In the mid and late ‘90s 989 Studios / Sony Interactive Studios Los Angeles developed many popular games for the first Playstation, titles such as Bust A Groove, Cool Boarders 3, Jet Moto 3, Cardinal Syn, Twisted Metal 3 and Syphon Filter. Unfortunately they also worked on many other projects that never seen the light of day, such as Dark Guns, Sorcery, Warhawk 2 and The Diabolical Adventures of Tobu.
Another unseen game they were working on was labeled as “DR”, possibly the initials for something like “Death Race”, some kind of post-apocalyptic racing / combat game inspired by the Mad Max movies, featuring strange vehicles with guns and bio-mechanical designs. Unfortunately there’s not much more available from this lost game, but only a few concept arts were preserved, create by artist John Duggan at the time.
We can speculate DR was meant to be played somehow like Twisted Metal and that could be the reason of its demise: Sony gave 989 Studios the Twisted Metal IP to develop a full sequel to their car-combat game, a title that could have been more profitable than an original project with similar gameplay.
DR remains another interesting unseen game we’ll never play by one of our favorite studios from the original Playstation years. If you know someone who worked on this game and could remember more details, please let us know!
Chase is a cancelled action adventure with RPG and racing elements that was in development around 2010 for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, possibly to be published by Evolved Games. While we received some details about the game’s story and gameplay, we don’t know the name of the studio that was working on this project and it seems that only an early tech demo was developed before its cancellation, probably because the pitch was not fully green-lighted by the publisher.
Described as a “cinematic and emotional action RPG and Driving game”, Chase could have mixed some interesting gameplay mechanics from different game genres, within modern day real world settings. Some of the areas planned for the game included California (Los Angeles), Nevada (Vegas), California (San Francisco), Utah (Salt Lake City), Arizona (Grand Canyon), Texas (Baytown Refinery, largest oil refinery in the United States), New York (New York City), Michigan (Detroit), Illinois (Chicago) and Louisiana (New Orleans).
Such games as Burnout Paradise, GTA, Twisted Metal and Midnight Club: Los Angeles were quoted as inspirations for the game’s feel and gameplay, and in Chase players would be able to explore 12 different areas in North America, driving around with many upgradable vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, jet skis and airboats) while trying to escape from enemies or chasing down a target, for example a truck with a gas tank that has to be destroyed. Each vehicle would have had many weapons at its disposal, you could customize your car as you please to became a powerful road warrior. By looking at the early tech demo footage, we can say it kinda looks a bit like the Mad Max game tie-in developed by Avalanche Studios and published in 2015.
Two playable characters were available, Logan and Gina chase, each with their own skills and strengths. We can assume the final game would have included many cinematic cut-scenes with a feel similar to high-speed action movies, with reckless driving, chases, car combat and crashes. Levels would have had destructible environments, dynamic night and day cycles as well as weather that would influence gameplay.
Here are some details from the beginning of the story planned for the game:
“Logan Chase has only scratched the surface of the plot from the secret group called The Hand of the Patriots. The clock is ticking and it’s up to Logan and his wife Gina to stop the chain of events that will cause the United States to fall into chaos.
Logan Chase has lost everything and is now an inmate of a maximum security prison awaiting his execution date. This former agent has been labeled an enemy of the state, locked up and all that he cared for has been taken away from him.
The victim of a major cover-up he has been betrayed and lied to by everyone he trusted even his own lawyer. There is a long list of dirty cops, rogue agents and other dark forces standing between him and freedom. Believing his own life is over Logan’s only concern is for his wife. Before his imprisonment he was able to secure her escape. Gina Chase is probably the only person that knows his innocence and is also a target on the run.
HAND OF THE PATRIOTS: From America’s social elite to generations of political dynasties and hard core religious zealots . The Hand moves in shadows and has pull in it’s many political, religious and charity organizations. They are the one’s who are pulling the strings.
