We’ve all been there before, a new and awesome game gets announced, we can’t wait for it to release, but then, it goes very quiet. It’s been a year, maybe two since we’ve last heard anything of that game we are looking forward to so much. Then we finally get an update, sadly, not the update that we were hoping for as that awesome game has been cancelled! As always, this is a subjective list of just eight games, there are loads of games that I wanted to add to my list, so many of my (painful) favourites never made the cut. So be sure to sound out the cancelled games that still make you cry in the comments of our social media channels.
Silent Hills (PS4)
When P.T arrived on the PSN Store during a surprise reveal at Gamescom 2014, it sent the internet wild when fans realised that it was in-fact a playable teaser for Silent Hills, a game to be created by Hideo Kojima with Guillermo Del Toro on the development team and would star The Walking Dead’s Normal Reedus as its lead protagonist. P.T itself was one of the scariest experiences that gamers have ever encountered and just the mere thought of this being the tip of the iceberg for what would be a new Silent Hill game, it was to be the rebirth of the iconic survival horror series. But following the much-publicised troubles between Konami and Hideo Kojima, as quickly as P.T appeared on the PSN Store, Konami removed it and cancelled Silent Hills entirely, and it has never been heard of since. Bastards.
Prey 2 (PC, PS3 and Xbox 360)
I know the original Prey wasn’t the best, but it was still fun and had an interesting enough concept with being abducted by aliens and then taking the fight to them. And to be fair, while the 2017 reboot of Prey wasn’t as commercially received in terms of sales that Bethesda would have perhaps hoped, it too was also a decent game in its own right.
Unlike the originals protagonist of Domasi “Tommy” Tawodi, a Native American unpowered by his spirit guide, the original concept of the sequel was to follow on from the first games events, but would now star a new hero with U.S Marshall Killian Samuels. After an alien encounter and some years later (and a loss of memory), Killian found himself living in an alien world called Exodus and making use of his military skills, he was a bounty hunter in his new life. Prey 2 was to feature an expansive and vibrant alien world and would also feature Tommy from the original. But despite being announced in 2006, being passed from developer to developer and Bethesda announcing that it’s still in development in 2011, they then cancelled Prey 2 in 2014. Despite gameplay being seemingly good enough to show-off, sadly, I don’t think we’ll ever see this game again.
Scalebound (PC, Xbox One)
With how Eastern video games are having somewhat of a resurgence over here in the west right now with the likes of Monster Hunter World, the Persona and Yakuza series (to name but a few), Scalebound which was to release on Xbox One and Windows PC, could have had huge potential if it wasn’t cancelled January of 2017. Scalebound was to be developed by Platinum Games, the folks that brought us the Bayonetta series and what we saw at E3 2014 was pretty awesome and certainly got many fans excited at the epic boss battles that this dragon inspired hack and slash/RPG hybrid would bring, which makes its cancellation all that more disappointing. However, could this really be the last we’ll see of Scalebound? After all, Nintendo did save Platinum Games other darling in trouble, Bayonetta 2, by bringing it to the Nintendo Wii U as an exclusive in 2014. I certainly hope so.
Star Wars from Visceral (PC, PS4 and Xbox One)
If it wasn’t bad enough that we had Star Wars 1313 from LucasArts cancelled in 2013, a game that would revolve around the legendary Boba Fett during his young adult life, but more recently in 2017, the Star Wars title from EA’s Visceral Games has also been cancelled, or at least, it will no longer be the game that it originally intended. Ok, it may not have been cancelled outright, but certainly the original concept has been scrapped and started again from scratch. The Star Wars title from Visceral was to be a linear gameplay experience, perhaps to the likes of the Uncharted series in some respects and would have a strong narrative. And with former Naughty Dog head writer and creative director Amy Hennig leading the charge, this Star Wars tale featuring a rumoured a smuggler as it protagonist had so much potential.
One of the reasons that EA gave for the complete restructuring was that “It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come,”, which sounds a lot like that they want Star Wars to get in on The Division and Destiny market, with EA’s new IP, Anthem. This new version of Star Wars could very well end up being a fantastic game, but it won’t stop me thinking what the potential of the original vision of this concept could have been.
Bioshock (PS Vita)
Speaking of potential, here we have the PS Vita. While it may be a handy console on the go for some fantastic indie titles, and a handful of AAA titles, the PS Vita should have been a global success for Sony. Granted, it didn’t help with the fact that Sony had seemingly given up on their latest handheld console quite early on, but how much would its landscape changed if Bioshock did release as originally planned? Announced by Ken Levine at E3 2011, not only being a great game, but if it had released and performed well on the PS Vita, it could have made other third-party publishers sit up, take notice and take a chance on the handheld system. Sadly, Bioshock never did release on the PS Vita, so we’ll never truly know the kind of impact it might have made on the system. But I suppose we can at least play Bioshock: The Collection via Remote Play.
Legacy of Kain Dead Sun (PC, PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360)
What makes this cancellation all that more disappointing (apart from the fan base calling for a new Legacy of Kain game for years), was that Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun was already in development for around three years before it was cancelled in 2012. Published by Square Enix and developed by Climax Studios with Silent Hill: Shattered Memories developer Sam Barlow leading the project, Dead Sun would have two new lead protagonists, Gein the vampire and Asher, a human. While some gameplay footage did surface years after the games cancellation (as seen below), not much was known of the title, other than it was to have a familiar tale of revenge, the fate of the world being at stake and a mysterious vampire child. However, while there was no sign of the popular Raziel, did his absence leave too much of a gaping hole in Dead Sun and thus giving Square Enix cold feet? We’ll never truly know, but one thing’s for sure, just give us a new Soul Reaver already! It is also worth mentioning that Dead Sun was to have its own multiplayer mode, which then went on to be a standalone free-to-play game, which in 2016 was shut down and became as dead as a vampire with a stake through the heart.
Resident Evil Zero (Nintendo 64)
Before the prequel of the original Resident Evil released on the Nintendo GameCube, Resident Evil Zero was originally planned to release on the Nintendo 64. However, due to hardware limitations and lack of N64 cartridge space, those plans were scrapped and it was then decided that the title would release on the GameCube in 2002. I certainly don’t begrudge Resident Evil Zero not releasing on the N64, especially as the GameCube version and the more recent remaster is one of my favourite entries in the series. Yet, that has never stopped that desire to know how this might have played on the N64. However, leading up to the release of the remaster, Capcom did reveal some prototype footage on the N64 version, which you can check out below.
Gotham by Gaslight
How on earth this never got the green light, I’ll never know. Gotham by Gaslight is a very popular one-shot story in the DC Universe for fans of the Caped Crusader, despite this, THQ failed to secure the property rights for the game and the proposal was cancelled during its very early stages. Featuring a Victorian-era Bruce Wayne set in the same time-line as Jack the Ripper, nothing could give the World’s Greatest Detective a more challenging case to solve. The video game adaptation of Gotham by Gaslight was to be developed by Day 1 Studios, the team that brought us horror shooter; F.E.A.R. Sadly this concept could only go as far as being a prototype stage of development at around 2009/2010. But if it’s of some conciliation, we did get an animation movie release just this very year, so while we fantasize of what could have been, we can at least check out its movie counterpart.