PC / MAC

F.R.A.G. (PC – Cancelled)

F.R.A.G. is a canceled online first-person shooter that was in development by Allods Team for PC. The project would be published by My.Games in 2016-2017. 

As we can read in the first preview, it was an experimental shooter. Unlike most shooters of the time, F.R.A.G. had much lower speed and pace and relied on teamplay with unique heroes with abilities (Like machine-gunner with healing shields or soldier with shotgun and jetpack ). The only negative aspect mentioned in the review was that the game hadn’t got its face (Maybe at that time the developers hadn’t made unique models and left placeholders).

The beta was launched on May 19th, 2016, then the project quietly died. The true reason is unknown, but, judging the user reviews, people didn’t really appreciate this approach and even called it a shooter for grannies. 

Trinity: The Shatter Effect (Gray Matter Interactive) [PC/XBOX – Cancelled]

 

Trinity : The Shatter Effect, also simply known as Trinity, is a canceled First-Person Shooter published by Activision and developed by Gray Matter Interactive for the PC, and Vicarious Visions for the Xbox, from January 2002, until, at least, Summer 2003.

Using a heavily modified version of the ID Tech 3, the game was revealed in spring 2003, and Gamespot was one of the first media to get information regarding this title:

“Activision announced today that development has begun on Trinity, a new first-person action game for the PC and Xbox platforms. Gray Matter Studios, the creator of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, is developing the PC version, while Vicarious Visions, which is known for porting Jedi Knight II to the Xbox and GameCube, will be handling the development of the game for the Xbox. The game is set in New Orleans in the year 2013, when a virulent plague is sweeping across the city. New Orleans’ only hope to find the source of the virus and stop it from spreading further is the Nightstalker, a biologically enhanced hero who possesses superhuman powers. At the Nightstalker’s disposal are weapons ranging from pistols and shotguns to grenade launchers and sniper rifles.

Additionally, Trinity includes a feature called “FlashTime” that will allow players to dodge enemies or execute special attacks. “Trinity brings an all new intensity and cinematic quality to the first-person action genre,” said Larry Goldberg, executive vice president, Activision Worldwide Studios. “Run-and-gun gameplay takes on a whole new dimension when players can warp around the map in the blink of an eye, see through walls, and tackle enemies with deadly acrobatic maneuvers.”

Following it’s announcement, information about the background were spread right before E3 2003. For example, Gamespot wrote:

“The game is set in New Orleans in the year 2013, when a virulent plague is sweeping across the city. New Orleans’ only hope to stop the virus from spreading further is the Nightstalker. This biotechnically enhanced vigilante possesses superhuman powers and must single-handedly take action against an evil company known as the Silmara Corporation.

As the Nightstalker, you’ll follow a story of conspiratorial intrigue. You’ll get some help from the Caretaker, who you’ll be able to talk to directly through a brain implant. The Nightstalker has had his abilities enhanced by an array of biotechnical and neurological implants that grant him superhuman strength, special vision powers, and the ability to warp time and space–a power known as Flash. Flashtime will allow you to slow down time to dodge enemies or execute special attacks. Flash can also be used to jump higher, move enormous objects, and survive falls from great heights. Special thermal-vision and night-vision modes will give you the chance to get the drop on enemies.

A potent arsenal is the key to your survival as you face down Silmara. You’ll have a range of small arms to choose from, including machine guns, shotguns, sniper rifles, and grenade launchers, plus the more futuristic laser rifles and liquid nitrogen cannons. As a change of pace, you’ll man turrets, ride gunships, hack into installations, and solve a variety of puzzles.”

IGN managed to get further details about the story, the main character and some concepts and ideas thanks to an interview with Drew Markham, game director at Gray Matter:

“When the game begins, our character has been dubbed the Nightstalker, he’s more of the anti-hero kind of guy with darker qualities. When you begin the game we have a guy waking up with no memory of how he got there. But we immediately establish the facts through this sidekick that’s called the Caretaker. This a guy that you see constantly through the game and he’s even in your heads-up display. Basically, the Nightstalker wakes up thinking the Caretaker character has kidnapped him. But the Caretaker has a video tape that was made before the Nightstalker lost his memory because he knew he was going to lose his memory. The tape pretty much explains that he went into this knowing that it was part of the process and that he’s going to know, as events progress, why things had to be done this way. So even though he has this video of himself explaining why he’s there in some small way, he’ll still have this nagging doubt about the validity of that. So essentially we begin the game with this mystery and we go into training immediately because you have this guy waking up not knowing about himself not to mention that he has all of these incredible physical abilities. All of this has been part of this process and procedure that has happened to him in the intervening months that have gone on since he recorded the tape to himself. That’s where you’re going to go in and learn about these physical abilities that he has called Bio Augmentation.”

