FPS

Los Angeles Guerilla 2040 (B-Cool Interactive) [PC – Cancelled]

Los Angeles Guerilla 2040 is a cancelled military First-Person Shooter developed by Ukrainian studio B-Cool Interactive in 2009, exclusively for PC. As suggested by the title and the trailer, the game was set in the year 2040, in Los Angeles, where the player had to rescue an American spy pilot held prisoner by the Chinese army after the latter took control of 9 states in the west of the United States of America, following a serious economic crisis.

The existence of this project was revealed on the old blog of one of the co-founders of B-Cool Interactive, Eugene Duranin, explaining the short time they had to make the trailer:

It is latest B-COOL’s product. L.A. Guerilla 2040 (trash, VERY LOW-BUDGET shooter) was under developement from May 2009 (June in the fact) til August 2009. This trailer was created for Köln Game Exhibition.

We (me, Maxim Rodionov and Sergei Tishenko) made it in one week (including capturing and game levels set-up – game was only 2 months old, but THEY wanted gameplay).

B-Cool Interactive had to shutdown their office back in September 2009, causing the cancellation of numerous games, including a sequel to their only available title Scorpion : Disfigured. Other cancelled project was Metro-3, the third game of The Stalin Subway‘s franchise, for Russian publisher Buka Entertainment.

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Sword of Dracula (Critical Mass Interactive) [PC, Xbox – Cancelled]

Sword of Dracula is a cancelled horror First-Person Shooter developed around 2004-2005 by Critical Mass Interactive for PC and Xbox. It was based on the eponymous comic-books franchise.

Few details are currently available about this game. According to its developers, their Sword of Dracula’s project was inspired by Call of Duty in terms of gameplay.

It was officially revealed by Critical Mass Interactive in February 2004 with a press release indicating that a demo would be showed at the Game Developers Conference the next month, thanks to Gamespot:

Critical Mass Interactive (CMI) has today announced the development of Sword of Dracula, a first-person shooter based on the Image Comics series of the same name. No release date or platforms for the game have been confirmed at this time, but CMI and the series’ creator, Jason Henderson, have stated that they plan to have a demo of the game ready for next month’s Game Developers Conference in San Jose.

“The moment we saw the Sword of Dracula comic, we knew this was the franchise to jump on,” said Critical Mass Interactive Vice President of development Billy Cain. “We’re talking a commando-vampire war in fierce, cinematic, Call of Duty-style gameplay. You could see it from the first issue. We knew we had to make this happen.”

In the Sword of Dracula comics, Dracula is portrayed as the world’s foremost terrorist, using the blood of thousands of victims to build himself a vampire army. Henderson describes his take on Dracula as “a king, a massive 300-year-old ubervampire with an army of vampires and zombies, and it’ll take every Humvee, cannon, and Blackhawk Ronnie has to bring him down.”

The character Henderson refers to as Ronnie is the character that players will assume the role of in the game, a covert agent named Veronica Van Helsing, who leads a UN-connected antivampire operation known as Polidorium.

Shortly after, HomeLAN was able to get an interview with Billy Cain, where some more informations about it’s Call of Duty approach was shared:

HomeLAN – What can you tell us about the graphics engine that the Sword of Dracula game will use?

Billy Cain – Unfortunately, we cannot make a final decision on the engine until we sign on with a publisher. Right now, we’re using Call of Duty to pre-visualize the game for potential publishers.

HomeLAN – What is the current status of the game’s progress and when will it be released?

Billy Cain – At this point, we have secured the license for all video games based upon the comic book, Sword of Dracula. We are in the process of building a demo to show publishers one way to visualize the game, and we happen to be using the Call of Duty engine, and modifying it to suit our needs. As for release dates, that will be part of our negotiations with publishers. We want to find a publisher that will give the game the time it needs in development, so that it can compete with the best games out there.

After all of this, developers went silent about the game for some months, only briefly mentionned in june of the same year by GenGamers, where we learned that they were in negotiations with different publishers:

Critical Mass Interactive´s Billy Cain sent over a few words in which he mentions that Critical Mass Interactive is still in negotiations on their upcoming FPS Sword Of Dracula with a number of publishers.

It was only in February 2005, almost a year after its official announcement, that the game was talked about again thanks to NoFrag.com, announcing a change of graphics engine and the addition of an Xbox version:

Without news of Sword of Dracula since last June, I contacted the developers of the game: it is still in development at Critical Mass Interactive. After its first prototype, the developer changed the engine to please some publishers interested in the project and is currently preparing a new prototype (this time on PC and Xbox) with the aim of signing a contract with a publisher. In any case, the release of the game is therefore still a long way off.

Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on Critical Mass Interactive’s side as they never managed to secure a publisher, forcing them to definitely cancel the game and refocus on outsourcing. As an outsource company, Critical Mass worked on games such as Rift, Ultima Online, Tabula Rasa and Borderlands, before disappearing. The licence was, in the end, never adapted into video games.

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Republic Dawn : Chronicles of the Seven [PC – Cancelled]

Republic Dawn : Chronicles of the Seven is a cancelled sci-fi futuristic Massively Multiplayer Online First-Person Shooter developed around 2004-2005 by Elixir Studios and Nicely Crafted Entertainment exclusively for the PC. It was supposed to be a sequel to the strategy game Republic : The Revolution, released in 2003.

Few information are currently available regarding this project. The game was announced by its developer in February 2005 with a press release containing some info about its background:

The Dawn of a New Republic.

“We, the governments of the Seven Republic, will defend the republic and our freedom with all force. We will put aside our differences to rebuild the life that we have lost. We will seek out the reasons for this loss and exact revenge on those responsible. This is the covenant of the Seven Republic, this is our task.”

-The Covenant of the Seven Republic

London, England 22 February 2005 Elixir Studios today announced that their much anticipated sequel to Republic: The Revolution, is underway as a joint venture with Cambridge based MMOG specialist Nicely Crafted Entertainment with the working title of “Republic Dawn: The Chronicles of the Seven”.

The game, due for release in 2007, is set around a rich storyline based in a distant galaxy and will give players access to a living, breathing universe created using Nicely Crafted’s proprietary AliceServer technology. Elixir will be providing their world-class graphical technology and both companies will be working on a new ground breaking Artificial Life engine.

“Teaming up with Elixir for Republic 2 is a fantastic way to start 2005. With Demis and his team’s experience in creating outstanding triple-A games, Republic 2 is going to provide great gameplay and visual experiences – offering players freedom and flexibility that is unparalleled in today’s MMOG marketplace”, commented Toby Simpson, managing director of Nicely Crafted. “With our server technology, we’re creating a world where hundreds of thousands of people will be able to take part in building a republic.”

“Nicely Crafted is at the forefront of MMOG gaming technology. I’m really excited that my vision of thousands of players building a Republic together is finally going to happen”, said Demis Hassabis, Elixir’s creative director. “This is the perfect way for Elixir to enter the MMOG arena.”

Republic Dawn is a vast MMOG first person space game based around an embryonic society devastated by a sudden attack. The players must rebuild the Republic facing tough political, economic and military decisions along the way. During this time a deep story of human struggle will be acted out with the players challenging every decision. With a progressive and immersive gaming environment of unique depth and detail, Republic Dawn promises to be a definitive MMO game.

Republic Dawn will allow players to dictate the future of mankind. Will they rise up as one in the name of revenge or will they let the already unstable Republic fall?

Shortly after, Computer Games Online managed to get an interview with Ben Simpson from Nicely Crafted:

Elixir Studios’ 2003 released debut game Republic: The Revolution was a ambitious and different look at an urban-political sim game. Now the company is teaming up with Time of Defiance developer Nicely Crafted Entertainment for Republic Dawn,  a space based MMO “sequel” to the original game.

Computer Games – First, how did the idea for making a MMO sequel to Republic come about? Was it Elixir’s idea or Nicely Crafted?

Ben Simpson – Well both companies had separate long term visions for games that, when discussed were very similar, with further creative brainstorming it became obvious that both ideas would easily fit together and thus Republic Dawn was conceived.

Computer Games – From the brief description in the press release, it sounds like Republic Dawn is keeping some aspects of the original game in term of game-play goals. Is that a fair assessment?

Ben Simpson – Yes that is a fair assessment – In the Revolution you were tasked to overthrow a regime and establish a Republic.  In Dawn the Republic already exists but will need to be maintained.

Computer Games – How will players compete against each other in the game? Are there a number of different people in the human empire that are fighting against each other for complete control?

Ben Simpson – Players can choose to PVP (Player Vs Player) in either combat or in business or to band together and tackle the games PVE (Player Vs Environment) aspects.  It is completely feasible that players could come together, create a new political movement and ascend to the Senate and attempt to influence the running of the republic and therefore its actions…

Computer Games – What is the current status of the game’s progress and when will it be released?

Ben Simpson – The game is currently at an advanced design stage and work on a prototype is underway.  We are aiming to release the title Q2 2007 with closed Alphas being available prior to the main release to ensure that specific aspects of the game are as refined as possible.

However, in April 2005, Elixir Studios shutted down following the cancellation of a two years development project with a “perceived financial high-risk” and the poor sales of both Republic : The Revolution and Evil Genius as stated by Gamesindustry.biz:

British independent developer Elixir Studios has announced that it has commenced winding down its operations after a key title was cancelled, but efforts continue to rescue some of the firm’s projects.

“The important thing to us is that we’re in control of our own destiny,” Elixir CEO Mark Hewitt told GamesIndustry.biz this morning. “We won’t just run up against a brick wall like some developers have. We’ll still have money in the bank when we close, we’ll treat our staff as they should be treated and help them to find new jobs.”

The closure of the studio should also have no bearing on Republic Dawn, the massively multiplayer title which was being co-developed by Elixir and Cambridge-based Nicely Crafted Entertainment, according to Hewitt.

“We were giving technical advice to them on their project, as opposed to any other support,” he explained. “We’ll still be able to provide that technical advice, and that project should be unaffected.”

“I’m very proud of what all the staff at Elixir have achieved and the games we produced,” Hassabis said in a statement this morning. “We gave it everything we had but ultimately it wasn’t quite enough. It seems that today’s games industry no longer has room for small independent developers wanting to work on innovative and original ideas. Perhaps there is no longer any need for them.”

After the closure of Elixir Studios, Demis Hassabis left the video game industry, becoming an entrepreneur and researcher in the Artificial Intelligence domain and joined the UK government as an advisor.

It wasn’t clear, what happened to Republic Dawn after Nicely Crafted completely took over the project. The studio only released another game in 2011, Picaroon, just a few months after the servers of Time of Defiance were shutdown, which didn’t have a huge success. We can speculate that development didn’t go as planned, and the developers had to cancel the game and refocused on more economically viable projects.

If you know someone who worked on Republic Dawn : Chronicles of the Seven and could help us preserve more screenshots, footage or details, please let us know! 

Spoils of War (East Coast Games) [PC – Cancelled]

Spoils of War is a cancelled sci-fi futuristic multiplayer First-Person Shooter/Real Time Strategy hybrid game developed by East Coast Games around 2004-2005, then in 2014, exclusively for PC. The game offered the possibility to play two different genres, either by playing real-time strategy as the Battlefield Commander, or First/Third-Person Shooter with any other classes.

As we can read on the now-defunct website of the game, it took place in the future in a war against humans and an alien species named Ematrants on an unknown planet:

The Humans

“The year is 2090, the golden age of human space exploration. Betrayed by the ever expanding deterioration of our own world, we were in desperate need of another planet capable of sustaining us. Eighty years ago, after many, many years of fruitless missions and fading hopes, the Saturn 5 wormhole was discovered. To our amazement, this portal could transmit our vessels one million light years away to a previously un-chartered galaxy… finally, a galaxy with the ability to sustain the human race.

Unmanned probes verified the existence of multiple planets, each with fresh oxygen-rich air, amazing minerals and bio-substances, ample food and water, palatable temperature and acceptable atmospheric conditions for habitation. The probes identified something else however, the existence of an intelligent humanoid species. Soon after, manned vessels were sent with orders to proceed with caution, ensuring that the message was evident – we had come in peace. Eventually our non-threatening, alliance oriented approach began to make a difference as our emissaries reported greater and more open interaction with the Ematrants. They even helped us establish colonies, research stations and trade routes. Given the growing cooperation between them and the colonies, and the worsening conditions on Earth, many of our best and brightest military strategists, linguists, scientists, engineers and medical professionals eagerly volunteered to help ensure, and establish a viable foothold on behalf of the future of the human race. Each successive test yielded positive results and our colonies were seemingly more and more effective establishing trust and mutually beneficial trade – with a host species we believed we were coming to understand.

But understand… how could we – for only a true savage could. As a mysterious illness befell their loved ones, they quickly blamed humans for their predicament. With no warning, our colonies began to report merciless, deadly attacks. Thus, compelled to defend our colonies – we immediately dispatched the necessary compliment of forces, vehicles and weaponry. There was no way we were going to let them simply slaughter our people, and turning back was not a viable option. Our only option was war.

The war raged for close to a decade, becoming increasing brutal as time went on. But somehow, they managed to seal the wormhole – cutting the colonial forces off from necessary supply lines and reinforcements. Our brightest military specialists, scientists and engineers couldn’t manage to reopen the portal. All communication with the colonies was lost – as well, any opportunity for us to assist countless people dependent on our support.

After almost seventy years of painstaking effort, and equally frustrating deafening radio silence from the colonies, a way to successfully penetrate the portal was finally identified. This time, unmanned probes found our gravest fears realized. Indications from the probe were that all traces of our colonies, of the thousands of our people, military and civilian – were simply gone. Although time had effectively camouflaged most of the obvious signs, evidence was found suggesting their blood-thirsty savagery… the extent of the utter massacre that must have engulfed our trapped colonies. Once the wormhole was closed, our colonies never had a chance.

Now that we have a rediscovered means of penetrating the portal, and seen indications of the carnage that occurred, long standing theories of the possibilities of peaceful co-existence – are no longer perspectives deserving the light of day. We have begun amassing a massive force of the most experience troops, most intelligent military minds – and all the technology and military might we have at our disposal. We will return – with revenge for those brutally murdered the fuel for the burning rage we have within.

We offered them good will and commerce – and betrayal and uncivilized butchery was their response. Good will and commerce are now off the table. Now all we have to offer them is death. Ematrants, prepare to meet your maker. We are coming…”

The Ematrants

“Initially they were welcomed to our planets, allowed to interact freely and come and go as desired. Colonies were allowed to be established, inter-species trade was condoned… they were permitted to flourish in our world. But the ability to flourish peacefully was obviously never their intent. No, they wanted more… much more. Their goal instead was the extinction of our species, and the eventual sole proliferation of theirs, on a set of planets newly claimed. Once they found our guards to be sufficiently down, they revealed their true purpose – introducing a mysterious plague of massive and deadly proportions. It took us some time to realize the plaque’s origin and their deviant mechanism of transport and infestation – their very own self-infected carrier bodies.

Perplexed at first, we watched helplessly as, without warning, inexplicable illness and excruciatingly painful, inhumane death befell our loved ones – everyone with a history of even the slightest interaction, direct or indirect, with them. There was no effective treatment… no chance of recovery – only what we came to realize was the intentional attempt at species cleansing. We could idly watch no more. And so with no other viable alternative, forced to defend our land… our loved ones… our selves – we retaliated. The resulting war consumed many seasons and countless Ematrant forces, as they continued to send more (and better equipped) troops, technology and vehicles through the wormhole.

It wasn’t until the year of Narkanus the Great, that a focus on the ancient science of space and time facilitated the creation of a device that could stem the spread of the deadly plague. With the plague finally behind us, we recommitted our efforts to turning the tide of the war. In time we were able to permanently seal the portal – their only means of supply and replenishment.

With the wormhole sealed, we exacted the military might necessary to effectively eliminate the threat – ensuring, at least to some degree, justice for our innocent, murdered loved ones was served. With a combination precision and brute force we successfully wiped out all traces of the carrier mechanisms from our galaxy – never to trust again.

Rid of the threat, but wiser for the ordeal, we endeavored to put the disastrous plague… the necessary response… that unfortunate segment of our history behind us. We needed to move on… to forget about the dark days. But forgetting is no longer an option. It began when the prophets started having visions of the plague’s return. Fear began to spread much like the plague itself. Just as we had begun to reclaim some semblance of the peaceful, spiritual lives we once knew, somehow they managed to reopen the portal. The humans are again here among us.

And so, if it is war they want, then war is what they shall have – this time of a magnitude they can’t even begin to imagine with their diminutive, underdeveloped brains. We are ready to defend what is ours. This time, with a clear comprehension of their true purpose, we are more than capable of ensuring the plague of the humans is never allowed to happen again. So, if they are dim-witted enough not to know what they are up against – let them come. The plague, and the filthy, untrustworthy aliens that carry both it, along with any of the other various weapons they dare raise against us, must, and will, be destroyed. And as our Gods are our witness we vow to eliminate this selfish, ungrateful, uncivilized scourge from our galaxy, and maybe theirs as well – once and for all. One way or the other, we Ematrants will survive.

Let them come. Their long overdue, and much deserved, brutal extinction awaits…”

OVERVIEW

“Select the role of Battlefield Commander and toggle between managing your team in RTS and fighting an intense battle as a FPS. Or choose one of three other roles and enjoy extraordinary first-person combat as you experience character growth. “Spoils of War” skillfully combines the successes of real-time strategy and first-person shooter to create intense warfare and player depth that is unparalleled. As Battlefield Commander, switch between RTS and FPS modes to manage your team’s economy and technology while leading your fellow human players to victory. As one of three first-person characters you will commandeer vehicles, become skillful with weaponry, and use unique powers in a high velocity war.”

GAME FEATURES

  • Start your own game: Be one of four Battlefield Commanders and determine your team’s strategy, build structures and weapons, manage resources, and provide instant instruction via chat. Or be one of 12 first-person characters and follow your commander’s instructions to help your team to victory.
  • The engine designed for “Spoils of War” uniquely combines RTS with FPS to deliver speed, incredible 3D rendering, community, and scale in a high-contrast alien environment.
  • Create over 50 unique structures and units.
  • Wreak havoc by controlling deadly beasts, manning heavy artillery, commandeering vehicles, or using special powers.
  • Explore a diverse world of intense lighting, sound, and perspective.

Further details emerged quickly after its reveal, with, for instance, a detailed sheet explaining every classes for both sides, alongside an interview of Matt Andrews by HomeLAN:

HomeLAN – First, how did East Coast Games come to be formed?

M.A. – ECG was founded in January, 2004 by Jim Servia (President) and Chuck Goebel (Chief Technology Officer). They both gave me a call with a unique creative opportunity and after just a few phone calls I was on-board managing the creative direction and marketing for the title. Chuck and Jim had begun developing the Spoils of War game engine a while prior to our first call and I was extremely impressed with their concept and progress.

HomeLAN – Another critically acclaimed game, Savage, also combined first person shooter and real time strategy gameplay. How will Spoils of War differ from that game’s approach?

M.A. – The main point of difference with Spoils of War from any other game is an equal combination of the two genres; we stayed away from being one genre with some of another mixed in. We’ve accomplished this with our character structure in that the player has the ability to decide how they want to play the game, in FPS mode only, in RTS mode only, or by combining the two. When a person plays Spoils of War they might find that the Battlefield Commander position is one they’d like to try because of the ability to control resources and manage Artificial Intelligence’s or they may be perfectly happy going off on their own and wreaking havoc as an overwhelming FPS. Others may enjoy RTS, but every once in a while wish they could drop down and help their fellow warrior(s) on the battlefield.

Also, our characters have a lot of depth with some having powers, brute force, agility, or a million combinations of those and more. Another unique quality to Spoils of War that people will enjoy is the environment. We worked hard to create terrains that would not only present good opportunities for battle, but they challenge users to think, explore, strategize, and use to their fullest extent.

HomeLAN – How will the first person shooter and real time strategy aspects of the genre be used in Spoils of War?

M.A. – Our RTS and FPS elements are unique to Spoils of War because some of the RTS assets can be occupied by FPS characters or managed by the RTS Battlefield Commander character. For example there are the Main and Heavy Battle Mechs on the Human side. These mechanical beasts of destruction can be told by the Battlefield Commander to attack any asset or a FPS character can find one on the field of play, hop in it and start wreaking havoc. We have a series of Artificial Intelligence characters on each side as well that all have characteristics of their own and in some cases will be as organic as the FPS characters in the way they move. Take the Ematrant Reaper for instance: This massive beast was bread for pure hatred of the enemy and is instructed by the Ematrant Battlefield Commander to do nothing by demolish anything or anyone that comes in its path. We made this thing so overpowering as a bi-ped that when you compare the player economies he pairs-up with the Main Battle Mech in intimidation.

Standard RTS assets such as structures and Artificial Intelligence characters interact with the FPS characters in that they offer support and are all an integral part to achieving a FPS or RTS objective to defeat the enemy. I’ll run through an example: At the beginning of a game the random spawn points drop you and your team on one side of a 5-mile wide crater and your opponent on the other side. After some tactical recon you decide to maneuver towards a large-sized resource deposit that’s in close proximity to your enemy. Following some minor advancement you know you’re going to eventually be seen, so you might as well build-up some forces before engaging your opponent. As the Battlefield Commander you dispatch Construction Droids (say you’re a Human) to go mine resources you find along the way. Once you’ve accumulated enough you build a clone lab that will produce ground infantry. Production of the infantry begins; you amass your forces and command them to run with your FPS characters to achieve your goal. The infantry is commanded in RTS mode and the FPS characters are led via in-game chat.

HomeLAN – Will there be a single player campaign or will the game be a multiplayer title only?

M.A. – For now this is multiplayer only. We may introduce a single-player piece. With a maximum of 16 players on one map, Spoils of War will allow for massive battles, fast-paced warfare, and the ultimate tactical challenge.

HomeLAN – What is the current status of the game’s progress and when will it be released?

M.A. – We’re currently getting ready to do an internal beta release, gathering beta participants and finalizing the test plan.

We have a few months of testing to complete and concurrently we’re weighing our publishing options. To date we’ve been reviewing opportunities with a lot publishers and are working hard to shore-up the best way to get the product in your hands in the most effective manner.

Unfortunately, the game discreetly vanished after all of this. We can assume that the developer didn’t manage to secure a publisher and had to postpone it.

However, in February 2014, East Coast Games resurfaced from the dead by lauching a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter for their game. But the financial goal wasn’t reach, only collecting 285$ on a total of 350.000$. Without surprise, Spoils of War was again cancelled after that failed attempt and East Coast Games definitely disappeared from the picture.

Spoils of War wasn’t necessarily the first cancelled game trying that mix between FPS and RTS. In the same period, we also could see games such as Ghost Wars, Dreadnoughts and Terra : Formations, among others.

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl [Xbox 360 – Cancelled]

S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl was released March 20, 2007 by Ukrainian studio GSC Game World. The project was very warmly received by the players of the CIS countries and became a cult title.

However, few people know that Shadow of Chernobyl was planned to be released on Xbox 360. Not only that, when the game was called Stalker: Oblivion Lost, they also wanted to release it on Xbox Original, but the idea was postponed.

After the long-awaited release and the start of development of Clear Sky, GSC announced that Shadow of Chernobyl would be released on Xbox 360. However, this idea was discarded after the release of Call of Pripyat.

Quite recently some build of Shadow of Chernobyl was leaked on the Internet. In many ways it was the same game, but with one “but”: it had an inventory wheel, stylized for a gamepad, and in the tutorial instead of the keyboard keys, as it was in the PC version, there were console keys (and from the Xbox!).

Whether this was the exact build that was talked about back in 2007, or whether it was a relatively recent version meant to be re-released on modern consoles is unknown. Well, time will tell.