Action Adventure

White Fear (Inuits) [PS2/PC – Cancelled]

White Fear, later renamed Inuits, is a canceled action-adventure game developed by Widescreen Games, first published by Microïds, then by Playlogic Entertainment, from 2002 to 2004 for PC and Playstation 2.

Announced in the spring of 2002 for a release initially scheduled for November of the same year, White Fear tells us the story of Iru, a young shaman who has to help the inhabitants of a polar village. An evil witch named Sukko not only destroyed their homes and settled the area with her servants, but also cast a terrible curse on them: turning them into monsters of ice. In addition to various melee weapons, Iru would also have magical powers taught by four spirits to take on a total of 21 various monsters such as trolls and goblins through diverse environments across four worlds. As the game progressed, Iru was called upon to increase his powers through various items found throughout the adventure. Futher information can be read on Gamespot:

The game is set in a 3D fantasy world filled with frozen wilderness and magic. It will include fast-paced combat as well as puzzle-driven adventure elements.

As we can read on Queutimes.com, it seems that Microïds made the decision to let go the project in 2004 after a certain number of postponements, and left the hand to Playlogic which canceled the game very quickly, not without having to change the name in the process. No statements were made about why it was dropped by Microïds neither canceled by Playlogic.

At the beginning of 2019, a prototype of the game dating from May 2002, leaked onto the Internet.

After its cancellation, Widescreen Games will work on many other projects, some also canceled, before filing for bankruptcy in 2009.

Article updated by Daniel Nicaise

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Plague of Darkness [XBOX/PS2/PC – Cancelled]

Plague of Darkness (also known as The Plague) is a canceled action-adventure game developed by Widescreen Games and published by Namco Hometek for Playstation 2 and Xbox around 2003-2004.

The game was announced during the ECTS 2003 for a release planned in the summer of 2004 as we can read on Gamezone:

“Gamers Beware: Namco to spread gaming fever next summer with Plague of Darkness title to infect action adventure genre on PlayStation®2 and Xbox®.

Leading video games publisher Namco Hometek Inc. promises intense, nonstop action in its newest thriller, Plague of Darkness (tentative title), announced today.  Scheduled for release on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, Plague of Darkness will ship in the summer of 2004.  Developed by Widescreen Games in Lyon, France, Plague of Darkness will feature Xbox Live functionality, complete with downloadable content, as well as PlayStation®2 online support with exclusive extras.

“Plague of Darkness will raise the bar in the action adventure genre through its haunting original storyline, close combat elements, stunning graphics and intense action,” said Jon Kromrey, Producer at Namco Hometek Inc.

“We think gamers will be infected with its immersive and addictive gameplay.”

In Plague of Darkness, Namco transports players to ravaged Medieval Europe during the time of the Black Death. Eight brooding environments with 58 sub-locations will put players to the test, each containing new objectives, enemies and obstacles. A linear storyline with deadly puzzles, fascinating characters and chilling discoveries allow players to experience unique game play mechanics and participate in over-the-top fantasy combat. In a time where advanced weaponry doesn’t yet exist, players have a multitude of basic weapons, special tools and magic at their disposal. Over five weapons are featured in the game, including a variety of swords, crossbows, daggers and the ability to cast magic spells. The game’s outstanding cinematic effects set an additional ambient tone for Plague of Darkness, immersing players deep into the dark world environments.

The game’s story features a Knight of the Order, Douran, who sets out on a mission to bring down a terrible demon.  The demon has been haunting the land of the living by feasting on the black souls of the dead, in order to bring about its own resurrection. During the course of his adventure, Douran encounters other characters that may hold answers to the mystery behind the demonic plague, but can he trust them? In the course of the story, the hero fights the omnipresent evil demon by using the game’s sacred relic in a quest to spread peace throughout Europe.”

In December of the same year, Gamekult revealed a little more about the game:

“In a medieval Europe ravaged by the Black Plague (1348), the young knight Douran sets sail for the island of St. Angui, to join Jacques de Villemort, the head of the Order, and his father, whom he has seen attacked by an evil spirit in a recent nightmare. Offshore, Douran sees a thick dark fog with a Death’s face, which quickly takes the form of a claw to trap the ship and capsize it. At the back of his cabin, our hero hears the horrified laments of the members of the crew, before seeing the strange tablecloth rush under his door … Small peculiarity, the combat system will propose to assign tarot cards to get special spells. Equipped with an online function on Xbox as on PS2 to obtain new equipment, Plague of Darkness is scheduled for next June in the United States.”