“A key part of the game is you being upgraded. You start with lower level abilities but will be able to improve them during the game. So we establish something that allows you to learn a certain play type and then upgrade that for you. You start with abilities in the game that seem to give you quite a big edge, but as the enemies are reacting to that, they’re developing ways to thwart these powers. Your edge will start to get duller and duller till a couple of levels down the line they might have a very effective countermeasure to your ability. But then you’ll get another upgrade that will put you back up in another way.”

“You’ll really feel like your enemies are reacting to you, that they’re developing things around you. It really keeps you on your toes and as we introduce you to new types of enemies, they’ll be vulnerable to certain things you have at your disposal and other things that aren’t. By the time you’re fighting enemies, you’re at that point where you’ve just become more than a nuisance. You have all this wild rumor speculation about what you can do. The beginning of the game as you’re using your powers, enemies will react in awe sometimes where they’ll sit back and say “what the hell?” So they’re physically reacting to what you’re doing. But that’ll change as time goes on and everybody becomes more aware of you.There’s a strong emphasis on the tactical nature of what you’re supposed to use when you go up against the enemies in the game. We wanted players to have to be smart about how they approach certain situations.”

“You have hard-points on the body for one heavy weapon, two pistol slots, and a couple more. But you have to pick up weapons and drop weapons as you move through the game and there’s many more weapons than you could possibly take with you. As you encounter these situations, you’ll have to be aware of how certain enemies react to different weapons and abilities.There are two areas of abilities. One is the pure bio-augmentation abilities, which are physical abilities that allow him to jump higher, run faster, and to jump off of buildings and not take significant damage. But your bio energy used to power the augmentations will be taken off for the damage that you would normally get from a fall like that. So if you decide to jump off of something very high, then you’ll be leaving yourself with less energy should you decide to use another one of your skills. All of these bio moves that he has are individually accompanying defensive postures. For example, there’s a burst back move where you’ll jump back and project out a magnetic deflection in front of you that causes bullets to deviate. The other side of your abilities is called flash power. They’re based on this temporal field generation technology that an ex-Silmara scientist came up with. This is a guy, by the way, that’s been missing for months before the game starts and everybody is trying to find this guy so he obviously has a lot to do with the stuff going on. Anyway, the flash abilities basically allow you to advance your metabolic and perceptual rates in time. The world to you might slow down by 25% while it slows down for the enemies by 75% so you can aim and move better, but still have a significant speed advantage. This allows you to dodge bullets and all that kind of groovy stuff.There are a tremendous amount of moves between the bio augmentation and flash moves. So you have your pure bio and flash moves and then you have those that use both.”

“The bio-mods are always active, but you use a double tap scheme that makes them work or different combinations of keystrokes to invoke them. But you only have a certain amount of energy on tap, so the player won’t be able to just burst around like a super strafe, because you’ll use energy up quickly. Another interesting thing is the inhibitors that have been placed on the augmentations to keep you from damaging them. One of the things I like about this is that at a certain point in the game, you’re going to have the ability to go in to your internal systems and turn the inhibitors off so you can run in the red. But if you go over the threshold completely, you’ll shut down, which can be bad in the middle of a battle. It’s all about giving players the choices to how they want to play but we didn’t want to go the RPG route and we didn’t want this to be a heavily managed character. You’ll head back to your regen pod, which acts as a home base of sorts, where you’ll get new implants. The mods occur at intervals during the game, however there are certain mods and abilities that can be received prior to their pre-ordained time to be given. If you dig hard enough in a certain level to find something that will allow it, you might get an augmentation you would normally at level 10 while you’re still in level 7 or 8.”

The game was showed at E3 2003, where both IGN and Gamespot wrote previews. Thus IGN told:

“The long and detailed single player game takes place in and around New Orleans, a location not often utilized in the video game world. Taking the product into this area meant designing a different type of city than was usually seen in shooters and games in general. Different architecture means different gameplay opportunities. Outside of the city areas in the game, Trinity will also bring players out into swamps and inside high tech labs as we were shown in the demo.

