FPS

Ghost Recon 2 [PC – Cancelled]

The original Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon (2001) turned out to be a very successful game, therefore the announcement of the sequel for PC in March 2004 did not surprise anyone. Ghost Recon 2 showcased better graphics thanks to a new 3D engine, featuring a fun single-player experience and polished multiplayer. At the same time, it was announced that Ghost Recon 3 would have been released in early 2006.  Sometime later, Red Storm announced even more details: Ghost Recon 2 would also be released on PS2 and Xbox. The engine and storyline in all three versions would be different and the release date has been pushed back to the first half of 2005. Unfortunately the release for the PC version was again pushed back, and in April 2005 Ubisoft canceled it altogether, explaining that they would just release Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter instead.

Thanks to Josef for the contribution!

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Rage Hard [PC, MAC – Cancelled]

Rage Hard was a First Person Shooter in development from 2002 to possibly 2007, planned to be released on MAC first, then possibly also on Windows PCs. German company Titan Computer GbR were the main driving force behind the game, although they seemed to have been joined later by the fellow german DnS Development. Both companies had experience bringing Windows games to Macintosh, having ports such as Jagged Alliance 2, SiN, Heretic II and Shogo: Mobile Armor Division under their belts, and Rage Hard was being made as a Mac OS title first and foremost.

Rage Hard’s basic concept was something commonly seen around the time of its development: a multiplayer-focused shooter set in a gritty urban environment, backed up by a large arsenal of weapons and a tactical coat of paint. However, it wanted to set itself apart from the competition by not having the central conflict be what Titan saw as the generic Military good guys vs. Terrorist bad guys, and instead creating a world in which the playable characters all belonged to villainous factions.

Rage Hard was set in the not too distant future, in which the police itself grew to be corrupt enough to become one of the reigning crime syndicates. They becomes engaged in skirmishes which pit all manner of other criminals and deranged gunmen against each other. These would range from common street thugs to cartel and mafia members, paramilitaries and religious fanatics, offering a large selection of characters with wildly different looks. The CLAWS engine allowed for every detail of their appearance (like eyes, clothing and hair) to animate in real time.

Combat would take place in either close-quarters locations, such as nightclubs and other building interiors, to expansive and open environments like gang-ridden city blocks. Powered by an experience-based class system, the gameplay would require players to adapt to the environment, choosing between chaotic gunfights or a more tactical approach, as well as picking the right skills for the job.

Rage Hard would apparently do away with restrictive classes seen in games such as Battlefield by allowing the player to pick a base skill they wanted to excel at (for example Accuracy) and then utilizing experience gained by defeating enemies to develop others in whatever way they saw fit in between rounds. In theory, this could mean that creating a Sniper character that also had the ability to be a damage sponge was possible. But, of course, the utility of such a class to the team would be questionable, and it was up to the player to decide what worked in what context.

Despite the clear multiplayer focus, Rage Hard would also feature a single player campaign said to be 12 levels long and entirely team-based, although this aspect of the game seems to only have been added later on during development.

What ultimately became of Rage Hard is unclear. First announced in 2002, the game seemed to stay in development hell for quite a long time. Although the official website remained up until mid-2009, the last update on it dated back to late 2007. The Titan Computer website was accessible until at least late 2016, but it similarly stopped updating in 2009, with the last three announcements being completely unrelated to Rage Hard’s development. It’s likely they were ultimately unable to secure a publishing deal: whatever the case may be, Rage Hard would never end up seeing the light of day.

It seems Titan were never able to recover from the years they put into its development. Regarding DnS Development, their fate also seems to have become a mystery. They went on to release several games in the years after their unreleased project, which are available on Steam, and their website is still up as of 2021. However, their last project, Primal Fears, was released in 2013 and there has been no news from them since then.

Article by thecursebearer, thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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M.O.S. (Military Occupational Specialty) [PC – Cancelled]

M.O.S. (Military Occupational Specialty) is a cancelled “Massively Multiplayer Tactical Role Playing Shooter” (M.M.T.R.P.S.) that was in development around 2003 – 2004 by SharkByte Software, planned to be released on PC. It was an ambitious online FPS / RPG hybrid, conceived to become the “next genre of online gaming”, featuring a huge 42.987 miles² explorable planet, which is quite unbelievable even by today’s standards if you compare it to such open worlds as Final Fantasy XV (700 miles²),  Just Cause 3 (400 miles²) or Fuel (5.560 miles²) .

Players would take the role of a soldier sent to an alien planet called Balia, to combat for one of the available military factions: The Dominion, The Divine Separation and The Sovereignty. As in other MMORPGs Players VS Players and Realm VS Realms would have been available, you could drive different types of vehicles and

Details on SharkByte Software’s hopes for M.O.S. can still be found in old interviews and in their (now offline) website:

“The Idea for M.O.S. game about because we all liked playing FPS’s and tactical shooters such as Rainbow Six. We also like some RPG’s especially the online ones, so we thought man would it be cool if we could play Rainbow Six but in an Everquest setting? From there we started laying out the details of how this type of game might work. Now we are working on making that happen.

We currently have two server technologies that are being used and I can say that one will support approximately 30k per world and the other should allow for everyone to play together (obviously not in the same square inch :) ).”

“The initial game world covers approximately 142 kilometers by 193 kilometers. When you add the uncharted continents, seas, and oceans, the entire game world will encompass an area of 260 kilometers by 430 kilometers. This translates into an area of 161 miles by 267 miles.

A player will have three ways to develop their character. Since this is a military game the first method of advancement is in rank. A traditional rank system is being used. Secondly, the player will hone his skills by means of missions. Skill points are awarded which the player uses to develop the character skills. Thirdly, since this is a role playing game, the player will accumulate valuable information on which the players’ ability to decipher and implement what is learned can affect the outcome of the game.

The overall aim of the game is to establish and maintain the superiority of the player’s own shard. Within this framework the player will amass personal wealth and advance in rank with the successful completion of missions.”

“Killing of players within one’s own shard is also allowed although highly discouraged. As in any society, the attempted killing of an unarmed or peaceful citizen carries severe consequences. Friendly fire, on the other hand, may be unavoidable in the heat of combat.

Shard vs. shard attacks will be available. It is highly recommended that a player build up his skills before going into battle to increase his odds of survival.

A Shard is a group of military personnel under the rule of a General. There are 3 Shards on the planet: The Dominion, The Divine Separation and The Sovereignty. We chose the term Shard because it emphasizes the splitting of a single object.”

“Initially you will have to join a shard. Since this is a military type game and the player is recruited to serve on this planet the player is obliged to serve for a period of time. After fulfilling the obligation the player will have the option to continue within the system or make their fortune on the frontier.

A player will have access to use of vehicles as part of items necessary for use in missions. If a player can afford the cost of a vehicle, it is available to him.”

The team just showed concept art and a single 3D render from the game, so we don’t know how much was really done before its cancellation. As it usually happens with these ambitious MMORPG from the early ‘00s, we can assume the team underestimated the efforts, skills and budget needed to develop such a game and never find a publisher interested in helping them.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Hostile Intent (Aware Entertainment) [PC – Cancelled]

Hostile Intent (Not to be confused with the Half-Life mod of the same name) was a First Person Shooter that was being developed by American company Aware Entertainment during 2002 and 2003. Aware Entertainment were based in Knoxville, Tennessee, and were founded in January 2001 by Andrew Roberto while he was still in Law School, with the studio born from a desire to create “truly interactive computer games”. This was their very first project.

With a fairly outlandish plot and a gritty look, the concept of Hostile Intent seemed to fall somewhere between Battlefield, Rainbow Six and even the James Bond series. It was described by Aware as an intense, fast-paced shooter while simultaneously offering an open-ended gameplay experience.

The backstory of the game would have offered us a little bit of alternate history as the setup:

“In 1945, just after the end of the second World War, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt created a covert organization called “Leviathan” to combat any perceived threats against the free world. Leviathan was cleared to use any means that governments could not publicly endorse, whether it be kidnapping, assassination, sabotage, arms-dealing, corporate espionage or even triggering war and, due to the nature of these methods, the organization was to be a secret to everyone with the exception of a single member of the executive branch of the US, who would then pass on the knowledge to a successor once he left office.

However, just a few months later, any knowledge of Leviathan dies with Roosevelt, who suffers a cerebral hemorrhage before he can disclose the existence of the organization to vice-president Harry S. Truman. With no one to keep it in check and its funding structure firmly secure, Leviathan goes on to attain massive influence over the world’s affairs, essentially becoming a shadowy world government with the power to deploy its forces anywhere it deems necessary.

Decades later, their reign is threatened by a prodigious and mentally-ill hacker known as “Xander”, who has plans of world domination. Using his computer skills to steal from the elite and big businesses, he funds a personal army that he dubs “Alliance Of Anarchy” to achieve his goal and while trying to send false orders to one of the world’s armies, he accidentally reveals himself to the Leviathan leadership, a former high ranking member of the CIA known only as “Spyder”. With both factions now aware of each other, a battle for supremacy begins as Xander escalates conflicts around the world and sends his mercenary army to hunt down his rival, hoping to take advantage of Spyder’s distraction and stretched resources in his efforts to bring the world back under Leviathan control.”

In the middle of this mess, the player would assume the role of J.D. Knox, a former marine and Leviathan operative recruited by Spyder, as he is deployed in battlefields around the world. These would include some obvious choices for the time, such as Iraq and Chechnya, but places such as North Korea would also make an appearance.

Hostile Intent was quite ambitious in the gameplay department. Aware would claim in several interviews that the game would not only feature levels with infinitely generated landscapes, but also a fully destructible environment, complete with terrain deformation, made possible by Aware’s own custom made engine which they were also hoping to license out for other games.

With a scope this large, the player would have at his disposal a large amount of real-life weapons and vehicles to fight with and get around. In addition to over 20 guns that ranged from pistols to rocket launchers and laser target designators, Hostile Intent would allow us to get inside the M1A1 Abrams tank, the Humvee, the Bradley APC, Hokum, Apache and Comanche helicopters, and even several boats.

With this feature set, it should come as no surprise that Hostile Intent was being developed with multiplayer action in mind. In addition to all the modes one would expect, such as Deathmatch and objective-based missions like hostage rescue, the game would also feature modes that could take advantage of its capacity for environment destruction, with up to 32 players joining the mayhem at once.

However, it does not seem that the single player experience would suffer as a result of this online focus, as the open-endedness of the gameplay allowed for not only a large amount of replayability, but the levels themselves would have been populated by NPCs, both hostile and friendly, in addition to the main enemy force. The main campaign would have been team-based and, although Hostile Intent was not meant to be a pure tactical shooter, it would have offered some depth when it came to player movement, with the ability to lean around corners and to go prone, and even the possibility to employ stealth.

2003 saw Hostile Intent build up a little bit of hype among some of the smaller gaming websites. With a release date estimated for late 2004, Aware claimed in an interview that they had several publishers interested in their game, but no deal had been finalized at that point in time. The last update on their official website seems to have been on September 15 of 2003 and, by 2004, the website no longer existed. Hostile Intent, and by extension Aware, had seemingly died, and whether that was due to difficulties with publishing, overambition, or a combination of both, remains unknown.

Article by thecursebearer, thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Gorge Tour (New Media Generation) [PC – Cancelled]

Gorge Tour is a cancelled comical FPS that was in development around 2002 – 2004 by New Media Generation, planned to be released on PC. Inspired by such titles as Quake and Unreal, Gorge Tour would have mixed horror shooting and humorous moments, thanks to its parodist story, weird enemies (such as rolling pumpkins) and funny weapons.

At the time some details were shared by the team on their official website:

“Classical First Person 3D action where a hero fights innumerable hordes of extraterrestrial monsters.  Year 2327. Mankind is actively exploring the profound space, but has not yet found any alien civilization. People founded a big colony on planet Tersa, a place rich in minerals and suitable for human life. Unfortunately a near galaxy is populated by various ugly and bloodthirsty, but intelligent monsters who spend all the time by ravaging the neighboring planets. The powerful scanners detected the human colony and sent their spaceship to it. Annihilate the greedy monster! The main hero wakes up in an isolated underground bunker and finds out the colony has been destroyed by a hateful monsters horde. The whole population has been exterminated. Now his main goal is to reach the spaceship and to leave the captured planet. Classical 3D First Person Action, unordinary game plot, 20 missions, 5 complexity levels, huge number of different monsters and weapons are waiting for you!

Former New Media Generation’s PR manager Kitaitseva Anna also had an interview with HomeLAN:

“We would like to make out a typical landscape of the lost-in-the-space setting, what would be determinative for creation of the right feeling of the inimical environment and anxious situation in the game.  The action takes place on a planet of the Earth type, where there are several moons in the light-green sky, poor vegetation and crooked trees. Rain falls in several locations, which are connected by several passages. The staggering music will intensify fillings appearing in this or that location.  We would like to diversify the game space and propose manifold locations and settings to the gamer. One will find the locations and settings of every sort and kind. Among them there are: various factories, workshops, laboratories, farms and combines as well as underground mines and nuclear reactors. Besides a lot of “ordinary” settings and locations will be available for training and mastering the skill of the combat against the extraterrestrial monsters. You will roam about the labyrinth of tangled streets, end up in a military garrison, administration offices, a police station, a sports complex, a club with a casino, a souvenir boutique of a luxurious hotel, a space center and finally in an alien spaceship on board of which you will manage to leave the planet.”

“In the game it is planned to use a lot of different kinds of weapons. Among them there are some weapon types for the close and distant combat as well as cold steel and fire-arms: a pistol, a shot-gun, a rocket-launcher, a grenade, a minigun, a flame thrower, a plasma gun, a lighting gun, a light axe and a laser mine, a tranquilizer and a butcher’s knife. But the player will have a possibility to use a unique specialized weapon of mass defeat “BANG!” It is a comic type of arm with a specific effect: all the enemies in its range fall on the ground bursting out laughing. The game space is interactive, so the player will be able to apply to various objects of the outward things as a kettle, the surrounding constructions and so on.

All the enemies in the game are extraterrestrial monsters. There are odd humanoid or lizard-like creatures, some of them can fly another are a cephalopoda, which move by rolling. The monsters will be able to pursue the hero, escape, try to take in rear, attack collectively and make common cause. We have planned the game with some parody elements on all games of this genre. So, sometimes the characters will be a little comic and odd with slightly hypertrophied characteristic features.”

We don’t know what happened to Gorge Tour, but it soon vanished after an impressive trailer New Media Generation published on their website in 2004.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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