Youtube channel PtoP Online, a channel that covers obscure and rare unreleased games, has discovered a build of a long lost Metallica video game. The game titled Damage Inc. was originally planned for a 2005 release on PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC with development for the game beginning in 2003.The project eventually fell apart and the game was never released, the only trace of its existence for some time was a trailer for the game that came with along with Metallica’s St. Anger album.
Damage Inc. was drawing from quite the well of influences. From a gameplay standpoint, it drew heavily from games like Twisted Metal Black, Vigilante 8, and Grand Theft Auto III. The influence of the first two is quite obvious as the game is based mostly on vehicular combat. Damage Inc. would have featured a number of cars with different pieces of armor and two weapons per vehicle. The GTA influence comes into play with the fact that players would not be tied to one specific vehicle. In a lot of car combat games, the character chosen would indicate the vehicle the player could use but in Damage Inc. the player would have been able to jump from car to car as they played, with a handgun as a weapon when they were outside of their vehicle. The gameplay footage shows these influences are quite obvious as the look of the game is very much like a mixture of the aforementioned games.
From an aesthetic standpoint, Damage Inc. was based on quite a number of popular post-apocalyptic media. Mad Max, Blade Runner, Fist of the North Star, and Water World were all listed as points of reference for building the world of the game. The wasteland and post-apocalyptic aesthetic is definitely present in the build of the game with Mad Max standing out as the most obvious influence. The dirt, dust, and overall look of the world are decent for something that was far from complete and meant for consoles that are over a decade old.
The build of the game that is shown does not have any of Metallica’s music in it but music seems to be one of the reasons the game fell apart during production. It seems that licensing issues played a big part in the failure of this project. On top of this there was a lot of supposed problems with the game’s publisher Vivendi Universal that would also contribute to the game’s eventual cancellation. Looking at the game even in this early build stage it seems like it had quite a bit of potential to be at the very least a fun game. The full gameplay video can be seen below.