PC / MAC

Solar (Brat Design) [PC – Cancelled]

Solar is a cancelled sci-fi FPS that was in development around 2004 by Brat Designs, planned to be released on PC. The game was inspired by massive multiplayer FPS such as Battlefield 1942, and would have featured both single player and multiplayer modes over vast terrains, with up to 32 players. Single player would use multiplayer maps with the addition of advanced AI bots to simulate multiplayer gaming styles.

Some details about the game were available on the old Brat Design website:

“’SOLAR’ has two warring factions, each with its own set of weapons and vehicles, varying from trench mortars to long range bombardment cannons with payloads of neurotoxins. Transportation in ‘SOLAR’ varies by faction, each with a unique range of land, sea and air units, providing varied game play choices.

In addition to this are the Necro. An army of undead soldiers, re-animated by a toxic brew created by fallout from decades of nuclear, chemical and biological war. Mostly chaotic by nature, these troopers are a constant threat to both sides, but can be a useful resource if brought under the influence of one faction.

Interactive environments add another game play element to ‘SOLAR’. Buildings crumble as they are hit by shells or are crashed into with vehicles; gun emplacements can be manned to cut down the opposition in a hail of bullets trees and other incidental scenery can be cleared by a well placed grenade. All this leads to a dynamic, ever changing battlefield.”

Features:

  • Vast terrains with huge viewing distances
  • Interactive environments with fully destructible buildings
  • Weather conditions including fog, acid rain and snow
  • Three Campaigns (Earth, Mars and the Moon)
  • Two warring factions each with their own technology set
  • Advanced bot AI and path finding
  • Battlefields containing up 32 AI or Human players
  • Ground, aerial and aquatic vehicles capable of multiple crew members
  • Called in air strikes and artillery bombardments
  • Weapons of mass destruction (ICBM’s and Orbital laser platforms) Chemical, biological and radioactive
  • Cooperative MP modes including, Interdiction, Retrieval, Assault, VIP Escort, Search and Destroy, Recon, Rescue and Sabotage
  • Standard MP modes including Last man standing, Death match, Team Death Match, Capture the flag, Assault and King of the Hill
  • MP playable demo currently available for publishers only.

Gaming websites such as Eurogamer and Gamespot wrote about Solar at the time, but it seems Brat Designs was not able to find a publisher interested in their project and that could be the reason for it never being released. A trailer for the game was released by the team (also re-uploaded on GamersHell), but we cannot find it anymore online (if you have a copy of the file, please let us know!). The same team was also working on another cancelled game titled Toon Army for Xbox and Playstation 2.

Thanks to SarkSweet for the contribution!

Images: 

Heavy Gear 3 (Savage Entertainment) [PC – Cancelled]

Heavy Gear 3 is a cancelled mecha based FPS that would have been the third chapter in the HG series, in development around 1999 by Savage Entertainment and planned to be published by Activision on PC. The team wanted to expand the mechanics found in previous Heavy Gear games, adding more robots, on-foot fighting and exploration, similar to what Titanfall did 15 years later.

Some details about this lost game were shared online by former Savage artists and producers:

“This was Savage’s first project after being “spun-off” from Activision. It was an exciting opportunity to build on the success of Heavy Gear 2 and a coinciding children’s TV show based on the series. We started with a very small team of 6 to handle environments, characters, and animation. Some new visual advances were spectacular maps to add shine/material variation, multiple texture terrain painting and emissive alpha.  We were able to expand the universe by introducing a new class of “Gear” called the Paladin. His  design was inspired by a medieval suit of armor and was backed by the new “Bishop” Reich. Many of our features were ahead of their time, such as the Gear Pilot being able to get out of his Gear and fight on foot, while the Gear protected him – this is a major element of “TitanFall” being released March 2014. […] Unfortunately, Activision couldn’t decide what kind of game they wanted to make (single player or massive multiplayer) and cancelled the title.”

“Our first project was to be Heavy Gear 3. Our goal at Savage was to have one team where no one was a pure manager. Everyone would work directly on the project. I worked as a 3D artist on Heavy Gear 3 in addition to my role as Producer, and CFO of the company. Sales of Heavy Gear 2 didn’t live up to expectations and Activision exited the giant robot combat market, cancelling Heavy Gear 3.”

Concept art from this lost game are preserved below, to remember its existence.

