third person shooter

Blood Dust (Visceral Games) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3]

Blood Dust is a cancelled multiplayer shooter in development at Visceral Games / EA from presumably late 2008 to 2011. As it was in development during the “golden age” of online multiplayer on consoles, its main focus was to create a fun game to fight against friends and random people. Unfortunately, not much more is known about this lost project.

Rumors suggest the game started out as being just a multiplayer mode for the cancelled singleplayer game The Ripper, which was also in development by EA. After showing promising results, EA turned this “multiplayer mode” into a stand-alone digital-only project: Blood Dust.

The game was set in a ‘30s style world, where three factions fought over a drug called “Blood Dust”. These factions consisted of “The Crushers” (made up of former U.S army troops), “the Black Chamber” (a predecessor to the CIA) and a third “monster” faction. This was what an anonymous writer had to say about the game:

 “I got to test this game about a year ago. At that time, The Ripper was a super power-up you got in multiplayer – although I can’t remember the conditions required to transform (might have been a certain amount of kills in a row.) The Ripper was a juggernaut; you had super speed, throwing knives that were almost instant kills, and a brutal melee. It was a fun concept because it really took teamwork to take The Ripper down. The monster class was grossly overpowered at the time I played, but it was lots of fun. Different classes could climb walls, hang on ceilings, or see enemy heat signatures through walls.”

EA planned to publish The Ripper one year after the release of Blood Dust, but both games were eventually cancelled. After The Ripper was canned, Visceral Games Melbourne (the studio behind the titles) focused their efforts on Blood Dust, but without much luck. EA decided to close the studio in 2011 after all of their games were cancelled, apparently because it was too expensive to keep them alive.

Blood Dust was nearly 80 percent finished when it got cancelled.

Article by Vipaah, thanks to Raupidu for the contribution!

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Invasion [PS2 – Cancelled]

Invasion is a cancelled massive online multiplayer shooter in development by Turbine Inc (mostly known for other online games such as Asheron’s Call and Dungeons & Dragons Online) for Playstation 2 around 2003. The team worked on a single-player prototype to test gameplay using Driver-Inter‘s proprietary engines, but in the end the project was cancelled, probably because of difficulties in creating a proper MMO game on the 6th generation of consoles.

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As you can see from the prototype footage and screenshots preserved in this page, the game was quite impressive for its time, at least graphically. Some details about Invasion can still be found on Driver Inter’s website:

“Invasion is a third-person shooter where player searches an abandoned Martian colony for its secrets in order to prevent a menace of an alien invasion on Earth.

The game is a demo with several types of weapons, powerups, enemies, quest items, an NPC that requires protection from player and a boss at the end of the last episode. The demo contains three episodes in three different areas: abandoned outpost, canyon and underground lab.

This project was a first stage of development of a unique massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) “Invasion!” where players were expected to:

  • Explore and defend a Martian-invaded earth
  • Guide “smart actors” who experience the world as a personalized sci-fi epic
  • Fight creatures great and small in entertaining monster movie battles
  • Evolve new abilities, new body parts, and new ways to play the game

The MMOG project “Invasion!” was cancelled.

In 2010 Turbine was acquired by Warner Bros and renamed WB Games Boston, working on MOBA Infinite Crisis and smartphone versions of  Batman: Arkham Underworld and Game of Thrones: Conquest.

Thanks to Mihapsx for the contribution!

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Gravity One [PS2, Xbox 360 – Cancelled]

Gravity One is a cancelled third person shooter that was in development by Kawaii Studio and Widescreen Games (mostly known for Dead to Rights II and the cancelled The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf) around 2003 / 2006, initially planned to be released for PS2 and later for Xbox 360. The project was never officially announced by Kawaii / Widescreen, but some footage is preserved below to remember its existence.

As far as we know Gravity One was going to be a linear third person shooter, with an original twist: the game was set in some kind of space-station, so you could be able to fly around in zero-gravity rooms. This means you had to shoot down enemies while moving around in all directions, using boxes and other parts of the scenario as flying-covers or weapons. The project was still in early development while Kawaii Studio pitched it around to different publishers: it’s possible they would have added more mechanics to it, if only they had found support.

It seems Gravity One was initially conceived as a Playstation 2 game, but with time passing without finding a publisher, the team switched the project to the soon-to-be-released Xbox 360 console. Even if Microsoft’s Xbox 360 market was quite perfect for third-person shooters, Gravity One was quietly cancelled.

