Agent is a cancelled action adventure that was in development at Ensemble Studios before their closure, probably in the works for the Xbox 360 and PC. The project was revealed in an article about the “last visit” at the studios by Gamasutra, in which they were able to check some of Ensemble’s lost projects. Agent had an art style inspired by Pixar’s The Incredibles and it seems that the gameplay could have been similar to Tomb Raider. On September 9, 2008, it was officially announced that Ensemble would be closing after the release of Halo Wars and Agent vanished forever with them.
After the development of Cold Fear, Darkworks evaluated many other games concepts to pitch for their new project, but most of them were never realized. There are not many info about all these ideas, but one of their “lost projects” had a nice sci-fi-noir / steam-punk style, as we can see from the few concept arts preserved. The main character seems to have been an “agent with a grey coat, that reminds me of Rick Deckard in Blade Runner. In the dark and steamy city, various demons, psycho-soldiers and huge monsters were going to be the main enemies of the player. It’s currently unknown if this concept was ever developed in a playable form, or it just remained an awesome series of drawings.
Fuel is a racing game developed by Asobi Studio for Playstaion 3 and Xbox 360, published by Codemasters in 2009. The project originally started in 2005 as a different game known as “Grand Raid Offroad”, which was used as a tech demo to build on the final version. We are not sure about the general differences between “Grand Raid Offroad” and “Fuel”, if you played the game and can notice some changes in this early screens, please let us know!
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, originally known as Mortal Kombat 5: Vengeance, is a fighting game developed and produced by Midway. The game was released for the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and GameCube in 2002. Deadly Alliance was the first all-new Mortal Kombat fighting game produced exclusively for home consoles, with no preceding arcade release. [Info from Wikipedia]
At the Mortal Kombat Secrets website we can read many interesting info about the development of the game and its beta differences. Various characters were created for Mortal Kombat 5, but some of them were never used in the final game, as Kai, Dairou, Tiamat, Hachiman, Baphomet, The Evil Masters and Siobhan.
Also, some playable characters in Deadly Alliance went through a lot of changes before their final design, as Shang Tsung, Quan Chi (with a living weapon that never made it in to the game), Scorpion, Li Mei, Mavado and Frost. Early screens of the game are probably just target renders, as the graphic is nothing like the one in the final game. A Water Temple arena was also planned, but removed from the final version.
Cipher Complex is an unreleased action game that was created for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 by Edge of Reality Games. The game was started in 2005 and originally self-funded by Edge of Reality. In 2007, they found a publisher with SEGA, but in early 2009 the title was dropped and cancelled.
In the original press release we can still read the main plot that was going to be used in the game:
U.S. surveillance satellites detect activity onboard the decommissioned Soviet Bargration Missile Defense Station 4 off the east coast of Siberia. When the Russians deny the U.S. access to the facility, Department of Defense strategists suggest that a small, plausibly deniable reconnaissance mission be sent in to investigate. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency is given the go-ahead for operation BLACKOUT, the insertion of a single expert Operator on Russian WMDs and launch facilities. Lt. Col. John Sullivan, callsign: Cipher is air dropped in, and what was supposed to be primarily a reconnaisance mission becomes a race against a terrorist threat; one with implications that will shake the foundations of American democracy and freedoms.
Below you can find a promotional video (2009) of an exemplary level which was shown to potential publishers. In addition, you can also see an early view at what it looked like in 2006.
It’s still unknown if this game could be resurrected somehow in the future.
Edge of Reality Announces ‘Cipher Complex’, Original IP for Next-Gen Videogame Systems
Self Funded Action Title Will Introduce Creative Gameplay and True Innovation
June 23, 2006 – Edge of Reality, the independent Austin, TX based game developer, today announced the development of their own self-funded next-gen project, Cipher Complex. After eight years of consistently producing commercially successful titles for various leading publishers, Edge of Reality has decided the time is right to give life to its own internal vision. Cipher Complex, the first completely original title from the company, is an intense, cinematic military combat game that will deliver a brutal shot of adrenaline straight to the hearts of next-generation gamers.
“The evolution of action games has seemed to plateau, perhaps because of the emphasis on sequels,” said Binu Philip, president of Edge of Reality. “We are exploring and developing brand new styles of gameplay and methods of storytelling. The concept and mechanics of Cipher Complex have been incubating in our mind for years, and with power of the next-gen consoles, we can finally make our dream project a reality.”
In Cipher Complex, a recon satellite is mysteriously blasted from orbit, and when diplomatic requests for information are stonewalled, the US government is forced to call in its last resort – Operative John Cipher. Charged with uncovering the truth by any means necessary, Cipher is going behind enemy lines to extract information the hard way.
Cipher Complex is slated for release on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.