Microsoft

Project ACLAND (Krome Studios) [Xbox 360, PS3, PC – Cancelled]

Project ACLAND is a cancelled horror game that was in development by Krome Studios around 2006 / 2009, planned to be released on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. The team spent 3 years prototyping the project, with huge focus on its violent and gory aspects: there are no details about its gameplay but we know players would fight a huge monster while trying to survive its fury.

As far as we know Acland was never officially announced by Krome Studios before its cancellation, but former Krome’s Creative Director Steve Stamatiadis talked about it in an old article published by Games ON:

“We also had this monster game that we’d been wanting to do for a long time, called Project ACLAND”. The game was at least three years worth of work according to Steve, but it was something that publishers had shown definite interest in. “The lack of R18+ rating was a problem, as it was going to be really gory,” he says, “like a monster movie. But there was no way you can sell a game like that in Australia. At times I was thinking ‘Why would I want to make a game that I can’t even play here?’”

The ACLAND monster, named after Acland Lane behind Krome’s Brisbane offices, would later go on to star in Blade Kitten. ”I’d really love to come back do Project ACLAND right,” Steve says, thinking of the future. “It’s been three years, and nobody’s done anything like it, or even close.”

Unfortunately there’s only 1 tiny image showing the monster 3D model in Project Acland: if you know someone who worked on this lost game who may help us preserve more images, please let us know!

Here’s the same monster as seen in Blade Kitten:

Thanks to Maik for the contribution! 

TRON 3.0 (Climax Studios) [Cancelled – Xbox, PC]

TRON 3.0 is a cancelled sequel to TRON 2.0, which was in development by Climax Studios around 2004, planned to be published by Buena Vista Interactive for Xbox and PC. The same team already worked on Tron 2.0: Killer App for Xbox, so we can assume the project was successful enough to convince Buena Vista to hire them again for another game.

As far as we know TRON 3.0 was never officially announced, but concept art was found online by fans of the series and preserved below to remember the existence of this lost game.

If you know someone who worked on this project and could help us save more details, please let us know!

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END (Faramix Enterprises) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PC]

END is a cancelled FPS / RPG / MMO / Action Adventure hybrid that was in development by Faramix Enterprises around 2007, planned to be released on Xbox 360 and PC. The concept was quite ambitious and the team wanted to renovate the FPS genre in gameplay and immersion.

Some details about END were available on their old website:

“Not only is “End” a hand to hand combat adventure, but weapons are widely available for use based on the wants of the player. Many moves are available to stay in stealth, including but not limited to – picking locks, stealing, or interrogating others for information. The control is left in the player! Do you sneak through the level or alert everyone you are there and run and gun? Do you interrogate and knock them out or kill in rage? The control is in your hands and your fate will change based on your actions.”

We can also find an article written by former Faramix Enterprises founder Michael Dehen, sharing his memories working on the project:

“I’m the creator of the storyline and gameplay for End. I designed and wrote the backbone that it was built on top of. This is my dream and my life, and now I share my dream with others on the team, and it has become our game.

We made the mistake of submitting our company and game title for review too early. We spent a hard three months after our first publisher encounter fleshing out more ideas, developing more artwork and most importantly, finishing the demo, before even thinking about approaching other publishers.”

Dehen also had an interview with Gamasutra in 2007:

“The FPS genre is boring and new ideas need to be incorporated. Most of the new FPS video games being released or scheduled to be released follow the same basics, which were cool at first but are beginning to get stagnant. Companies today are scared to try something new and unproven, because it could bring a loss in revenue.

“The different designs and ideas we have incorporated into our video game title END will bring a new front to the FPS genre by including other aspects from RPGs, MMOs, and Action/Adventure games, creating a kind of hybrid. We didn’t start designing the gameplay for END until many aspects of the storyline were near completion. The type of game play we chose helped drive the storyline and immerse the future video game players.”

“We recently finished our technical demo to show off game play and our abilities at designing, and are moving into the Unreal Engine 3 to being smaller demos of what we can visually produce as we having already begun talking to many publishers around the world.”

Unfortunately it seems Faramix Enterprises were not able to find a publisher or funds to keep working on END and the game vanished along with the company a few years later. Only some concept art is currently preserved for this lost game.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Reprisal (Power Infused) [PC, Xbox – Cancelled]

Reprisal is a cancelled first person shooter / RPG that was in development from 2001 to 2004 by Power Infused Productions for PC and the original Xbox. The team conceived it as a hybrid between Quake, Thief and Deus Ex, featuring 3 different playable races, each one with their own gameplay mechanics, weapons and abilities. For example you would use stealth to play as humans, direct assaults to play as a cyborg, and manage resources to play as an Alien.

In august 2004 the team was searching for more developers on the CGSociety forum:

“Reprisal is the story of conflict between three races over a space station (Joshua 20) at the edge of our solar system Humans have kept their CAT battle machines stationed there in case of conflict for centuries. The invading alien army, guided by a Prince who seeks to prove himself, struck the station first, seeking to turn these weapons against their masters. The plan goes awry, causing the CATs to turn against both human and alien, and trapping all three races together in a desperate struggle for survival.”

As the game progresses, players would have taken control of the three sides and learn to use their unique powers. These races were:

  • Cyborg Assault Tanks (CATs) – Vicious and overwhelmingly powerful, these killing machines were once used to fight wars for humans. In Reprisal, they have turned against their masters and gone into a killing frenzy.
  • Humans – Weak and devoid of natural armaments, humans are the most adaptable of the three races. They are also able to squeeze into areas of the space station the others can’t access.
  • Aliens – Masters of genetic engineering, aliens are capable of altering their own bodies to suit their needs. While not as overwhelming in force as the CATs, aliens have the distinct advantage of being able to retreat from battle only to return more powerful than before.

“Playing each race requires a different skill set. For example, while CATs can charge into battle, wildly firing at everything, Humans need to sneak around conflicts, searching for a safe place to attack from.

While the game is set entirely on a space station, it has been designed to contain a large enough variety of environments to satisfy even the most hard-core gamer. During the course of the game, the player will venture through enormous mechanical devices, simulations of alien worlds, zoos filled with genetically engineered monsters, infested hallways that come alive, and even venture out onto the hull of the station itself.”

Reprisal would have offered some interesting features for its time:

  • Adaptive characters – The player will be able to adapt the look and abilities of the characters they play. In some cases, these changes will be minor and other cases will be major (replacing the lower torso with wheels).
  • Destructible weaponry and environments – Certain weapons will become available that allow the player to knock holes in some walls and destroy some weaponry (to keep it out of the “wrong hands”).
  • Body specific targeting and damage – over forty different spots on the body where the player can cause damage to the opponents.
  • Overlapping storylines – Players will encounter themselves in previous and future incarnations as they play through the scenario.

Unfortunately the team was not able to find a publisher interested in Reprisal and the project had to be canned in late 2004.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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World War Z (Midway Newcastle) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3, PC]

World War Z is a cancelled action game based on Max Brooks’ book, that was in development at Midway Newcastle around 2008. This was the same team behind the Wheelman video game, that after working on it pitched two different projects: one based on a new IP (Necessary Force), the other based on World War Z. Midway decided to let the team work on the new IP, so their zombie game pitch was just canned.

In the end Midway Newcastle closed in July 2009 and Necessary Force was also cancelled. Concept art from their World War Z project was later shared online by former Midway artists.

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