Criterion

Black 2 [Xbox 360, PS3 – Cancelled]

Black 2 [Xbox 360, PS3 – Cancelled]

Black 2 is the cancelled sequel to Criterion Games‘ 2006 shooter, Black, which was being worked on by the same developer for publisher and IP holder, Electronic Arts. It was planned to be a co-op shooter for the Xbox 360 and PS3 with a release in late 2007/early 2008.

Black 2 Logo

Concept art for Black 2’s logo.

The Original Idea For Black 2

Despite recurring rumours of Black 2 rumbling for several years after the release of the original game, its development was, in actuality, rather short-lived and it never was able to leave pre-production. As it turns out, EA and Criterion had plans to expand Black into a franchise for some time before the first game was even released. Preliminary work on the sequel commenced as early as April 2005, a whole 10 months before Black was finished.

Artists were contracted externally to produce conceptual documents for the game, including drawings of the protagonist, Jack Kellar. According to one of the artists who spent a short period of time on the project, there was some debate over the direction the follow-up would take. One possible path, for example, would have continued the story of the first game, as Kellar continues his hunt for Lennox at the behest of the US government. 

Burnout [Beta – PS2, XBOX, GameCube]

Burnout (working title Shiny Red Car) is a racing game developed by Criterion Games and published by Acclaim on the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and Xbox in 2001. 11 years later, information regarding Burnout beta cars has been revealed. It wasn’t exactly hidden, but neither was it put out there to the public. Firstly, the vehicles have names tied to them. A slight hint to this is the fact that the Saloon GT has the bolded words “TENRAI” on the back. Nobody understood what this meant (other than it’s just a manufacturer name), but this latest discovery puts all of the theories to rest and finally puts a meaning to all of this.

On top of this, there was officially one cut vehicle from the game. This would be the Fire Engine, most likely to be assumed a Fire truck. No files for this vehicle remain in the game, only references to its name.

To start, here is the list of vehicle names taken directly from the inner-workings of Burnout on the PS2:

  • Frente GL
  • Venom SX
  • Sabre
  • Thunderbolt GT
  • Longbow EXC 300
  • Tenrai VII
  • Grizzly
  • Hudson 418
  • UT500 Jackhammer
  • Fire Engine

One will have to assume which vehicle name is tied to what, but a good way to figure that out is to try and associate each name with each car based on what it is. For example, the UT500 Jackhammer sounds like the Tow Truck, and the Sabre could be the Muscle (which resembles a Dodge Viper).

There were also many cut traffic cars. In the final game, only 8 traffic cars appear in each city, but the full list of traffic cars may come as a surprise to some…here they are!

  • Europe Bus
  • Oriental Bus
  • USA Bus
  • Long cab
  • Cab over
  • Compact
  • Old compact
  • Container
  • Flatbed
  • Minibus
  • Payload
  • Europe police
  • Oriental police
  • USA police
  • Sedan
  • Tanker
  • Europe taxi
  • Oriental taxi
  • USA taxi
  • Van
  • Europe truck
  • Oriental truck
  • USA truck
  • Europe van

You may be thinking:

COP CARS!

It would seem that cop cars were originally planned, but later cut! What a shame!

The above names were actual string names assigned to each model in-game, but the following names are the names used for each model. This could provide an insight into what kind of cars were planned for the game. Since these are model names, they are all capitals, and most likely, abbreviated as much as possible. About 80% of the traffic cars would be cut from the game!

  • MOTORBIKE
  • SCOOTER
  • MODCOMPACT
  • OLDCOMPACT
  • SEDAN
  • EUROTAXI
  • USTAXI
  • ORIENTTAXI
  • EUROPOLICE
  • USPOLICE
  • ORIENTPOLICE
  • BASICPICKUP
  • JACKEDPICKUP
  • THAIPICKUP
  • FARMTRUCK
  • VAN
  • MINIBUS
  • LUTON1
  • LUTON2
  • PEOPLECARRIER
  • USBUS
  • EUROBUS
  • ORIENTBUS
  • WINNEBAGO
  • USNON
  • EURONON
  • ORIENTNON
  • LONGNOSE
  • CABOVER
  • FLATBEDTARP
  • FLATBEDPAYLOAD
  • CONTAINER
  • TANKER

You may be thinking:

MOTORBIKES AND A SCOOTER!

Yes, a motorbike and a scooter. It was going to happen. You heard it here first on Unseen64!

All of the information seen here was found inside of the SLUS_203.07 file that can be found inside of the Burnout [PS2] disc. The information provided above has not be altered in any way, shape, or form, and is guaranteed to be 100% correct based upon the developer.

And to think, it only took 11 years to find this out. It was worth it!

Article by Red 

Stunt Squad (Airblade) [PS2 – Beta]

Stunt Squad was the original title for AirBlade, a futuristic extreme sports game developed by Criterion Games and published in november 2001 by Namco for the Playstation 2, as a spiritual successor to the Dreamcast game Trickstyle.  Pcloadletter found some beta images from the game in Edge 86 (July 2000), in whic Stunt Squad / Airblade looked a lot different from the final version.

Airblade Beta:


Airblade Final:


Thanks to pcloadletter for the contribution!

Images:

 

Black [PS2/XBOX – Beta]

Black is a FPS developed by Criterion Games and published in 2006 by Electronic Arts for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Thanks to a playable demo released before the game was completed, DCodes7 noticed various beta differences, listed in the gallery below. Also, as wrote by Satrialeson the NeoGaf Forum, originally Black had a “challenge mode” where you would run around the levels shooting targets within a set time, but this was removed in the final version.

Images:

Video:

 

RS Links: the unreleased Burnout Paradise’s content

Over at the official Burnout / Criterion blog, they wrote a post about planned Download Content that was meant to be released for Burnout Paradise, as new tracks, modes and vehicles, but for some reasons they never finish them.

We were very interested in the whole concept of downloadable content, and we knew that we wanted to approach it very differently and push it as far as we could. A downloadable Island was started almost immediately after the main game was built.

[…]

We did have ambitious plans for a series of Islands. One was going to be purely off-road based. Hence we created the ‘Dust Storm’ dune buggy in anticipation for that. Our original dreams for Paradise were to create a series of Islands, all connected to Paradise City and each would focus on a different style of racing game. One Island was going to be completely circuit based – and be all marked up like a modern Formula One circuit!

[…]

Planes. A lot of Burnout fans already know about this – as we showed flying around in a live podcast. It was really cool to be able to see Paradise City from the air. It did not happen because of the way the game world was built. The city was never meant to be seen from such viewpoints. Think of it like a film set, a very big film set – meant to be seen from certain camera angles and not others.

[…]

The Moon! Again, completely true. Someone on the team said that ‘players want the moon on a stick when it comes to DLC’ We thought that was funny and thought we’d do it. The actual surface of the real Moon was modelled and it was drive-able. Lunar Challenges would have been totally unexpected – as would have been zero gravity Takedowns and Challenges.

[…]

Time Travel – Not many know about this, but it was discussed. On a certain day, a time portal would have opened on the Island. When you jumped through, you would have found yourself on Big Surf, at another point in history. Maybe the Wild West…you could have done some Challenges and then jumped back.

Thanks to Robert Seddon for the link!