Others

Uesugi Genjin (Bonk Strategy) [PC Engine – Cancelled Concept]

Uesugi Genjin (possibly related to Uesugi Kenshin, a japanese feudal lord lived in the Sengoku period of Japan) is an undeveloped war strategy RPG set in the Bonk (PC Genjin) series, that was proposed by Red Company / Hudson among many other joke / potential titles in Gekkan PC-Engine magazine. Bonk creators would often appear in the magazine to show their weird ideas for new games, but most of them were just funny gags that were never intended to be fully developed.

Only a few of them (as it happened with RPC Genjin) got more attention, some mockups were produced and even playable prototypes. Unfortunately we don’t know how much Uesugi Genjin was really developed into a war strategy game by Red Company, but at least they shared a single screenshot in the April / June 1991 issue of Gekkan PC-Engine magazine.

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Ghost Wars (Digital Reality) [PC – Cancelled]

Ghost Wars is a cancelled strategy shooter that was in development around 2004 by Digital Reality (mostly known for Imperium Galactica and Sine Mora), planned to be published in 2006 on PC by Hip Interactive. The game was quite ambitious for its genre, as you would have been able to play it as a traditional real-time strategy game or impersonate each soldier in your unit to play it as a first / third person shooter.

“Based on the Government Special Operations Group, “Ghost Wars” takes players into the clandestine and secret war against terrorism. Players take control of air, land and sea units of an Elite Special Forces group across multiple top secret missions. With the graphical quality of a first person shooter, “Ghost Wars” will offer gamers the most accurate depiction of modern day warfare to date.

Through Battlefield View, “Ghost Wars” brings the theatre of war to life. Gamers are not only tested on their strategic senses, but also on their ability to react quickly under enemy fire by directly controlling individual units. By setting up, equipping and planning troops’ activities, gamers will need to utilize state-of-the art weapons and technology to defeat terrorist networks.”

The game was also playable at E3 2005, GameSpot published some favorable comments on the demo:

“You’ll have the typical type of units, including soldiers, tanks, helicopters, and such. However, what makes Ghost Wars unique is how you control them. While you can just use the typical kind of point-and-click movement, you can also select a specific unit and zoom the camera in to take its viewpoint. If you choose a soldier, you’ll go into first person, and if you pick a vehicle, you’ll go to third person. From there, you can control that unit manually, attacking whatever you like. Soldiers can also get into parked vehicles on the field and drive them.”

“Units in the game will be upgradable in a number of ways, letting you specifically level up individual units to improve their performance on the battlefield. And you’ll need to level up, because Digital Reality is endeavoring to make the opponent AI in the game quite challenging. AI units will run for cover and hide inside buildings, meaning you’ll have to bring in your tanks and choppers to take those buildings down. And boy, can you. Though not all the deformable objects were in, the developers showed us quite a number of big-time building and vehicle explosions that looked pretty impressive.”

While Ghost Wars looked promising, Hip Interactive closed for bankruptcy in late 2005. The game was canned, with many more of their projects, such as “Call of Cthulhu: Destiny’s End” and “George Romero’s City of the Dead”.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution! 

Burger Wars (Amped Labs) [PC – Cancelled]

Burgers Wars (AKA “Burger Warz” or “The Great Burger War”) is a canceled first person arena shooter that was in development around 2004 by Amped Labs, planned to be released on PC and Mac. Up to 128 players would have been able to play against each other in colorful arenas, to decide which fast-food burger brand would win the “Burgers Wars”. As we can read from their old website:

“Burger Wars is a fast action, multiplayer o­nline first person shooter.  In the year 2033 two competing burger franchises, McBozo and Burger Clown are in an all out global war as they battle for supremacy in o­ne of the worlds last free market enterprises.  Team based play tactics are involved and 3 game types, Team Death Match, Capture the Flag and Assassinate the Clown are supported. It runs o­n PC, Mac and Linux.  It can handle up to 128 players per server, and its spoof humor is a guarantee for some side splitting laughter.”

“In each game type a score point is made by “nutralizing” your opponents.  A point is awarded for each “nutralization.”  Several unique weapons are available to help you.  When an opponent is “nutralized” he or she will drop weapons ammo and a score burger. “The score burger is worth an additional 10 points.  As you gather score points your character has the ability to use more weapons.  Your character can grow over time and his or her score is maintained o­n the game server or cluster of game servers.  The objective is to obtain all the weapons and keep the highest score.  As new mod packs and weapons are available your player will be able to maintain his or her own inventory and trade weapons with other players.”

