PC / MAC

Arms Race (Gremlin) [PlayStation, Saturn, PC – Cancelled]

Arms Race is a cancelled action shooter that was in development by Gremlin Interactive around 1997, planned to be released on Playstation, Sega Saturn and PC. Players would ride a futuristic tank, exploring 12 levels while shooting down waves of enemies. It seems the project was led by Steve Zalud and developed using the Re-Loaded 3D engine.

The story would be set in the distant future, when the Cold War will once again be in full swing between six mega-corporations seeking to take over the world. On behalf of one of these agencies you would set off into enemy territory in order to steal weapons and trade secrets.

Screenshots were published in a few European gaming magazines such as Joystick France (issue 82), Play (issue 16), Mean Machines Sega (issue 52) and Generation 4 (issue 99)

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Refusion (Gumpanela) [PC – Cancelled]

Refusion is a cancelled multiplayer FPS / RTS hybrid that was in development for PC by Gumpanela Entertainment between 2005 and 2013. The concept behind the project was to let players fight as a unit with FPS gameplay or to become the leader of the team playing each battle as in a Real Time Strategy game. Imagine epic online VS matches between hundreds of players and AI-controlled units, moving in real time on a small-scale planet (40 x 40 km), using vehicles, entering into buildings and destroying the environments with explosives. An ambitious project indeed.

We can find some details about Refusion on Gumpanela’s old website (now closed):

Multiplayer: The game is mainly designed for the massive multiplayer mode. Up to 100 players can join the Battle at any time during the action. The aim is clear – vanquish the enemy! We also provide AI to help you in the roles of Fighter or Master.

SinglePlayer: The game can also be enjoyed by solo players. You can select either Skirmish or Campaign and discover the whole history of Human and Skoroman so that the prophecies can be fulfilled.

As A Fighter You Can: Choose between different classes; Control a great variety of units – ground, air, naval; Get your own unit – just come over to the proper military structure, press the button and than unit is there for you; Live longer on the Battlefield – more playing-time, less waiting-time; Listen to your Master’s orders. You will know where the enemy is, where to go, which group to join and what your personal task is. In the end, it’s your decision!

As A Master You Can: Play the full RTS game with real live units; Organise and manage your Fighters – they need you and you need them; Rely on your Fighters’ intelligence and incorporate their ideas in your tactics; Command huge numbers of units and build extensive bases; Lead great battles and obliterate your opponents.

Featuring:

  • Two Races against each other. Human versus Skoroman.
  • Unseen Battle Realm of 40×40 km, with no borders – just like a normal planet works.
  • Unique union of FPS and RTS game technology;
  • State-of-the-art FPS quality in physics and graphics;
  • Extensive, borderless game environment;
  • Massive units and buildings;
  • Epic battles, hundreds of units engaged;
  • Full and/or partial destructibility of units – for example, a car without a wheel will still be able to move along;
  • Open Games – you can join any game any time – the system’s auto-balance feature will keep everything in order, both Master or Fighter, no matter who joins in.

They also shared many screenshots and details on their Moddb account:

“Imagine yourself playing as a Master in classical RTS like Starcraft or Total Annihilation and your friend in the role of a Fighter playing his own FPS like for example Battlefield DC. And this all is happening in the same time at the same place. Isn’t it a brilliant idea? The best thing about this all above is the shared experience but for each player from perspective seen from a different point of view.

The Master builds bases and units, takes care of resource management, researches global upgrades and leads the whole battle, exactly as if he was playing a normal RTS game. As soon as he builds barracks, the live FPS players can join the game as Fighters and use everything Master has built, including usage of units he has created.

Through cooperation a great game come to existence, where the Master sees everything from a bird’s perspective and leads the battle globally. A Live Fighter has his own head and judgement of the situation, he sees the battle in local perspective and is able to solve some situations better than Master could ever do. Fighter can also invite a few AI controlled units into his team and command them on the battlefield according to his current needs.”

