I love looking at beta footage of games, whether it’s unreleased titles like this, or even just to see how much games have changed, and because I’ve found a beta for Hellgate, I’ve decided to make a little segment called Canned, where I’ll talk about cancelled games and this seems like the perfect game to start with.
Hellgate was one of the games for the Dreamcast, developed by Horny Dog and was meant to be published by Jester Interactive, that got cancelled due to the console reaching the end of its lifespan. The beta which is floating around online I’ve read is fully playable, however it does have it’s glitches and bugs, which are to be expected. One main bug is the lack of a save feature, it’s in there but I keep getting the not enough blocks error… Despite using an empty memory card. Because of this, I’ll have to write this out without finishing the game (I keep getting killed in the same spot)
The development team described the game as a kind of Wipeout x Quake hybrid, and you can really see where they’re coming from. You ride on a kind of hover bike thing which travels pretty fast while shooting at enemies and navigating some environments which have a pretty dark and gritty feel to them. You drive by holding down the R trigger, it’s pressure sensitive
The game has multiplayer modes, such as your Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, but I haven’t touched those. It also has a story mode.
The story is about a group of Hells Angels who were killed, with suspicious happenings nearby, the game starts with somebody getting warped into Meslam, to be told that Asterith will not be pleased you’re there. You meet Asterith pretty early in the game, but the cut-scene with her is really glitchy. Just after she tries to kill you. From here on out you get told that your destiny is unfolding, the narrative reminds me of the Legacy of Kain series in a way, especially the start of Soul Reaver.
The game itself did take a while for me to get the pace of, and it really is an enjoyable title. It holds a lot of promise and I can honestly say I’m sad that this never got a full release, because I think it’d be pretty sweet to see how the full game turned out, because it’s like nothing I’ve ever played before, and probably never will again