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LMNO footage slips out

Aborted Spielberg epic was Uncharted rival.

Information and early footage of Spielberg's canceled LMNO project has slipped onto the internet, painting a fascinating picture of an aborted blockbuster.

In a feature on 1Up, members of the development team revealed that the first person adventure, officially canned earlier this year, saw you helping a mysterious humanoid creature called Eve evade government agents.

Eve could harness various psychic powers that evolved as the game progressed, including the ability to manipulate the weather.

One team member said, "Eve also had an extra joint in each leg, allowing her to move around more nimbly than people like Lincoln, and the idea was players would only spot this briefly early on in the game, when she jumped five meters into the air or crawled through a duct.

"The spoiler was, as the game went on, players would discover that Eve wasn't actually an alien but an evolved human from thousands of years in the future who had traveled back through time."

Another team member added, "It was supposed to basically be EA's take on Uncharted. It was Uncharted set in a Spielberg universe."

The gameplay was said to incorporate parkour elements similar to those of Mirror's Edge – part of the reason why the game was canceled.

"I remember getting an early, early, early build of Mirror's Edge," recalls one team member. "They had the basic running, jumping, and wall-running mechanics in, and it was pretty cool even at that stage... but there was a perception that both teams were kind of fighting for development dollars.

"DICE has become a big name in EA over the last couple years, but two or three years ago, you'd put your money on the Spielberg game rather than Mirror's Edge."

There was to be a strong emphasis on how you interacted with Eve – she could not speak so had to communicate through her facial expressions or mime.

Aside from the similarities with Mirror's Edge, the other main factor in its cancellation was that it was just too ambitious – sources claim EA got cold feet, fearing development could go on for years.

What a shame – the footage hosted by 1Up looks intriguing. Although Spielberg is still working on projects with EA, all other team members involved with the prototype have apparently now left the company, so it seems the game is dead and buried.

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Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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