After a development update in 2013, Refusion quietly vanished.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Privateer 3: Retribution [PC – Cancelled]

Privateer 3: Retribution is the cancelled sequel to Privateer 2: The Darkening, a space flight sim series started in 1993 with Wing Commander: Privateer. This third chapter was in development by Origin Systems’ Wing Commander team in Austin around 1997 / 1998, using the Wing Commander Prophecy engine and planned to be released by Electronic Arts on PC.

Players would be able to freely explore a sandbox universe, flying from planet to planet selling items, shooting down enemy ships and resolving similar space-missions. Computer Games Strategy Plus magazine even published a long Privateer 3 preview in their May 1998 issue, with more details about the game’s story, characters and gameplay. If you have a copy of this magazine and could take some photos from the preview, please let us know!

Following the success of Ultima Online EA decided to focus Origin Systems on online games, and Privateer 3 was quietly canned. You can download the Privateer 3 game script on WCNews.

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Slage (Ankama) [PC – Cancelled]

Slage is a cancelled hack & slash with online multiplayer that was in development for PC by Ankama Games around 2009 – 2012. The game was set in their popular Dofus and Wakfu settings: players would have been able to explore dungeons with their friends, kill hundreds of enemies, find new weapons and powerful equipment. As in other hack & slash you could have chosen between different character classes, customizing your hero appearance.

Many videos and screenshots were published online at the time, mostly by European websites, but in the end Slage was never completed (as with other cancelled Ankama projects: Eliane l’Eliatrope and Joris le Sans-Pouvoir), maybe because of the high-quality standards set by the competition of other similar games such as Diablo 3 and Torchlight 2. Fans of the game preserved many details about this lost project on its Wikipedia France page.

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Daybreakers (Trilogy Studios) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3, PC]

Daybreakers is a cancelled episodic time-traveling first-person RPG that was in development since 2006 by Trilogy Studios, planned to be released for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. The company was founded by game industry veterans who worked in such companies as Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, RockStar Games and Vivendi Universal.

In Daybreakers players would have been able to explore different time-periods to find a solution to save our doomed world. The game was talked about by major websites such as IGN and Playstation Universe:

“The world is falling apart with war, disease, insurgency, and starvation rampant among humanity. The only hope lies with the Nexus Corporation, a U.S. funded group using volunteer convicts as experimental guinea pigs in an operation called “Project Daybreak.” Utilizing Project Daybreak, the Nexus Corporation studies time travel to find the means to cure the world of its problems.”

“Developed by Trilogy Studios, Daybreakers puts players in the role of undercover US secret operative Nolan Reeves who is asked to enter the world of the criminal underground, joining the Nexus Project and time traveling in order to find three escaped convicts. Upon returning from his task, Reeves finds that the only people aware of his mission, of his existence – have been killed. From this point forward he must rely on the ability to manipulate the relationships with those in the world around him: inmates, factions, and the corrupt officers and officials who permeate Nexus Island.”

“We would like to be the first team to truly monetize the online gameplay of first-person shooters,” Pole proclaimed. “It hasn’t been done. First-person shooters traditionally have not done a very good job of rewarding players. The way they reward players is that you run through a level, shoot everything on the level, finish the level, and you go to the other level and get a bigger gun. Our goal and our objective is to get a player a sophisticated and very detailed level of gameplay that hasn’t been delivered in first-person shooters by offering gamers a moment-by-moment reward system versus a level-based reward system. All these RPG elements that we mentioned will allow players to build upon their characters so they can see how well they are doing.”

“Instead of describing the game as an open world title, he told us that Daybreakers was a “dynamic world simulator“. He added that the game would feature more interactivity and more of a sense that the player’s actions have consequences in the game world. “I think that’s where games need to go, especially first person shooters,”

The first Daybreakers’ episode was planned for 2008, but the project quickly vanished and was never completed. As far as we know Trilogy Studios worked on a few social games before closing down around 2010.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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