The Story Behind Black Isle's Cancelled PlayStation Planescape Game

Back in 1996, Interplay and its RPG division Black Isle Studios had plans to develop a Planescape-based role-playing game for the original PlayStation console that was to be heavily inspired by From Software's popular - and considerably challenging - console RPG at the time, King's Field. The PlayStation title was ultimately cancelled, but Eurogamer had the opportunity to chat with veteran designer Colin McComb about the direction they were taking with the game and what we could have expected from it, had it launched:

He can only remember so much, nearly 20 years later, but he does manage to dig out an old vision document for me. McComb isn't sure who wrote it but seems fairly sure it wasn't him.

"The goals of Planescape PSX are to immerse the player in an interesting and stunningly distinct fully-3D gaming world; constantly provide the player with interesting and rewarding activity; and to make players feel like their characters are in a real fantasy world."

Remember, it is 1996.

"Players will find themselves in amazing places, face-to-face with creatures both bizarre and frightening, unlike anything seen before in a console [role-playing game]. Combat in Planescape will not simply be a matter of holding down the fire button and being quick to dodge. Players will be buffeted by a Githyanki's long sword as it crashes against their shield or be knocked to the ground by the mad rush of a dying Wererat. "

It was going to be a first-person "running through a crypt type thing", McComb summarises - with branching dialogue! It would have real-time combat and, of course, be based in the weird and wonderful Planescape setting of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

"Planescape PSX is, at its heart, an RPG. Players will create their characters - warriors, thieves, magicians and clerics - and take them out adventuring. Players will be able to tailor their characters to suit their own play styles ... and adventure in several districts of Sigil, the City of Doors and beyond, to Baator and the gate town of Ribcage."

You were going to be able to climb, swim, float or fly to achieve mission goals - even pass through walls. "Warriors," on the other hand, "may simply choose the direct approach and try to kick the s*** out of whatever stands in their way".

Spells and items and powers taken directly from Advanced Dungeon & Dragons would open up to you as you play.