Ruffian Games

Ryse (Kingdoms) [Xbox 360 – Cancelled]

Ryse: Son of Rome is an action adventure game, which was developed by Crytek and published by Microsoft Studios in late 2013 on the Xbox One at the console’s launch. However, it was originally planned to be a first person brawler exclusively for the Xbox 360 under another title. This great turn in direction is just one of the numerous twists that occurred throughout its development.

Kings & Kingdoms

Years before the name ‘Ryse’ would come to be, the basis of the project was born in 2006. It was the brainchild of Crytek Co-Founder, Cevat Yerli, and was imagined then not as one game, but two. One half of the coin was a title called “Kings” – an ambitious MMO where the player joins the ranks of various factions to fight for supremacy in a mythical world of monsters and sorcerers. The other was Kingdoms, a smaller scale first person game focussed around more intimate ground combat between soldiers of warring sides. At this time, no platform was attached to it.

Kingdoms 2006 Concept Art

Early concept art for Kingdoms from 2006.

The initial plan for these two games was that they would have been set in the same fantasy-themed universe, informing one another as development went on. Crytek put together a variety of concept art and basic prototypes for them, attempting to flesh out their ideas and convey their ideas more thoroughly as the company began showing them privately to publishers.

Behind the scenes, the world of Kings & Kingdoms was steadily coming together and over the years that the developer toiled away on it, a multitude of concepts for everything from characters to settings was produced. Fortunately, we have been able to preserve a good amount of these for your curiosity. 

Crackdown 2 [Beta – Xbox 360]

As we can read from Wikipedia, Crackdown 2 is a sandbox third-person shooter game developed by Ruffian Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox 360 in July 2010. Thanks to a post at Sean Noonan’s blog, we can read some interesting info about the beta and the development of Crackdown 2:

We had these cavernous locations for these monstrosities to roam, but the Goliath’s slow movement pace just couldn’t cut it against our nimble agent characters – no matter how powerful we buffed the Goliaths. Their great size meant any quick movements looked jarring and totally unconvincing, so the speed couldn’t change. […]

We pulled an all nighter or two and redesigned the Goliath. We adopted an approach whereby the Goliath would completely ignore the player. The Goliath would sprint as fast as possible to the beacon at which point he would pummel it until it was destroyed – the player’s job was to kill the Goliath before that could happen. It was simpler, cleaner and had a much more interesting visual impact. […]

The old Shai Gen Car Park in Unity Heights Square is roughly a tenth the size it originally was meant to be with the old Goliath design …in fact the old Shai Gen Car Park was once meant to be a freak infested mall as an homage to Dawn of the Dead but it’s location being on the final island best suited a Goliath encounter. At one point we talked about having a Goliath climb the agency tower as a final, but the idea was scrapped […]

Thanks a lot to Sean for the contribution!

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Streets of Rage Reboot [Cancelled – Xbox 360 / PS3]

Streets of Rage is a remake / reboot of the original Sega Genesis / Arcade brawler that was in development for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC by Grin, the same team behind titles such as Terminator Salvation, Wanted and the cancelled Wanted 2 and Final Fantasy Fortress.

Nothing much is known about this game, apart that is was a download-only title. The project was halted because of Grin’s financial difficulties that eventually bankrupted the company. In the gallery below we can see some concept arts and screens from an early build.

It seems that another reboot of Streets of Rage was also in development by Ruffian Games (the team behind Crackdown 2), but there are not many more info about this unseen project, apart from a beta / tech demo video preserved below thanks to Huff Allium!

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