In September 1993, publisher TecMagik announced that Steven Seagal would star in his own Genesis and SNES game. It would not be based on one of his movies but his likeness itself. The idea did not culminate, however; the project, scheduled for release in 1994, delayed to 1995 and then cancelled.
A downloadable beta of the game is available to play. None of the eighteen levels can be completed, although basic gameplay is intact.
Seagal combats a number of baddies, at least four of which are in beta, including scientists and mercenaries. There is substantial difference in their threat; scientists are easily overcome and mercenaries inflict one-hit kills. Seagal can execute punches, kicks, a throw maneuver, blocks and jumps. 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 throughout the game. Seagal, unfortunately, crouch-hops short distances, falling to his death often. The game is forgiving and allows the player to position Seagal, via cursor, to safety.
It was intended that Seagal be able to complete levels by different tactics; game designer Steve Wik did reveal that stealth mechanics were in development. He cites two examples which would have served 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 and this information is taken from the game's coding. Seagal seeks to destroy Nanotech's nuclear fusion facility which powers their network, and thus Nanotech itself.
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. She had never played a video game, and her naivety caused friction with the development team. She wanted the game to copy hot-seller Streets of Rage 2, which did not feature stealth. Her replacement fared no better insofar as credentials and, too, clashed with the team.
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 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., rendering Seagal's character model against a blank screen. He has condemned the Genesis team, further, for playing politics against the SNES team and using their 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 and opted, instead, for a stand-in. This only cost the publisher a few hundred dollars, according to Goldsholl himself.