In September 1993, publisher TecMagik announced that Steven Seagal would star in his own beat 'em up Genesis and SNES game. Notably, the game would not be based on one of his movies; instead, it was decided to focus on his celebrity itself. The publisher reasoned that the image power of Seagal (the celebrity) would be more stable than a movie of his (new movies fade out of people's memory rather quickly, but the celebrity is less liable to this process). The idea of Seagal in his own game, however, never came to complete fruition, as the project was initially scheduled for released in 1994, and then delayed to 1995, and then cancelled.
A downloadable beta of the game, nonetheless, is readily available to play. None of the eighteen levels can be completed, although the basic gameplay mechanics are intact.
Seagal combats a number of baddies, at least four of which are demonstrated in beta, including scientists and mercenaries. There is a substantial difference in the threat posed from the aforementioned, with scientists easily overcome and mercenaries inflicting one-hit-kills. Seagal himself can execute punches, kicks, a throw maneuver, blocks, and jumps. As far as weaponry, he wields throwing knives and a gun which can be fired with the shoulder triggers. His ammunition of each is unlimited.
There is some platforming present throughout the game's eighteen levels. Unfortunately then, Seagal's ability to jump turns out to be an inability in practice, crouch-hopping only short distances. Falling to his death often, the game is forgiving and allows the player to position Seagal, afterward, via cursor, to safety.
It was intended, i.e., not demonstrated in any betas, that Seagal be able to complete levels by different tactics, to increase replay value. Game designer Steve Wik revealed that stealth mechanics were in development, citing two examples thereof as an alternative or supplement to combat: using an object, such as a chair, to distract an enemy by kicking it across the floor (enabling a sneak attack or undetected progress), and sneaking through shadows.
Very little is known about the plot of the game. The general idea, however, is that Seagal infiltrates a company called Nanotech to avenge the death of his partner, Jack Fremen. This storyline is not fleshed in betas of the game; but the previous information is taken from the game's coding. Seagal ultimately seeks to destroy Nanotech's nuclear fusion facility which powers their network, thus destroying Nanotech itself.
The game's development was overseen by at least two producers, the first of whom was a graduate of Harvard School of Business and a former bank manager. Whatever her business credentials, she had never played a video game. Her naivety caused friction with the development team, as, for instance, she pined for the game to be like Streets of Rage 2, (knowing it sold well); when the developers were aiming for an unlike experience (e.g., stealth gameplay). This producer, due to incidents as such, was eventually switched out for another. Her successor, however, fared no better insofar as credentials, and clashed with the development team as well.
SNES vs. Genesis Version:
Two different production teams handled each version. One in Arizona (RSP), for the SNES, and the other, for the Genesis, in San Fransisco. The betas of this game are from the SNES version, and, apparently, no material has ever been shown from the Genesis version other than a prototype. Steve Wik has called the prototype "bogus" for its unrealistic use of the Genesis's resources, e.g., dedicating all the system's resources to Seagal's character model against a black screen. He has, too, condemned the Genesis team as "unscrupulous" as a whole, for playing politics against the SNES team, using their illusive prototype to demonstrate that their team was better, perhaps in an effort to steal the project.
Although the game features Seagal's name and likeness, he did not participate in development in any way. The motion-capture shoots were of martial arts practitioner Greg Goldsholl. Wik has contended that TecMagik was not willing to pay Seagal; instead opting for a stand-in, which, ultimately, only cost the publisher a few hundred dollars, according to Goldsholl himself.