In April 2004, Sliced Gaming Australia shared a bit more about the game design:

“As you progress through Plague of Darkness you’ll be able to upgrade Douran’s weapons, magic and armour Role-Playing Game-style. As the game has an emphasis on action and combat, Douran will have more combat-based moves than simply attacking; he’ll also be able to block enemies’ attacks and even grab them to execute throw moves. Twenty-five enemies will be featured in the game, some with non-magical attacks and some with magical attacks.”

However, Plague of Darkness quietly vanished without a trace after this. We can speculate that something went wrong during it’s development process and Namco decided to pull the plug. Oddly enough, a partnership between Widescreen Games and Namco will eventually come to fruition with the making of Dead to Rights 2, released in the end of the 2005 year, after a troubled development.

Article by Daniel Nicaise

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Spirit Under Control (Widescreen Games) [PC, PS2, Xbox – Cancelled]

Spirit Under Control is a canceled futuristic sci-fi action/adventure game that was developed in the mid 2000’s by Widescreen Games for the PC, Playstation 2 and Xbox. It seems it was set in the distant future, on a planet called Jun. The main feature of this project was the use of a capacity named “spirit” which would have allow the player to take control of various characters such as the enemies in order to solve various situations. We can speculate that its gameplay could have been very similar to games like Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, The Nomad Soul and Messiah.

Few information are currently available on Spirit Under Control, as the game was never officially revealed to this day. It was discovered on the now-defunct website of Widescreen Games. Here was what we could read about this title:

Game Overview

Spirit Under Control is a 3rd person action / adventure game in 3D real time dedicated to PS2, XBOX and PC.

The adventure takes place on Jun, a mysterious planet located in a remote solar system.

The gameplay of Spirit mixes skilfully Action and Adventures, it is based on the use of a super capacity called “spirit”. The spirit makes it possible to remotely take the control of the enemies.

Key features: An action game with a brain

– Explore a fascinating universe: a world populated with exotic aliens with exciting powers you can take control of.

– Use your spirit powers to solve complex and puzzling situations.

– Take the control of different characters to experiment various gameplays.

Game Genre : 3rd person action adventure game

Universe : Space Western

Platforms : PS2 / XBOX / PC

Playable PS2 demo

Target : mature audience

It seems that Spirit Under Control was playable as we could read it on the general information section, but, to this day, no such playable demo was made available on the web. Only four tiny screenshots are available here to remember the existence of this obscure, interesting project. It isn’t the first lost cancelled game made by Widescreen Games. In the same category, we could add titles such as Amon Ra, Ghostman or even Paparazzi.

If you know someone who worked on Spirit Under Control and could help us preserve more screenshots, footage or details, please let us know! 

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse [PC/XBOX/PS2/GC – Cancelled]

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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a canceled beat them up/action game developed and published by The 3DO Company from 2000 to 2003, for PC, Playstation 2, Xbox and Gamecube.

As we can read on Gamespot, the game was a single-player action game centered on Abaddon, an archangel who must face off against the apocalyptic horsemen of the title, alongside Satan, and prevent the end of the world. Before players can take on the horsemen, they would have to find the three mortals known as “the chosen”, who were born with the power to fight the horsemen, to even the odds. However, while the three chosen are unaware of their abilities, the horsemen do know of them and the threat they pose. Players would be charged with finding and protecting the three chosen until they can be reunited and combine their powers to save the world. The chosen were Jesse Horner, a scantily clad 18-year-old prostitute; Jimmy Ray Flynt, a tattooed preacher turned serial killer; and Anderson Scott, a corrupt politician who actually unleashes the horsemen in the first place and only later realized he is one of the chosen. Players would take direct control of Abaddon, with the three chosen providing support based on their unique abilities. Jesse would be the party’s healer, Jimmy Ray’s mystic sight would reveal demons, and Senator Scott’s power of persuasion would take control of his enemies and force them to do his bidding.

It would appear that 3DO had broad ambitions for The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, surrounding himself with multiple big names, such as Stan Winston as producer and comic artist Simon Bisley and illustrator David de Vries as game designers, in addition to many vocal talents like Tim Curry as Satan, Lance Henriksen as Abaddon and Traci Lords as Pestilence, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

The game would have more than 18 levels, ranging from the postapocalyptic world created by World War III to the depths of hell, featuring hand-to-hand fighting, swords, and projectile weapons, in addition to special abilities like a Matrix-like slow-motion effect and lots of gory effects, including dismemberment, dynamic exit wounds, and motion-captured finishing moves provided by Hollywood’s Smashcut Action Team to ensure that the game’s combat sequences appeared intricate and realistic. The gameplay would center on exploration and combat alternating between standard melee and ranged fights.

