Before DmC: Devil May Cry and Heavenly Sword developer Ninja Theory decided to devote its time to the upcoming melee combat game Hellblade, it was in the pre-production phase of an extraordinarily ambitious sci-fi game codenamed Razer.
As detailed on the studio's blog, Razer was conceived as a mix between DmC and Vanquish's combat systems and the action affair was going to pit millions of mech (Razer) wearing players globally against a colossal alien creature so vast that it affected all of earth's terrain.
"The Beast is biological in nature, having nerves, organs, brains, glands and cells that span the planet representing millions of missions," the developer explained in an overview document on the proposed project. "It is a persistent living AI organism that lives in the cloud constantly growing, mutating and adapting to the Razer's strategies."
Razer was to offer four-player co-op as squads would team up to tackle missions on a procedurally-generated world that twists and turns in relation to this nefarious creature's DNA being embedded in the landscape. In short, it would have looked something like this, only a lot prettier:
Furthermore, Razer was going to be a multiplatform affair with the main game on PS4, Xbox One and PC, but separate apps on mobile devices would be used to check your friends' progress and change your loadouts.
Since the entire game would have a meta progression where all of the world works together to tackle the same monster, Ninja Theory envisioned a five year plan for the franchise as the developer would add new content rather than churn out frequent sequels. "Unlike usual AAA console games, the idea was to constantly evolve the game over time to organically grow bigger rather than launching a new game annually," the developer said. Ninja Theory also noted that upon the creature's defeat you'd then go to its home planet to launch a preemptive strike so this sort of thing never happens again.
So why didn't Razer get made, you ask? Simple: "In the end, the game didn't survive the publishing green light process because Destiny had just been announced," the developer explained. "And no publisher wanted to go up against that game. As games get bigger, more realistic, and spreadsheet driven, they start to clash against each other. Razer was a no-go."
For more on Razer, Ninja Theory has posted several documents offering nitty-gritty details about its design. If you're curious about how it would have looked, here's some more videos demonstrating the developer's vision for it.