Action RPG

Tears [PC – Cancelled]

Tears was cancelled RPG game being made by czech Visiongame in 1995. It was planned with 3D isometric view in a medieval setting.
Goal of the game was to make a revolution in your kingdom and become king. Developers made promises about high AI of characters in the game, and about many items to use. Each of game characters will be living daily life routines. Game was planned with many different endings.
Promises was made about high quality rendered animations and CD quality soundtrack.  

Daybreakers (Trilogy Studios) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3, PC]

Daybreakers is a cancelled episodic time-traveling first-person RPG that was in development since 2006 by Trilogy Studios, planned to be released for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. The company was founded by game industry veterans who worked in such companies as Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, RockStar Games and Vivendi Universal.

In Daybreakers players would have been able to explore different time-periods to find a solution to save our doomed world. The game was talked about by major websites such as IGN and Playstation Universe:

“The world is falling apart with war, disease, insurgency, and starvation rampant among humanity. The only hope lies with the Nexus Corporation, a U.S. funded group using volunteer convicts as experimental guinea pigs in an operation called “Project Daybreak.” Utilizing Project Daybreak, the Nexus Corporation studies time travel to find the means to cure the world of its problems.”

“Developed by Trilogy Studios, Daybreakers puts players in the role of undercover US secret operative Nolan Reeves who is asked to enter the world of the criminal underground, joining the Nexus Project and time traveling in order to find three escaped convicts. Upon returning from his task, Reeves finds that the only people aware of his mission, of his existence – have been killed. From this point forward he must rely on the ability to manipulate the relationships with those in the world around him: inmates, factions, and the corrupt officers and officials who permeate Nexus Island.”

“We would like to be the first team to truly monetize the online gameplay of first-person shooters,” Pole proclaimed. “It hasn’t been done. First-person shooters traditionally have not done a very good job of rewarding players. The way they reward players is that you run through a level, shoot everything on the level, finish the level, and you go to the other level and get a bigger gun. Our goal and our objective is to get a player a sophisticated and very detailed level of gameplay that hasn’t been delivered in first-person shooters by offering gamers a moment-by-moment reward system versus a level-based reward system. All these RPG elements that we mentioned will allow players to build upon their characters so they can see how well they are doing.”

“Instead of describing the game as an open world title, he told us that Daybreakers was a “dynamic world simulator“. He added that the game would feature more interactivity and more of a sense that the player’s actions have consequences in the game world. “I think that’s where games need to go, especially first person shooters,”

The first Daybreakers’ episode was planned for 2008, but the project quickly vanished and was never completed. As far as we know Trilogy Studios worked on a few social games before closing down around 2010.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Federation (Dimension Creative Designs) [PC – Cancelled]

Federation is a cancelled sci-fi action RPG / space exploration adventure that was in development by Dimension Creative Designs (Synthetic Dimensions) around 1996 / 1997, planned to be released on PC. We cannot find information about this project anywhere online, but thanks to Alex we saved a short preview that was published at the time in a Spanish magazine.

As many other canned space-adventures of the ‘90s the team conceived Federation as an overly ambitious 3D galaxy full of planets you could freely explore. We could imagine it as a mix between Mass Effect, Elite and Star Citizen: players would have been able to fly between planets, explore their continents, trade with their inhabitants and resolve various space-missions.

Dimension Creative Designs is mostly known for working on such titles as Corporation, Druid: Daemons of the Mind, Ed Hunter but as far as we know they never released anything similar to Federation and it’s unclear what happened to this lost game. If you know someone who worked at DCD please let us know!

Thanks to Alex for the contribution! 

Justice Unlimited (LucasArts) [Cancelled – PC]

Justice Unlimited is a cancelled superhero action RPG with gameplay similar to Diablo, that was pitched by LucasArts around 1997. We would imagine it as a top-down 2D adventure, exploring modern-day cities and the suburbs taking the role of different superheroes to hunt down criminals, level-up and collect rare loot. While the game was never officially announced, some details and artwork were shared in the book “Rogue Leaders – The Story Of Lucasarts”:

“From 1997 to 1998, LucasArts worked on a game concept meant to challenge Blizzards’s popular Diablo RPG game. The entire concept was essentially  “Diablo, except with superheroes” recalls LucasArts designer John Stafford. Lots of concept art and story were generated for the game, but no work was completed on a game engine, and the idea was shelved.”

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Jibaku-kun: Zero no Ki no Kajitsu [Game Boy Color – Cancelled]

Jibaku-kun: Zero no Ki no Kajitsu (ジバクくん 零の樹の果実 ワールド) is a cancelled Action RPG that was in development by Enterbrain and Media Factory for Game Boy Color. The game is based on a manga / anime series by Ami Shibata and gameplay is kinda similar to the Tales Of series: players can explore the world and its cities, talking to NPCs and resolving quests, while fighting monsters in side-scrolling combat.

This is one of the playable GBC prototypes that was found in the Nintendo Gigaleak in September 2020, so luckily it was preserved: a few  screenshots and gameplay footage are available online.

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