The outside levels are pretty crisp in color and it’s easy to tell that this game was built around the Quake 3 architecture. It’s also pretty easy to see that it has been improved on immensely. AI, physics, rendering, and pretty much everything else has either been upgraded or completely replaced by the programmers at Gray Matter.

As you move through the game you’ll be able to upgrade your character with new parts and increase the power of existing enhancements. This is a good thing as the AI in the game is adaptive to your powers. What will work in the beginning of the game won’t towards the end as develop technology to counter your abilities.

Using the Nightstalker’s abilities is easy enough for the pull off. Some can be triggered by the press of a button, such as the time bending ability, which slows everything down to the point where you can see bullets coming towards you. You can perform physical feats such as flipping around and twisting in the air during a jump. Some of the abilities can be used in concert with one another for different effects.

Your vision augmentations are pretty useful as well. They’re a pretty interesting interface when you use them, with your entire field of vision changing dramatically. Your different modes allow you to see heat through walls and in the dark, night vision makes everything brighter when heat signatures won’t do the trick, and in another mode you’ll be able to detect structural weaknesses that you can use explosives on to open up new paths or solve puzzles.

With around 40 hours of gameplay on an engine that should run well on most low-end systems, this might be a game those of you just looking for a single player experience will want to keep your eyes on.”

For it’s part, Gamespot said:

“The game’s hook is much the same as that of Max Payne, except here it’s called “flashtime.” Sure enough, in flashtime you can dodge bullets and move at unnaturally fast speeds, as the whole world around you seems to slow to a crawl.

You of course have limited access to flashtime and must use it when you wish to take out a number of enemies quickly, make a hasty retreat, or get out of harm’s way. While everything is slowed down, you can jump extra far, perform sideways flips (your whole view rotates as you launch yourself in midair), and even use close-ranged kicks to thrash your opponents.

The action has a pretty good dynamic to it already, even though the game is a ways off. Much like in Max Payne, in Trinity, when the action is slowed down, you can clearly make out individual bullets flying through the air–and you can even see Matrix-style contrails behind them. The game apparently takes place in and around New Orleans, and the level we tried out seemed to be a bayou of some sort–nothing too futuristic about it, except for the high-powered assault rifle at the Nightstalker’s disposal and the weird uniforms of the enemy troops.

The main character’s remarkable powers should allow for some action sequences that are highly challenging. Aside from the flashtime thing, Trinity’s mechanics are pretty standard for a first-person shooter, but just as bullet time did a lot to distinguish Max Payne from other third-person action games, flashtime does much to give Trinity a rather unique style to it. The experience reminded us of using the Force speed ability in Jedi Knight II, only here we could also jump superfar and kick people in the face, and shoot them too.”

While it seemed to be well advanced, the game was unfortunately canceled during the fall of 2003, when Activision lost over 30% of its revenue, during the fiscal year, as we can read on Gamespot again:

“Today, after the financial markets closed in New York, Activision reported its fiscal second-quarter results. The bullet points are as follows: Compared to last year’s second quarter, revenue decreased by 31 percent; the company reported a net loss for the quarter of $10.1 million, compared with last year’s income of $9.1 million; and revenue for the quarter fell to $117.5 million, from $169 million a year ago. Activision attributed the results to the quarter’s “significantly smaller release schedule.”

Activision’s second quarter ended September 30.

The company said it would take a one-time, pretax charge of $23 million in the third quarter–this is due to it’s slashing of 10 products from its current release calendar. The titles affected are Trinity, Shaun Palmer’s Pro Snowboarder 2, and Street Hoops 2.”

On his now defunct blog, former developper Nikolai Mohilchok wrote:

“Trinity was the first game I worked on as an industry professional at Gray Matter Studios. This shooter was ahead of it’s time and could have gone toe-to-toe with Monolith‘s soon to be released “F.E.A.R.” title, but sadly, marketing didn’t quite know how to sell this title, and Activision (who owned Gray Matter by that time) had bigger plans for our little studio. Those plans would change the world of games forever.”

After the cancellation of Trinity, Gray Matter will meet the same fate as many other studios owned by Activision after them, forced to work on the expansions of their brand new golden ticket back then, Call of Duty, with United Offensive, before being merged with Treyarch in 2005.

Article by Daniel Nicaise

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Hollow (ZootFly) [PC, Xbox – Cancelled]

Hollow is a canceled First-Person Shooter developed from January 2003 to October 2004 by ZootFly, for the PC and Xbox systems.

