Microsoft

Retribution [XBOX 360 / PC – Cancelled]

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.

Key Features
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]

Images:

Video (Reality Engine Tech Demo):

 

Thief: Deadly Shadows [Beta – Xbox / PC]

As we can read in Wikipedia, Thief: Deadly Shadows is a stealth game developed by Ion Storm and published by Eidos Interactive in 2004 for Xbox and PC. After Looking Glass Studios, the developer of the original two titles, went out of business in 2000, many former employees moved to Ion Storm Austin. Here they began developing the long-anticipated third part of the series, Deadly Shadows. It is the last game produced by Ion Storm before its demise in February 2005.

The idea originally was that Thief: Deadly Shadows would let you customise difficulty similarly to in System Shock, with you able to tweak how smart the AI was, what your objectives were and so on. It’s a feature which survived until the last betas, but was suddenly cut out of the final game due to the extra work it created for testers. Instead, Thief: Deadly Shadows only has the usual Easy/Normal/Expert skill settings from the older Thief games.

You can get more detail on the cut, as well as RPS co-founder and comics writer Kieron Gillen’s take on the game, in the Unlimited Hyperbole Podcast. If you have more info, screens or videos with beta differences for Thief 3, please let us know in the comments below!

Thanks to Joe Martin for the contribution! 

The Urbz: Sims in the city (2004) [Beta / Prototype – PS2 / Xbox / Gamecube]

In 2004, the urbz was announced for all 3 major platforms (PS2,Xbox,Gamecube) and Gameboy/DS. The Urbz, is a spinoff of The Sims Series. It was originally planned as a mini series (That was to contain around 3 games according to an EA employee on mod the sims forums), but that never happened. Instead only 2 games in the planned series released: The normal version and a portable version (Which both differed by around 90%)

The video showing real beta gameplay was much different than the final game released. It shows more open ended locations, such as a large downtown area. Also some characters introduced in the trailer were never introduced in the final game. (While Jayde was shown in the final game only as a pre made player preset, she was supposed to of had a much larger role in game).

Additionally, its been said on many forums and sites that these unknown locations may of been in the cancelled enhanced PC port, which reportedly was to release in 2005, but was cancelled.

In this photo, You can see a cut location:

dfdd

In the game files on the PS2 disk, there is unknown strings that refer to a deleted location known as “Main Street“.

This may of been that location.

Another thing is that in this picture of a cut subway (which also may be a beta of central station), we can see the beta version of the travel system, where you could travel. In it, is 4 unknown locations. (Daves Place, Moms Place, Museum and Noodle Shop).

A trailer of this version in action can be seen here:

Images: 

Project Delta [PS3/X360 – Cancelled]

Project Delta is a cancelled FPS that was in development in 2005 by PlayLogic for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. The game was announced when the “next gen consoles” were still not released, but it soon vanished without any official statement. It’s possible that Delta was originally in development for the PS2 and XBOX, with the code name “Project Snap”, another cancelled FPS that Playlogic was working on in 2004.

Project Delta’s gameplay was going to be more tactical than the usual first-person shooter: while shooting with our main character, we would had to command a team of soldiers and comfort or threaten them during the battles. The game was set in different time periods, as the story dealt with time travels from the future back to the dark ages.

Project Delta was cancelled for unknown reasons, but we can speculate that the team had some development or quality problems. Only few concept arts and models remain from the project, preserved in the gallery below.

Images: 

Dreamers [Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC – Cancelled]

Dreamers is a action adventure game that was in development by Dreamgazers Interactive, for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. The project was announced as in development for “next gen consoles” in 2004, but as of today (2010), Dreamers remains unreleased and probably it will never be published. In 2008 PSU had an interview with Dreamgazers President and Creative Director George Georgeadis, asking for more info about their game:

“Haha, yes we are still alive,” said Georgeadis. “However many changes have occurred regarding the company and project, changes that I am unfortunately not in a position to disclose.”

Sadly the latest entry in Dreamgazers’ Blog is from 2007 and even if their website and Dreamers’ official website are still online, the lack of news make us to assume that the team was disbanded and their game cancelled, probably because they never found a publisher.

Some more info on Dreamer’s story can be read in the official website:

Dreamers is a game about a young man in his 20’s, Jorge, who suffers from a bizarre form of narcolepsy. Characterized by sudden and uncontrollable attacks of deep sleep, narcolepsy is a disorder that is also sometimes accompanied by paralysis and hallucinations

Players would had to explore Jorge’s dreams and nightmares to heal him from his problems and find more about his past. It’s currently unknown how much of the game was completed before the development was stopped.

Images: