Necessary Force was set to be Midway Newcastle's last-ditch attempt to save itself from being closed down after the US side of Midway encountered serious bankruptcy issues. The project was announced in June 2009, and pitched to a variety of different games studios during the last few months of the studio's life. A website was set up, as well as a Twitter feed to keep interested parties updated as to progress of the title itself.
The game was based on a heavily modified Wheelman engine which was itself based on Unreal Engine technology. The engine itself showcased the mood of the game - a gritty and dark experience. The player took over the role of a grizzled detective in a Blade Runner-inspired dystopian futurescape, and was tasked with tracking down minor criminal elements which linked through a interactive evidence board through to larger and larger targets. The player could hunt for evidence, chase down leads and suspects and eventually have a showdown with the main kingpin of the city itself.
As the player cleaned up more of the gangs, the city itself would become more and more cleaned up; shop fronts covered in graffiti and smashed windows would turn into attractive coffee shops and the tramps and hookers of that area would be replace by more affluent law-abiding citizens. The game would also feature a unique day-to-night cycle which would lengthen the days and shorten the nights as the city became more cleaner and less crime-ridden; the weather system would also lean in favour of sunnier days and less rain too.
A more detailed explanation of the game's mechanics can be found in Senior UI Designer Steve Pick's blog about the game and the closure of the studio.
After the dust had settled with the closure of Midway Newcastle, several splinter groups of developers formed.
- A large proportion of the tech side of the game - mostly programmers - ended up working for CCP Games Newcastle.
- Part of the design team migrated to Dundee to work on Crackdown 2 for Ruffian Games.
- The majority of the concept team, the art director and senior UI designer formed Atomhawk Design and have since worked on a variety of titles.