Over the years, we have been blessed with countless wonderful games. However, every once in awhile one of these games get cancelled during its development. These games will either leave a lasting effect on the fans or simply fall to the wayside to be forgotten by many. These are the top 10 games that we wish had made it past development and had been released to the public.
10. Silent Hills
Silent Hills and its esoteric trailer promised so much. What was supposed to be a creative maelstrom of horror and atmosphere between industry veteran Hideo Kojima and the brilliant director Guillermo Del Toro is now nothing but a bitter memory of what could have been and a small demo for those fortunate enough to have downloaded it. The game was to even feature Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus as the main protagonist. Now while Reedus’ involvement may not necessarily speak volumes to some, it does reflect the quality and cinematic-driven direction the dynamic duos decided to take. Kojima’s unique twist on characters mixed with Del Toro’s fantastical world building would have definitely created something special. But alas, fans of the Silent Hill series, fans of Kojima and fans of Del Toro are only left wanting with what could have been Silent Hills.
9. Kaio: King of Pirates
When Kaio: King of Pirates was first announced, I was excited. It had a really distinctive art style going for it (an Animal Crossing meets Kirby kind of look), and pirates were always a favorite subject of mine. Additionally, it was being developed by Keiji Inafune – the biggest name behind the Mega Man franchise-shortly after his departure from Capcom. Throw in a plot that was supposed to be based around the classical Romance of the 3 Kingdoms and Inafune’s intent to turn it into a multimedia franchise and you have yourself some hype. Unfortunately, the game was never meant to be. Slated for release in 2012, Kaio kept slipping its due date before being outright cancelled in early 2015 with the game’s publisher Marvelous claiming that it lost over $3 million during its development cycle. Since then, Inafune has been working on Mighty No. 9, a game with a very distinctive art style, a plot similar to an acclaimed classic (in this case the more modern Mega Man), and big ambitions for a multimedia franchise.
8. Starcraft Ghost
Starcraft Ghost was built as a third-person stealth action adventure game. It was first announced in 2002 and was set to release for the Xbox, GameCube, and PlayStation 2. However, the game had a tumultuous time in development as it shifted from studio to studio. The GameCube plans were eventually scrapped in 2005 while the other versions followed along a year later. What drives Starcraft Ghost to the list was the potential of exploring the Starcraft universe from a different perspective. Akin to Command & Conquer Renegade, Starcraft Ghost threw players right on the battlefield as Nova, a Terran special agent. Many leftover screenshots and videos of the canceled game showed her infiltrating huge bases, piloting ships through big maps and gunning down alien Zergs. Starcraft Ghost looked to have so much potential, especially given it aimed to bring a vastly different take on an already well-established video game universe.
7. Donkey Kong Racing
Donkey Kong Racing was a project revealed alongside the Nintendo Gamecube. The project was helmed by the studio who was at the time responsible for the majority of Donkey Kong games, Rare. The game’s tech demo is all that really exists of the game, but from this demo you can see some really interesting ideas. The biggest one of which is that the Donkey Kong cast wouldn’t be riding any old karts, but rather the mounts that had been encountered in previous game, i.e. Rambi, Enguarde, etc. According to an interview with former Rare employee, Lee Musgrave, the player would also need to switch from animal to animal depending on the part of the course. If there was an obstacle in your way you could hop on a bigger animal, such as Rambi, and smash through it. Then, if you needed to maneuver around a corner the player would switch to a smaller, more agile animal buddy. This gameplay idea seems like it not only would have been a lot of fun, but was also an incredibly original idea for a kart racer.
6. Gotham by Gaslight
Batman, Gotham City, and its plethora of dubious villains translated easily from comic book to video game with Rocksteady’s Arkham series. The levels were expansive, mysteries spawned all over the map, and thugs attacked the caped-crusader in droves. Day 1 Studios, like the Arkham developers, looked to have wanted that same transition from comics to games with their canceled Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 project Gotham by Gaslight. The shelved project was based off of the 1989 comic with the same name. It’s set in an alternate universe where Gotham seems to be wrapped up in a dapper suit of steampunk and Victorian Europe influences. Along with a few screenshots, a short prototype video exists showing off Batman roaming a foggy London neighborhood. Even if it’s only a minuscule demo, the prototype looks extremely interesting. The Victorian setting could have been a refreshing direction for the Batman series. Not to mention, Bruce Wayne could have definitely run into Sherlock Holmes and even Jack the Ripper.