Downfall is a cancelled survival horror / sandbox open world game that was in development by Crystal Dynamics in 2007, for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Sadly the project was canned before being officially announced, so we dont know much about its gameplay, but from the few concept arts preserved, we can assume that it was going to be somehow similar to I Am Alive / Disaster Report / Project Survivors, with some horror twist. Downfall was set in a post-quake San Francisco, as another cancelled game for the PS2, The Big One.
The images in the gallery below were saved to preserve the existence of this lost game.
Gex is a 2D platformer game, developed and published by Crystal Dynamics in march 1995 for the Panasonic 3DO and later for the Sega Saturn and PlayStation. Thanks to Gexthegecko we found out that in the final game it’s possible to reach an unused shooting level: it involves taking a certain route in Planet X (check the videos below). There’s also a test levels that include unused sprites from the 3DO version.
Beyond this, there are loads of concept artworks to unlock in the special ending (after the credits roll). It seems that the original plot never involved television and in the early prototype Gex was set in our world instead of its very own fantasy oriented one. There’s also an article with one of the game’s developers, which exposes even more pre-production goodness:
The game was about Gecko X, a Hollywood stuntman (stunt Gecko). The studio he worked for was in financial trouble and helping it fail were the enemies Karl Chameleon and his henchmen like Guido Gila. Each level would be themed around a Hollywood action movie genre. For example the Western. The level intro would show stock footage of old Hollywood western movies (for some reason marketing thought this was the greatest idea ever) and then the level would have Gex going through it doing “stunts”. The better he did the more money the ‘Movie’ made and therefore the better the studio did. One level was designed using that theme and it was just awful. […]
They wanted a 32bit game that would be the next Sonic but they were not willing to put the resources into it that would be required to do it. They had come from a 16 bit world and still thought they only needed a 16bit size team. […]
By June we had decided to get rid of Mode 2 and make each world have only one art set so for example the Horror world dropped the Haunted House art set and became just the graveyard. Done by that time were the graveyard art set, cartoon and sci-fi and almost no enemies. It was around that time that Silicon Knights (creators of Legacy of Kain) were asked to do some enemies for Gex. They cranked out about 26 enemies in about 1 month. Also Steve Suhy was hired and was asked to do many of the enemies.[…]
Since it was now June and the project was not even 50% finished, the company decided to cut the sci-fi levels since none had been done and since they didn’t like the art. That brought the game down to five worlds and they hoped would get the game done by Sept in time for Christmas. […]
Evan had programmed a shooter for his Senior project at Stanford (he was finishing his degree at Stanford and working on this nightmare project and competing in National gymnastics) and we decided to stick that shooter in the game as a bonus. […]
Kamikaze Comics is a cancelled platform game that was in development by Crystal Dynamics in 1994 for the Sega Mega CD. The main character was a comic book author that somehow got sucked into his comics and probably had to find a way to return to the real world. There is no more info available on this project and we don’t know why it was never released. Rod Wod was able to find a single screenshot of the game in an old magazine.
Pandemonium is a 2.5D side scrolling platform game, developed by Toys For Bob and published by Crystal Dynamics, originally for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. Celine has found some beta screenshots (20% complete?) of the game in GamePro #83 in which we can notice the early graphic and some possible other differences (sadly i don’t remember the game that well, if you find more changes, please let us know!).
It’s interesting to notice that Pandemonium was released in Japan by Bandai under the title Magical Hoppers, with story, cutscenes and characters completely changed with a more “japanese” style. [Info from Wikipedia]
Thanks to Celine for the contribution!
Alpha Stage – July 1996 Platform: PSX
This version contains some rather interesting differences. You can switch the characters whilst in-game unlike the final verison which doesn’t allow this. Most of the levels are there but they appear to be incomplete towards the end. The world map/level selection is also incomplete and very basic. The HUD is different from the final game and so are the collectibles which seem to be red gems of some sort.
August/Early September 1996 Beta Trailer
A trailer which shows footage of an unknown build of the game. My estimate is between August/Early September 1996. There are numerous differences, especially the HUD which has a picture of the character itself. I actually prefer it like this.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is a third-person adventure game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Eidos. It was released for the PlayStation and PC in 1999 and for the Sega Dreamcast in 2000. Soul Reaver entered development alongside Blood Omen 2: Legacy of Kain in 1997 and focused on puzzle solving instead of Blood Omen 2’s action.
Initially, the game was set to be released October 1998. The secondary release date was then made January 1999. Due to the game still remaining unfinished. It was granted a final delay of approximately 7 months which then, the game went gold in July 1999 and subsequently got released August 1999.
Unfortunately, these delays occurred because the game wasn’t progressing quickly enough in terms of asset creation to fulfill their original vision for Soul Reaver. Several interviews suggested the designers noticed they had an overly designed game thus had no option but to remove certain areas of the game.
Some removed areas are known as:
“Turel’s Territory”(Must confirm the exact name)
Amy Hennig stated that the development team split the original, much larger plans in two after realizing that they had “over-designed the game”. This decision explains Soul Reaver’s cliffhanger ending and the appearance of originally planned material in later games. Despite the split, Hennig explained that the team left unused components in Soul Reaver’s game engine to avoid unforeseen glitches that might have arisen from their removal. [Infos from Wikipedia] This is why certain reavers are accessible even though they are not actually obtainable on the retail version.
As we can read in this interesting article from The Lost Worlds, many items, weapons and areas were removed / not used in the final game, as the Amplified Force Projectile & Possession abilities, The Amplified Reaver and The Ariel Reaver weapons, Five additional Reaver upgrades and the The Mountain Retreat area. You should check the Lost Worlds article for more informations, it’s really well done!
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