“In 2003 the first human was cloned.  Despite world wide pressure to ban cloning and genetic experiments o­n humans the fast food industry creates its very own human clown mascot. They altered his genes to have fiery red hair, bright red lips and very pale skin.  His genetic “fathers” included splices from a former actor who became a California Governor, an olympic athlete, an opera singer and a famous magician. He was put to work at an early age. He was very enthusiastic and worked very hard.

Mc Bozo is a ruthless money hungry capitalist who is too cheap to hire a mascot so he does his own advertisements. He is fat, lazy and greedy. He started out as a police officer and was corrupted by smugglers when he began accepting bribes.  After serving time in prison for his crimes he was released o­n Parole and began selling hamburgers as a street vendor. “

“In 2031 o­nly two occupations still employed human workers.  The vast majority of the workforce had been laid off in the great depression of 2019.  Cheap automation, rapid inflation coupled with the devaluation of the new global currency, and the latest human occupation software upgrades for Japanese ASIMO humanoid robots were to blame.  Of the remaining two human occupations, o­ne was civil service, which required a minimum of 3 PHDs, the other was fast food.  When times were tough the application process for a fast food worker could require a two year wait.  Hours were long and competition between the fast food restaurants was fierce. Price wars reduced wages, and layoffs were rampant.  Finally the stress of modern life became too much to bare for the fast food workers and they began attacking each other.

At first it was simple… like a brick tossed through a window. Graffiti sprung up o­n the buildings such as “Die you scum sucking McBozo devil worshippers!” and “Rot in Hell you Burger Clown bastards!” Soon the attacks became more open and personal. O­ne McBozo worker was beaten by Burger Clown employees, dipped in a vat of McBozo sundae sauce and wrapped in toilet paper. The violence was captured and broadcast via infravision o­n all local neural network stations. Shortly after, o­n October 31st 2033, an angry mob of McBozo workers dragged a Burger Clown employee into the street, forced him to eat seven pounds of uncooked French fries and set fire to his head. That was the last straw! It was outright war!”

While the game was officially announced on many gaming websites and a playable demo was also released, Burger Wars and its developers just vanished sometime around 2005. We can assume Amped Labs were not able to complete their project without support from a publisher. They were also working on another game titled “Rise of Power” but it was also cancelled.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Legend of the Five Rings: Ronin [PC – Cancelled]

Legend of the Five Rings: Ronin is a cancelled RPG that was in development in 1997 – 1998 by Engineering Animation Inc (EAI), based on the homonymous collectible card game (at the time owned by Wizards of the Coast) and planned to be published by Activision for PC. Gameplay would have been similar to Diablo (released in 1997), with dungeons to explore, many enemies to kill, loot to collect and a world inspired by the fictional empire of Rokugan.

It seems the game was playable at E3 1998, but we were not able to find any footage yet. Unfortunately there are no details about what happened to the project, it just vanished and then forgotten by everyone. We can speculate gameplay was not food enough to rival Diablo and Activision just decided to kill the project.

If you can find more screenshots or videos from this lost game, please let us know!

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Warhound (Techland) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PC]

Warhound is a cancelled open-ended FPS that was in development by Techland (the team behind such titles as Call of Juarez, Dead Island and Dying Light) in 2007, planned to be released for Xbox 360 and PC. The game was quite ambitious for its time, offering RPG-like mechanics, fully destructible environments, usable vehicles, roguelike elements and freedom of choice on many aspects of your character’s development. Players would take the role of a mercenary: you would have been able to freely explore each area and resolve missions as you please, choosing how, where and when to complete each objective.

You could image Warhound as a mix between Crysis, Far Cry and Dead Island. As we can read from the (now offline) official website:

Warhound is an open-ended First-Person Shooter (FPS) set in modern times. In the game, you will play as an ex-Delta Force operative, now working for the world`s largest military company. In Warhound, you`ll complete a variety of challenging missions in battlefields around the world, while later uncovering a massive terrorist plot that targets the United States and thousands of its citizens.

