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Blur 2 (Bizarre Creations) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3, PC]

Blur 2 is the cancelled sequel to 2010 arcade combat racing title (basically “Mario Kart with Real World Cars”) developed by Bizarre Creations and planned to be published by their parent company Activision for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. It would have expanded Blur’s gameplay with a new 3D engine and more interactive tracks, for example by using rainstorms and avalanches to spice-up the course, or adding a new ability to race sideways on buildings.

Unfortunately Blur 2 was cancelled due to low sales of the first game, when Activision decided to close down the team in 2011. As we can read on Shacknews:

“Over the past three years since our purchase of Bizarre Creations, the fundamentals of the racing genre have changed significantly. Although we made a substantial investment in creating a new IP, Blur, it did not find a commercial audience. Bizarre is a very talented team of developers, however, because of the broader economic factors impacting the market, we are exploring our options regarding the future of the studio, including a potential sale of the business.”

A few years later footage from Blur 2 was leaked online, showing off some new ideas they had for the game:

“This video shows us trying out some new visual effects, partly just because we thought it would be cool, and partly to see how more intense effects would effect the player’s experience (i.e. is driving through a storm shooting and dodging weapons fun and exciting or stupid and annoying).

So we built a load of big storm effects into the Brighton level from Blur and did some fancier animated turn markers. The ‘Shunt’ power up also got an overhaul from the big red ball in Blur, to a big refractive energy pulse here. This new one would throw tear up the road as it homed in on its target, leaving a trail of broken tarmac and scattered, twisted lamp posts.”

In late January of 2020 a Blur 2 playable prototype was also leaked online, preserving what was done on the game before its cancellation. From this proto we can learn the game would have had tracks based on Detroit, Dubai, North Africa, a ski resort, Odessa, Miami, Liverpool, and Hong Kong. Each location would have around 3-4 tracks, along with several test maps, but most of them are just whiteboxed in this build.

Several new cars would have been added, ranging from Ultima, Ferrari, Mazda, RUF, Bugatti, Mitsubishi, and more. There were also a couple of new powerups added, such as a star and a variant of the Shunt powerup, that unfortunately have no effect when used in the proto build. Lastly, a new mode was planned to be added, called “Fans”. It seems that it would have been a competition to get the most fans in a race.

Thanks to AceArroww for the contribution!

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Raphael (Sensory Sweep) [Xbox 360, PS3 – Cancelled]

Raphael is a cancelled third person action game that was in development by Sensory Sweep Studios for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The game was a free-flying / platform adventure inspired by Dante’s Inferno, in which archangel Raphael would explore hell and fight Satan’s demons. As far as we know this project was pitched by the team to different publishers, but in the end it was never fully developed.

Sensory Sweep closed due to bankruptcy in 2005, with employees working without being paid for months. As we can read on Mobygames:

“The company filed for bankruptcy in September 2005, but kept all projects going with two name changes (including Fooptube). In early 2008 the employees stopped receiving contributions, even though their paychecks were still deducted for the next few pay periods. Soon after that the paychecks bounced and Sensory Sweep lost Brash Entertainment as a big client when it folded at the end of 2008.”

What remains of Raphael today is just some concept art, preserved in the gallery below to remember the existence of this lost game.

Among Sensory Sweep’s other cancelled games are titles such as Crash Tag Team Racing DS, Time Traveler, Sentient and Oregon Files. If you know someone who worked on this lost game and could help us preserve more images or details, please let us know!

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Project Ragtag [Cancelled – PS4, Xbox One, PC]

Project Ragtag, a third-person action-adventure game set in the Star Wars Universe, was cancelled in 2017. The game was under development by Visceral Games and planned to be published by Electronic Arts. In the end EA shut down Visceral Games, following the game’s irreversible demise.

Led by former Uncharted series Creative director Amy Hennig, Project Ragtag was an ambitious single-player adventure, focused on a ragtag group of space thieves. While it seemed like a sure-hit for a game that started development in 2013, EA cited dwindling interest in single-player experiences as the main reason for its cancellation.

An interview by US Gamer with Ms. Hennig explained how things went for the project. Henning said the game had been beset by challenges that the whole management didn’t foresee. Additionally Kevin Kiner (music producer of Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels) also shared his thoughts on the project. He mentioned he worked on the game for a couple of years and managed to create a good amount of music for it. Unfortunately it seems these scores can’t be used in future Star Wars projects.

Making a Star Wars game that looks and feels like Uncharted was a big challenge. For instance, Visceral Games had to use DICE’s Frostbite Engine to develop Project Ragtag, which was mostly designed for first-person shooters, not third-person adventures. They had to re-implement lots of code and animations, from third-person platforming to climbing.

Unfortunately, this was not enough to save the project. In 2017 EA officially announced Project Ragtag’s cancellation: though it had bittersweet comments and feedback from the online community, Hennig and the other team members have moved on. For players and fans of Star Wars, it’s sad to see such a promising game fail.  The cancellation of Project Ragtag was also a tough experience for the staff who poured their efforts into it.

There’s a lot of cool stuff conceived for Project Ragtag that we will never get to see. However, as everyone says, life goes on. Other Star Wars games are still published every year, such as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, Star Wars: Squadrons and Star Wars Commander.

Article by Nash Kingston

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Kabuki Samurai Sensei: Bride of Shadows [3DS, PSVita – Cancelled]

Kabuki Samurai Sensei: Bride of Shadows is a cancelled action RPG adventure that was in development by Smack Down Productions (AKA SDP games) for Nintendo 3DS and PSVita. The game was announced in August 2010, with just some concept art and vague details about its gameplay. Players would explore medieval Japan, through temples, floating castles and dizzying waterfalls.

The game was planned to feature Zelda-style side quests and “Dragon Ball style action”, with the main protagonist using swords and shurikens in epic fights. Battles would take place in arenas, with Quick Time Events, using magic elements of fire, earth, wind and water against different types of demons from Japanese folklore.

While the game was initially announced as a 3DS exclusive, we found footage of the game running on what seems a PSVita. At the time Smack Down Productions did not have a publisher for the game, so we speculate they never found one and the project was quietly canned. Bride of Shadows concept and models were later reused for a simpler side-scrolling hack & slash titled “Kabuki Samurai Sensei” which seems to have been published on Apple Store in November 2011, but later removed.

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Promethus (Geekaysoft) [PSP – Cancelled]

Promethus is a cancelled side-scrolling action game that was in development by Geekaysoft around 2008 – 2009, planned to be published on Sony PSP. Players would have been able to explore the Promethus planet using different skills and items, unlocking new areas and secrets (metroidvania style).

As we can read in their official press-release:

“You are the renowned space mercenary Angel. Your mission is to infiltrate the seemingly peaceful planet of Promethus and uncover the plot of the Evil Lord Duroth. Recover and use the energy blaster, katana, grenades and whip to vanquish the enemies. Uncover ancient promethan relics and crystals to powerup your attacks. Little does she realize the depth of the deception, and the perilous adventure that will decide the fate of the known galaxy that awaits her on the planet Promethus.”

Features

  • A mysterious world to explore – complex mazes and secrets take you to every corner of the planet
  • Can you outwit the Ancient Promethans and find the secrets to their crystal puzzles
  • An arsenal of weapons and acrobatics at your disposal
  • Customize and enhance your characters abilities
  • Fight through 7 bosses to the final epic encounter with Duroth

While the game is basically forgotten today, it was featured as a playable demo on PSN in 2009 and because of its similarities to Metroid people were quite curious to try it. As we can read from their old website:

“We are pleased to announce that a free demo of PROMETHUS  will be available on PSN starting October 29, 2009. Featuring 7 great levels of platformer gameplay in the full version, you will recover and use the energy blaster, katana, grenades and whip to vanquish your enemies.  customize your attacks and abilities with collectable powerups and crystals.  The demo will let you explore the first level of the game, Torden.  We hope you will enjoy the demo as we continue sprinting to the finish line on the final version”

Unfortunately this demo was not good at all, with unresponsive controls, bugs and floaty jumps. We can assume the team was not able to fix these issues and in the end decided to cancel the project. You should be able to find the playable demo online, preserved in various ROM pages.

Thanks to Iqra for the contribution!

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