Sandbox

Loose Cannon [PC XBOX – Cancelled]

Loose Cannon is a cancelled sandbox style action game that was in development in 1999 / 2000 by Digital Anvil for PC and rumored to be ported for the XBOX. When Microsoft bought Digital Anvil, Loose Cannon was canned and as reported by GameSpot, it seems that the game’s concept was sold to Ubisoft (?) but the project was never completed.

Microsoft’s first move after buying Digital Anvil was to sell off two of its projects–Frontier Wars and Loose Cannon–to Ubisoft. It also took the previously PC-only Brute Force and turned it into an Xbox exclusive, released in 2003.

In the original Loose Cannon press release we can read some of the unseen features of this interesting project:

“Loose Cannon” is a next-generation action-adventure game that offers intense mercenary-style combat on foot and in vehicles. The player takes the role of Ashe, a bounty hunter in a country overwhelmed by crime. The year is 2016 and free-lance law is the preferred brand of justice. Understaffed law agencies are forced to use unregulated bounty hunters to supplement their ranks.

“Loose Cannon” combines an intricate story line supported with stunning visual effects and intense action, Taking the role of Ashe, the player travels across the US making a broad range of choices, from which vehicle to travel in to which missions to accept.

• Action on foot and behind the wheel. “Loose Cannon” seamlessly blends realistic driving physics with fast-paced action on foot. When players choose to leave their vehicles (or are forced out), they may fight on foot, steal other cars, repair their vehicles or even pursue an escaped fugitive into an enemy compound.

• Realistic combat. Stunning graphics, fully animated advanced motion capture technology, numerous units and dynamic characters create an ever-changing interactive environment. More than 15 customizable vehicles, numerous weapons and armor, a working police force and realistic traffic provide for amazing realism and intense combat action.

• Detailed US cities. “Loose Cannon” is set in nine accurately detailed US cities and visually stunning countrysides. Cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York provide color and atmosphere to the missions and storyline. The cities are alive as civilians cross the streets at crosswalks, cars follow traffic laws, and police investigate crimes.

• Multi-layered mission structure. “Loose Cannon” features more than 20 intricately detailed missions laced with Hollywood-quality cut scenes. Progressively challenging missions motivate the player to progress from the West to East coast. Missions include car chases, hostage rescues, escorting convoys, and attacking enemy bases. In addition, optional missions and tasks allow a player to make money to afford better vehicles and weapons.

• Easy to play, difficult to master. With its straightforward, easy-to-learn interface, “Loose Cannon” ensures that everyone from the novice player to the seasoned action veteran can quickly engage the game. Early missions acquaint players with all the tools they will need for even the most advanced levels.

• Multiplayer capability. Support is available for up to eight players via a local area network or the MSN™ Gaming Zone

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GTA: San Andreas [PS2 – Beta]

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a sandbox action game developed by Rockstar North, originally released for the PlayStation 2 in October 2004 and later ported to the Xbox and Microsoft Windows. In the gallery below you can see some early screens with beta differences, noticed by Sir_Brando and bazaaboy44:

  • Image 1: Big Smoke and and Sweet in Beta clothes
  • Image 2: Main charaters in beta clothes; Taken out character on bottom right.
  • Image 3: Beta CJ face
  • Image 4: Beta skin and fat CJ; Taken out Grove Street character, third from left.
  • Image 5: Homies were originally able to follow CJ into buildings, such as stores, restaurants and safehouses.
  • Image 6: Taken out woman chararacter
  • Image 7: Hooded Grove Street character on right was taken out.
  • Image 8: Taken out Grove Street character.
  • Image 9: Car washes, similar to the ones in GTA IV were originally accessible, but due to limitations of the game engine, they are non-functional in the final.

A “sex mini-game” was removed from the final version, but still hidden in its code (from Wikipedia):

In mid-June 2005, a software patch for the game dubbed the “Hot Coffee mod” was released by Patrick Wildenborg (under the Internet alias “PatrickW”), a 38-year old modder from the Netherlands. The name “Hot Coffee” refers to the way the released game alludes to the unseen sex scenes. In the unmodified game, the player takes his girlfriend to her front door and she asks him if he would like to come in for “some coffee”. He agrees, and the camera stays outside, swaying back and forth a bit, while moaning sounds are heard.

After installing the patch, users can enter the main character’s girlfriends’ houses and engage in a crudely rendered, fully clothed sexual intercourse mini-game.

Thanks to Solidshake, Sir_Brando, PCloadletter and bazaaboy44 for the contributions!

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There are also some missions that were cut from the final release of the game, altrough there is a mod for PC that you can play these missions, also there are some changes in some missions that were modified in the final version:

-There are many deleted missions which include The Truth is Out There and Impounded, or missions with different objectives which include Doberman, Photo Opportunity and Beat Down on B Dup.

-In the first version of Saint Mark’s Bistro, CJ had to chase Marco Forelli with a car in the streets of Portland, but for some reason, Portland is not full in the final version (only Saint Mark’s, Red Light District and some place of Chinatown and Portland View) and the road isn’t solid anywhere.

-Fish in a Barrel was supposedly an actual mission instead of a mere cutscene.

-In Sweet’s Girl, originally Sweet did not have a gun, so CJ escorted him out.

-In Photo Opportunity, unused text implies that CJ hijacked and used a helicopter.

-There was going to be a mission involving a search for Big Smoke.

-There was going to be a different race in the Los Santos Stadium.

-There were San Fierro Rifa gang tags. The texture is still in the game files. 

Dead Rush [XBOX/PS2/GC – Cancelled]

deadrushlogo.jpg

Dead Rush was a cancelled video game that was designed by Treyarch and would have been published by Activision. The game would have taken place in the town of Eastport where a massive earthquake has destroyed most of humanity. As Jake, a character suffering from memory loss, the players job was to try and find out exactly what happened in Eastport, which is now overflowing with zombies.

The game’s main claim to fame was the fact that as Jake players could operate one of several vehicles scattered around town. Not only would this provide the player with a means of transportation but it would also serve as armor of sorts. The zombies in Eastport would try to wreck whatever car Jake was driving. Luckily the player could create new vehicles out of parts of previously demolished cars.

The game would have featured few load times, as after an initial boot up the game would never pause to load data from the disc again. The game was announced at E3 2004 and set to be released in 2005. It was cancelled shortly thereafter. [Info from Wikipedia]

Gaming Conviction did an interview with Gideon Emery who was the voice of Dead Rush’s main character Jack:

GC: I read that you did the voice of a character named Jake in a cancelled game in 2005 called Dead Rush. Do you remember any details about the character?
GE: It was the lead character in a game and I was thrilled to book it. Don;t recall much. I had one recording session, then heard nothing. Later I learned the game was shelved as it wasn’t developing to the level or speed that they wanted. What I do remember was being very disappointed, as it would have been my first true lead.

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Possession [X360/PS3 – Cancelled?]

While not officially cancelled, the game has received no updates for a year. In response to several questions about Possession, Blitz/Volatile has sent out the same message to any person who requested the status of the game.

“Hi there, Thanks for your interest in Possession. Unfortunately we still haven’t managed to secure a publisher to take on the project. We haven’t given up on Possession completely, we want to see it made as much as you do. We are pursuing other games at the moment though. Best regards, PR Dept, Volatile Games”

The nature of the email and its content, especially the “pursuing other games” comment seem to suggest that the game will not be completed. It is still noted though that no Publisher yet is found and that they didn’t give up Possession completely indicating that the game is not yet cancelled and it has a chance that once a Publisher takes the project, the game would be continued to be completed. – [info from Wikipedia]

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