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Dreadnought (HMS Carnage) [PC PSX Saturn – Cancelled]

HMS Carnage (later renamed to Dreadnought / Dreadnoughts and internally know as Dread0) is a cancelled Victorian steam-punk shooter (with strategy elements) set on the red planet of Mars, that was in development for almost 3 years by the Tribe team at Ocean Software. It was an ambitious project, but only a small playable demo and detailed FMV were finished before Infogrames acquired Ocean in 1998 and decided to kill it some months later.

It seems that the game concept was somehow similar to Warhawk, released in 2007 for the Playstation 3, in which the player is able to use ground and air vehicles, turrets and on-foot weapons to kill their enemies and complete the mission objectives.

HMS Carnage was mainly a PC-CDROM game and the PSX / Saturn ports were an afterthought: the console versions would have been very different  with more action and less strategy.

At the time Ocean had a reputation for producing low quality movie tie-ins but with the much-hyped arrival of CDROM as a gaming format they wanted to develop some really ground breaking games. Ocean rebranded their internal development department as “Tribe”, invested a lot of money, hired a lot of new talent and asked everyone to come up with amazing original concepts huge enough to fill a CDROM.

HMS Carnage was one of the winning concepts, Silver was another (released 4 years later) and the third was a point ‘n click adventure with Hanna-Barbera characters, called “Zoiks” which was also cancelled.

The game kept its “HMS Carnage” title throughout most of the development, while “Dreadnought” was a name thought up by the marketing department towards the end (the development team didn’t much like it). Probably they though it was a more sellable title for a shooter.

Sadly the name-change was not enough to save the game. When Infogrames bought Ocean and review Dreadnought, too much work and money were still needed to complete the project: they thought that it could have been an economic failure and decided to cancel the development. After the cancellation, part of  the Tribe team went to work at Psygnosis.

A preview for HMS Carnage was published in Edge magazine issue 32 (1996), if you are able to scan those pages, please let us know!

Thanks a lot to Maria Ingold, Matt Wood, Julian Holtom for their help in preserving media and info from their lost project!

Thanks to Robert Seddon and Celine for the magazines scans!

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Iron Hammer [SEGA VR – Unreleased]

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Sega, flush with funds from the Sega Mega Drive (released as the Sega Genesis in North America), announced the Sega VR add-on in 1991. It was based around an IDEO virtual reality headset (HMD) with LCD screens in the visor and stereo headphones. Inertial sensors in the headset allowed the system to track and react to the movements of the user’s head. Because of development difficulties the Sega VR remained only a prototype, it was last seen at computer shows in 1993 and vanished from the release schedules in 1994. Four games were apparently developed for the system, each using 16 Mb cartridges that were to be bundled with the headset. [Info from Wikipedia]

One of these Sega VR games was Iron Hammer, a first person shooter with futuristic aircraft. A prototype of this game was somehow saved from the limbo and thanks to Nicola from Gamescollection.it, we had a brief chance to play it at the VGH 2008, a little videogames expo that took place in Monza (Italy) the last May. You can check the video below to see Iron Hammer in motion.

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StarFox [Virtual Boy – Cancelled]

Star fox VB (Virtual Boy) was a tech demo of the star fox game that was in developement for the virtual boy. The originally planned game itself, “Star Fox Virtual Boy” was cancelled obviously because the virtual boy died soon after the tech demo was revealed. It only ever was saw by the attendees of E3 1995 and at the Winter Consumer Electronics show of 1995 along with the other cancelled star fox game, Star Fox 2. It was revealed at E3 95′ when nintendo showcased their previously planned and small virtual boy library. To do this, nintendo gave all attendees 3-D glasses to watch the projected images more effectively. At this conference was where the only publicised image of Star Fox VB was taken, as seen below.

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Image source: Virtual-Boy.org
Video source: Grooveraider 

Armed (Aftermath) [PSX/Saturn – Cancelled]

Armed (also known as Aftermath) is a cancelled side-scrolling beat ’em up / action game that was in development by Interplay / Point of View  / Activision (?) for the original Playstation and Saturn.  The game could have been released under a different name but looking at the few screens preserved in the gallery below, it does not look like any other Activision / Interplay game published on the PSX or Saturn.

Thanks to Celine and Rod_Wod for the contribution! (some scan from Cd Consoles magazine issue #19)

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HILL Project [PS2/PSP – Cancelled?]

“2D shooters usually originate from Japan – they invented the genre with Space Invaders, after all. French developers Gaming Side, however, are going to try and beat them at their own game. Enter HILL Project, which needless to say is only a temporary title.The RenderWare development tool will be doing the leg work, but we can’t work out whether it’s looking basic or stylish. The developers are keen to boast about their two unique features – the ability to change the view from top-down to side-on at will, and upgrading weapons on the fly. Over 30 will feature, and they can be combined to create new ones.Prototypes are up and running on both PlayStation 2 and PC, with a PSP version planned and the DS also under consideration. A publisher has yet to be found.” [now cancelled?]

[Contribute by Matt Gander from www.gamesasylum.com]

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