FPS

END (Faramix Enterprises) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PC]

END is a cancelled FPS / RPG / MMO / Action Adventure hybrid that was in development by Faramix Enterprises around 2007, planned to be released on Xbox 360 and PC. The concept was quite ambitious and the team wanted to renovate the FPS genre in gameplay and immersion.

Some details about END were available on their old website:

“Not only is “End” a hand to hand combat adventure, but weapons are widely available for use based on the wants of the player. Many moves are available to stay in stealth, including but not limited to – picking locks, stealing, or interrogating others for information. The control is left in the player! Do you sneak through the level or alert everyone you are there and run and gun? Do you interrogate and knock them out or kill in rage? The control is in your hands and your fate will change based on your actions.”

We can also find an article written by former Faramix Enterprises founder Michael Dehen, sharing his memories working on the project:

“I’m the creator of the storyline and gameplay for End. I designed and wrote the backbone that it was built on top of. This is my dream and my life, and now I share my dream with others on the team, and it has become our game.

We made the mistake of submitting our company and game title for review too early. We spent a hard three months after our first publisher encounter fleshing out more ideas, developing more artwork and most importantly, finishing the demo, before even thinking about approaching other publishers.”

Dehen also had an interview with Gamasutra in 2007:

“The FPS genre is boring and new ideas need to be incorporated. Most of the new FPS video games being released or scheduled to be released follow the same basics, which were cool at first but are beginning to get stagnant. Companies today are scared to try something new and unproven, because it could bring a loss in revenue.

“The different designs and ideas we have incorporated into our video game title END will bring a new front to the FPS genre by including other aspects from RPGs, MMOs, and Action/Adventure games, creating a kind of hybrid. We didn’t start designing the gameplay for END until many aspects of the storyline were near completion. The type of game play we chose helped drive the storyline and immerse the future video game players.”

“We recently finished our technical demo to show off game play and our abilities at designing, and are moving into the Unreal Engine 3 to being smaller demos of what we can visually produce as we having already begun talking to many publishers around the world.”

Unfortunately it seems Faramix Enterprises were not able to find a publisher or funds to keep working on END and the game vanished along with the company a few years later. Only some concept art is currently preserved for this lost game.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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ISO: International Spy Organizations [PC – Cancelled]

ISO: International Spy Organizations is a cancelled open world FPS (?) that was in development by Signature Devices / Graffiti Entertainment around 2007, planned to be released on PC. It was pitched as “James Bond meets X-Files” but no other details about this project survived online, just a mention in a related news story about the team. Did the game really exist? Thanks to Archive.org we can see some tiny screenshots on Signature Devices’ old website and read a press release on Graffiti Entertainment’s old website:

“Setting: Modern world setting with somewhat futuristic weapons / scenarios. Players are immersed in a world that is live, constantly changing, affected by their characters’ actions and friends and foe are not necessarily known entities. Players are best served by their skills, tools, powers of observation and following the spy credo, trust no one.

In a modern day society we rarely have time to think about the influences or subtle happenings that color or trigger events that come to change history. Ideas are generated, tossed around, become mainstream and then become accepted fact by the masses all in the blink of an eye. The birth of the overnight sensation came in the 20th century. With television commentators spooning out “the truth” as if they have a private pipeline on it.”

“With the birth of the “overnight sensation” has come the ability for government, corporate and special interests to warp points of view to their own particular flavor of the truth. Known as marketing, PR, political / ethical / moral debate the world news release is subject to clever input to nudge the tide of opinion and ability or favor to one side or the other on every conceivable issue.

With this ability came the need to control more and more about an information campaign, perceived enemies abilities and the information gathered or released. So came the birth of spies on all levels. In every formal and informal interest at every level people are engaged in espionage of sorts in an effort to control the influence for resources, public opinion, industry and in short order whole governments and continents to further their own interests.”

“International spy organizations bring those factions to the forefront, exposing the ugly underpinnings for all who enter to uncover and reap the rewards. Those who join start freelance, perhaps originally just to make a little quick cash and then eventually find themselves either sucked up into or actively recruited to serve a faction. Many times participants join factions and their cause long before they have any true understanding of the overall faction plan or long term goals.

The factions are run by strategists who carefully use and even dispose of their spies like pawns. An element that makes many spies stay undercover even from their own employers and alliance members.”

By looking at the screenshots, it seems you would have been able to freely explore the city, enter buildings and drive different vehicles. If you know someone who worked on this game and could help us preserve more screenshots, footage or details, please let us know!

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Private Wars (TS Group) [PC – Cancelled]

Private Wars is a cancelled tactical / arcade / turn based FPS hybrid that was in development by 1C Company and TS Group Entertainment between 1998 and 2003. The game ran on their own Eternity 3D engine and it looked quite spectacular for the late ‘90s (but it seems they changed the engine during those 5 years, or heavily upgraded it), with large explorable outdoor maps and simulated weather conditions. Private Wars’ most ambitious feature would be the option to change gameplay as you prefer to play it: as an arcade shooter, a real time squad-based tactical game or a turn-based strategy simulation.

A playable tech demo was found by fans, but we don’t know how much of the game was really completed before its cancellation. 1C and TS Group showed Private Wars at E3 2003, when it was previewed by some gaming websites such as IGN and GameZone:

“As with the famous Clancy games, Private Wars is a tactical shooter set in real world environments and situations calling upon you and your crack team of military experts to carry out some tough missions under extreme circumstances.

Over the course of 15 missions, the game will take you to locations such as Afghanistan, Columbia, Europe, the US, Russia, and Africa to complete missions that have to do with everything from drug lords to industrial espionage to border conflicts.”

“Before each mission, you’ll have the chance to choose which of your mercenary team comes with you into the field. There are 30 different characters total, each with different attributes and specializations.

A nice selection of over 60 different types of weapons and all the nifty gadgets and equipment that you’ll need will be available for use.

Unfortunately, in the short time the game was shown, and at such and early state, there wasn’t anything on this front to be seen.”

Some more details were shared in an interview by CombatSim with TS Group founder and CEO Sergey Titov :

“ST: There’s actually several different styles of play to this game. You can play it as either arcade, simulation or even turn based. In the arcade mode you will have the same superhuman traits we see in games like Quake, where you can be shot many times and still be up and shooting. Then we will offer the simulation style where all your actions have a direct reaction to the world around you. You will die if shot in a killing shot area, so one shot CAN kill in this game. In the turn based mode you will control the action from a typical isometric view you find in all strategy games.”

“ST: You will have a pool of about 50 mercenaries from which to choose up to 8 mercenaries if you have the cash to pay for them. Your reputation will precede you here… if you leave a mercenary stranded on a previous mission you may find other mercenaries reluctant to work for you.”

After E3 2003 Private Wars just vanished and everyone forgot about its existence.

Thanks to Dan and TLO for the contribution!

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Solar (Brat Design) [PC – Cancelled]

Solar is a cancelled sci-fi FPS that was in development around 2004 by Brat Designs, planned to be released on PC. The game was inspired by massive multiplayer FPS such as Battlefield 1942, and would have featured both single player and multiplayer modes over vast terrains, with up to 32 players. Single player would use multiplayer maps with the addition of advanced AI bots to simulate multiplayer gaming styles.

Some details about the game were available on the old Brat Design website:

“’SOLAR’ has two warring factions, each with its own set of weapons and vehicles, varying from trench mortars to long range bombardment cannons with payloads of neurotoxins. Transportation in ‘SOLAR’ varies by faction, each with a unique range of land, sea and air units, providing varied game play choices.

In addition to this are the Necro. An army of undead soldiers, re-animated by a toxic brew created by fallout from decades of nuclear, chemical and biological war. Mostly chaotic by nature, these troopers are a constant threat to both sides, but can be a useful resource if brought under the influence of one faction.

Interactive environments add another game play element to ‘SOLAR’. Buildings crumble as they are hit by shells or are crashed into with vehicles; gun emplacements can be manned to cut down the opposition in a hail of bullets trees and other incidental scenery can be cleared by a well placed grenade. All this leads to a dynamic, ever changing battlefield.”

Features:

  • Vast terrains with huge viewing distances
  • Interactive environments with fully destructible buildings
  • Weather conditions including fog, acid rain and snow
  • Three Campaigns (Earth, Mars and the Moon)
  • Two warring factions each with their own technology set
  • Advanced bot AI and path finding
  • Battlefields containing up 32 AI or Human players
  • Ground, aerial and aquatic vehicles capable of multiple crew members
  • Called in air strikes and artillery bombardments
  • Weapons of mass destruction (ICBM’s and Orbital laser platforms) Chemical, biological and radioactive
  • Cooperative MP modes including, Interdiction, Retrieval, Assault, VIP Escort, Search and Destroy, Recon, Rescue and Sabotage
  • Standard MP modes including Last man standing, Death match, Team Death Match, Capture the flag, Assault and King of the Hill
  • MP playable demo currently available for publishers only.

Gaming websites such as Eurogamer and Gamespot wrote about Solar at the time, but it seems Brat Designs was not able to find a publisher interested in their project and that could be the reason for it never being released. A trailer for the game was released by the team (also re-uploaded on GamersHell), but we cannot find it anymore online (if you have a copy of the file, please let us know!). The same team was also working on another cancelled game titled Toon Army for Xbox and Playstation 2.

Thanks to SarkSweet for the contribution!

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Heavy Gear 3 (Savage Entertainment) [PC – Cancelled]

Heavy Gear 3 is a cancelled mecha based FPS that would have been the third chapter in the HG series, in development around 1999 by Savage Entertainment and planned to be published by Activision on PC. The team wanted to expand the mechanics found in previous Heavy Gear games, adding more robots, on-foot fighting and exploration, similar to what Titanfall did 15 years later.

Some details about this lost game were shared online by former Savage artists and producers:

“This was Savage’s first project after being “spun-off” from Activision. It was an exciting opportunity to build on the success of Heavy Gear 2 and a coinciding children’s TV show based on the series. We started with a very small team of 6 to handle environments, characters, and animation. Some new visual advances were spectacular maps to add shine/material variation, multiple texture terrain painting and emissive alpha.  We were able to expand the universe by introducing a new class of “Gear” called the Paladin. His  design was inspired by a medieval suit of armor and was backed by the new “Bishop” Reich. Many of our features were ahead of their time, such as the Gear Pilot being able to get out of his Gear and fight on foot, while the Gear protected him – this is a major element of “TitanFall” being released March 2014. […] Unfortunately, Activision couldn’t decide what kind of game they wanted to make (single player or massive multiplayer) and cancelled the title.”

“Our first project was to be Heavy Gear 3. Our goal at Savage was to have one team where no one was a pure manager. Everyone would work directly on the project. I worked as a 3D artist on Heavy Gear 3 in addition to my role as Producer, and CFO of the company. Sales of Heavy Gear 2 didn’t live up to expectations and Activision exited the giant robot combat market, cancelling Heavy Gear 3.”

Concept art from this lost game are preserved below, to remember its existence.

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