PC / MAC

Private Wars (TS Group) [PC – Cancelled]

Private Wars is a cancelled tactical / arcade / turn based FPS hybrid that was in development by 1C Company and TS Group Entertainment between 1998 and 2003. The game ran on their own Eternity 3D engine and it looked quite spectacular for the late ‘90s (but it seems they changed the engine during those 5 years, or heavily upgraded it), with large explorable outdoor maps and simulated weather conditions. Private Wars’ most ambitious feature would be the option to change gameplay as you prefer to play it: as an arcade shooter, a real time squad-based tactical game or a turn-based strategy simulation.

A playable tech demo was found by fans, but we don’t know how much of the game was really completed before its cancellation. 1C and TS Group showed Private Wars at E3 2003, when it was previewed by some gaming websites such as IGN and GameZone:

“As with the famous Clancy games, Private Wars is a tactical shooter set in real world environments and situations calling upon you and your crack team of military experts to carry out some tough missions under extreme circumstances.

Over the course of 15 missions, the game will take you to locations such as Afghanistan, Columbia, Europe, the US, Russia, and Africa to complete missions that have to do with everything from drug lords to industrial espionage to border conflicts.”

“Before each mission, you’ll have the chance to choose which of your mercenary team comes with you into the field. There are 30 different characters total, each with different attributes and specializations.

A nice selection of over 60 different types of weapons and all the nifty gadgets and equipment that you’ll need will be available for use.

Unfortunately, in the short time the game was shown, and at such and early state, there wasn’t anything on this front to be seen.”

Some more details were shared in an interview by CombatSim with TS Group founder and CEO Sergey Titov :

“ST: There’s actually several different styles of play to this game. You can play it as either arcade, simulation or even turn based. In the arcade mode you will have the same superhuman traits we see in games like Quake, where you can be shot many times and still be up and shooting. Then we will offer the simulation style where all your actions have a direct reaction to the world around you. You will die if shot in a killing shot area, so one shot CAN kill in this game. In the turn based mode you will control the action from a typical isometric view you find in all strategy games.”

“ST: You will have a pool of about 50 mercenaries from which to choose up to 8 mercenaries if you have the cash to pay for them. Your reputation will precede you here… if you leave a mercenary stranded on a previous mission you may find other mercenaries reluctant to work for you.”

After E3 2003 Private Wars just vanished and everyone forgot about its existence.

Thanks to Dan and TLO for the contribution!

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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!

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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.

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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.”

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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.”