Sony

Driver 5 [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3, Wii]

Driver 5 is a cancelled racing game which was, for a short period of time, in the works at Sumo Digital, the developer of the Sonic & All-Stars Racing games. It would have been published by Ubisoft and released around early 2011 on Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii.

In January 2010, Ubisoft released a financial forecast for their next fiscal year, detailing a number of their scheduled releases. Among these were some vague plans to release an untitled fifth entry to the Driver series, although no other information was provided at the time. Behind the scenes, it was around this point that Driver 5 (a working title) was in pre-production at Sumo Digital, who had been contracted externally. Previously, Sumo had partnered with Ubisoft to produce Driver ’76 on the PSP, who they worked on alongside Ubisoft Reflections.

Christian Bravery of design studio, Lighting Lights, was brought on board to draft concept art for the Driver 5 project.

“It was interesting to be involved at the beginning and the end of this project and something I’d love to do more often.”

The lifespan of Sumo Digital’s Driver 5 was brief, as it never moved past pre-production. It was cancelled when Ubisoft elected not to partner with Sumo Digital on it, instead giving the project to Ubisoft Reflections. Reflections would then go on to create Driver: San Francisco.

By the looks of it, this original vision for the game would have incorporated destructible environments of some sort. The concepts show Tanner’s surroundings crumbling around him as he races away from his pursuers. Perhaps this was a small stepping stone towards Sonic & All Stars Racing: Transformed, which incorporated a similar concept of tracks that would dynamically change and fall apart as the race progressed. 

Farstar / Starship Fantasy [PSX – Cancelled]

Farstar is a cancelled Playstation space combat simulator which Teknocrest, an american software house, was working on in 1994 on Taito’s behalf. Just like Brimstone and Lufia for Genesis / Megadrive, however, the project got never completed. Fortunately, the programmer that was developing it preserved a video of the game:

Here’s some footage of a Playstation game called “Farstar” that I was working on back in 1994, I think Taito was planning to release it as “Starship Fantasy” or something like that, it was even listed in Famitsu as coming soon for a time.

It was supposed to be a mix of Wing Commander/Star Trek/Starflight. At least, that’s what I was trying to make. It was pretty ambitious for its time…maybe too ambitious.

Anyway as you can see it’s pretty shitty and was cancelled. I guess I just wasn’t a very good programmer back then…

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Distrust (Danganronpa) [Beta – PSP / PSvita]

Distrust (Danganronpa) [Beta – PSP / PSvita]

Danganronpa Beta Distrust PSP

Danganronpa is among the best hidden gaming gems for the PS Vita. Originally released exclusively in Japan as two PSP games in 2010 (Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc) and 2012 (Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair), it was thanks to the release of the PS Vita collection with both episodes in USA and Europe, that western gamers were finally able to enjoy this bizarre visual novel. However, before it gained its final name that we know today, “Danganronpa”, the project was first in development for the PSP under another title; Distrust.

Danganronpa-Beta-Distrust-PSP-00002The story behind the development of Distrust is more complex than you might think. Despite Spike Chunsoft releasing many images from the beta version of the game, they did not explain why the project was so heavily changed. Nor did they elaborate on why some features from the original Distrust project were reused not only for Danganronpa, but also for another popular visual novel.

Danganronpa was originally published in late 2010 by Spike, just a year after they released 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors for the Nintendo DS, developed by Chunsoft. 999 was released in English in 2010, where it soon became a cult hit among american visual novel fans, thanks to its gloomy and mysterious plot. Unfortunately, in Japan, it was not quite as well received. When it was first shown, Distrust received better feedback from Japanese gamers; but it seems that in its early days of development, the game shared many more similarities with 999

Clockwerk [Cancelled – Wii, PS3, Xbox 360]

Clockwerk is a cancelled puzzle platformer game, which was in development at Next Level Games; the creators of the Super Mario Strikers games, as well as the unreleased Super Mario Spikers. The title was planned to be worked on for multiple unspecified home console platforms during mid-late 2011 (believed to be Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3) , but was never produced.

Two Grumpy Old Men Who Just Want To Retire

The project began towards the start of 2011 and was being worked on in tandem with Next Level’s other main undertaking at the time, which was Captain America: Super Soldier for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

It was conceived as the story of two old men, Otto & Herman, who work as Hausmeisters (caretakers) in a magical floating clock tower suspended in the clouds called ‘The World Clock’, that governs the flow of time throughout the universe. On their final day before retirement, a faction of evil gremlins attack the tower, dismantling its innards and disrupting the behaviour of time. In order for the grumpy twosome to finally retire, they must defeat the invaders and repair its inner workings. 

Black 2 [Xbox 360, PS3 – Cancelled]

Black 2 [Xbox 360, PS3 – Cancelled]

Black 2 is the cancelled sequel to Criterion Games‘ 2006 shooter, Black, which was being worked on by the same developer for publisher and IP holder, Electronic Arts. It was planned to be a co-op shooter for the Xbox 360 and PS3 with a release in late 2007/early 2008.

The Original Idea For Black 2

Despite recurring rumours of Black 2 rumbling for several years after the release of the original game, its development was, in actuality, rather short-lived and it never was able to leave pre-production. As it turns out, EA and Criterion had plans to expand Black into a franchise for some time before the first game was even released. Preliminary work on the sequel commenced as early as April 2005, a whole 10 months before Black was finished.

Artists were contracted externally to produce conceptual documents for the game, including drawings of the protagonist, Jack Kellar. According to one of the artists who spent a short period of time on the project, there was some debate over the direction the follow-up would take. One possible path, for example, would have continued the story of the first game, as Kellar continues his hunt for Lennox at the behest of the US government.