Uncovered like an ancient relic, footage has surfaced of yet another cancelled game from Midway’s attempts at making HD games this generation. Posted by former Midway VFX Lead Sean Lantis, the game we have today is a title called Gun Runner which surprisingly was being built as a spiritual successor to Stranglehold.
In development before Midway shat the bed financially and was later acquired by WB Interactive, this Gun Runner footage is from an early prototype build as development never went into full production due to the aforementioned financial problems. Developed by Midway’s core team in Chicago, Gun Runner was said to be a Stranglehold follow-up in the sense that it was a 3rd person shooter with tons of destruction, but was oddly enough attempting to reach a broader audience by potentially ditching Chow Yun Fat.
Certain elements of Gun Runner likely would’ve differed greatly compared to Stranglehold, but one thing that was going to remain consistent was delivering loads of environmental damage. As seen in this video, Midway was attempting to amplify the environmental damage, dubbed Massive-D, by allowing greater detail in shot interaction and allowing things such as whole buildings to be destroyed.
Watching the footage I must say that I’m impressed with what’s shown, even if it has that slight tech demo feel that Stranglehold had. It’s kind of surprising that Midway got away with creating such massive environmental damage in a game powered by Unreal Engine 3 since we haven’t seen too many developers try such a thing before. In the end I don’t know if pushing such an interactive damage modeling system would’ve resulted in a better game, but at least Midway was trying something new at the time instead of playing it safe like other developers.
Seeing some footage of Gun Runner was certainly nice since it’s one cancelled Midway game that I didn’t know even existed. Midway was definitely a flawed company this generation as things such as This is Vegas was cancelled (by WB at least), the Snoop Dogg/John Singleton project Fear & Respect, a superhero game got the boot, a post-apocalyptic action-adventure game never saw the light of day, and I’m still burned by Necessary Force being a victim of Midway’s financial incompetence as well.
Anger at Midway aside I’m just happy that we were able to see a bit of Gun Runner and once again know that the developers at Midway were trying their best to deliver entertaining products.