May 8, 2015 | Written By: Ewan Moore
Well, it’s official. Konami has confirmed that Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills is no more. By all accounts, the early demo indicated that it really would have been something special... a chilling and truly disturbing entry into the Silent Hill franchise that would have redefined what makes a great horror videogame (probably, we’ll never know now).
Unfortunately in videogame land, cancellations can be quite common, and Silent Hills is by no means the first time we’ve had an exciting game on the horizon, only to have it snatched cruelly from our grasp. So with that in mind, turn on Green Day’s Time of Your Life, have a good cry, and take a look through our list of the cancelled games that broke our hearts.
Metroid Dread was a long gestating 2D Metroid game (remember those?) that would have been released for the DS (remember that?). The game was first announced in a 2005 issue of Game Informer, and would have reportedly served as a direct sequel to Metroid Fusion. In 2006, Official Nintendo Magazine gave the game a vague 2006 release date, but suggested we wait till E3 for more information. E3 came and went, with no news on Metroid Dread. Eventually, Metroid Dread faded into obscurity... many people thought the entire game was nothing more than a whisper of a rumour, and began to doubt if anything around them was real after all. In 2009, Yoshio Sakamoto confirmed in an interview for Other M that the game was indeed real at some point, and that it may even see the light of day eventually. Well, it’s 2015 now, so it ain’t looking good.
InSane was billed as a survival horror game from none other than Guillermo Del Toro... can you sense a pattern here? The story would have come straight from Del Toro’s twisted imagination, with artwork from his long-time movie collaborator Guy Davis. Development had gotten so far as to warrant this teaser trailer, and things were looking rosy (in a creepy way).
However, after the disintegration of publisher THQ, InSane stalled. The rights to the game went back to Del Toro, who claimed in January of 2013 that a “very big company” had really responded to the game. Hmmm... I wonder what company that could possibly have been? It seems like Poor Del Toro just cannot catch a break with his videogame project.
Gotham by Gaslight
Gotham by Gaslight was a brilliant one shot comic book back in 1989 that saw a steampunk Victorian Batman hunt down Jack the Ripper, who had fled London to come to Gotham city (big mistake). Seriously, it was really, really awesome. What you might not know, is that a videogame based on that story was being planned for release by Day 1 Studios.
Some really cool looking test footage was revealed for the game which showcased just how perfect Batman looked in a misty Victorian setting, but THQ failed to secure the rights to the property, and the game was cancelled. Sure, we got the excellent Arkham games eventually, but I can’t help but wonder how much fun it would have been to punch Jack the Ripper in the face.
Star Wars 1313
A lot of good things have come out of Disney buying the Star Wars franchise, but the cancellation of Star Wars 1313 is not one of those things. Set for PS4 and Xbox One, Star Wars 1313 was a mature, gritty affair that would have dealt with Bobba Fett’s journey through a dangerous underground area of Coruscant known as 1313. It looked incredible.
Seriously, if the trailers are anything to go by (which they obviously are), the game looked absolutely gorgeous. The fast paced, weapon based gameplay would have made us feel like awesome bounty hunters, but now we’ll never get that feeling... I’m not crying. You are. Shut up. The game’s axing had more to do with bad timing than anything else: When Disney bought LucasFilm, LucasArts was shut down, and its projects were terminated, with the rights to core Star Wars games being handed to EA (ew).
Time Crisis Adventure
Time Crisis is known for being a fun, frenetic shoot ‘em up, but it seems that back in 2003, Namco had plans to make a more cerebral adventure game based on its beloved arcade franchise. Developer Darkworks was hired to create Time Crisis Adventure, but Namco dropped the project in 2004.
Oddly enough, Darkworks reworked the game as Cold Fear, which was released for the PS2 and Xbox in 2005. All Time Crisis references were removed, and we’ll never know just how close in spirit Cold Fear (a survival horror set on a ship in the middle of a storm) really was to the intended Time Crisis Adventure.
Sadness was intended to be a survival horror game for the Wii (yes, the Wii), which saw the player explore a pre-war Ukraine and protect a young blind boy from all manner of beasties, all while fighting off your own weakened mental state. It certainly sounded like an ambitious project, with developer Nibris promising “extremely innovative gameplay” including the ability to use anything you could find as a weapon. For instance, you could smash a bottle with the Wii remote and use it as a knife, or smash a chair and wield one of its broken legs. The game also would have forgone traditional menus in favour of greater immersion, and would have included ten possible endings.
However, after four years in development, and not one single scrap of evidence regarding a playable build, Sadness was officially cancelled in 2010, along with the closure of Nibris. This was blamed on problems with deadlines and relationships with external developers... but maybe it was just because Sadness was a little too ambitious for its own good. We may never know.
Back in 2005, Steven Spielberg was reported to have signed a deal with EA to develop three games. The most promising of these was LMNO, a science fiction adventure which saw a former special agent team up with strange looking alien character called Eve. These concept clips show what might have been, and it’s definitely an intriguing glimpse into what we could have had.
The game was finally officially cancelled in late 2010, although EA had reportedly given up on it back in 2009. Apparently the game would have incorporated parkour type movement in a big way, so it could have been similar to Mirror’s Edge. Then again, it could have been unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. It’s not like we’ll ever get to find out now. *cry*
Is Rockstar capable of making a bad game? Red Dead Redemption makes us feel like outlaws in the wild west in a way that no other western based game could ever come close too, while the Grand Theft Auto games have given us some of the most immersive and detailed worlds ever committed to videogame. So, if I told you that Rockstar had planned to create a stealth based spy game set during the Cold War, I’m sure you’d be just as excited for that as anyone with a brain and hands to hold a controller would be.
Announced way back in 2007 as a PS3 exclusive, Agent isn’t technically dead yet, but it isn’t really looking good. In July 2013, Take-Two Interactive registered two trademarks for the game, but at this point it’s a safe bet that if we’re seeing it at all, we’ll be seeing it in some form on the PS4.
Oh, what might have been. Fallout Online was exactly what you expect from the title, and was being developed by Masthead Studios, and published by Interplay. Chris Taylor and Mark O’Green (two of the original Fallout creators) were on the development team. Interplay claimed it had mapped out approximately 65,500 square miles of terrain which had textures, with objects and characters implemented into it. Different starting zones for different races had been designed, and even player run towns had been created.
Sadly, the law jumped in. The game effectively ceased to exist when it became the subject of a legal dispute between Interplay and Bethesda (the owners of the Fallout franchise). An out-of-court settlement was reached in January 2012, in which Bethesda received full rights to the Fallout online game for two million dollars, but there’s no guarantee that Bethesda will ever carry on the work started by Interplay. This one really stings, guys.
An RPG set in the gritty sci-fi universe of Alien? Sign me up! This is perhaps one of the more depressing entries on this list, in that it was apparently pretty much ready for release when it got the chop in 2009. Leaked footage showed a lot of promise, with gameplay very similar to Knights of the Old Republic, and a unique game world for players to explore.
The reason for its cancellation is perhaps the greatest indignity that Crucible had to face. According to Sega in 2010, it wanted to "Carefully consider the type of Aliens game to release." As a result of this, they went with Gearbox’s Colonial Marines instead, a game they presumably thought would make them more money. Have you played Colonial Marines? Yeah... me too. Sigh.
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