Action

Shitkickers [PSP, PS2 – Cancelled]

Shitkickers is a cancelled action shooter that was pitched by David Jaffe on PSP and PS2, possibly when he was working with Incognito Entertainment o Eat Sleep Play. Just as with his Twisted Metal series, Shitkickers would have heavily used vehicle-combat during missions, with the high concept being “Max Payne set in the deep South of USA“.

While the game was never officially announced and possible not greenlighted by Sony, Jaffe shared a couple of pages from their original pitch on Twitter:

“Shitkickers gives the Nascar fan their own action hero. Shitkickers is not goofy, silly ‘dumb rednck” humor, it actually glamorizes the Red State culture. Think a hard edges Dukes of Hazzard or Smokey And The Bandit. Game would have country music and southern rock soundtrack with country stars even starring in some of the smaller NPC roles (Willie Nelson, Faith Hill, Dolly Parton, etc.). Kind of like what the Urban Rap games do with the rap star (i.e. 50 Cent’s BulletProof).

Be cool to get the actual licenses for specific trucks, guns, stores and such that are indigenous to the Red State Culture. Game itself is a shooter and driving game (lots of vehicles to use in the missions). A streaming environment would be great, but I don’t know if this will work on the PSP. In an ideal world we’d be making this on PS2 as it has the more casual audience at this point and the casuals would probably dig this more than hardcore, elitist gamers who may make fun of the subject matter.

That said, if our hero is just bad ass in every way (think The Rock in Walking Tall) we could be fine on any platform. I see this as a hard T-rating, something dads and their sons can play together, it’s rough and tough and down and dirty, but it’s not nasty and dark and violent. Hell, maybe we should just get The Rock and scan him and do the 50 Cent thing? Right now, it’s just a vibe and a setting, we would have to work to really make the third person shooter gameplay feel fresh and to give it some unique ideas. But that doesn’t worry me so much.

Overall, I think it’s a fresh, fun theme that may very well be one of the last remaining cultural avenues that games have not exploited. Could this be the action game for those droves who bought ATV OffRoad Fury?”

As far as we know these 2 pages are the only remaining document proving the existence of this lost project and the team may have not started any prototype before it was rejected.

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Rampage X (2014) [PC – Cancelled]

Rampage X is a cancelled action game in the cult-classic Rampage series, which was in development by Appy Entertainment around 2014, planned to be published on PC by Warner Bros Games. It was meant to be a new reboot of the classic series while keeping its main mechanics, after the release of Rampage: Total Destruction by Midway Games in 2006. The team conceived some new fun mechanics (such as mutation-customizations for your monster), classic power-ups, huge bosses and naturally a multiplayer mode in VS and coop:

  • 8 playable giant monsters
  • 8 international cities
  • 34 custom mutations
  • online and local multiplayer

Farzad Varahramyan was Rampage X’s Creative Visual Director and from his website (also on ArtStation) we can read some more details on this lost project:

“Warner Bros. had asked Appy to reinvent for them RAMPAGE, from their 80’s treasure chest of arcade hits.  Our team of 12 developed the fully realized and functioning playable prototype in 6 months.

Rampage X is a fun fueled mayhem and destruction filled romp through a fully destructible and interactive environment. If you could touch it you could destroy it or use it to destroy!

The visual DNA we developed for it was hyper-real, based on stop motion animated movies,  with characters, environments and props with exaggerated proportions and real-ish textures and material qualities.”

Huge thanks to Farzad for his help in preserving these screenshots, footage and info on the game!

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Project Witches (Eternal Light) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC]

Project Witches (aka Eternal Light) is a cancelled coop-focused action game that was in development by Revistronic for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii and PC. Gameplay would have probably been similar to Diablo or Gauntlet, with 4 players team up together to kill dozens of enemies and huge bosses. Eternal Light was officially announced in 2007, but then postponed for multiple times until it was considered vaporware among gamers.

As we can read on the original press-release and official website:

“Project WITCHES (Provisional Title) available w/w is a third-person action adventure game developed by Spanish developer, REVISTRONIC. In WITCHES players find themselves in terrifying dark surroundings in an epic struggle for survival in order to take freedom and peace to an oppressed medieval kingdom.

Across a landscape of devastation, players manage a squad of Witches, sultry warriors that still resist the dark will of the Evil Lord and his horde of awful creatures and lead the rebellion against his satanic power. Above all, it is a game where teamwork is vital: all modelling, levels and scenes are designed to promote cooperative play.”

Key  features

“Everything reeks of death, torture and destruction. The people have been enslaved. They are prisoners of a dark power that has established a reign of terror and devastation throughout the land. Your aim is to eliminate the evil creature that dwells in the depths of a sinister castle and to rescue the crushed inhabitants from their horrifying destiny. In order to survive in the face of this satanic power and its cruel armies, you must learn the art of combat and acquire terrible dark powers yourself.

Sultry girls against satanic monsters: Let yourself go in this dark medieval narrative and enjoy the contrast between sensual beauty and sinister horrors. Direct the beautiful but dangerous Gwen in a spectacular fight against hordes of repellent deformed creatures.