It was showed at E3 2003 where Gamespot wrote a preview:

“Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is similar in look and feel to Devil May Cry during its action elements. Abaddon’s starting weapons include a pair of powerful pistols and two large swords that can be used to hack off the limbs and heads of your opponents. In the E3 build, only basic combat moves were available, but 3DO representatives noted that acrobatic, wire-fighting moves will be included as advanced combos. Abaddon also has the ability to execute superhuman maneuvers, such as using his swords to deflect bullets back at the enemies who shot them. You’ll also collect the souls of the enemies you kill, adding to your power in a meter called “the wrath of God.” Borrowing a page from Mortal Kombat, you’ll even be able to perform some gory finishing moves on higher-level enemies such as bosses.

The game will include some slower-paced exploration elements that will allow you to interact with non-player characters to gain more background story and hints on the dangers lying ahead. You’ll also be able to pick up bonus items to help you in your quest. There will also be some horror elements mixed in during the exploration portions, like the shadowy creatures we glimpsed running along a hallway behind us. We even found a room with a particularly gruesome murder–a Catholic priest crucified against a wall decorated with a bloody pentagram.

Currently, the game appears to be in a somewhat rough state, with many of the combat maneuvers and finishing moves not yet complete and the graphics looking a bit rough around the edges. 3DO is still aiming for Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to be released at the end of this year for the PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube, but the release could slip into 2004 if the game isn’t ready.”

Sadly, only a few days after it’s first and only official presentation, 3DO went bankrupt. As we can read on IGN, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’s rights were purchased by former creator and development director Michael Mendheim, helped by numerous investors who founded a company called Four Horsemen Entertainment L.L.C. We learned that, unlike others franchises bought by differents publishers after 3DO’s demise, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse was neglected because it was in its then-early stages it may not have been large enough. Publishers may have also been unwilling to provide the time necessary to complete the title properly.

“Now that Four Horsemen is officially in new hands, what was initially intended as a title for current generation consoles has become an entire entertainment franchise. The new company will begin by releasing comic books and a graphic novel based on the property, and eventually release a completely revamped version of the video game for next-generation systems.

Mendheim has confirmed that the key players are back on board: Simon Bisley is creating the artwork, and Hollywood effects legend Stan Winston is handling toy and movie rights. The star voice talent slated for the first iteration of the game, including Tim Curry and Traci Lords, are also apparently still committed to the project.

While few details about the new version of the game are available yet, Mendheim did hint at horseback-based combat and an ambitious multiplayer mode involving epic battles of angels versus demons in which the player takes the role of one of the four horsemen.”

However, as far as we know, only comic books would be released, instead of the movie and the various iterations offered for video game concepts.

Article by Daniel Nicaise

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Demonik (Terminal Reality) [X360 – Cancelled]

Demonik is a canceled action game published by Majesco Entertainment, in partnership with John Woo’s company Tiger Hill Entertainment, and developed by Terminal Reality around 2005-2006, only for the Xbox 360.

In Demonik, the player assume the role of Volwrath, a demon who is summoned to Earth by humans seeking revenge against those who’ve done them wrong in some way. To do so, Volwrath has multiple supernatural powers such as telekinesis or even the possession of spirit’s human being.

The game was first announced as a brand new IP in May 2005, when an agreement between Tiger Hill and Majesco was reached. Horror master Clive Barker was attached to the project as writer and director of the game:

“Demonik is set to launch in 2006 on next generation consoles and is being developed simultaneously as a feature film by acclaimed filmmaker and writer Clive Barker. Barker is set to oversee the story, character designs, cinematics and voice talent for the game.”

“Clive Barker adds “Demonik will be an intense gaming experience. I’m having a lot of fun enriching the game’s mythology and polishing the characters till they shine. And, of course, adding a little bit of Barker darkness.”

“Demonik is the latest game from award-winning developer Terminal Reality, creators of Majesco’s hit BloodRayne series. Demonik is a detailed third-person action game that allows players to control the ultimate bad guy — wreaking havoc with a variety of innovative and spectacular powers and abilities.”