Officially revealed in September 2003, Hollow was quite ambitious for its time. The game had a pretty original story and background as we can read on the now-defunct official website of the game:

It’s 1978 in a country, called Centrope. The Great War raged for 38 years and left the world devastated. After the war, the Central Powers formed a single, giant state of Centrope. The vast territory is governed by an Orwellian off-beat Disco-totalitarian regime.

During the war, an advanced physics experiment went wrong somewhere in Ural, and created the Time Distortion Territory. Later, Centrope’s scientists invented a way to record time fragments that escaped the Territory. The fragments are thoroughly scrutinized for clues of the future. To the horror of the Centropean oligarchy, one of the fragments shows the Territory expanding all over Europe.

The oligarchy is convinced that the Territory is controlled by the Rebels from the Mirror City, which lies under the capital of Centrope and that they will use it to destroy Centrope. The Rebels are a powerful paramilitary group that controls a vertically mirrored replica of the capital – among other misfits, dissidents and criminals.

Conversely, the Rebels are certain that the State is controlling the Territory and will use it to destroy them. A grave misunderstanding: the Territory is controlled by neither side. In this tragic ignorance, both sides strive to save their skin: the oligarchy is planning a massive evacuation, while the Rebels are fiercely attacking State’s vital institutions.

In the middle of this maelstrom, Tyler Kilmore, a former US reporter who was expelled from Centrope five years ago, is brutally awakened the next morning after his return, as he came back from the US to reunite with his fiancée. He is arrested and charged with her murder – the murder of his fiancée Aiko Bronte. The Chief of Police suggests him to finish his life to spare everybody a painful investigation and save Aiko’s family, since she was a Rebel collaborator. Relentless to end his life, Tyler Kilmore is thrown out of a window in 87th floor by the helpful hand of the Police.

Luckily, Tyler lands on an airship and gets to see another day. Or does he?

Pursued by the Police, Tyler Kilmore must find out what happened to his fiancée. The search leads him through the perils of Centropolis, the giant capital of Centrope. Tyler gets to use many sorts of weapons, takes hostages, assassinates VIPs, drives vehicles, flies airships and executes audacious missions. The clues lead him to the chaotic underground Mirror City, packed with criminals, gangs and outlandish assignments, such as a spectacular car chase on the methane dump fields under inverted skyscrapers, hanging off the Firewall that separates Centropolis from the Mirror City.

All this to get the doctor that worked with Aiko, Tyler’s fiancée, and may know where she is. And she knows where Aiko is!

As the plot thickens, Tyler will make way into the impenetrable Time Distortion Territory, where a remote lake guards a submerged entrance to a primeval Underworld.

The hellish Underworld holds the key to saving Tyler’s fiancée and the world, and keeps the answers to many questions of ancient history.

The whole story of the game can be read here, thanks to Wayback Machine.

 

In addition to its original background, ZootFly promised several features never seen in video games before, or, at least, back then, which took the form of gadgets, weapons and powers:

The PolyVisor, which is used similarly to night vision goggles, is a breakthrough feature that enables Tyler Kilmore to see how dangerous the opponents actually are before engaging in a fight.

As Tyler switches the PolyVisor on, a display of tell-tale auras will encircle each opponent, singling out the most dangerous individual. Whether that is the most aggressive, intelligent or important individual in a group, Tyler will be able to plan his strategy using this information. The strength, direction of flickering and color of auras will tell him who to eliminate first to leave the rest of the group in disarray. Collective aura of a group will tell Tyler how the group is organized. Do they have a chain of command, do they attack in packs, or are they an amorphous group of one-track minds?

For example, Tyler will be able to eliminate the commanding officer first, leaving the rest of the troops in confusion for a while. Using PolyVisor, Tyler will be able to single out undercover agents in a group of civilians. He’ll be able to predict how cops will react when he takes a hostage: will they shoot to kill or will they let him bluff his way past them with an empty gun? And much, much more: in the multiplayer mode, the PolyVisor will show health and armor of other players and their skillfulness, based on their previous actions.

The HoloSnoop is a highly visually attractive feature that will enable Tyler to control a holographic image of himself in third person view and walk it around the level to a limited distance.

Consequently, Tyler will be able to inspect some of the level without being exposed to immediate danger, and trick NPCs into believing the hologram is Tyler himself. This opens a whole new aspect of, for example, planning diversions.

