FPS

Dark Hermetic Order (Intelligent Games) [PC – Cancelled]

Dark Hermetic Order is a cancelled first person action adventure game that was in development around 1996 by Intelligent Games as a sequel to Azrael’s Tear, planned to be published on PC by Williams Interactive. The team was mostly known for such titles as Imperium and Dune 2000, but unfortunately many more of their projects never saw the light of day (Bloodline, Flying Circus, Conjure, King of Wall Street, Deadline News, Cops & Robbers). In Dark Hermetic Order players would take the role of a secret agent with magic powers, who infiltrates a strange cult to eliminate their leaders.

Some details about the development and cancellation of DHO were shared online by former IG’s employee Jason Redway:

“After the release of PGA European Tour Golf and the subsequent course discs Jason moved on to a project that was already in progress with Intelligent Games. This project was called Dark Hermetic Order (DHO) and was underway for Williams Interactive. It was a follow-up to the recently released Azrael’s Tear and would be Jason’s first commercial product utilising his 3D skills. Using 3D Studio, Jason created several rooms and became a senior member of the team over the year that followed. Unfortunately during a management re-shuffle at Williams Interactive DHO was cancelled and work stopped. During the next year Jason worked on several prototype projects and some cancelled demos including Subbuteo, Need For Speed 2 and Flying Circus.”

“Previously we had a 3D adventure game (Azreal’s Tear), a golf game (PGA European Tour) and the recently completed Waterworld – this one was the closest that we had experience of combat strategy gaming. Initial ideas were that we would use the 3D engine we had produced Azreal’s Tear and the recently cancelled Dark Hermetic Order to create the first realtime 3D RTS. With this brief I was tasked to create a short atmosphere setting video that we would present to Westwood.”

A single screenshot from Dark Hermetic Order was published in a few gaming magazines such as PC Player Germany, but we hope one day someone could find footage or even an early prototype.

Thanks to Alex for the contribution! 

Sabotage (Insane Logics) [PC – Cancelled]

Sabotage (not to be confused with “Sabotage 1943” by Replay Studios, which later became Velvet Assassin) is a cancelled stealth FPS that was in development by Insane Logics between 2001 and 2003, planned to be released on PC. The game was set in a sci-fi world dominated by large corporations and players would be hired to sabotage these groups by infiltrating their buildings. It seems the Lead Game Designer for this lost game was Marc-André De Blois, who later worked as Lead Game Designer for Prince of Persia – The Sands of Time.

A playable demo was released online in 2003 and you can still download it on FilePlanet:

“This Demo version of Sabotage by Insane Logics contains 2 playable levels (level 1 & 5). Level 1 is at 80% of completion (lighting and textures are not complete). This first level takes place in the old sewers system of a gigantic complex owned by a bio-genetic corporation. This is the only way to infiltrate the complex. Level 5 is at 50% of completion (game play balance, lighting & textures are not complete). This level gives you a better vision of what the game will look like, a modern setting of a multinational bio-genetic corporation.”

We don’t know why Sabotage was never completed, but as it often happens with these projects we speculate the team was not able to find a publisher interested in supporting their project. As far as we know Replay Studios never released any other game and vanished after the cancellation of Sabotage.

Some screenshots saved from Old-Games and FactorNews.

Images: 

Strike Force: Red Cell (Vision Studios) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PC]

Strike Force: Red Cell is a cancelled tactical FPS that was in development by Vision Studios around 2005, planned to be published by Graffiti Entertainment on PC and Xbox 360. The team previously worked on a popular Unreal Tournament mod with the same name, but Red Cell would have been a full stand alone game with single player missions and online multiplayer.

Players would have been able to explore 8 levels from all around the world, completing them in a non-linear way. Each level would offer a series of missions conceived with the help of Navy Seals and USA military Officers. Some details were shared by the team in old interviews with FiringSquad and WebCloud:

Gamecloud – On your web site you have a little info about Strike Force Red Cell, the upcoming commercial version of Strike Force. What can you tell us about this game and the differences between it and the mod version?

Michael Hamlett – The Strike Force Red Cell game will have a full single player based campaign with new maps, AI coding, animations, character models, weapons, etc. The single player campaign is also being designed by Red Cell Associates. This is a group of X military Navy Seals and Officers who advised the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the President and the Department of Defense on counter terrorist activities. So we actually have a huge anti terrorist team working on the scenarios and game types. The full commercial game will also have new multiplayer game types to go along with the SP campaigns.

Gamecloud – What can you tell us at this time about the single player campaigns in Red Cell?

Michael Hamlett – The single player scenarios in Red Cell will work with you and a squad. Except your squad will actually be hidden during these missions. Meaning your character may be into a heavy battle to get out of a certain area and you can’t seem to bypass this area without any help. Your squad will radio in that one of your team mates are located on a upper hill or roof of a building with heavy guns. Then you will get a count down message and heavy fire will take out the enemy. So you will have your team helping in certain ways for the entire mission. Another scenario example may be where one of your team members is trying to cut power and you’ll have to hold at a certain point until this is done. So the interaction will play out somewhat like that.

 

Gamecloud – What are some of the more unique features in Red Cell that make it different than your typical first person shooter?

Michael Hamlett – One of the main things is what I explained above with the actions of your team helping you through but not actually being a direct part where you have to guide each one behind or beside you the entire way. Instead the team will be there to support in certain parts when needed. Also the amount of detail we are putting into maps, characters and weapons will really stand out from other shooters out there. Finally we have actually partnered with a huge X military team to help us write out and produce the single player campaign.

FiringSquad: What sort of locations and settings will the game have?

Michael Hamlett: The locations will be set world wide. As I’m sure your aware terrorist activities today happen all around the world. Sticking true to the Strike Force theme we will have map locations all over… from USA, Russia, Egypt, China, Korea, Sweden, Canada, etc.

We don’t know what happened to Vision Studios and their game, but they both quietly vanished and were never seen again.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

Images:

Videos:

 

Utopia Industrial (Parallax Arts) [PC – Cancelled]

Utopia Industrial is a cancelled mission-based First Person RPG / Shooter planned to be a sequel to Utopia City, which was in development by Parallax Arts Studio around 2004 when the first game was still unreleased. Gameplay could have been somehow similar to Deus Ex, with missions you could resolve by using stealth or by shooting down every enemy on sight.

In this lost sequel players would have been able to explore new areas in the industrial part of the Utopian world and the virtual universe, trying to avoid harming the civilians and find the best way to take down a new terrorist group. As we can read on the old Parallax Arts website:

“After the destruction of the central city of Utopia, it became known that it was not the end. The information that there was a secret experiment in the industrial part of the Utopian world appeared. A terrorist group was at the head of the process. The group’s intentions failed in the real world, thus they try to fulfill their plans in the virtual universe.

The heart of the experiment was the following. Many of the people who made their way to Utopia were deprived of their wills and plunged into a deep dream. Their consciousness was greatly influenced in order to make them suffer and be horrified.

Images being created by the test people’s subconsciousness materialized and put on an air of a virtual body in a secret laboratory. The visualized monsters were kept in a special polygon where they were self-perfecting in order to make their “souls” tone with their appearance. Further, the monsters are planned to be directed to the real people’s dreams in order to deprive them of sleep and to drive them mad. “

At the time Parallax Arts were also working on 4 other projects: Utopia City, 1171, Caravan and Liquidator 2: Welcome to Hell. Only Utopia City and Liquidator 2 were published and after releasing Exodus from the Earth in 2007, Parallax vanished.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

Images: 

Severity (Escalation Studios) [Cancelled – PS3, Xbox 360, PC]

Severity is a cancelled eSport-focused FPS that was in development around 2007 by Escalation Studios (later renamed to Bethesda Game Studios Dallas) in cooperation with John Romero and funded by the Cyberathlete Professional League. It was planned to be released on Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

As we can read in an old article published on FiringSquad:

“Mustaine told us that he already has a group of about 10 team members working on Severity and plans to expand that team to about 20 members in total.

Mustaine isn’t revealing much about the game itself at this stage but he did tell us that the game will be a mix of modern day and futuristic themes in terms of weapons and level settings. While the game will not have a lengthy single player experience except maybe for tutorial levels, he did say they did plan for AI bot play for people to practice offline.

Of course, creating a game for pro gaming tournaments means adding more features that will make the game better not just for the players but also for the spectators. In addition to support for tournament ladders and detailed stats for players, Mustaine told us that Severity has plans to expand its options for spectators, including in-game cameras that can be controlled by commentators and finding ways to display important stats to the spectators in order to get them more fully involved in the matches. Mustaine compared what they wanted to do to how professional poker matches became a huge draw among the general public thanks in part to how TV had commentators and stats for the poker matches. As far as Severity’s game modes, Mustaine told us that they are planning to have modes with different player speeds, different game physics and different weapon loadouts.”

Some more details can be found in an interview published by PSU:

“PSU: There have been beliefs floating around that the game will play exactly the same as Quake III Arena. If there’s a game with a similar gameplay style to Severity what game would it be?

Angel: It will not play identical to Quake 3 or any other game, but Quake 3 is definitely one of the major inspirations for the development team. Severity will have very unique characteristics and a rich visual environment, but it will also be a faced-paced game.

PSU: Will there be the ability to have cross-platform gaming? i.e. PlayStation 3 vs. Xbox 360 vs. PC gamers?

Angel: That is absolutely the plan!”

It seems Severity’s development was already canned or slowed down in 2008, as told by John Romero to That Gaming Site. Later Escalation Studios denied the game’s cancellation, but in the end it was never released anyway. After working on small projects such as Samba de Amigo on Wii and Doom Resurrection for iOS, in 2012 the team was acquired by 6waves Lolapps and then sold to ZeniMax Media in 2017 after they helped with the development of Rage and Doom reboot.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

Images:

Videos: