RTS

Eurasia: Apocalypse [PC – Cancelled]

Eurasia: Apocalypse (Евразия: Апокалипсис) is a cancelled real-time strategy game that was in development by ElectroTECH Multimedia in 1997, seen by many gamers as the “Russian Command & Conquer“.  The game was set in a world that survived a natural catastrophe: because of global warming most of the continents are now submerged in water. Only South Siberia and a few scattered islands remain above the ocean, so all the major world powers fight to control these remaining territories.

A playable demo can still be found online, with its ‘90s aesthetics and original soundtrack. Unfortunately this early version of Eurasia: Apocalypse is full of bugs that make it practically unplayable.

It seems in 1998 the game won the “Most promising development among computer games” prize in Russia, but the issues found in the demo killed the fans’ enthusiast. ElectroTECH decided that further development costs were not worth it and cancelled the project. Another 3D strategy game titled “Bestiary” developed by MiST Land South was also canned at the same time.

Thanks to Josef for the contribution!

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Refusion (Gumpanela) [PC – Cancelled]

Refusion is a cancelled multiplayer FPS / RTS hybrid that was in development for PC by Gumpanela Entertainment between 2005 and 2013. The concept behind the project was to let players fight as a unit with FPS gameplay or to become the leader of the team playing each battle as in a Real Time Strategy game. Imagine epic online VS matches between hundreds of players and AI-controlled units, moving in real time on a small-scale planet (40 x 40 km), using vehicles, entering into buildings and destroying the environments with explosives. An ambitious project indeed.

We can find some details about Refusion on Gumpanela’s old website (now closed):

Multiplayer: The game is mainly designed for the massive multiplayer mode. Up to 100 players can join the Battle at any time during the action. The aim is clear – vanquish the enemy! We also provide AI to help you in the roles of Fighter or Master.

SinglePlayer: The game can also be enjoyed by solo players. You can select either Skirmish or Campaign and discover the whole history of Human and Skoroman so that the prophecies can be fulfilled.

As A Fighter You Can: Choose between different classes; Control a great variety of units – ground, air, naval; Get your own unit – just come over to the proper military structure, press the button and than unit is there for you; Live longer on the Battlefield – more playing-time, less waiting-time; Listen to your Master’s orders. You will know where the enemy is, where to go, which group to join and what your personal task is. In the end, it’s your decision!

As A Master You Can: Play the full RTS game with real live units; Organise and manage your Fighters – they need you and you need them; Rely on your Fighters’ intelligence and incorporate their ideas in your tactics; Command huge numbers of units and build extensive bases; Lead great battles and obliterate your opponents.

Featuring:

  • Two Races against each other. Human versus Skoroman.
  • Unseen Battle Realm of 40×40 km, with no borders – just like a normal planet works.
  • Unique union of FPS and RTS game technology;
  • State-of-the-art FPS quality in physics and graphics;
  • Extensive, borderless game environment;
  • Massive units and buildings;
  • Epic battles, hundreds of units engaged;
  • Full and/or partial destructibility of units – for example, a car without a wheel will still be able to move along;
  • Open Games – you can join any game any time – the system’s auto-balance feature will keep everything in order, both Master or Fighter, no matter who joins in.

They also shared many screenshots and details on their Moddb account:

“Imagine yourself playing as a Master in classical RTS like Starcraft or Total Annihilation and your friend in the role of a Fighter playing his own FPS like for example Battlefield DC. And this all is happening in the same time at the same place. Isn’t it a brilliant idea? The best thing about this all above is the shared experience but for each player from perspective seen from a different point of view.

The Master builds bases and units, takes care of resource management, researches global upgrades and leads the whole battle, exactly as if he was playing a normal RTS game. As soon as he builds barracks, the live FPS players can join the game as Fighters and use everything Master has built, including usage of units he has created.

Through cooperation a great game come to existence, where the Master sees everything from a bird’s perspective and leads the battle globally. A Live Fighter has his own head and judgement of the situation, he sees the battle in local perspective and is able to solve some situations better than Master could ever do. Fighter can also invite a few AI controlled units into his team and command them on the battlefield according to his current needs.”

After a development update in 2013, Refusion quietly vanished.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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MageLords (Kinesoft) [PC – Cancelled]

MageLords is a cancelled strategy game that was in development by Kinesoft around 1999 – 2000, planned to be released on PC. Its main features would have been a mix of RTS and empire-building gameplay, boosting epic battles with a hundred of 3D characters on-screen, something quite impressive for its time.

More details on what MageLords could have offered can be found in previews published by IGN and Gamespot:

“The world of MageLords was first ruled by a civilization known as Arcan, which was made up of six distinct clans. Each clan had a representative in Arcan’s ruling council, which governed all aspects of society. Over time, the council focused its efforts on harnessing the power of the magic that permeated its world. Each member of the council selected one of the six magical disciplines to study: good, evil, order, chaos, nature, and the nexus. The council adopted the title of MageLords and soon became distrustful of one another.”

“You play as a MageLord who remotely governs an empire and magically controls armies from afar. On the empire level you’ll need to extend your control to new provinces and build cities to increase the mana, gold, and food levels so you can build more powerful armies and cast more impressive spells to indirectly affect tactical battles.”

“MageLord’s 3D battlefield can engage up to 100 individual figures, from medieval human troops to super-sized giants and nasty demons. Figures are mainly controlled in unit formations, which depending on the figure’s size and strength, can include from one to ten individuals.”

“The game features a wide variety of creatures, including dragons, minotaurs, zombies, basilisks, skeleton warriors, death knights, hellhounds, and wraiths. While many creatures belong to one of the six main races in the game, others are neutral. Neutral creatures can exist in the world due to the work of the ancient evil force, the Asthorra, or they can merely be random wandering monsters.”

Thanks to Kinsie for the contribution!

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Kaiju (DigiFX Interactive) [Cancelled – PC, Mac]

Kaiju is a cancelled real-time strategy game that was in development by DigiFX Interactive around 1996 / 1997, planned to be released on PC and Mac. Players could choose between 2 factions: kaijus (those giant monsters from classic Japanese movies) and humans. Depending on which faction you would play as your objective would be to protect or destroy cities.

As we can read from their official press-release:

“The city is under attack! Giant monsters breathing fire are leveling every building in sight. It is up to you to mobilize your forces and develop new technologies in order to stop these giant creatures, or choose to command a cadre’ of crazed dinosaurs, giant lizards, sea monsters, radioactive space monsters, “King Congo” (the biggest ape you ever saw) and other huge destructive creatures whose sole purpose is to obliterate mankind! No this isn’t just a “kill the bad guy” strategy game…it’s total destruction!

KAIJU is a Windows 95 and Macintosh “real time” strategy game with an entirely new twist! KAIJU contains one of the most unique and highly playable battle and economic systems in existence. Players can choose either the humans or the monsters! As the humans, the player must defend the cities from the creatures by using all the resources available. As monsters, the player must crush, stomp and obliterate every human (and everything) in sight! We’re not kidding, this game allows total destruction of everything!”

Game features:

  • Over 40 new units unique to KAIJU, including aircraft carriers, super attack planes, phase cannons, plasma mines, and artificial lightning generators, and “special” characters such as the “PSI”, the “Hero”, the “Brainy guy”, and the “Military guy”,
  • Create special characters that affect ‘normal’ units and structures. Just one example includes a unique character called a “PSI” that uses a sixth sense to battle the monsters. If the “PSI” enters a Radar Station, it becomes a “Monster Control Tower”, with the ability to ‘take control’ of any monster for a period of time.

Unfortunately DigiFX Interactive closed down in late 1997 due to financial issues. When the team was disbanded they were also working on other canned titles such as DigiFX Mission to Nexus Prime and Mythos.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution! 

Hordes (System 3) [PC – Cancelled]

Hordes is a cancelled real-time strategy game that was in development by System 3 around 1998, planned to be released on PC. At the time the company was quite beloved by gamers, thanks to such titles as The Last Ninja, Myth, International Karate, Putty and Constructor, but they also worked on many fascinating cancelled projects. While Hordes is listed on the official System 3 website under their unreleased projects, not many details are available online.

A short preview and a few screenshots from the game were published in Edge magazine (issue 55, 1998) and concept art is available on Dan Malone’s portfolio.

“Tipping the usual good VS bad story on its head, Hordes is a PC strategy game of commendable difference. The player controls one of three unholy “Clags” gods: Arclite, Cankor and Blacrot, each of whom has a particular theme. Blacrot’s hordes, for instance, can attack with various rot-based weapons. […] Hordes is intended to be far more action based than many of its contemporaries, with the player having 36 counties to battle through before reaching the seat of the Light Queen Edwinia. With 3 different forces to play, 36 levels and a totally non-linear plot, Hordes should have a serious amount of longevity.”

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