New Cancelled Games & Their Lost Media Added to the Archive

Ground Effect (Angel Studios) [PC – Cancelled]

Ground Effect is a cancelled hovercraft racing game that was in development by Angel Studios (the modern Rockstar San Diego) around 1996 1997, planned to be published by Inscape for PC.

A short preview of the game was published in PC Powerplay magazine (issue 18):

“It’s about bloody time that there was a hovercraft racing sim out there for us to go crazy with. The whole idea of being propelled on a cushion air seems to have universal appeal. Not only that, but it makes a great kind of racing game too. Gone are the traditional and familiar physics of a road based racer, or even a straight water based racer, as the hovercraft is an interesting mode of transportation altogether. The development team spent a lot of time with hovercraft enthusiasts to get the feel of the thing just right. With 3D accelerator support, this is looking good.”

The game silently vanished after Inscape was acquired by Graphix Zone in early 1997. We can speculate Ground Effect was reconsidered by the new company as a niche racing game that would have not sold enough to spend more money on. Other lost games by Angel Studios are titles such as X-Girl, Sofa Kingdom, Shatterman and Buggy Boogie.

After releasing other games such as the Resident Evil 2 port for the N64, the Midtown Madness series, and Smuggler’s Run, Angel Studios was bought by Take-two in 2003 and renamed Rockstar San Diego. They then moved on to work on such popular titles as Red Dead Revolver, Midnight Club and Grand Theft Auto V.

Thanks to Xanarki for the contribution!

Tower (Grin) [Xbox 360, PS3 – Cancelled]

Tower is a prototype for a cancelled team-based third person shooter for Xbox 360 and PS3, that was in development by Grin, the team mostly known for such games as Bionic Commando Rearmed, Wanted: Weapons of Fate and the cancelled Final Fantasy Fortress. With its arcadey graphic and gameplay, Grin probably desired to create a simple but fun online multiplayer experience, possibly to publish it digitally on Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Store.

As you can imagine from its title, Tower offered multiple-floors arenas with an interesting gameplay mechanic: players would have been able to freely move around all surfaces of the towers, walking on walls and ceilings. This would have created many different approaches to combat, as you and your enemies could shoot and run around from multiple places.

Not much more is known about this lost game. In the end the project was halted (along with their other canned games: Streets of Rage Reboot, Strider, Wanted 2) because of Grin’s financial difficulties that eventually bankrupted the company. In the gallery below you can find some screenshots and footage from an early build, preserved to remember its existence.

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Timeless: Chronicles of Atlantis [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3, PC]

Timeless: Chronicles of Atlantis is a cancelled action adventure that was in development by Dubai-based Vertex Studios around 2009, planned to be released for Xbox 360, PC and Playstation 3. You can imagine it somehow similar to Uncharted (2007): a cinematic action adventure, but set in multiple timelines (from modern day Dubai to a Spanish village in 8 AD.) and with multiple playable characters.

As we can read at Emirates247:

“It is based on time travel where you can control a local character who goes back into time and into the future. There are multiple characters and environments.”

More details can still be found in a 2009 article from Arabianbusiness:

“Timeless: Chronicles of Atlantis. Timeless is set to be a next generation action adventure game in which gamers play a character from Dubai who travels through different settings and different time periods. The game is being made for the PC and next-generation consoles such as the Xbox and Playstation 3 and whilst Chronicles of Atlantis will include multiple playable characters, multiple weapons and multiple enemy types; the game’s settings will also vary from an apartment in modern day Dubai to a Spanish village under Muslim rule in 8 AD.

Timeless could have 8 or 9 levels with around ten hours game-play and three difficulty levels. The game will include multiple approaches to different puzzles; so, one player might progress through a stage by adopting a stealthy approach, while another player might want to fight their way through a stage.

Once Timeless has gone through the whole production process, it will undergo localization and focus group testing, and once it has a publisher, the game will be released worldwide, with Vertex Studios saying that the release date is predicted for some time in 2010.”

By reading this we can assume the team never found a publisher for their game and in the end they had to close down after releasing just a few smartphone Apps. Footage and screenshots from an early Timeless: Chronicles of Atlantis demo are preserved below, to remember the existence of this lost project.

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Cyberjack [Playstation – Cancelled]

Cyberjack is a cancelled “six degrees of freedom” first-person shooter similar to Descent, that was in development for Playstation by SCE Studios Team Soho (the same team behind Porsche Challenge, The Getaway and the unreleased Mean Arenas) around 1995 / 1996. Unfortunately the project was never officially announced and it was soon forgotten when the team decided to focus on other games.

It was conceived as a sci-fi shooter set in cyberspace. Players would have been able to fly through the game’s levels in all directions, shooting down enemies and finding the exit to the next mission. Not much more is known about Cyberjack and as far as we know only 2 images remain today, preserved below to remember this lost Playstation project.

If you know someone who worked on Cyberjack and could help saving more details and media, please let us know!

Project Revolution (Cauldron) [PC – Cancelled]

Project Revolution is a cancelled third person action RPG in development around 2008 by Cauldron, a small slovak team mostly known for Soldier of Fortune: Payback, Gene Troopers and the Cabela’s Big Game Hunter series. Gameplay could have been somehow similar to Fallout + Gears of War + FarCry: a post apocalypse shooting adventure, exploring its big sci-fi world filled with scary robot-monsters called Cerberus.

The game was canned in early development and never went past pre-production phase, but we can still find some interesting details with Cauldron’s hopes and ideas for Revolution in a 2013 article published on a slovak website:

“Marián Ferko, one of the co-founders of the oldest game development studio in Slovakia, once told me that archiving is extremely important. He told me in their server they still have the source code of their first game Quadrax (1996). I trust him. […] Every single piece of code, illustration, idea, everything that has not been used in their final games is stored and cataloged on the Cauldron server. […] Long ago, Cauldron became an expert in hunting games while working on their Revolution project.

Revolution was a 3rd person action RPG set in 2272. The earth is destroyed after a series of cyber-wars and machines took control over the world. The whole Earth is infected with a nano-virus that turns everything into cyborgs. There are only a few clans that resist machines, but have no future themselves because the nano-virus is gradually making them slaves. The rest of the human race resides at the orbital station in space. Food supplies are diminishing and the only chance of survival is to find a way to effectively combat the nano-virus.

The struggle of the human race lay on Ellie Whisboorn‘s shoulders. Her task was to find data cubes holding information needed to make a vaccine to stop the spread of the nano-virus. However, as a human Ellie was not powerful enough to survive post-apocalypse earth: she is forced to accept cyber-technology. By changing her appearance and cyber-implants when starting the game you would have been able to directly impact the gameplay. Ellie could thus be an open-combat fighter with heavy armor,  a stealthy assassin with invisibility or using nano-magic and relying on hacking.

Unfortunately for Cauldron, by the end of 2008 popular post-apocalyptic RPG Fallout 3 was released: publishers rejected their Revolution pitch, saying that it would have been too ambitious to try something similar to Fallout 3. Work on Revolution stopped before full production. Two Czech authors Kantúrek & Žamboch were involved, working on background for the story and the world.”

In 2014 Bohemia Interactive acquired Cauldron, changing their name into Bohemia Interactive Slovakia.

Thanks to Chris for the contribution!

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