The game was shown at E3 2005 where IGN and Gamespy were able to unveil further details. Gamespy was writing a short preview:

“In Demonik, players take on the role of a powerful vengeance demon named Volwrath, who is summoned to Earth by humans seeking revenge against those who’ve done them wrong in some way. Although bound by his human masters, Volwrath gets stronger and stronger with each summoning, ultimately becoming powerful enough to break the chains that bind him and take over the world of those he once served.

Volwrath faces off against a variety of opponents, both human and supernatural. Luckily, Volwrath has more than a few otherworldly tricks up his sleeve. Volwrath has the ability to jump from body to body at will, corrupting those he controls in the process. Volwrath also has access to a total of twenty five different demonic powers, allowing him to do everything from spreading a lethal plague to flash frying anyone in sight.

I had the chance to check out a hands-on alpha preview of Demonik during a behind closed doors session at Majesco’s E3 booth. I was thoroughly impressed by what I saw. The game uses a dynamic multipass lighting system and a realistic physics engine that work well together to bring the world of Demonik to life.

Other key points highlighted during the presentation included details on the game’s single-player and multiplayer capabilities. The game will include 10-12 single-player summoning missions, as well as a few missions in Volwrath’s Underworld home. For the multiplayer side of things, gamers will be able to compete against each other in one-on-one demon combat, or in five-on-one human versus demon battles. It was also pointed out that the game is still in the early stages of development, and that more multiplayer options could be added prior to the game’s release.”

While IGN told us:

“Volwrath has immense power, which you’ll need to grow and harness throughout the adventure. While lighting strikes and plague-infection powers come later in the game, the two key abilities are Volwrath’s Devil Hand and possession ability. The Devil Hand looks a lot like Psi-Ops, where Volwrath can lift objects and enemies and toss them around like dolls. The 360 difference is that everything in the environment can be interacted with. Everything. At a chemical facility, Volwrath can pick up humans and toss them into acid vats and watch them bubble and vaporize. Throw crates, toss barrels. Consider it your innate gravity gun.

Possession allows Volwrath to enter human hosts and assume their identity. The longer Volwrath stays in a host, the more powerful he becomes as he slowly feeds on the host’s lifeforce, but this also slowly turns the human form more and more demonic. Stay long enough and Volwrath will fully emerge from the host. You can leave a host at any time, which instantly places you in a first person “Redeemer” cam. As a spiritual entity, you can’t go through solid objects and the further you get from your previous host, the weaker you become.

The applications of possession are pretty awesome. You can possess a security guard and start shooting your buddies then leap out and head into another area of the room to take over a scientist. As the scientist scurries away, the other guards start attacking their brother in arms, who has no idea why everyone is suddenly taking shots at him. Let chaos reign. Run into an enemy who can see your demonic form emerging from a host and you can leap right into the enemy as he sprays the first bullets at your former host.

Demonik features eight different powers (plus the devil hand). Each power can be upgraded three full levels and you can choose which powers to upgrade first. Powers can also be chained, so if you curse an enemy with the Plague, you can then use the Devil Hand to throw them into another group, infecting the whole lot.

You can affect every human in the game, except for the Demonic Hunters. This special group of humanoids hunt your peeps and are immune to all of your powers. Fortunately, they aren’t immune to bullets. And Volwrath has no problems bustin’ a cap in people or opening up with a few powerful fist blows. And don’t forget that you can chuck objects at enemies and cause mass destruction to the environment.

Though the framerate’s a little shaky at this early stage, Demonik shows the power of the 360. Everything is normal-mapped, has dynamic lighting and looks fantastic.”

However, after it’s presentation at E3, the game was canceled in the beginning of 2006, alongside Martin Scorsese’s movie tie-in video game Taxi Driver, after Majesco ran into big financial trouble as we can read on Engadget:

“Majesco is “shifting its product strategy away from the premium console game market” to focus primarily on value and handheld games. As a result, expected high-profile titles such as Taxi Driver and Demonik have been cancelled. This follows the sale of the rights to The Darkness and Ghost Rider back in December.

Losing $70 million in a year can be tough on any publisher, but it can be crushing for a struggling one like Majesco. The commercial failures of the trumpeted sci-fi epic Advent Rising and the Schafer-produced gem Psychonauts did nothing to help things as the company only made $4.6 million in revenue (not profit) in the 4th quarter of 2005.”

Demonik was featured during a scene in the 2006’s movie Grandma’s Boy.

Article updated by Daniel Nicaise

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