After receiving the final verdict of guilty Logan is being transported back to the prison along with other prisoners. He is told by the warden that they finally have word on where his wife is and she will soon be taken. Handcuffed and bound he fights but can’t get free. But then the prisoners attack the guards and grab the keys. A fight between the prisoners and guards begins on the bus.
The prisoners have the bus and the cops are chasing them. A firefight between them begins. (This includes cars and helicopters). Logan shoots down the helicopter and takes out most of the pursuing cop cars but the bus is on fire and can’t go on much longer. He spots a transport filled with new cars. He decides to jump for it from the roof of the bus. Logan makes the jump and begins to hotwire one of the new cars. The cops are closing in as he starts the car and floors it off the carrier.”
It seems that while Chase was set in real-world settings, there would have been some sci-fi or near-future elements, such as chemical compound used by Hand of the Patriots to render the masses passive and release their free will, and the high-tech combat cars you can see in the footage below.
Multiplayer was also planned for Chase, we can assume it could have been some kind of car combat online mode similar to Twisted Metal.
If you know someone who worked on this game please let us know! We’d love to save even more details about it, before it could be forgotten.
Full Auto, also know as Inertia, was one of the first prototypes in development (in 1997) at Pseudo Interactive and it’s interesting to notice that it had the same name of a game developed by the same company and released in 2006 for the XBOX 360. Inertia was a car combat game too and we can wonder if this proto influenced somehow FA 360. As we can read in one of developers’s site, the game “… suffered from problems such as feature creep, code bloat, and scheduling overruns, and was eventually cancelled shortly after being featured at Microsoft’s Gamestock ’99 press event. However, the publisher was impressed enough with the potential shown by the game to continue their working relationship with Pseudo Interactive, which is how PI came to be one of the first third party developers working on a title for the XBox console…the title that would in the end be known as Cel Damage.
Some more info can be found in an old press-release:
Players maneuver futuristic combat vehicles and battle their way through the rich, alien and interactive world of “Full Auto,” an advanced 3-D vehicular shooter game. As a car-warrior for hire, gamers custom-build their battle cars and prepare for intense combat missions and death-match battles. Players pit their skills against evil corporate mercenaries or sophisticated mechs in either single-player or Internet multiplayer mode via the MSN™ Gaming Zone (http://www.zone.com/). Players succeed by increasing their wealth and improving their car in this intense, nonlinear action game.
Unrestrained gameplay. Players devise unique strategies on the fly, manage their resources carefully, and uncover hidden surprises in 27 interactive, unrestrained and highly replayable missions, battle arenas and racetracks.
Customizable vehicles. Players design their battle vehicles from a large selection of options — cars, weapons, engines and accessories — to meet the challenges of precision driving and intense shooting battles.
Huge interactive environments. Players delve deep into the secrets of a strange alien planet as they progress through 17 challenging missions, including exploration, assassination, demolition and high-speed chases. Skills are honed in one of 10 arenas as users compete in events such as races, death-match combat, “Capture the Flag” and more. While a special tutorial mission makes gameplay easy to learn, “Full Auto” is difficult to master.
Thanks toHey Hey and Vicente for the contributions!
Seal Squad 2040 is a cancelled racing / combat game that was in development in 1998 by Head Games for the Playstation. In an old preview in GamePro magazine issue 101, the project was described as “Wave Race with guns”, but sadly there are only few artworks and no screeenshots, so it’s possible that it was canned in early development. Check the gallery below for more info!
The development of Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now! was a frenzied one, a lot of changes were made throughout the game. Most of the changes have been documented by several fans of the franchise on the Carmageddon fan discussion boards.
Steel Gonad O’ Death
Got ‘im in the bollocks powerup icon from the Alpha demo of C2
The Got ‘im in the bollocks powerup is a removed powerup from the Splat Pack (it may be in the original Carmageddon also) and it was carried over into C2, this powerup can still be activated in the final version of C2 but it just gives you credits, not only that but it displays a message on the screen that confirms the powerup has been activated.
The powerup icon doesn’t exist in the final version of Carmageddon II but it does exist in the alpha/demo versions of Carmageddon II.