Feel the fear: Skies rent by terrifying storms, hair-raising shrieks, shadows in the fog, stealthy movements and menacing growls, the glint of monstrous eyes that watch from the shades. The oppressive certainty of death lying in wait for you.

Spectacular system of tactical combat: Combining spectacular combat with sequences of caution and stealth. The tactics you use will be decisive for your survival. You must rescue the captives and obtain their help. You will lead your team. You can be a great leader or sacrifice your comrades in the fight. Your decisions will shape your destiny.

Totally interactive environment: All game items can be used, creating a sensation of total immersion such as never before. You can use all kinds of objects to achieve your aims, even the amputated limbs of adversaries.”

There are a few gameplay videos from the game, but we don’t know how much was really completed before Revistronic closed down in 2011 for bankruptcy.

Thanks to Jean for the contribution!

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NinjaBread Man 2: Blades of Fury [Wii – Cancelled]

The original NinjaBread Man was a low-budget action game developed by Data Design Interactive and released for Playstation 2, PC and Wii. While the game was received with low scores, somehow it gained a cult-following of fans and the team officially announced a Wii sequel in 2008, titled “NinjaBread Man 2: Blades of Fury”.

As we can read on the original press-release:

“Guide Ninjabread man through Candy Land on his mission to rescue his girlfriend ‘Treacle Tart’ from the evil clutches of ‘Emperor Sly’ Fox and his three Fox Cub Overlords. NinjaBread Man: Blades of Fury will be a combat and exploration based adventure utilizing the Wii remotes unique control method to create an intuitive, fun and involving game experience with plenty of exciting game features.

Fight your way through Emperor Sly’s armies of Wasp Warriors, Rat Thugs and Jelly Ninjas as you explore the Sweet and Tasty worlds of Candy land. Use Ninjabread Mans Grapple Hook to Swing over chasms, disarm enemies and pull down objects to create bridges to new areas. Buy new weapons and stock up on useful items at the many Candy land ‘Weapon outposts’.

Learn amazing combat skills and new moves by entering the Training Dojo and find out how to take out your enemies quicker by using combination attacks. Take on Emperor Sly and his three maniacal Fox Cub Overlords in this stunning action packed Ninja adventure.

Storyline: after ridding Candy Land of the Hordes of evil Cupcakes Ninjabread Man found himself a nice girlfriend called ‘Treacle Tart’ and settled down for a quiet life in the lush Candy Fields estate. One misty moon lit night an elite band of Jelly Baby Ninja’s sneak into Ninjabread Man’s home, knock him out and kidnap Treacle Tart. They take her away to their secret base deep within the ‘Sugarcane Wastes’ of Candy Lands northern territory.

Outraged by this unnerving turn of events Ninjabread Man sets out in search of his beloved Treacle Tart and the despicable individuals responsible for her kidnap. Little does he know that an evil presence more powerful than he could have imagined is plotting his downfall and that the adventure he is about to embark on will be the most challenging he has ever encountered.”

An archived version of the official NinjaBread Man website is still accessible via the Wayback Machine from the Internet Archive. On this site fans were asked to send in ideas for the sequel in the form of artwork or descriptions of challenges. The designs would’ve been published on a forum where other users could comment on them, and the best designs would be put into the game, with the creator getting a place in the credits.

In the end Data Design Interactive went quiet after NinjaBread Man 2 announcement and soon closed down. Back in 2016 Zander Shepherd contacted Stewart Green (the founder and CEO of Data Design Interactive) to ask about the state of the game. His reply was:

“Sorry Ninjabread Man 2 was never started above design work, we have no plans to release it at this time.”

Unfortunately it seems not much remains from this cancelled sequel, but the fan-designs published online by the team and now preserved below. If you know someone who worked at Data Design Interactive and could have saved more documents from Ninjabread Man 2, please let us know in the comments below or by email.

Thanks to Zander Shepherd for the contribution!

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Iron Man Video Game (Z-Axis) [PS2, Xbox – Cancelled]

Around 2003 – 2005 Z-Axis (AKA Underground Development) was working on a new Iron Man video game tie-in for Activision, using the Marvel license. The project was planned to be released for Playstation 2 and Xbox, but in the end it was never completed and quietly vanished, forgotten by everyone.

As we can read on IGN, Z-Axis was hiring new devs for Iron Man around November 2003:

“Z-Axis, the hard-working folks who brought gamers Dave Mirra’s BMX Freestyle and Aggressive Inline (and if you go a little farther back, Fox Sports College Hoops and Thrasher: Skate and Destroy), is now officially working on two new games for Activision based on the Iron Man and X-Men Marvel licenses.

Activision has not officially announced either of these two titles, but we have learned that both are definitely action games. The X-Men game is all new, and should not be confused with the Raven-developed X-Men: Legends.”

In the end only Z-Axis’s “X-Men: The Official Game” game was released in 2006. We can assume the team had some issues in developing two Marvel games at the same time and Activision decided to cancel Iron Man. Some screenshots from an early Iron Man prototype are saved below, to remember the existence of this lost game.

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