Thankfully many great games manage to survive the gambits and pitfalls of production and grace our screens in all their glory. Sadly though, some games, however promising, succumb to the trappings of finances, creative differences, varying interests, or lack of faith by publishers and the powers that be. These are five games that deserve a second chance or at least some reconsideration, as their concepts are no doubt intriguing and fascinating.
1. Star Wars 1313
Star Wars 1313 was originally destined to fulfill fans’ desires to enter a Star Wars world with a little more grit and maturity. Intended to focus more on bounty hunter stories and less on lightsabers and Jedi, 1313 was approaching the Star Wars universe with a more adult skew. Disappointingly, all the hype and excitement drew to a close when, according to The Escapist, Disney laid off all of LucasArts and failed to renew the trademark rights to the game, thus dooming it to production hell.
The excellent demo trailer highlights how riveting this entry into the Star Wars universe could have been, following the main characters and their descent into a near bottomless pit on the planet Coruscant. Focusing mainly on gunplay, the gameplay would have allowed for a story more akin to Mass Effect than The Force Unleashed, in that the fantasy would still be grounded in somewhat of a similar reality to modern shooters as opposed to focusing largely on force powers and what some would argue as a more sanitized portrayal of life in the universe.
However much the video is gameplay versus cinematic, the experience is nevertheless entertaining, utilizing the same sense of kinetic energy games like Dead Space have. If the project ever gets resurrected, surely fans will come out in droves for this potentially amazing sci-fi adventure.
2. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6: Patriots
Admittedly this game was presented as over-the-top anti-terrorism fare, yet the concepts of not only playing as a hostage, but also having to make hard decisions as members of Rainbow 6, creates a very interesting perspective in terms of choice, morality, and consequences in the modern age of terrorism. However, given the release of Rainbow Six Siege, it’s easy to gather that Patriots was simply replaced and set aside for a more favorable concept. Polygon’s article on the game’s fate sadly confirms the death of this otherwise interesting concept for Patriots.
Though the justifications for the “True Patriots'” actions against bankers and the 1% seem a little shaky or not entirely believable, the concept overall could breed interesting situations, especially in heavily populated areas. If the game were to include co-op, with players leading teams or comprising teams altogether, the coordination and communication under pressure could have proven entertaining and satisfying in both the success and failure of operations.
3. Gotham by Gaslight
Originally being developed by Day 1 Studios, the creative folks behind games in the series F.E.A.R. and MechAssualt, Gotham by Gaslight was poised to become a possibly more scary version of Batman than we’ve seen in recent games. Unfortunately, as pointed out by The Robot’s Voice, the developer THQ decided to turn down the pitch from Day 1 Studios, so the game never came to fruition. Perhaps if the title were to be reinvigorated and adapted to modern graphics and gameplay, we might experience something similar to the Arkham games with a look and feel reminiscent to The Order 1886 or The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
The spooky mists of the environment along with reimagined versions of the classic villains could have made for a more raw, dark, and gripping Batman story. There’s little to go on in the brief footage available of the ill-fated game, but considering the freedom in which the steampunk style has in terms of technology, making a functional and believable Batman in a Victorian era Gotham could have been an interesting departure from the typical Batman lore, much like the comic it’s based upon.
4. Command & Conquer: Tiberium
Much like Command & Conquer‘s previous FPS entry into their franchise, Renegade, the now defunct Tiberium project looked like a souped up version of the mechanized and more action packed portions of the F.E.A.R. franchise. The epic scale of the vehicles and combat around the player looked like it was shaping up to be something truly great in terms of immersion. Despite EALA’s efforts to fully realize the massive scope of being a foot soldier in a Command & Conquer conflict, the game was canceled by EA, according to Kotaku, “for not meeting standards.”
C&C veterans can imagine the sheer lunacy of action the game could have possibly enjoyed with the inclusion of all the outlandish and extremely destructive technologies the C&C universe is known for, from Satellite Ion Cannons and Tesla coils to Mammoth tanks and Zeppelins. Maybe someday we’ll be privileged to the enormous action this potential powerhouse of an FPS could achieve.
5. Unreleased South Park Game
A discovered and untitled South Park project — found by HappyConsoleGamer on an old Xbox at an auction — sets up how obscure and unexpected this unfinished game was. Granted, the graphics are older and the mechanics are simpler than modern games, but the unreleased project seemed to still strive for the same comedic flourishes that later games like The Stick of Truth achieved in more recent times.
Despite its age, it would still be fun and interesting to see what the final product of this game would have looked and felt like. Clearly a lot of detailed work was being put into the game, making sure to include all sorts of relevant details and jokes from the show. One can wonder what the finished vision of the physical landscape of South Park would have looked like compared to the actual show or The Stick of Truth, as the layout has evolved over time. But I digress — “Screw you guys. I’m going home.”