Action Adventure

Joris le Sans-Pouvoir [Nintendo DS – Cancelled]

Joris le Sans-Pouvoir is a cancelled action adventure set in the cult-following DOFUS universe, that was in development around 2007 by Ankama and Magic Pockets for Nintendo DS. The game was planned to be released along with the animated movie featuring the same protagonist (Joris), but in the end both projects were canned.

Some details about this lost DS game were shared online by former Ankama developers, such as Sachka and Roy:

“Joris was the first Nintendo DS project developed at Ankama (in partnership with Magic Pockets). […] Game design on this project involved boss fight, level design, minigame design, UI… I also designed an original collecting system where collectible items were used in a minigame inspired by the “Grow” series. The developpement has been put on hold to match the release of the animated movie with the same character (scheduled in 2013).”

“Joris Le sans-Pouvoir is the main character from a feature film Ankama due in 2013. It’s a new character IP situated in the DOFUS universe. I had the chance to work on a platform game prototype that was all about delving into the character’s backstory. We wrote a lot of background and had a lot of fun designing and developing a cute and quirky platformer with a hint of metroidvania elements and a dash of Grow gameplay elements in-between levels. It also was a great opportunity to work with Jono Takeshi-san of Radiata Stories fame who worked with me on the art direction.”

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Legion (Torus Games) [PSP – Cancelled]

Legion is a cancelled action adventure that was pitched by Torus Games for PSP around 2004. The team created this tech demo to show their ideas to potential publishers, but it seems they never found one interested in funding the project. The game was never officially announced and canned early in its development, so there are no details about how it would have been played. By looking at the only screenshots preserved, we may assume it would have been some kind of horror – Gothic adventure: for sure it looked great for a PSP game!

In the end the only released games by Torus on PSP were Monster Jam: Urban Assault and Shrek Smash n’ Crash Racing. Their other PSP projects such as Full Metal Alchemist and Parkour were never completed.

Thanks to Josuke for the contribution!

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Fury of the Furries 3D [PS2 – Cancelled]

Fury of the Furries 3D is a cancelled platform adventure that was in development for Playstation 2 by Kalisto Entertainment around 2002. It was meant to be a sequel to the original title Kalisto released for PC and Amiga in 1993, but now in 3D and fully embracing its funny settings by making its protagonists parodies of popular video game characters. For example one of the Furries would be a pissing caricature of Link from The Legend of Zelda, or an obese Lara Croft from Tomb Raider.

Each Furry would have had its own ability, for example in the original game one was able to swim and another to dig underground. You could imagine it as a level based Metroidvania, with swappable characters. Fury of the Furries 3D would have offered similar gameplay mechanics, letting players explore levels in 3D for even more comical situations and parodies of other video games.

The Kalisto team was able to develop a playable prototype of their new Fury of the Furries, but unfortunately the studio was liquidated in April 2002 for bankruptcy and all of their projects were canned and lost forever (such as this, VIP, Shide, Silent Chaos, Nightmare Creatures 3 and Highlander: The Gathering).

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The Oddities (High Impact Games) [Cancelled – PS3, Xbox 360)

The Oddities is a cancelled action adventure that was in development around 2009 – 2010 by High Impact Games, possibly planned to be released on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Players would take control of a group of kids that somehow shrunk down while in the woods and had to fight against termites. The team was formed by former Insomniac Games and Naughty Dog developers, to work on such titles as Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters and  Secret Agent Clank, so they had skills and talent to develop an interesting game with these premises.

Unfortunately The Oddities was never officially announced so we don’t have any more details about this lost project. Only some concept art is preserved in the gallery below, to remember its existence.

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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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