There are vast worlds aplenty to explore and thrills to be sought after in 2016. Games such as Rise of the Tomb Raider, Far Cry Primal and Uncharted: A Thief’s End beckon to gamers from the not too distant future with songs of vast open worlds and immersive gameplay to draw us away from our troubles and throw us into the boots, loin-cloth and everyman outfit of beloved characters.
Thankfully these video games were proposed, developed and will be released (hopefully) without a hitch. But within the video game industry, it’s not always smooth sailing. Sometimes games swim and drown midway and other times, these cancelled video games will unfortunately never see the light of day. So what about the worlds that we never got to explore? What about the game characters we never got to fall in love with? Here are 4 cancelled video games that could have rocked in 2016.
Since 1999, the Silent Hill series has gripped lovers of horror games with many a player character getting entangled in the malevolent supernatural or cult forces of the town, Silent Hill.
Gamescom 2014 saw the announcement of the Silent Hills game, a survival horror game starring Norman Reedus, and developed by Kojima Productions in collaboration with famed film director, Guillermo Del Toro. The Silent Hills game would have used Kojima’s Fox Engine. Other than that, little else is known about it. Some Silent Hills images have been released of the protagonist (which would have looked and sounded like Norman Reedus) but little else. Just know, judging from the playable teaser (a fear-inducing work of genius from Hideo Kojima), Silent Hills might have been one of the scariest video games ever made.
Unfortunately, we’ll never know. Because of conflicts between Kojima and Konami, after the completion of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima parted ways from Konami with Del Toro and Reedus going with him.
Star Wars 1313
Regardless of which trilogy fans stand beside, the Star Wars saga has a multitude of fans and a rich universe in which to keep them enthralled. Aside from the conflict between the Jedi and the Sith, there’s a lot of action to be had. A few examples from the Star Wars universe would be pilots such as Wedge Antilles, smugglers like Han Solo or Mara Jade, and of course bounty hunters like Calo Nord or the much loved Boba Fett.
Boba Fett didn’t have much of a role in the original trilogy (unless you count the infamous Holiday Special that you never saw because you’re a good person), regardless, because of his cold persona and ability to exude danger in every movement, he became one of the most popular characters in the Star Wars franchise. So it was only a matter of time until a Star Wars video game was released featuring Boba Fett as its hero.
Star Wars 1313 was to be that video game. With a world rendered using the Unreal Engine 3, players would follow Boba Fett on a gritty, dark adventure down on level 1313, a metropolis built beneath the vibrant cityscape on the city-planet of Coruscant, the political hub of the galaxy. Star Wars 1313 was officially announced at E3 back in 2012 and at Gamescon, a Star Wars 1313 gameplay clip was released displaying cover-based combat, fast-paced action and a much darker tone than anything LucasArts has released.
At the end of 2012, Disney cancelled Star Wars 1313 along with all other internal developments at LucasArts, after wholly acquiring the Star Wars franchise, letting go of most of the staff at LucasArts and essentially shutting the game studio down, keeping it just alive enough (with a skeleton staff of roughly 10 employees) to function as a video game licensor.
Recently it has been hinted that Star Wars 1313 may come back in the near future should the Walt Disney Company find an outside game studio to licence it to. So don’t abandon hope. We may still get a chance to play as a young Boba Fett coming into his own as a Bounty Hunter, grow with him and relate to him, attach ourselves to him and then watch Star Wars VI and cry at the sight of the saarlac pit.
World of Darkness
Anyone who has ever played Vampire the Masquerade, be it either of the two video games (Redemption or Bloodlines) or the paper and pen game, knows that the collective ‘World of Darkness’ was brimming with adventure and thrills for both those who already adore the mystical world of nocturnal immortals, or those seeking a world ready to mystify them. Vampire the Masquerade Redemption (1999) and Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines (2004) did just that, despite the latter being one of the buggiest games ever released. Both received critical acclaim and fans looked forward the next video game. Unfortunately, White Wolf Publishing, the creator of the entire World of Darkness, including the world of Vampire: The Masquerade, faced financial turmoil and was eventually bought by CCP Games, creators of EVE Online, in 2006. Though they kept it a secret, development had begun on the World of Darkness game. It was officially announced in 2010 at the Grand Masquerade event in New Orleans, but after a large number of layoffs in 2013 and the gradual decline in manpower available, World of Darkness would ultimately face cancellation in 2014 after nearly a decade in development.
World of Darkness would have been an MMORPG and players would have been able to create their character (who would start as a human) pick their clan and explore a vast open world, creating their own stories with other players and rising to power through socio-political manoeuvres, strength and wit. CCP games looked toward using the EVE Online mechanics to help create a redefining vampire MMO.
World of Darkness trailers, images and gameplay have leaked despite CCP’s best efforts, most of them were removed shortly after but with the internet being the internet, nothing stays lost for long. World of Darkness screenshots and concept art can be found easily so feast your eyes on the vampire MMO that might have rocked our world in 2016.
Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun
Speaking of vampires and rocked worlds, one cannot forget that it has been thirteen years now since the release of the last entry in the epic Legacy of Kain series, and long-time fans have endured without a proper resolution to the complex and almost Shakespearean saga of Nosgoth. With Amy Hennig’s (the writer) departure from Crystal Dynamics to Naughty Dog in 2003 and flurry of other industry issues, it seems we’ll never know how Kain’s story ends. Though we will forever remember the bittersweet finale of Defiance and try to accept it as some sort of warm-hearted conclusion.
For years, leaked images and rumours circulated the internet and fans held in their hearts the bitter taste of that terrible illusion: Hope. (See what I did there?) Screenshots such as these indicated that at least one a sequel to Defiance had been in the works. The secret project, The Dark Prophecy, had been gradually uncovered around 2008 and the game was found to have been cancelled before it was ever announced back in 2004, after only three months in production.
The closest we’ve come to getting a sequel was the more recent, Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun, set long after the events of Defiance. So far as the public knows, Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun would have focused on a new protagonist by the name of Asher, whose soul becomes entwined with a vampire named Gein. Theirs would have been a tale of revenge and it would have revolved around the Elder God and the mystery of a vampire child. To call this a sequel, would be inaccurate as Square Enix Europe’s Communications Manager, George Kelion stated that the game would have retconned the mythology and possessed a vastly different art style.
Still, it might have been better than nothing and despite being into the motion capture and casting stage, Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun, envisioned for PS4, was officially cancelled in 2012. Many criticised the move, especially after Square Enix separated what would have been the multiplayer feature of the game and released it as a free-to-play MMO titled Nosgoth which pits humans against vampires. The game was a critical failure.
A clip featuring half an hour of raw Nosgoth gameplay footage has been posted on YouTube, along with an abundance of Nosgoth screenshots to showcase the Unreal Engine 3 that might have pulled you into the world, more than 10 years after you might have allowed yourself to let go of your vampire and wraith heroes.