third person shooter

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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Cartel (Cat Daddy) [PC – Cancelled]

Cartel is a cancelled FPS game that was in development in 2002 / 2003 by Cat Daddy Games (mostly known for their Carnival Games series), planned to be released on PC and possibly on Playstation 2 and Xbox. As you can assume from its title, you would have played as a DEA special agent against the drug cartel. The team wanted to offer a simple gameplay mixing first / third person shooter with light strategy mechanics.

In an old interview published on HomeLAN we can read more about their hopes for the project:

“HomeLAN – What can you tell us about the storyline for the game?

Harley Howe – We wanted to do a thriller. It has a big twist just about the time you think you’ve figured out what is going on and you’re about finished, you’re not.

HomeLAN – What sort of settings and locations will be seen in the game?

Harley Howe – Our team over the last few years has built content for several AAA titles that were released under other company’s logos. We really know our stuff here and one of the big separating factors of our game will be the unique environments. What we see in most of the existing games out there now is a lot of the same old thing rehashed over and over. You got your warehouse level, your barracks level, your factory…etc. We wanted to bring a new look and feel to the environments in Cartel. Our game will offer plenty of new and exciting environmental eye candy for the player. We promise you will almost smell the stench on some of them.

HomeLAN – What kinds of weapons will be featured in Cartel?

Harley Howe – Ok, the guy doing the weapons is always yapping about ‘my bothers a seal, my brothers a seal” so we most definitely have some nice weaponry. We feel that weapons are one of the single most important components of a 1st person shooter. One big point here to make is the style of the Cartel story lends itself well to new weaponry. As we are doing with the levels we also wanted to take advantage of some of the newer technologies out there and give the player some neat effects to the weapons that they have never seen before. My 12 year old son will run around and play a game just to pick up all the different guns to see the way that each of them shoot, err wait that’s me, anyway good weapons will be in abundance.

HomeLAN – What can you tell us about the game’ s multiplayer features?

Harley Howe – I can tell you that if it did not have multiplayer I personally wouldn’t play it myself. Today you have to have good multiplayer or the game has a very limited appeal. Attention to the layout of the multiplayer levels will be done in great detail. A good level can make or break it. We also have had multiplayer built in to our engine from day one so it’s not something that will be approached as an afterthought.”

In early 2003 they released a tech demo for Cartel, but the same year the team was acquired by 2K Games and the game vanished. Only in 2005 Cat Daddy officially announced the project was suspended. We can assume when 2K bought the team, their parent company decided to switch their resources on less ambitious games.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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CZ [Xbox – Cancelled]

During many years of saving media from lost video games, we often find a game with no more details than a few screenshots, not knowing who was working on it nor even its title. This is the case with this cancelled project planned for Xbox, of which we just have screenshots with a file name “CZ”: what was this exactly? We are not sure.

From the look of it we can assume it was a first / third person shooter, possibly with online multiplayer? It has cool robots and a sci-fi look. Does it look like something you have played? Did you work on this game and could help us to identify it? Please leave a message below or send us an email!

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