As ever, Kotaku proves to be way behind the Mojo curve by pointing out the (not quite) existence of the cancelled LucasArts game Justice Unlimited. For those who don't know, it was the studio's ill-fated, late-nineties attempt to make a Diablo game, except with superheroes. Jackassery aside, two of the three bits of concept art in Kotaku's article are new to me, although it turns out that's just because they're from that Rogue Leaders book I never bought.
To show that we're grownups, here's our own, better scoop about Justice Limited as part of Mike Stemmle's recollection of the wacky stretch of his career between Afterlife and Escape from Monkey Island.
After Afterlife, most of the (tiny) core team from that game started work on another sim game. The not-so-tentatively-titled TV Wasteland was going to be a charmingly off-beat attempt to simulate the life of a television programming executive, which seemed like fertile ground my for my frothing love of snark and math.
While we were struggling with some of the basics of the title, the team had the misfortune of playing Diablo, and got fatally distracted. Soon, we were convinced that WE should do a Diablo-like game... only with superheroes. LucasArts allowed us to talk them into building this new game we called Justice Unlimited, and off we went... for over a year. And then we killed it.
After the collapse of Justice Unlimited, I took a two-month drive around the country (I'd built up a LOT of vacation time). On the upside, I got an opportunity to see most of the locations we'd
ripped off lovingly homaged in Sam and Max Hit the Road. On the downside, I spent a lonely night in Las Vegas with the Worst Food Poisoning Ever. I guess you could call it a low-rent spirit quest capped off by a bout of ritualistic purging. At the time, I only half-jokingly called it the "Mike Stemmle Nervous Breakdown Tour of America."
That comes from an interview Mike granted us for that big honkin' EMI retrospective. Oh dear, did I just flog our own content? How embarrassing.