By using the HoloSnoop, a hologram of Tyler will detach from the first person camera and seamlessly blend into the third person view. The hologram can perform all actions except engaging in a fight, but its range of operation is limited to about twenty yards.

ChronoFreeze is a feature that enables Tyler to freeze time for resolving most complex situations, or to reverse time for a couple of moments and undo mistakes.

Tyler can, for example, throw some crates off a skyscraper rooftop and use ChronoFreeze the next moment to freeze time. He can then jump off the rooftop and land on the crates that stopped a couple of floors down frozen in time, break a window on that floor and jump into the building. Of course, time is of the essence: ChronoFreeze works only a couple of moments and Tyler must be as quick and agile as possible to complete a feat like this.

The alternative usage will enable Tyler to rewind time a couple of moments back, making it possible to fix mistakes or undo wrong moves. Tyler will thus be able to try the most daring stunts without the danger of dying instantly, relieving the player from the hassle of quick saving and loading.

Many other features were planned for the single-player campaign as well as the multiplayer, alongside various characters. Multiplayer info are available here and other features alongside characters and enemies can be view here.

Using a proprietary engine called Xubl, Hollow was planned for a release between Christmas 2004 and Spring 2005, and ZootFly made multiple comparaison with other famous FPS games such as Doom 3, Halo and Battlefield 1942. In March 2004, GenGamers was able to get an interview with CEO Bostjan Troha, who shared some more information about the title:

G.G. Have you been inspired by other games or movies?

B.T. Sure. Brazil, one of my favorite movies, was the top inspiration; Delicatessen for bizarre environment; Kafka with his oppressive and intolerable situations; the Brady Bunch with their upbeat approach to living in the Disco-ridden seventies; plus the Italian Carabinieri with their Village People uniforms… Then there is Half Life 2 which we all want to get close to as far as gameplay and graphics is concerned.

G.G. Is Hollow a typical shooter or will you implent interesting gameplay variations?

B.T. We have some quite cool features that will rock the gameplay.

One is what we call ChronoLeap. The player is able to fast rewind time for up to 15 seconds and redo their actions again as the second embodiment of Tyler. The first Tyler will exactly recreate actions from the initial attempt, while the second Tyler will be fully controllable by the player. Thus the player will be able to act as his own buddy, helping himself progress through the level with double power.

The number of rewinds, and consequently embodiments of Tyler, is limited by the player’s health. With each rewind, the player’s Tyler will get only one half of the original Tyler. Thus, the third Tyler will get one half of the second Tyler.

Another nice feature are objects with flammable liquids. For example, you’re able to pick up a gasoline canister and spill the liquid on the floor, creating a trail of gasoline, and then ignite it with a bullet. With this you can prevent AIs from advancing, explode oil barrels from safe distance and much more.

We want to create the ultimate emergent gameplay. Gamers are able to use different global paths (e.g. get to the B by driving through highway barricades or shooting your way through the subway), local paths (e.g. sneak through back rooms on a silent kill spree, or blast the way through the station), and use any object in the environment to their advantage.

G.G. How many weapons will appear, and what´s up with the equipment? Will we see some helpful goodies?

B.T. For example, the player has a navigable pill bug robot, equipped with a camera, incapacitating spikes and a self-destructing bomb that can crawl on walls and ceilings. Weapons include all the comfortably known guns, plus wicked weapons, such as the DeBoner that instantly decomposes calcium in bones and reduces the opponent in a boneless chicken.

G.G. Will you include different endings? Is there any replay value?

B.T. There will be three different endings, determined by the psychometrics engine.

User’s inputs can tell everything we need to know about the player. How they react in a tight situation, how they use resources, how they interact and communicate, how they deal with challenges. What is their sequence of keys pressed, how jerky are movements of the mouse. What do they do when they enter a new space: do they go in the middle of the room and look around or do they explore details first? What is the average speed of their movement?

Based on such information the engine will build a psychological profile of the player and adapt the game accordingly. Based on this, the game will have three distinctively different conclusions. The game will branch at two thirds of the story to three distinctive resolutions, and the psychometrics engine will pick the right one for the player.

The immediate reaction of the game works on the principle of positive feedback. If the player is cerebral, they will get more cerebral puzzles; if the player is violent, they will get more violence. The immediate response works for the benefit of the player on the usability/learning curve level as well. How often does the player quick-save? Maybe the game is too difficult. How many new rooms do they discover in a specific time? Maybe they are lost and need additional stimuli to proceed, maybe they are too fast and the game is not fun anymore and they need more interesting obstacles.

G.G. Are there any plans for a multiplayer part?

B.T. Multiplayer side of Hollow will run on broadband PCs and Xbox Live for up to 64 players and will feature 10 different multiplayer maps and various vehicles.

There are three opposing teams instead of two to add a different dimension to multiplayer first-person action gaming. It is sure interesting to engage in a fight against two other teams; each team will have to plan and coordinate their actions more carefully in order to win. It definitely adds an element of forging alliances and – surely enough- backstabbing. However, those three teams won’t have to stay each on their sides the whole time, since two teams will be able to form alliances and fight the third team.

Hollow Multiplayer will have all the usual modes (such as capture the flag, team deathmatch, co-op, POW rescue), plus some unique such as racing. However, there will also be some additional features that are worth mentioning. Players will be able to infiltrate any of the other two teams by taking the role of a spy and by performing undercover actions. Other cool features that will completely change game tactics are the options to take prisoners of war and taking hostages. You’ll also be able to increase your chances of survival by playing dead and sharing ammunition and health with other players.

However, in October 2004, Hollow was put on-hold due to lack of publishers interested in the project, as we can read on GenGamers again:

Zootfly Software´s Bostjan Troha let us know that their first person shooter Hollow is “on hold” now. They didn´t find a publisher yet.

We can speculate that the overambitions intended for Hollow was what which pushed the publishers not to sign a deal with ZootFly, of which it was also the very first game.

Hollow wasn’t the only cancelled game made by ZootFly. Years after that, the studio also had another new IP named Time0, developed from the remnants of a Ghostbusters prototype, which was cancelled for the same reason as Hollow. There was also a mysterious prototype codenamed World War 3 developed around 2005-2006 and their last game, Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death, began as a Mr. T video game, back in 2009, before being reworked, as Bostjan Troha pointed out recently on Twitter:

It was rather redeveloped as Marlow Briggs. The reason was that Mr. T’s agent offered us a blank slate for the IP. However, they later decided that the Mr. T’s game character mustn’t ever hurt anyone, be violent, only do good stuff, etc. Which makes it a hard game to develop.

ZootFly was acquired in 2013 by casino company Interblock.

Article by Daniel Nicaise

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Armageddon (Boanerges Studios) [X360 PS3 PC – Cancelled]

Armageddon is a canceled Christian futuristic squad-based First-Person Shooter developed by Boanerges Studios and published by Atari from 2005 to 2006, for the PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 systems.

As we can read on the now-defunct Boanerges website, Armageddon was:

“A story-driven multiplayer FPS set in the end times. In the near-future much of the world unites under a multi-national government. This New Age marks the end of man’s separatist ways, and anyone who is unwilling to surrender their heritage for the greater good is an outlaw, to be systemically hunted down and exterminated.”

“Choose to join the rebellion and fight the enemy against all odds, or join the world’s most lethal military machine as it sets out to eradicate the opposition from the face of the planet. Battles occur in real-world locations, with fast-paced customizable vehicle combat and friendly squad Artificial Intelligence. A random sub-mission system provides a unique experience every time a map is played, framing online and offline gameplay rich with content and impressive level design.”

In September 2005, Gamecloud interviewed Garland Wong, one of the co-founders of Boanerges, about what the game was supposed to be:

“The game takes place in a time known as the End of Days. A great leader known as the Antichrist will emerge and form a treaty with Israel. The world will think the Antichrist is a good person but 3 1/2 years into this treaty he will break the covenant with Israel and declare himself to be God. He will force people to worship him by taking the mark of 666. You won’t be able to buy food or work or function in his society if you don’t take the mark. The Christians and Jews will work together to survive this time.”

“There will be various different levels that have religious significance. Some of the levels include Jerusalem, The Vatican City, Petra, and Westminster Abbey. Standard Military vehicles such as tanks, trucks, assault dune buggies will be part of it, also, with our customizable vehicles system, standard civilian vehicles can be made into weapons. There will be two teams, you can play as a Christian/Jew or as the Antichrist, and for the multiplayer, you will be able to play 32 players per server and up to 64 total including NPC.”

“Armageddon has three main unique game play features. The first is customizable vehicles in a FPS game. You will be able to retrovit civilian and military vehicles with various weapons. These vehicles retrofitted with weapons will also react very realistic physics since we are utilizing Ageia’s PhysX API and this will take advantage of the hardware accelleration. The second is squad based AI. You will be able command a bunch of AI squad members and give them commands. You can then cycle through the HUD and determine if any of your squad mates need help and take over there position. This is pretty cool for example you send one of your squad mates to complete a mission. You cycle through the camera and see he is being badly hurt or may need more “intelligence”. You can then take his place to complete the mission and he will take your place. The third is random story events. Armageddon is similar to Battlefield 2 in which you need to capture and hold control points to gather resources. However, Armageddon will inject random objectives throughout the map that are mutually opposing. For example, one random store event will be a great earthquake as unearthed the ark of the covenant. The Christian’s teams goal will be retrieve it while the Antichrist team will also be given the mission to capture it. These random store events have the side effect of playing a level different everytime so it will be less stale.”

Using the Reality Engine, the developers planned to implement next generation features such as dynamic effects like shadowing and lighting alongside realistic physics. Others features included Top-Down “Commander” view with real-time switching between squad members, special abilities such as placeable turrets and upgradeable armor.

Jesse Rapczak, the other co-founder at Boanerges, explained, on his personal website, why the game was eventually canceled:

“I was responsible for pitching the game to publishers, though many shied away due to the controversial nature of the story (a sci-fi future based on the Book of Revelation). Armageddon was in development for a year and was strongly considered by Electronic Arts, Vivendi Universal Games, and Sony Online Entertainment before it was finally picked up by Atari. Unfortunately, the game was cancelled a few months later when the publisher’s financial situation bottomed out.”

Armageddon was potentially going to be the first AAA Christian First-Person Shooter video game in the industry, even if we saw years before titles such as Super 3D Noah’s Ark, The War in Heaven, Saints of Virtue and Catechumen.

Article updated by Daniel Nicaise

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Commander Keen: The Universe is Toast! [PC – Cancelled]

Players who have played through the last, sixth episode of Commander Keen should remember that at the end of the game you could see Keen wearing a Santa hat, promising “the best of all Commander’s adventures” for Christmas 1992. The seventh part id Software was going to release it under the name The Universe is Toast! and it was supposed to consist of three separate games.

However, soon the studio employees were so fired up with the idea of creating a three-dimensional Wolfenstein (in fact, conditionally three-dimensional), and they forgot to think about the new Commander Keen. Subsequently, Tom Hall, Carmack, and Romero said more than once that they were not averse to doing the seventh part of the game. Romero, even with his studio, even took on the reissue of the entire series, reworked for Windows. But things are not going further than talk.

In Tom’s own words:

“Well, I don’t want to talk too much about it, as I may do it someday, but as you know from the end of Keen 6, Mortimer McMire is back, and he has big, bad plans for the end of the Universe as we know it…

If I can ever get the rights back to Keen, or if I can strike a deal with id so I have creative control of him forever, then you’ll see Keen again. I don’t want to start Keen back up, only to have him taken away again if he’s successful. That just wouldn’t seem fair.

I would love to do another Keen. My last idea for Keen 7-9 was a game world [that] was 3D, and at certain places the camera rotated with you for different games. It was halfway between Super Mario 64 and Pandemonium. This was two years before those games came out. I wish I’d been in a place where I could’ve made that happen back then.

I do miss the good ol’ days of Keen. I love the universe and the gameplay, and I’d love to make another chapter in the saga. We will see how the future unfolds..”

Joe Siegler recalls what else Tom Hall said about Keen 7…

“When Tom Hall was working here at Apogee, I used to pester him about Keen, because quite frankly, I was a customer of Apogee’s before I started working here. I used to ask him a lot about what he had planned for Keen 7, and I remember him being really annoyed when Super Mario 64 came out, because Tom said that was exactly what he had planned for Keen 7 – he wanted to be first to market with that kind of game concept.

When I asked which characters he said would be back from the original Keen games, he replied “All of them – a level Idea I had was that in the first level, you’d have every single character from all of the previous Keen games in there all at once – sort of a Galactic Zoo type of thing. Then I’d start introducing new stuff after that.” Whether or not Tom actually uses this idea or not, you can tell he was thinking on a grand scale.”

On December 14th, 2015 (25th Anniversary of Commander Keen’s initial release) John Romero posted a prototype of “Keen 7” that was, according to him, created in Madison, Wisconsin.

Some information is taken from «Игромания» magazine, 03 (114) 2007