Sony Cambridge art director Jason Wilson has revealed concept art for numerous PlayStation 3 exclusive prototypes on his blog.
One such game was Simian from 2005, a PlayStation Eye game about interacting with terrifying looking primates on an alien jungle planet. Think Planet of the Apes with less Statue of Liberty.
It was supposed to operate with gesture commands and limited voice commands, but alas, it was canned in pre-production "possibly due to the fact that the game was too ambitious for the actual technology capabilities" said Wilson. "The central concept was scaled down and the tech morphed into Sony London Studio's EyePet game, which would eventually feature a similar simian-like creature."
Manhattan (2006) was a survival-horror game about zombies in New York. Wilson said it was "pitched as a first-person action game with elements of strategy" where players would have to lead survivors to safety.
"I wanted to capture the lurid spirit of VHS video nasties cover artwork for the concept art for Manhattan. I would have had a lot of fun with the adult horror nature of this project," Wilson lamented.
Revolution 4 (2006) was a first-person shooter about a "War of the Worlds-style alien invasion" set in the UK. It wasn't until midway through development that Wilson learned of Resistance: Fall of Man, which had almost the exact same premise. Ostensibly this may have had something to do with Revolution 4 getting the axe.
Finally, Zodiac Assassin (2005) was a "globe-trotting, Kill Bill-esque assassin game" where you play as a female assassin/master of disguise traveling to such exotic locales as Turkey, Japan and Mexico during the Day of the Dead festival.
This got canned early on when Sony decided to purchase Heavenly Sword instead.
Maybe that's for the best as Wilson seemed concerned about its portrayal of ethnic stereotypes. "The idea was that each country that featured in the game would have a chief villain. I think we would have offended many people with the stereotypes on offer."
"Some of these concepts were abandoned pitches from around 2003 onwards, they represent an experimental period of history from a bygone era of Games Design," Wilson wrote on his blog in response to recent press attention. "These pitches mostly comprised of very quick thumbnail drawings (not final concept art) and in some cases, early prototype design documentation featuring placeholder graphics."
Other games that never saw the light of day include The Getaway 3, Heavenly Sword 2 and an untitled PS Move sci-fi action game.