collectors, patrol ships, and unit carriers.
During combat you play from a first-person perspective.

There was to be sixteen single-player non-linear campaign missions (8 for each faction?).
There was also going to be deathmatch multiplayer, likely online play.

Between battles, the player was engaged in the development of his race, organizing the extraction of resources on controlled planets, conducted research and formed detachments, which then accompanied him in battle. In short, the idea was original, but it seems that the developers themselves did not fully understand how to bring it all to life. Arcturus stayed afloat for just over a year, and then added himself to the plaque of canceled projects.

In 2004 development was halted due to funding difficulties.
In 2005 the website removed the message about financial trouble but remained dormant.
Arcturus and BlueInca faded away.

Some information is taken from «Игромания» magazine, 03 (114) 2007, and https://unreleasedgames.miraheze.org/ website. 

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl [Xbox 360 – Cancelled]

S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl was released March 20, 2007 by Ukrainian studio GSC Game World. The project was very warmly received by the players of the CIS countries and became a cult title.

However, few people know that Shadow of Chernobyl was planned to be released on Xbox 360. Not only that, when the game was called Stalker: Oblivion Lost, they also wanted to release it on Xbox Original, but the idea was postponed.

After the long-awaited release and the start of development of Clear Sky, GSC announced that Shadow of Chernobyl would be released on Xbox 360. However, this idea was discarded after the release of Call of Pripyat.

Quite recently some build of Shadow of Chernobyl was leaked on the Internet. In many ways it was the same game, but with one “but”: it had an inventory wheel, stylized for a gamepad, and in the tutorial instead of the keyboard keys, as it was in the PC version, there were console keys (and from the Xbox!).

Whether this was the exact build that was talked about back in 2007, or whether it was a relatively recent version meant to be re-released on modern consoles is unknown. Well, time will tell. 

Ferrari Project (10Tacle Studios) [PC,Xbox 360,PS3 – Cancelled]

Ferrari Project (10Tacle Studios) [PC,Xbox 360,PS3 – Cancelled]

In 2007 Blimey! Games planned racing game with license from Ferrari on all of their cars for 10Tacle Studios. Development team was composed from skilled veterans that worked on games like GTR from SimBin and Richard Burns Rally. Few screenshots are still preserved but not much info could be found about this planned game. Screens looks very good for that time and show a promise of a true next gen racing.  

Strike Force: Red Cell (Vision Studios) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PC]

Strike Force: Red Cell is a cancelled tactical FPS that was in development by Vision Studios around 2005, planned to be published by Graffiti Entertainment on PC and Xbox 360. The team previously worked on a popular Unreal Tournament mod with the same name, but Red Cell would have been a full stand alone game with single player missions and online multiplayer.

Players would have been able to explore 8 levels from all around the world, completing them in a non-linear way. Each level would offer a series of missions conceived with the help of Navy Seals and USA military Officers. Some details were shared by the team in old interviews with FiringSquad and WebCloud:

Gamecloud – On your web site you have a little info about Strike Force Red Cell, the upcoming commercial version of Strike Force. What can you tell us about this game and the differences between it and the mod version?

Michael Hamlett – The Strike Force Red Cell game will have a full single player based campaign with new maps, AI coding, animations, character models, weapons, etc. The single player campaign is also being designed by Red Cell Associates. This is a group of X military Navy Seals and Officers who advised the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the President and the Department of Defense on counter terrorist activities. So we actually have a huge anti terrorist team working on the scenarios and game types. The full commercial game will also have new multiplayer game types to go along with the SP campaigns.

Gamecloud – What can you tell us at this time about the single player campaigns in Red Cell?

Michael Hamlett – The single player scenarios in Red Cell will work with you and a squad. Except your squad will actually be hidden during these missions. Meaning your character may be into a heavy battle to get out of a certain area and you can’t seem to bypass this area without any help. Your squad will radio in that one of your team mates are located on a upper hill or roof of a building with heavy guns. Then you will get a count down message and heavy fire will take out the enemy. So you will have your team helping in certain ways for the entire mission. Another scenario example may be where one of your team members is trying to cut power and you’ll have to hold at a certain point until this is done. So the interaction will play out somewhat like that.

 

Gamecloud – What are some of the more unique features in Red Cell that make it different than your typical first person shooter?

Michael Hamlett – One of the main things is what I explained above with the actions of your team helping you through but not actually being a direct part where you have to guide each one behind or beside you the entire way. Instead the team will be there to support in certain parts when needed. Also the amount of detail we are putting into maps, characters and weapons will really stand out from other shooters out there. Finally we have actually partnered with a huge X military team to help us write out and produce the single player campaign.

FiringSquad: What sort of locations and settings will the game have?

Michael Hamlett: The locations will be set world wide. As I’m sure your aware terrorist activities today happen all around the world. Sticking true to the Strike Force theme we will have map locations all over… from USA, Russia, Egypt, China, Korea, Sweden, Canada, etc.

We don’t know what happened to Vision Studios and their game, but they both quietly vanished and were never seen again.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Severity (Escalation Studios) [Cancelled – PS3, Xbox 360, PC]

Severity is a cancelled eSport-focused FPS that was in development around 2007 by Escalation Studios (later renamed to Bethesda Game Studios Dallas) in cooperation with John Romero and funded by the Cyberathlete Professional League. It was planned to be released on Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

As we can read in an old article published on FiringSquad:

“Mustaine told us that he already has a group of about 10 team members working on Severity and plans to expand that team to about 20 members in total.

Mustaine isn’t revealing much about the game itself at this stage but he did tell us that the game will be a mix of modern day and futuristic themes in terms of weapons and level settings. While the game will not have a lengthy single player experience except maybe for tutorial levels, he did say they did plan for AI bot play for people to practice offline.

Of course, creating a game for pro gaming tournaments means adding more features that will make the game better not just for the players but also for the spectators. In addition to support for tournament ladders and detailed stats for players, Mustaine told us that Severity has plans to expand its options for spectators, including in-game cameras that can be controlled by commentators and finding ways to display important stats to the spectators in order to get them more fully involved in the matches. Mustaine compared what they wanted to do to how professional poker matches became a huge draw among the general public thanks in part to how TV had commentators and stats for the poker matches. As far as Severity’s game modes, Mustaine told us that they are planning to have modes with different player speeds, different game physics and different weapon loadouts.”

Some more details can be found in an interview published by PSU:

“PSU: There have been beliefs floating around that the game will play exactly the same as Quake III Arena. If there’s a game with a similar gameplay style to Severity what game would it be?

Angel: It will not play identical to Quake 3 or any other game, but Quake 3 is definitely one of the major inspirations for the development team. Severity will have very unique characteristics and a rich visual environment, but it will also be a faced-paced game.

PSU: Will there be the ability to have cross-platform gaming? i.e. PlayStation 3 vs. Xbox 360 vs. PC gamers?

Angel: That is absolutely the plan!”

It seems Severity’s development was already canned or slowed down in 2008, as told by John Romero to That Gaming Site. Later Escalation Studios denied the game’s cancellation, but in the end it was never released anyway. After working on small projects such as Samba de Amigo on Wii and Doom Resurrection for iOS, in 2012 the team was acquired by 6waves Lolapps and then sold to ZeniMax Media in 2017 after they helped with the development of Rage and Doom reboot.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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