Images: 

Hordes (System 3) [PC – Cancelled]

Hordes is a cancelled real-time strategy game that was in development by System 3 around 1998, planned to be released on PC. At the time the company was quite beloved by gamers, thanks to such titles as The Last Ninja, Myth, International Karate, Putty and Constructor, but they also worked on many fascinating cancelled projects. While Hordes is listed on the official System 3 website under their unreleased projects, not many details are available online.

A short preview and a few screenshots from the game were published in Edge magazine (issue 55, 1998) and concept art is available on Dan Malone’s portfolio.

“Tipping the usual good VS bad story on its head, Hordes is a PC strategy game of commendable difference. The player controls one of three unholy “Clags” gods: Arclite, Cankor and Blacrot, each of whom has a particular theme. Blacrot’s hordes, for instance, can attack with various rot-based weapons. […] Hordes is intended to be far more action based than many of its contemporaries, with the player having 36 counties to battle through before reaching the seat of the Light Queen Edwinia. With 3 different forces to play, 36 levels and a totally non-linear plot, Hordes should have a serious amount of longevity.”

Images: 

Under Pressure (Rage Software) [Cancelled – PC, Playstation]

Under Pressure is a cancelled underwater shooter adventure that was in development by Rage Software Newcastle around 1997, planned to be released on PC and the original Playstation. By looking at the few screenshots available it seems you would have been able to play in first and third person, exploring a 3D sea filled with fishes and robotic enemies.

As it happens for many other cancelled games, today not much can still be found online about Under Pressure. Screenshots were published on Edge magazine in February 1997 and a former developer mentioned the title in an interview with Arcade Attack:

Have you ever worked on any games that were never released, and if so, which unreleased games do you feel would have been the most successful?

After Power Drive Rally, I designed and helped create ‘Under Pressure’ running on PC for Rage Newcastle, an underwater submersible/action adventure game in 3D. EA were funding the game development at the time, but unfortunately they pulled the plug mere months away from release. The next game we made was the co-op space shooter Expendable, also known as Millennium Soldier on the Dreamcast/PC.”

 

Dragon (Eclipse Entertainment) [PC – Cancelled]

Dragon is a cancelled action RPG that was in development around 1998 – 1999 by Eclipse Entertainment, planned to be published on PC by Microsoft. The game was based on the chinese mythology, somehow similar to another Microsoft published RPG: Jade Empire. The game was quite hyped at the time and it was featured on Eclipse’s old website and on their 3D Engine page:

“Step into a 3D world more beautiful, more dangerous, and more amazing than any you have ever seen. Explore an ancient Chinese temple, teeming with evil. Play as one of 6 champions, alone, with, or against friends. Bone crunching martial arts, sizzling spell effects, and richly detailed world make Dragon a Grandmaster among games.”

Some more details about the game were published in a preview by Next Generation magazine (issue 51, march 1999):

“Although start-up Eclipse has only one game under its belt (last year’s Jack Nicholas for Accolade), its employees have experience in the game industry everywhere from Infocom to EA to 3D0 to Origin. And Eclipse has already built the engine on which the game will be based, the impressive Genesis 3D, which supports such features as realtime light detraction, true mirrors, vertex morphing, and soft-skin polygon characters.”

“The story is based largely on Chinese mythology. You take the role of either the grandson (slower but stronger) or granddaughter (faster but weaker) of a martial arts master, who has been kidnapped and placed in the dungeons of Quinggong by your father. Quinggong is the Teetering Palace, a temple that borders the mountains, the ocean, and the spirit world. Your job? Infiltrate the temple, defeat your father’s army of supernatural beings, and rescue your grandfather.”

“Although play balancing has yet to begin (which may change things dramatically), the game is about 50% combat and 50% exploration and puzzle solving. The puzzles, thankfully, look to be more than just the “find the switch” dreck that has come to characterize too many action/adventures. In one room, for instance, players are confronted with a river of lava they must cross. Too wide to jump, the solution is to smash a huge clay pot in the room, causing water to flow onto the lava, cooling it.”

“Players fight by using a combination of martial arts and supernatural powers (spells) and grow in skill (by learning new fighting moves and spells) as the game progresses, and separate bars will measure physical and spiritual health.”

Unfortunately Dragon quietly vanished and was never released: today it seems no traces remain online of its existence, but this page on Unseen64. We don’t know what happened to the project, but in late 1999 WildTangent acquired the team: maybe their new owners were not interested in continuing such an ambitious game or Microsoft was not happy with how it was shaping up, deciding to cancel their collaboration.

Images: