FPS

Alex Carver: Futurebrighter [PC – Cancelled]

Alex Carver: Futurebrighter is a cancelled FPS that was in development by Heaven X, a small and obscure development team from Poland. The game was announced in 2004, sharing some details and screenshots.

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As wrote by IGN:

“AC:F is a first-person shooter that follows Alex Carver, a convict on his way to a distant planet that houses a prison for the galaxy’s least desired criminals and murderers.

Along the way the prison transporter carrying our hero is attacked by an unknown adversary. The ship goes down and Alex is given a chance to escape. One small problem. The planet the ship lands on is run by a tyrannical dictator who has been working on secret genetic experiments.

Equipped with pistols, sniper rifles, plasma rifles, and a cynical outlook on life (funny what prison does to you), Alex must do everything in his power to stay alive.”

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On the old Heven X website we can read:

“An independent developer group Heaven X deals with creating computer games and multimedia programs. We’re those players who have begun working on our own titles since 2001. Our team has gained much experience when working for Techland, Leryx Longsoft and L.K. Avalaon, while preparing games like Chrome, Xpand Rally, Small Army, Indiana Jack, Pet Racer, Pet Soccer, Golem, or Kokomando.

Earlier, we were working for various producers. Now, however, we’ve joined our forces and experience under the name Heaven X in order to create our own virtual worlds, which, hopefully, will attract many players. We are working on authorial projects, as well as on titles that we develop for Polish publisher companies.

We were “brought up” playing the greatest games that serve as a point of departure for our projects. Unreal, Half-Life, Deus Ex, Soldier of Fortune, Serious Sam and even Rayman are just a few names of the worldwide hits that are a great source of inspiration for us. Our goal is to create games that would simultaneously provide the players with great feel, engrossing and entertaining gameplay experience, and satisfaction (not only for the players but also for us).

We have our authorial 3D engine Magnum Engine at disposal. The engine is capable of creating environments inside the buildings (indoor) as well as in open spaces (outdoor). Magnum Engine uses the newest graphics technologies and special effects, therefore, it keeps up both in quality and beauty with other Western and Polish productions:

  • Vast and open spaces and indoor environment
  • Expanded animation system that features bone system / skeleton
  • Vehicle handling system together with the driving model and physics
  • Physics allowing for an interaction with the game’s environment
  • 50.000 to 100.000 polygons per frame
  • Particle system
  • Dynamic interplay of light and shadow
  • Varied weather effects (rain, snow)”

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More info was published by Polish websites at the time, but it looks like the project never got far into production. We can assume they never found a publisher interested in backing up their game, so Alex Carver: Futurebighter had to be cancelled.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution! 

Redemption (Cranberry Source) [N64 – Cancelled]

Redemption is a cancelled action adventure in development by Cranberry Source, that may have been published by Philips Media Interactive for Nintendo 64. While it remains an obscure and forgotten project, from what we have gathered it could have been quite the original and revolutionary game for its time, merging many different genres and viewpoints together: FPS, third person isometric puzzle-platformer and open world exploration on vehicles.

Redemption was designed by Jon Ritman, founder of Cranberry Source and mostly known for his work on cult-classic 1980s computer games such as Head over Heels, plus Monster Max for Rare on the original Game Boy. Unfortunately the team never shown any screenshots from their unreleased N64 adventure, but few details are scattered around the web and in old magazines. On the Playstation Museum website we can read:

“Cranberry Source had a multi-product deal (three, in fact) with Philips Media Interactive. QAD was to be the first game released, Super Match Soccer (or Match Day 3 as it was known then) the second, and the third game had a provisional title of “Redemption”. QAD and SMS were developed at the London office, and Redemption was to be developed by staff at the Cranberry North office. Ultimately, Redemption never really got much further than the drawing board, but the initial designs focused around the kind of puzzle elements found in Jon Ritman’s previous games such as Head over Heels and Monster Max.”

In PC Zone magazine (Issue 41, August 1996) they published an interview with Cranberry Source, along with few details about Redemption:

PZ: What about Redemption?

JR: That’s our epic.. John then goes on to explain the basic concept behind Redemption. In summary, it’ll be a very large action-cum-puzzle-cum-exploration game, using several different viewpoints. Parts of it are Doom-like, parts of it hark back to the classic isometric platform/puzzle games of yore (such as Head Over Heels, another of John’s past glories), and parts of it take place outdoors. In vehicles. It’s quite ambitious, in other words.

JC: To rationalise how we’ve got all this different stuff in one game, we’ve come up with quite a weird scenario which involves a mad, serial killer surgeon who’s grafting bits onto you. All this stuff takes place in your own head, and each level is a different operation. It’s, er, a bit odd really.

JR: It is a bit odd, isn’t it?”

An interview with Ritman conducted by Blood in Autumn 1996 for Emulate! Magazine (issue 6) also mention Redemption:

What are Cranberry Source working on at the minute? Which machines are you concentrating on?

Three games each on PC, Playstation & Saturn –

Q.A.D. – A fly over a stunning landscape rescuing hostages game (2player)

The Net – A multiplayer soccer game

Redemption – An epic game, this would take me too long to describe!

[…] For HoH fans I suggest a look at Redemption (it won’t be released until the end of next year).”

It’s not clear if the game was originally conceived as a PC or Nintendo 64 project, but in N64 Magazine (Issue 12, February 1998) they mentioned Cranberry Source were developing it for Nintendo’s console:

“Our wrinklier readers will undoubtedly remember Head Over Heels, a 3D puzzly platform adventure that was one of the Spectrum’s best games back in the 1980s. Well bless our souls if it’s not about to rise again. Jon Ritman, the chap behind the Speccy original, set up a development company called Cranberry Source who, after a bit of PC-based action, have decided to turn their hands to the N64. And their first Nintendo game will be a 3D puzzly platformer adventure that incorporates the best elements of – yes – Head over Heels. Superb!”

A couple of months later, in April 1998 Jon Ritman and other developers of Cranberry Source were hired by Argonaut Games, possibly because the studio were really impressed by their work with Redemption for the N64. As we can read on IGN:

“The co-founder of Cranberry Source, Jon Ritman, and several other members have left the company to join the British independent developer Argonaut, best known for the original Star Fox and the Super FX chip.

According to IGN’s morning news service, GameAddict, Ritman and his team will be working on an action adventure due to release late next year. Prior to the switch, Ritman was working on an N64 semi-sequel to the classic Head Over Heels. It is not yet known how Cranberry Source will cope with the loss and what will happen to its projects in progress.

Argonaut’s Jez San commented on Ritman’s move: “Many of us at Argonaut have been long standing fans of Ritman’s work, especially of Batman, Match Day, and Head-Over-Heels. I feel he will develop some of his finest work at Argonaut and could help some of our existing games further refine their gameplay.” Although Argonaut has only announced one title so far (Buck Bumble), industry insiders have told IGN64.com that Argonaut is heavily investing in N64 development with numerous titles on the way.

It’s not clear if Argonaut also acquired the rights to develop Redemption, but in the end the project was never completed.

We hope one day to preserve more details or even images for this fascinating and unrealized project.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

 

Zero-G Marines [PC – Cancelled]

Zero-G Marines is a cancelled first person strategy shooter that was in developed by Strategy First in 2000, planned to be published for PC. The game was set in a orbital space station and it featured “zero-gravity combat”, as you could freely move around 360° through the environment. As we can read on an old IGN preview:

“The game action centers on several “domes” or “clusters” — orbital stations designed and operated by TerraCorp. These clusters are located around Mars and the moons of Jupiter and serve as bases for “research or mining.” Somehow or other, the genetic research being carried out on these stations goes horribly off track and a virus breaks out on the various clusters. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a group of religious zealots carry out an assault on the clusters and now hold them hostage. Who’s going to take them back? That’s right — you.”

“The suit gives you full freedom of movement in all three dimensions. To preserve the sense of up and down, you won’t be able to use the mouse look to pass through the points directly above and below you. Basically you can’t flip end over end. In this powered body suit, you can hold 8 weapons. “

“There are a few other vehicles in the game as well. You can hop into the driver’s seat of the Outrider, a “fast, one man space vehicle.” The Zealots have converted them into flying weapons platforms. You can fly these both inside and outside of the clusters. The larger and slower shuttles act as troop transports. Your own transport, parked just outside of the cluster, will act as a weapons store and home base during the game. “

“Smart players will shepherd their resources and endeavor to fight from an advantageous position. On the most basic level, each “dome is associated with one of three resources” — research, industry and prisoners. Research domes give you advanced weaponry and industry domes give you extra weaponry. “

“The prisoner resource intrigues me the most. On certain of the security domes are station personnel that have not yet been infected with the virus. If you can free them, you can add them to your squad pool. They’re not the best fighters out there, but they’re the only option you have to increase your manpower. Oh, right…I should have mentioned that you’re not doing any of this alone. You can choose to take up to six squad members along on each of the missions. “

“The planning of the mission structure is still in early stages as well. The current idea is to have about 15 separate missions that can be played in an open format. You can switch the order of the missions a tad to suit your needs. For instance, if you’re up against a tough assault mission, you might want to plan a raid on a security dome first to obtain more manpower. Then you’ll have more forces with which to carry out the assault. The team is also looking to include a 16-player multiplayer component similar in character to Tribes. Oh, and there’ll be co-op mission play too.”

The game was officially put on-hold in 2002, as we can read on Gamespot:

“Strategy First has suspended the development of Zero-G Marines, its 3D space shooter, due to some changes in its development studios. The company is moving parts of its Ottawa studio – where the game was in development – to Montreal. The product development department, headed by former Westwood COO Chuck Kroegel, has put the game on hold temporarily as a result of the move. “

In the end the project just vanished and was never completed. As they worked at least a couple of years on the game we can still hope someone saved files or playable demo to be preserved in the future.

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FarCry [PSP – Cancelled]

A PSP FarCry game was in development around 2006 by Ubisoft Montreal, as found out thanks to a FTP leak and a developer’s resume. Unfortunately this PSP project was never officially announced by Ubisoft so we don’t have any detail on its gameplay. It seems it would have been a FarCry 2 conversion, but we can assume it would have been much different from the original PS3 and xbox 360 version.

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If you know someone who worked at Ubisoft Montreal around 2006 and could help us to preserve more details about this lost game, please let us know! 

CZ [Xbox – Cancelled]

During many years of saving media from lost video games, we often find a game with no more details than a few screenshots, not knowing who was working on it nor even its title. This is the case with this cancelled project planned for Xbox, of which we just have screenshots with a file name “CZ”: what was this exactly? We are not sure.

From the look of it we can assume it was a first / third person shooter, possibly with online multiplayer? It has cool robots and a sci-fi look. Does it look like something you have played? Did you work on this game and could help us to identify it? Please leave a message below or send us an email!

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