It is a fairly common fact that an aborted cultural work instantly becomes cult. Like a construction whose bases and some walls are erected, but the rest of the structure of which only appears in the mind of the one who observes it. This remainder is then submitted to the imagination of its observer. The same goes for an aborted work of which the few existing traces appear as the archaeological remains of its conception. But above all, these remains serve as sparks igniting the fantasies of those who are interested in them.
Thus, there are very many works corresponding to this description. In the cinema, one could quote the film Dune d’Alejandro Jodorowsky in the mid-1970s. Or in the field of television the series Star Wars Underground which was supposed to take over from the Cinematic Prelogy.
In video games (because that’s what we’re going to be interested in), and always in the universe created by Georges lucaswe can cite Star Wars 1313, a third-person action adventure game that never saw the light of day following the discontinuation of the LucasArt studio, resulting in the takeover of the franchise by Disney. We had the right here to many artworks and even a cutscene embellished with gameplay phase. And this is a very important point of canceled / fantasized projects.
It seems indeed necessary to have this basic material to get an idea of what the finished product could have given. In short, a way of guiding our imagination. And precisely, the aborted project that will be presented to you in this article has a sufficiently large database to be able to allow us to visualize what it could have given if it had seen the light of day.
Although Star Wars has been mentioned previously on several occasions, this is not a game belonging to this universe. However, there is a link with Star Wars since it is a canceled project of the Canadian studio BioWare, which will have given us the two games. Knight of the Old Republic (probably the best games from the Star Wars license).
Never officially announced, Revolver, It’s his name, was a game intended for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. And if we are now aware of the existence of this game that died in the bud, it is because the artist Matt Rhodes, having worked on many projects within BioWare, shared on his Instagram account a plethora of concept arts, along with some indications on the game.
Starting its development in 2005, Revolver was to be a sort of spiritual sequel to their previous rpg Jade Empire, with the specificity of taking place in the near future of our present, in the heart of an urban environment with emanations of government agency and police regime.
However, this contemporary setting does not exclude the presence of a wide variety of knives, especially swords of all kinds. It would also appear that this universe incorporates dimensional creatures, which would not have denoted in a title such as Dead Space or Fall Out.
Creatures with a thousand eyes and other mimics would therefore have populated the title, gradually forming a universe that moves away from the idea of a contemporary Jade Empire to ogle the side of science fiction and cyberpunk.
In its form, Revolver would have been a third person RPG leaving a lot of freedom to the player, like most current games. Some concept arts even suggest that our character could have done parkour in the urban jungle. On the combat side, in addition to firearms and melee weapons, some characters would have been endowed with power quite similar to the powers of biotics in Mass Effect (also developed by BioWare).
With all these elements laid down, it is now possible to distinguish, or at least speculate on what Revolver would have to offer us.
Please note, this part of the article is speculative, no information is to be taken at face value. That being said, room for the imagination.
The game would have taken place in a megalopolis under the aegis of a government agency or a corporation with its personal militia. A dark bureaucratic organization in short, and whose activities would have focused on interactions with other dimensional planes. Dimensional planes that they would have opened and wanted or not, which would have let in the creatures mentioned earlier in the article.
Moreover, the concept arts of mimics even awakens the idea of a takeover of the bureaucratic organization by its “dimensional predators” (as they are called. Matt Rhodes). Our customizable character (or our characters), armed with a sword and modern firearms, would have been part of a kind of resistance that wishes to highlight the activities of the organization in order to put an end to its dictatorship . In the course of the game, we would have learned of the existence of the dimensional predators, even revealed that they had secretly taken the direction of the organization.
In play, all of this would have been translated into an open map of the megalopolis, like the map of Constantinople in Assassin’s Creed Revelations. In addition, we could have moved through this city parkour way, again in the manner of Ubisoft’s flagship franchise. We would have crossed a large number of secondary characters with a wide possibility of dialogues with complex choices.
A legacy here from previous works by BioWare (Kotor, Mass Effect). Regarding the fight, Revolver would probably have been based on the clashes of Mass Effect, with a mixture of ranged weapon and the use of powers in a gameplay centered on the action in real time. Nevertheless, the significant presence of the sword among the concept art indicates that the emphasis would have been placed on melee confrontations.
How pleasant it is while browsing among these high quality illustrations, to let our imagination fly around the smallest detail. Alas, Revolver will not overcome this state of creative bubbling, because canceled in 2008 in order to allocate more time and resources to the development of Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins. A pretty good calculation on the part of BioWare, it must be admitted.
If you are nevertheless interested in Revolver, we would recommend that you first check out the Instagram account or the ArtStation page of Matt Rhodes in order to admire the totality of the concept arts. Then, for more details and if English does not scare you, you can always get the book BioWare: Stories and Secrets from 25 Years of Game Development, which reviews all of the studio’s work.
Finally, it only remains for us to ask you, because we know there are many, what aborted game makes you dream? And why not, shed light on this work which is forever in the shadows.