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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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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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Hateful Chris: Shoot the Moon [PS2 – Cancelled]

Hateful Chris: Shoot the Moon is a cancelled action game that was in development by Furious Entertainment and Ubisoft, planned to be published on Playstation 2. As described on its old official website the game was meant to be “a unique blend of cultural satire, outrageous violence and toilet humor that bridges the gap between interactive platform-based action and arena fighting intensity”.

“Hateful Chris will soon be making his 3d debut! Armed with an extensive arsenal garnered from his interactive environments, HC must fight to prevent Dollar Bill from using the moon as a giant, 24-hour billboard! This proposed game from Furious Entertainment is in the design stage ­ check out the site for a detailed story overview, gameplay description and loads of cool concept art!”

Shoot the Moon was actually a 3D sequel to Hateful Chris: Never Say Buy, an anti-capitalism parody PC title conceived by Chris Bourassa and Dana Fortier in 2000:

“Sworn to destroy advertising and consumer culture in all its incarnations, Hateful Chris is the icon of brand resistance! He trashes malls, he burns billboards, he berates boy bands AND he flosses regularly! What more could you want in a protagonist? Using everything from fire hoses to chainguns, Hateful Chris works to change the world into an unbranded paradise – albeit through ridiculously violent and exaggerated means! […] With over 200,000 downloads and steady cult support, Hateful Chris is easily the world’s favourite little cartoon anarchist!”

When released Hateful Chris became a hit and noticing this success Ubisoft approached Chris and Dana to propose a collaboration for a 3D version of the game. As we can read on Ookpixels:

“Released in June of 2001 as Hateful Chris: Never Say Buy, the game developed a loyal cult following and piqued the interest of Ubisoft, who hired both Bourassa and Fortier right after graduation. Furnishing them with a full team, the massive publisher gave them the freedom to expand on their original game and take it to epic new heights.

Their follow-up – slated for release on Sony’s PlayStation 2 – would feature a total 3D graphical overhaul, and centre around Dollar Bill’s plan to extend his commercial grasp to outer space. Dubbed Hateful Chris: Shoot the Moon, it was set to be Bourassa’s big debut in the industry. Then, in a move his own character could have seen coming from a mile away, Ubisoft canceled the game.”

We don’t know how much of the game was completed before its cancellation, but some pre-rendered videos created for the project are still available online. Even if Shoot the Moon was never released, Many years later Chris Bourassa and Dana Fortier worked together on another idea that later became the indie-hit Darkest Dungeon.

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Graffiti World (Magenta Software) [PS3 – Cancelled]

Graffiti World is a cancelled platform game that was in development by Magenta Software around 2010 / 2011, planned to be released on Playstation 3. As far as we know the game was never officially announced by Sony nor the team, but as happened with their other canned game “Broken” some screenshots were shared online by former Magenta Software developers and artists.

In these images the game looks similar to Little Big Planet / Tearaway, with a world made of paper you would have been able to color with graffiti, using the PS3 move controller. Unfortunately we don’t know more about Graffiti World. Screenshots from this lost game are preserved in the gallery below, to remember its existence.

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Cold Energy (Keystone) [Xbox 360, PS3 – Cancelled]

Cold Energy is a cancelled third person shooter / action game that was in development by Keystone Games Studio around 2008 – 2011, planned to be released on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Players would have to shoot down hundreds of enemies and huge bosses on a post-apocalypse earth, looking somehow similar to SEGA’s Gunvalkyrie.

Cold Energy’s main feature was the ability to manipulate the magnetic force, using for example metallic objects to walk on walls. As in games with psychic abilities such as Second Sight and Psi-Ops you could also lift barrels and throw them at enemies, using them like bombs.

The game was playable at various chinese gaming events and it looked quite fun to play, but unfortunately it seems Keystone Games were not able to find a publisher for their project: Cold Energy was canned and sometime later the team closed down

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