Project Hardcore, a platformer initially developed by DICE to be published by Psygnosis for Sega Genesis, Mega CD, and Commodore Amiga in 1994, but was never released, will finally see release in the first half of 2019 with a console debut exclusive to PlayStation 4 and PS Vita, publisher Strictly Limited Games announced. It will be available both physically and digitally.
Here is an overview of the game, via Strictly Limited Games:
Project Hardcore (working title) is a eurostyle Metroidvania-platformer appealing especially to classic 2D-action-game enthusiasts with its intricate level design and numerous mid- and end-bosses. Vertical-scrolling shoot ‘em up stages, originally planned to be exclusive to the Sega Mega CD version, will also be integrated into the final version, delivering the most complete experience possible and bringing back memories of games like SWIV for the Commodore Amiga.
DICE started development of Hardcore for Sega Mega Drive, Sega Mega CD, and Commodore Amiga in the early 1990s, with a release planned around 1994 / 1995 by Psygnosis. Yet, this did not happen since development had been abandoned prior to completion in order to shift focus to the new generation of gaming consoles. The following twenty-three years Harcore was believed to be lost as even the Swedish developer no longer had any data or documentation available. In 2017, thanks to some fortunate circumstances and the help of some friends, Strictly Limited Games managed to locate a copy of the original build. Supported by some of the most talented minds and experts of the gaming industry, the two founding members Dennis Mendel and Benedict Braitsch have since then been working on the recovery of this retro-treasure for current-gen gaming platforms under the working title Project Hardcore. Involved in this project are, among others, the long-time DICE-employee Mikael Kalms, as well as members of the 1994 original development team, Fredrik Liljegren and Joakim Wejdemar. Additional support is provided by Matt Phillips from Big Evil Corporation, specialist in 68000-coding and all Mega Drive-related things, as well as by emulation expert Steve Snake, porting-ace Mathew Gambrell and level designer Gerhard Weihrauch.
Fredrik Liljegren, one of the four founders of DICE, commented on the project: “I know the care, love, sweat and hard work that went into creating Hardcore it in the first place by all involved parties. Thus, I think it is fantastic that this product finally gets to see the light of day and for people to be able to play it finally.”
Strictly Limted Games will host a panel at Gamescom 2018 on August 22 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. local time where it will discuss the topic of game archaeology and provide more details about Project Hardcore.