Warhound focuses on complete freedom of choice, and as such, you will have unprecedented opportunities to pick your missions, weapons, battlefield tactics and vehicles. You will select mission start times, insertion/extraction points and the types (land, sea or air) of insertion. You will also need to keep on top of your training, finances and position in the highly-competitive mercenary market to ensure you receive only the most select missions. More successful missions equal more money, which can be used to buy new equipment and weapons for future jobs. Warhound`s innovative First Person Perspective (FPP) cover system will allow you to bring the battle to your enemies in ways you`ve never dreamed of before.”

Unprecedented freedom of choice in an FPS:

– Tackle missions in the order you choose, create your own path through each mission`s objectives

– Plan your tactics and equipment load-outs

– Buy satellite photos, recon data and other intelligence about the battlefield situation

– Pick a deployment time and location, then pay for the means of getting in and getting out

Character development:

– Train your character in several skills, including climbing, repair, and weapons proficiency

– Skills are earned and developed as in the real world  – for ex., shooting ranges improve accuracy, running tracks and climbing walls boosts cover and movement skills

– Develop and use skill specializations to gain advantages in combat; new skills offer fresh opportunities for advancement through the mercenary ranks, and new ways to complete missions

FPP cover system:

– For the first time in FPP/FPS games, you’ll be able to use the innovative cover system, which will forever change your way of looking at FPS games. Use items, trees, buildings and other elements of the environment to hide from the torrent of bullets. Shoot at your enemies from behind safe covers.

Detailed and realistic economy:

– Earn money for each successful mission and by selling materials picked up on the battlefield

– Use your newly earned riches to buy weapons, ammo and new gadgets

– Invest in learning new skills

Constantly changing battlefields:

– Every mission is laid out differently each time you play it, enemy units take up new positions, post new patrols, lay traps in different locations, set up ambushes, etc.

– Enemy A.I. takes into account how you`re playing the mission, and counters with unique strategies and tactics

Interactive, destructible game environments:

– A fully interactive environment means plenty of surprises for the enemy – destroy buildings they are hiding in, set villages on fire to “smoke them out”, cause avalanches and knock down trees to clear your line of fire or to create obstacles for the enemy and cover for you

Rivalry with other mercenaries:

– Climb up the career ladder and increase your reputation among the elite mercenaries of the world

– Successful players will earn prestige among their peers, which leads to better and more lucrative contracts

Some interesting details can also be found in an interview by GGMania:

“Adrain Sikora: There are two primary unique features. First up, we have RPG elements that allow you to specify the characters specialization. This influences the kind of tasks you can undertake and allows you to choose different approaches to achieving a given goal. The second unique element is the economic layer of the game. You need to constantly keep an eye on your finances, and plan expenses ahead. Some missions will require a particular kind of weapon, equipment or vehicle, and you’ll need to buy that. We’ve also played around with various gameplay ideas and solutions, because with got the new Chrome Engine, but it’s too early to talk about that.”

“Adrain Sikora: Weapons and guns are still an open issue. We keep adding new types and models. You’ll get off-roaders, half-trucks, quads, APC’s, tanks and choppers. We’re still planning and testing other stuff. I can’t state a precise number of weapons right now, because we’re still working on it. We want to introduce some variety, but also we want to have all the usual stuff: pistols, SMG’s, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, etc. You’ll also get to use fixed guns and vehicles. We’re not planning a weapon upgrade mode, but most guns will come in different variations.”

“Adrain Sikora: We want to have classic modes, like deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag and so on, with up to 32 players. We are also working on our own ranking system for online players, which will also allow you to create custom character classes. You’ll also get to use skills and choose equipment just as you’d do in single player. There’ll be vehicles in MP too.”

“Adrain Sikora: The game is 50% done at the moment. We want to release the game in Q4 2007. Warhound will be available in North America, though we haven’t chosen a publisher just yet.”

Warhound was quite hyped at the time, so many screenshots, details and footage can still be found online today. Unfortunately today the project is mostly forgotten by everyone. In the end Warhound was put on hold because the team had to focus their resources and efforts on such titles as Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood and the promising Dead Island. As we can read on Engaged:

“Blazej Krakowiak, the company’s international brand manager, told us, “We reached a certain development stage and had to postpone it because of Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood.” He continued, “A release of an ambitious and well-received title is always a good moment to unwind a little bit and reevaluate all the options,” speaking to the recent release of Bound in Blood. “It wouldn’t be a good idea for us to discuss them right now.” Though Krakowiak doesn’t exactly confirm our suspicions on the fate of Warhound, his caginess on the game’s fate speaks volumes.”

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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