Survive is a cancelled zombie game that was in development by bigBIG Studios around 2009, planned to be released on the Sony PSVita. The team was mostly known for such titles as Pursuit Force and Little Deviants, but they worked on more games for Sony that were never released. Unfortunately as far as we know Survive was never officially announced by Sony, so we don’t have details about its gameplay.
By looking at the only available screenshots, we speculate it was going to be some kind of tower defense / survival adventure set in a zombie-apocalypse world. In 2012 Sony closed bigBIG Studios: some images from Survive are preserved in the gallery below to remember the existence of this lost project.
Project Advena is a cancelled sci-fi, survival adventure game that was in development by Illfonic and Psyop Games around 2015 – 2016. The game was officially announced by the team and a short description was available on their old website:
“Alone, and marooned on an alien world, a humble space freighter pilot must face dwindling resources, a hostile environment, and his own internal demons to make his way toward his only hope for rescue, a flickering beacon forgotten on a precipitous mountainside. Each step on his journey threatens to bring him face to face with his imminent mortality, dwindling supplies, strange creatures, and the deepening shade of his own solitude.”
Venture Beat also published an interview with Illfonic in late 2015:
“After THQ shut down, we started doing work for hire putting our CryEngine knowledge to good use, and we worked on Star Citizen, Evolve, Armored Warfare, Sonic Boom … the Team Challenges … a tech demo with AMD, Crysis 3, and some other really cool unannounced projects.
Currently, besides Friday the 13th: The Game, we are working on Moving Hazard and Project Advena — a working title — with Psyop Games, along with relaunching Nexuiz real soon. In addition, we are continuing working on our MMO Revival, which is build in stages and has a pretty cool update coming to Phase 1 real soon.”
Nothing more is known about Advena’s gameplay. Only a few promotional images are preserved below, to remember its existence. After a while the game quietly vanished, while Illfonic switched their resources on different projects. We can speculate Advena was not proceeding as planned and the team decided to focus their efforts on more secure and profitable projects.
Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 4: Summer Memories was going to be the fourth installment of the franchise known variously in the west as SOS Escape, Raw Danger or Disaster Report. Developed by Irem only for Playstation 3, it was supposed to be released in march 2011, but it got delayed after the Tōhoku earthquake that struck Japan and in the end the game was cancelled probably also due to Irem’s financial difficulties.
The game takes place in a big city in the year 201X. It’s July, the heart of summer, and your character is visiting the city for a job interview. The city is suddenly hit with a major earthquake.
The game will feature over 60 characters, the largest in series history. You’ll need to work with these people to escape.
There are a few new features Irem highlights for Disaster Report 4:
You can enter collapsed buildings, within which you’ll find survivors and additional escape routes. You’ll find new items, including crutches for when your legs are injured. The game has a new “cleanliness” parameter for your character. If your character gets too dirty, your stress will rise. To increase your cleanliness parameter, you need to… Use the toilet!. This is a new facility for Disaster Report 4. You can use the toilet to increase your cleanliness parameter
You’re free to customize your character. At the start of the game, you can set gender, face style, and hair style. As you work through the game, you’ll earn over 100 clothing items, including suits and casual outfits.
Also, here is the 1up interview where the director talks about the game cancellation, and the article on hardcoregaming101.
Downfall is a cancelled survival horror / sandbox open world game that was in development by Crystal Dynamics in 2007, for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Sadly the project was canned before being officially announced, so we dont know much about its gameplay, but from the few concept arts preserved, we can assume that it was going to be somehow similar to I Am Alive / Disaster Report / Project Survivors, with some horror twist. Downfall was set in a post-quake San Francisco, as another cancelled game for the PS2, The Big One.
The images in the gallery below were saved to preserve the existence of this lost game.
I Am Alive is a PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 videogame envisioned by French developer Darkworks. First pitches of the game already appeared during the early 2000’s when Darkworks was still working on USS Antarctica (a PS2 game which was planned to be published by Capcom but then cancelled). In 2003, the studio worked on Time Crisis Adventure / Cold Fear, originally to be published by Namco. When they ditched Cold Fear, Ubisoft jumped in and became publisher of the game. This laid the foundation for a partnership between Darkworks and Ubisoft, which finally allowed Darkworks to realize their “Alive” project with production beginning in 2005, even though gameplay and environment might have been changed when compared to the original 2001/2002 concept.
As we can see, in 2007 the game was changed a bit. While being first concepted with dark and brown colours, they decided to go for a more realistic style two years later.
I Am Alive was originally planned and ready for a release in early 2009, but Ubisoft was not satisfied with the game’s direction in spite of this initial version being nearly complete. Therefore the game was brought to Ubisoft Shanghai where they wanted to change parts of the game only at first. Then however, they restarted the project completely and also tried implementing a multiplayer mode. This did not work out either, therefore I Am Alive was restarted once again in 2010 and was finally release in 2012, as a much different game.
Months after the release of Cold Fear, Darkworks started planning out their next project, a game their General Manager, Guillaume Gouraud had high hopes for. Concept artists and writers went to work on an apocalyptic horror game. However, pre-production on what was then known only as Alive, was lengthy and itinerant. The team went through various iterations on the original concept. Says our source about the pre-production, “We went from a zombie survival game to a squad-based action game with rollercoaster rides to a single-avatar pseudo-stealth one (also with rollercoaster rides though).“
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot called for all hands on deck. If Ubisoft was going to pour money and resources into Alive, they would need to ensure that Darkworks remained on track. For Hascoët, this meant entrenching Ubisoft employees at Darkworks headquarters to work alongside the team. This approach ended up creating a stressful work environment for the Darkworks employees. “Ubisoft thought it would lead to a greater collaboration (and of course, greater control), Darkworks thought of it as a hostile takeover and proof that Ubisoft didn’t want to let them hold the creative ownership,” says the anonymous former Darkworks employee.
The trailer hinted at an open world, cinematic storytelling, pre-calamity flashbacks, and open-ended combat scenarios. I Am Alive’s public profile was suddenly off the charts. Though the illusion successfully fooled fans, back in France, things weren’t going well. Perhaps foreshadowing the future of the project, Ubisoft didn’t include the Darkworks logo in the E3 trailer.
Then disaster struck. The project was pulled from Darkworks in January 2009. The team’s hard work left on the cutting room floor. “Ubisoft was fed up with Darkworks.” Says our source of the situation. “To their credit, the game wasn’t very good in its current state and it already cost them a lot of money.” The team was devastated.
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