Years before Guitar Hero dedicated a special edition to Metallica, the metal legends were briefly involved in a very different kind of video game tie-in. That title was ultimately scrapped during development, but a few moments from an early build recently surfaced online.

The YouTube channel PtoPOnline (via Kotaku) takes viewers through a portion of the game in the footage above, revealing how heavily the aborted concept leaned on the visual aesthetic of films like Mad Max — and the gameplay of vehicular assault titles like Twisted Metal, which were enjoying a surge in popularity during the Metallica game's 2005 development.

Titled Damage Inc., the game sent players careening through a dystopian wasteland with a selection of modified vehicles. Although the brief bit presented here was captured too early in the development process to include music, it seems a safe bet that the game's soundtrack would have drawn from the Metallica vaults — in fact, it was rumored that a new song might even be included. Alas, the plug was pulled before any of those plans could come to fruition.

News of Damage Inc. will be nothing new to longtime Metallica fans — although this clip represents our first look at the actual gameplay, concept art surfaced several years ago, depicting the members of the band in Mad Max-type outfits and revealing an eye-catching rogues' gallery of bizarre supporting characters. Watch the Damage Inc. footage above, and lament the loss of a console release that could have stood alongside the Journey video game.

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