Bulletstorm dev reveals canceled game that was "L.A. Noire meets Uncharted"

Former People Can Fly boss says game was going to be published by THQ, but the now-bankrupt publisher "seriously f***ed us over…"

Prior to releasing 2011's FPS Bulletstorm, Polish developer People Can Fly spent a year working on a "moody as f**k detective thriller with a supernatural edge" called Come Midnight. Former boss Adrian Chmielarz, who left People Can Fly (now called Epic Games Poland) in 2012 to open his own studio, told Eurogamer in a new interview that this game was in development for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and "would have been absolutely incredible."

Chmielarz said the game was targeted to launch in 2007, but that would never come to be, as publisher for the game, the now-defunct THQ, canceled the game in 2006. He explained that part of the issue with Come Midnight was simply explaining what it was all about.

The game mixed genres like noire, survival horror, adventure, thriller, and love story, Chmielarz said. "The closest I can give you would be a more streamlined L.A. Noire--L.A. Noire meets Uncharted, in a way. You are a private eye and you start a normal investigation, but it turns out that there are some otherworldly powers at work, and you can communicate with the dead."

The character you would have played, a detective, died for a brief moment, but came back to life. As such, he kept his ability to see into the afterlife, Chmielarz said. "Great narration, third-person perspective like Resident Evil mixed with L.A. Noire, and full of surprises," he said.

Chmielarz said Come Midnight would have included shooting, melee combat, and adventure elements, but it was truly focused on the idea of "what it would be like to be a supernatural detective in the '40s."

So why was Come Midnight canceled? Chmielarz said THQ decided to drop the game for "reasons outside of the game itself."

"THQ seriously f***ed us over at this point," he said. "They just cancelled. 'OK we're just cancelling the game--see ya.' It's all corporate bulls***; three weeks before, they cancelled all communication--no phone calls, stopped answering emails. Absolute a**holes."

People Can Fly later teamed up with Epic Games for Bulletstorm and Gears of War: Judgment. Epic Games would later acquire People Can Fly, rebranding the studio Epic Games Poland. Chmielarz said he still wanted to make Come Midnight, but the powers that be deemed the game "too different."

Chmielarz went on to say that he's not sure who currently owns the rights to Come Midnight, as THQ is out of business. Come Midnight was not mentioned in the THQ bankruptcy auction last year.

Right now, Chmielarz and his team as indie studio The Astronauts are working on PC game The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, due out this summer.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
47 comments
jordanjs
jordanjs

The description of the game reminded me a little of Deadly Premonition, but watching the concept art video, I can see the tone and setting would have had a flavor all its own. Still, the sets were nice, but we don't see any action, gameplay, or the supernatural elements he spoke of... bummer.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Never had a chance to live so very very sad.

cxxal
cxxal

"absolutely incredible"? only said by him, we don't know the whole story. But when a company decided to cancel a game, something must be wrong with that game.

pip3dream
pip3dream

I dunno, its pretty easy to say that your cancelled game was going to be ZOMG GAME CHANGER!#e$@

isshiah
isshiah

Sounds like Murdered: Soul Suspect to me.

anarky23
anarky23

"Too different" is corporate talk for "We don't want you to make this game because it sounds new and interesting and we can't have that, now can we."

kaezramuru
kaezramuru

Wow very nice concept to bad you can't finish it looks like it be a good mystery solving game. Maybe you can get it back on the drawing board again.

Rambolike
Rambolike

I like the atmosphere here. Too bad, looked promising

crashmer
crashmer

Great artwork reminded me about syberia a little bit. 

SPBoss
SPBoss

The Getaway 3 was cancelled, that is the only cancellation that has upset me so far. Hopefully they bring it back for the PS4 (there are already rumors about it)

mellow09
mellow09

Every game this guy gets released he calls so-so (Bulletstorm, Gow:Judgement), and every game that gets canceled was going to be unfathomably amazing (Bulletstorm 2, Come Midnight).

themc_7
themc_7

I never understand how this works. So when THQ shut this down does the IP just disappear? Why couldn't another studio pick this up? Why couldn't People Can Fly find another publisher?

Over the years there have been so many games chalked full of potential, that just get cancelled and they never get made.

themc_7
themc_7

I never understand how this works. So when THQ shut this down does the IP just disappear? Why couldn't another studio pick this up? Why couldn't People Can Fly find another publisher?

Over the years there have been so many games chalked full of potential, that just get cancelled and they never get made.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

That's too bad. THQ were assholes to cancel that.

godfather830
godfather830

It looked amazing, except for the "supernatural edge" part. It sounds a lot like Indigo Prophecy, more so than anything else.

CDNkilljoy
CDNkilljoy

A game being too different is a woeful reason to kill a game, its a video game that's the point. Its potentially awesome games like this getting shutdown because they don't know how to market it, is why the annual games lists are filled with bloody sequels it took a new dammed console generation to get new interesting IP's. its a shame.  

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Everyone thinks their cancelled game was the best game ever.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

"L.A. Noire meets Uncharted?"  I doubt People Can Fly could pull that off, given their recent track record.  The last thing they made was "Gears of War meets Crap."  

I just played GOW: Judgment, how could they mess that up?

immortality20
immortality20

Always suck when you hear about interesting games getting canned. First 2 awesome Star Wars games (1313 and Darth Maul story) and now this  in the past little bit. Oh, what could of been.

cboye18
cboye18

It's a good thing they prevented another copy-paste game. Is it so hard to use your imagination to create a new game?

blackothh
blackothh

Im probably the only one that would like to see another Bulletstorm game.

Barighm
Barighm

Eh? An RE4 style LA Noire? What's so unusual and different about that? Whatever. Guess ripping off a 6 million selling game isn't as good as ripping off a 25 million unit game.


And I hope this guy doesn't thinking cussing a lot makes him look respectable. Just makes him seem childish.

Blade_Runner22
Blade_Runner22

When games are unreleased they are always "the best game there was going to be" ¬¬

tomservo51
tomservo51

LA Noire was a blast the first time I played. The second time was disappointing as I learned that I could totally botch everything and the outcome was still the same. ME3 anyone?

berserker66666
berserker66666

Murdered Soul Suspect fits this description perfectly. Let's hope that game is good.

Jasper_73
Jasper_73

Such a shame thats exactly whats needed something different. Sounds just like the sort of thing I crave in a game. a great environment to explore. with a deep story to uncover.

playstationzone
playstationzone

Rockstar Games should pick this game up and get staff and finsh the game because it has chance to be hit like LA Niore did.

prodigy_69
prodigy_69

@cxxal  absolute nonsense more likely that THQ knew they were going under and cut all the games in development to save money 

hystavito
hystavito

@tableofjapan  It wouldn't have been garbage, can't you read?  The article specifically said it "would have been absolutely incredible." 

:)

prodigy_69
prodigy_69

@SPBoss  I remember my brother taking me to his flat he lived in down London when he was up visiting. blew my mind  :D 

DrKill09
DrKill09

@SPBoss  I bought the first when it came out, and I can't put into words how much I hated it.  It was so damn clunky.


The only good thing was the story and the cutscenes, but the gameplay was just awful.


Even news articles in magazines said of The Getaway 3 "Hopefully this time they remember to bring the FUN."

observer98
observer98

@VakarianGirl  I think this was supposed to come out before Murdered: Soul Suspect.They said it was to be released in 2007. So unless Murdered: Soul Suspect has been in development for at least 8 years this came first.

themc_7
themc_7

@VakarianGirl  my thoughts exactly. A period piece w/ main protagonist a detective with a connection to the super natural.

themc_7
themc_7

@spacecadet25  no one could've saved Judgement. GoW was over and done with. It was greed that decided to create the unnecessary prequel.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@cboye18   People Can Fly haven't executed a game well since Painkiller, I doubt they could even pull off a copy and paste formula.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@blackothh   If I see another Bulletstorm in the bargain bin then I would think it's worth it

themc_7
themc_7

@tomservo51  yeah LA Noire was really good, but there wasn't any replayability. Once you knew the case, all of it's twists and turns were boring the 2nd time around.