In the end Kawaii Studio never released any game: their second know prototype titled “Ghostman” was also canned. Kawaii Studio seems to have been fully merged or acquired by Widescreen Games in 2006, possibly to help them with other major projects, such as their cancelled “The Witcher” console port.

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Codename: Xtreeme Forces [PC – Cancelled]

Codename: Xtreeme Forces was a squad based real-time strategy action game, combining elements of fast-paced first person shooter with wide perspective and worldview of a RTS. Development started off in November 2003 by Raptor Entertainment, with a release scheduled for 2005 on PC. A playable demo was also made available for gaming journalists. Raptor Entertainment developed their own 3D engine from scratch called “XF Engine”, to use for their commercial projects.

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Gameplay was described as anything but a typical shooter. It was planned to have players interact and talk with many different characters and objects during their missions. All of this was to have a somehow realistic gameplay and different characters relationships. 

Squad-control and RTS-based mechanics were to be implemented too. Additionally, the game’s advanced A.I would have helped to carry out realistic dialogues with NPCs. Missions would open out as you play along, alternating between parts of break-necking action and intense strategy planning.

 The story of Xtreeme Forces was described as following

“The Soviet Union was born in violence. The bitterness of its birth left behind a hankering for peace. This drive for stability was subverted by the still nascent Communist government into its own ends. A comprehensive effort was made to institutionalize the rule of the party and to centralize it. The economy was nationalized and a virtual one- party rule was established. A centralized bureaucracy was entrenched within all organs of the state and eventually within all facets of life. The revolution then turned stale and became exactly what it professed to abhor.

The builders of the soviet empire had systematically destroyed any semblance of self expression and will the populace might have had, making them dependant on the state for everything. Central dependencies were actively created and imposed on the people with ruthless brutality. The empire was thus tragically flawed and when it collapsed under its own ideological discrepancies, it left behind a vacuum. And chaos quickly slipped in to take control.

The Soviet Union had stood for years as a bulwark against ethnical and regional strife. The dissolution of the empire let loose the tensions and discord which had been simmering  for centuries and had been controlled with swift and brutal repressions of a police state. Added to the potent mix were the legitimate aspirations of the people which had been denied for so long under the soviet empire.

As the state started to collapse itself, it became increasingly difficult for whatever little structures of authority that were left, to accept the voices of independence. Wars erupted and the years of perceived or real slights and differences erupted out into the open.  

The joker in the pack was of course the Mafiya. For years the ‘vor y zakone’ had been the lubricant which had kept the state machinery humming. It thrived on chaos and began to move in where the state left off. The Mafiya networks transcended all boundaries and permeated all walks of life. Ruthless and armed with purpose when no one around them had any, it became strong and firmly entrenched within the fabric of all that had once been Soviet. And then there is you……”

A whole range of different vehicles (such as trucks, jeeps etc) and a wide collection of weapons would have been available in the game. A multiplayer mode was in development as well, but it was set to come out at a later point of the games lifespan. Xtreeme Forces contained a custom level-editor as well. Finishing the story-mode would have taken about 12-13 hours of gameplay.

Due to the lack of support from publishers, the team had to give up on Xtreeme Forces in 2004. A new design document was written in 2008 in an attempt to revive the game, but unfortunately they still did not fund a publisher interested in funding their project. By then, the game was fully abandoned.

Initially Raptor Entertainment started working on Xtreeme Forces in order to test out their 3D engine, possibly to use it for other, following games. In the end it seems the team never released any commercial project and they soon vanished without traces. 

Article by Vipaah, thanks to Raupidu and Dan for the contribution!

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Without Warning 2 [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3]

The original Without Warning was a third-person shooter developed by Circle Studio and published by Capcom in 2005 for Playstation 2 and Xbox. As we can read on WikipediaGameplay varies depending on which character is being played. In the case of the Special Forces members and the security guard, is generally fast-paced, as is often the case with arcade-style shooters. The remaining two characters rely far more on stealth over action.

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When the first game was released Circle Studio was already working on an early prototype for a sequel, possibly to publish it on the new generation of consoles: xbox 360 and PS3. Unfortunately Without Warning was received with low review scores and sold poorly, making the studio rethink their market strategy.

They switched their resources making DVD games rather than video games, so Without Warning 2 was cancelled. In the end the company was still closed in 2007. Only a few screenshots from an early Without Warning 2 tech demo are preserved below, to remember its existence.

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