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