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Five Games That Were Never Made and Should Have Been April 27, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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In this day and age, so many bad games are getting released into the wild. While many of them are bad due to publisher interference, others are bad due to bad management, rushed development, and bad design. What hurts the most is the factor that while bad games like Aliens: Colonial Marines exist and can be played by anyone, far more deserving games linger only in development workstations, untouched, their projects long cancelled.

What incomplete/unfinished projects are we missing out on? I have a few games in mind that I would love to hear more about. Join me as I tell you the story of certain games which have not been released, and why we are missing out by not having them.

Daikatana 2 – Yes, Daikatana was going to have a sequel, in fact it was designed to spin off an entire franchise. We know the project was in development because of a one-line mention of it in the book Masters of Doom by David Kushner. It was going to be developed by Human Head and use the Unreal engine. Not much else is known about the game, and no screenshots or video of it is currently known to exist.

I will admit that I played the PC version of Daikatana to completion. Granted I was playing it with the 1.02 patch installed, which removed the controversial save gems and prevented allies from being crushed by doors. While the AI remained as bad as reviewers said it was, something about the original game charmed me, and I would have enjoyed seeing what the future held for the characters. Sadly, poor sales of the original game as well as critical reviews calling it the worst game ever put out any hopes of its sequel ever seeing the light of day.

This is a real shame because I think Human Head was a really talented studio. I considered their 2006 game Prey as one of the best games on the PC. I heard most of their ideas ended up in the PC game Rune but as far as I know to this day nothing of Daikatana 2‘s development ever surfaced. If you want do your own detective work and track down more information about this project John Romero would be the best lead I can think of for this one.

Earthbound 64 – Lots of hype on this one and some footage exists online, but it was never released. This would have been not only a sequel to Earthbound, it would have been a fully 3D RPG on the Nintendo 64. Earthbound 64 would have been a launch title for the Nintendo 64’s 64DD expansion had it come to the west, but when the 64DD was cancelled in the West it was expected to ship in a large capacity N64 kart.

So why did it get cancelled? Eventually the game’s delays hurt the project to the point where Nintendo quietly dropped it. As far as I know development didn’t get too far on this one before it got cancelled but thankfully the project was restarted for the Game Boy Advance (GBA) as Mother 3…which was for no decently explained reason released in Japan only. Here’s some footage of the game taken at a Nintendo 64 preview event.

While Mother 3 was eventually released on the GBA, I have to admit I love the 3D art style on the Earthbound 64 demo. I’ve no further leads on this one except to check out the fan page Starmen.net for footage and possibly background information. No demo cart is currently believed to still exist.

Pimps at Sea – This will be a brief one, Bungie used to tease a game during the years they spent developing Halo games called Pimps at Sea. It would have been a game where you played a pimp who sailed the ocean in a pirate ship. No footage exists as far as I know but it would occasionally be name dropped during interviews with Bungie staff, including Marty o’Donnell. We don’t know for sure if this was a real game, it have just been a joke among Bungie employees.

Alan Wake 2 – Every single day on the Remedy forums somebody asks Remedy to announce Alan Wake 2, so I know if I don’t include this one I’ll get tons of comments on this article asking why it wasn’t included. This game may eventually come out so Remedy will be tight lipped about it. Alan Wake 2 would continue the story from Alan Wake. A side character named Clay Stewart, the same guy who “died” in Alan’s dream at the beginning of the first game, interviews Alan’s friends to try to piece together what happened to the ill-fated writer who trapped himself in the dark place at the end of the first game. Alan, meanwhile, tries to find a way out of the dark place and discovers his ability to “write” reality to his advantage. Footage of a demo of the game exists online, and you can take a closer look at it right here.

Looks great, doesn’t it? Sadly, none of the major game publishers were interested in it. Microsoft became more interested in a game concept which would eventually get released on the Xbox One as Quantum Break, which I personally enjoyed. Most of the ideas for it went into the XBLA game Alan Wake’s American Nightmare. I know it is selfish for me to mention this game, but I feel more people need to talk about it. Remedy posted this footage with the hope to swell fan support for it, because I think if enough people demand Alan Wake 2, publishers will want to back it.

SiN: Episode 2 -I’ve talked about the development of the SiN Episodes for a few years on this website. SiN Episodes were developed by Ritual Games, with a business plan intended to cut publisher influence out of development. Instead of making one game, they developed a game in parts, with the intention to fund further episodes off the profits of the previous parts. Nine episodes were planned to tell a cohesive story, with a resolution to each arc happening after every third episode. Not even Telltale Games was that bold, and they were the one game studio to survive the episodic gaming purge. Valve Software threw their hat into episodic gaming around the same time and we all know how that turned out.

All we know about Episode 2’s plot comes from the real-time cinematic that begins after defeating Episode 1’s final boss. Forgive the poor quality, this was the best capture I could find of the scene on YouTube. The trailer starts at the 3:40 mark.

Emergence ended on not just a cliffhanger, it ended on an enormous cliffhanger which was intended to kickstart an enormous gaming franchise. However, when profits for Episode 1 were not as high as expected, Ritual sold the company to Mumbojumbo who essentially absorbed them. All development on the episodes ended then and there. As far as I know, no actual development time was spent on any further episodes past Episode 2, but some development was done on Episode 2 before Mumbojumbo pulled the plug on it. It would be nice to see these games return in some form, but with each year that passes that is looking less and less likely.

What did you guys think of this list? Did I leave anything out? Post a comment below with your thoughts and if you have any personal insight you can give on any of these projects don’t hesitate to contact me!

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