Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings

At E3 2006 LucasArts showed a glipmse of a new Indiana Jones game for next generation consoles. Since then, we have not heard much of it. Nevertheless, LucasArts representatives repeatedly confirmed that it was not cancelled (despite massive troubles during various development stages...).

While LucasArts and also the Indiana Jones staff saw massive layoffs this June, "Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings" (PS3/Xbox 360) was delayed to 2009. Why not cancel or outsource it like every other LucasArts game (right, I am looking at that PS3/Xbox 360/PC game called "Star Wars Battlefront 3" from that Nottingham-based developer.)?

Additionally, there was or is a still unreleased PSP pendant titled "Staff of Moses". Amaze Entertainment finished it sometime in 2007. The studio also did several internal demos for Indiana Jones Wii (never turned into something real, I guess). However, the PSP title might stay unpublished since A2M started development of Indiana Jones games (at least for Nintendo DS, PS2 and Wii) in June 2007, right when Amaze Entertainment was more or less giving "Staff of Moses" the final touches. So is A2M also responsible for a new PSP version which was accidently revealed by the rating organization PEGI?

Expect all Indiana Jones related games to be presented next year.

A brief look at some assets of Indiana Jones for Xbox 360 and PS3: (all rights, copyrights and trademarks belong to Lucas Arts and/or their respective artist and so on...)

And here is an animation demo from the PS2 version:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Halo MMO (2)

As some might remember, there was a post about Ensemble Studios' Halo MMO on this blog.
Nevertheless, I would like to add some information.
For one thing, the MMO has never left the pre-production status. Only a small team of not more than 8 people developed working prototypes and concepts with a big reliance on traditional RPG gameplay.
For another thing, what most people do not know, Ensemble Studios had several smaller teams for building prototypes during the final year of AoE3 development. One of the prototypes established the basis for Halo Wars. Another still mysterious prototype was a first person shooter for PC platform. It might have been the "major project"(cancelled in late 2007) Bruce Shelley talked about on the studio's own blog. Or was it that prototype which was later known under the title "Wrench"? Time might shed some light on these things.

However, here is an early animation demo from some ES prototype which evolved into Halo Wars.

Additionally, here you see some inspirational pieces of concept art for the MMO(RPG).

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Rogue Squadron: Trilogy for Xbox

In fall 2003 rumors said that Factor 5 plans to release a compilation of its three Rogue Squadron games on Xbox. While part 2 and 3 stayed mostly untouched, the first one (originally released on N64) saw a graphical overhaul.
Reasons for porting the trilogy included declining sales of GameCube hard/software and strong sales of Star Wars titles on Xbox.

While initial plans projected a late 2004 release, the game never made it to the shelves. Therefore MusyX is the only published project on Xbox, only for developers. However, Rogue Squadron: Trilogy (codename: Rebel X) was not the only Factor 5 title that was cancelled during that time.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

James Bond: GoldenEye 007 (N64) - All Bonds

Who did not play GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64? Sadly, not all features made it into the final game. As many know, there was an "All Bonds" option for the multiplayer part of the Rare classic. During multiplayer sessions one could choose between Pierce Brosan, Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton and Roger Moore.

But why was this feature removed? It is as simple as this: Not all the actors agreed to appear in the game. As a compensation Rare got the permission to add four villains from James Bond movies: May Day, Jaws, Oddjob and Baron Samedi.

Another mystery solved.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Unannounced NST project (Wii)

In January 2007 NST (Nintendo Software Technology Corporation) started development on a new game after Project H.A.M.M.E.R. was cancelled. Besides gameplay, the art design is the main difference between those two titles.

Expect the title to be revealed in 2009.

These screenshots might not represent the game in its current form.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Halo MMO (Prototype)

In 2005 Ensemble Studios completed Age of Empires III. Following that, several game prototypes (another one was 'Wrench') were developed. One of them was a Halo inspired MMO; cancelled after around two years in June 2007.

More here.

Edit: Gamasutra published an interesting overview.