Sandbox

Underground [PS2 XBOX – Cancelled]

Underground is a cancelled action / open world game that was in development by Volition for the Playstation 2 / Xbox. The game was set in england and players would have took control of a thief, free to explore the city and to decide what and how to steal. Undergound was in development for about a year, but after the release of GTA 3, Volition though that their project’s quality was not up to the expectation that gamers had from an open world game and decided to stop working on it.

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LA Noire [Beta / Cut Content – PS3 / Xbox 360]

LA Noire is a third person action / investigation game developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar in 2011. In an interview with Brendan McNamara, we can read that the game was going to have a desk where you would have to deal with burglaries and fraud – the desk was known as Bunko and Burglary. The entire desk had about eleven cases, all of which were cut due to the fact that the cases couldn’t fit on entire blue ray disk. Quoting McNamara from another article:

“We had a Bunko and Burglary desk – bunko is fraud and burglary is just people robbing houses and stuff – we had eleven full cases for that, which we wrote and did the design for to a certain extent – we even did the art for them too, but it just got to a point where we were never going to fit it on one Blu-ray,”

Evidence of the Burglary desk can be found in the game, such as at the beginning of the homicide desk, where the captain of homicide greets Cole Phelps after he earned a promotion from burglary. It’s also implied during the case Manifest Destiny that Harold Caldwell was Cole’s partner for that desk. Dialog implies that Harold Caldwell knows Cole Phelps – again implying that burglary was going too planned for LA Noire.

Finally, there was also a type of Mini-game (that was also cut) where the player could have made a captain angry. The player and assigned partner would have to complete certain crimes (car chases, shootings, etc) in order to get another case from the captain. Quoting the article

 “There was a kind of system where if you failed a case your captain would scream at you and you’d go out and do hot car chases or smaller robberies and muggings and all that kind of stuff in the world”

“You’d have to do enough of them to get to a point where you get offered another case, but as I said that got cut because I thought it was too much of a distraction.”

If there is any concept art from the cut desk, please share it here so we can add it to the article!

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Steambot Chronicles 2 (Bumpy Trot 2) [PS3 – Cancelled]

Steambot Chronicles 2 (AKA Poncotsu Roman Daikatsugeki: Bumpy Trot 2 in Japan) is a cancelled steampunk sandbox / action mech game that was in development for the Playstation 3 by Irem, originally announced on September 2006, at the Tokyo Game Show. Steambot Chronicles 2 was officially canceled along with several other Irem games following the Japanese tsunami / earthquake in march 2011. It’s possible that Irem had already some problems with the development of Steambot Chronicles 2 and the natural disaster in Japan was just the nail in the coffin for this interesting project.

As wrote by Tollmaster on Mecha Damacy:

it seems that the original Steambot Chronicles is doomed to remain a one-off work of genius, an inexplicably deep and mold-breaking PlayStation 2 game where players finally got to see the civilian side of mecha. There was a living, breathing world outside the game’s mechanical boss battles and pitched tournaments; loading up lumber on your clunky steam-powered robot’s flatbed to help construct a bridge in-between playing the harmonica in a touring band and helping root out vast conspiracies seeking to control the world’s oil supply immersed you into something deeper than any other game has ever hoped to.

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This is Vegas [X360 PS3 – Cancelled]

This is Vegas is an action / sandbox game that was in development for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 since 2006 / 2007  by Midway Games / Surreal Software, but sadly it seems that the game was cancelled in fall / late 2009.  Due to Midway’s financial troubles in 2009 the company sold certain assets to Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment which included This is Vegas and developer Surreal Software. SS then worked on some animations and characters for Snowblind’s LotR: War in the North. In December/January 2010 there were some layoffs and departures and in June 2010 the studio was closed down. 4 years of work on This is Vegas went directly into the bin.

Here is an introduction to This is Vegas’ story from an old Gamespot preview:

The game’s story follows you, an unnamed nobody, as you arrive in Vegas with 50 dollars in your pocket and hazy goals. As luck would have it, you’ll cross paths with Joey Nissan, a local “entrepreneur” who winds up working to get you in with the Vegas crowd. From the sound of it, this bit in the game will be your license to be decadent as you play. Of course, all good things don’t last forever, and soon you meet your nemesis: Preston Boyer, a fast food tycoon bent on cleaning up Vegas to be a family-friendly tourist trap. This doesn’t exactly fly far with you and your new crowd, so your goal will be to stop Boyer and preserve the town’s special atmosphere.

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