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As we approach the influx of next-gen releases this year, there’s always that obligatory sense of reflection that comes with milestones and change. While Game Informer is celebrating cult classics today, I instead take a look at all the cancelled games that none of us have played but perhaps could only wish we did. Here, I give a moment of remembrance for the fallen games over this still current console generation. For all practical purposes, I personally consider this period from the year of 2005 [the release of the X-Box 360, the 1st new generation console] to 2013 [the release of the X-Box One & PS4]. Whether they were long-shots or dreams come true, all of them simply went too soon before their time and I’m sorry to have never played them. May they rest in peace.
10. Factor 5’s Superman game
Superhero games have become more than commonplace in the game market and all too few of them, well, any, have ended up as success stories for the Man of Steel. In light of Batman’s rise to redemption with the Christopher Nolan film trilogy along with Rocksteady’s Arkham series, Krypton’s poor orphan has been left wanting. Superman's last full-fledged game of Superman Returns: The Video-game no doubt inspired fans to do just what that its title implies as it limped its way to poor reviews as an appropriately mediocre tie-in to a mediocre film. However, in the recent years, one Superman title developed by the studio of Factor 5 in cooperation with Brash Entertainment caught many’s eye even if it unfortunately shot off into the sky as fast it surfaced.
Back in 2009, the mysterious teaser trailer shown above for an untitled Superman game was leaked on-line and showed off some short pre-rendered footage that was painfully short, if not intriguing. Showing Superman in flight, it allowed us just the briefest snapshot of what appeared to be our mild-mannered Clark Kent literally pummeling his Kryptonian of Doomsday through floor after floor of a rudimentary Metropolis backdrop. Only a handful of concept screens have since complimented the trailer, (including the one above), showing the last son of Krypton as he may have looked on the high-definition graphics of the Xbox 360 and PS3. Sadly, the screens are all we're ever likely to see of the game since the now departed Brash Entertainment took with them the rights to many DC franchises, including Superman.
Whether the game would’ve been a cut above the infamous Superman 64 is hard to ascertain from what little info the stuff above, but the idea of a kick-ass Superman game with intenser gameplay and powers is something still very tempting to imagine. With Warner Montreal now handling the Arkham series, however, it’s perhaps not overly optimistic for fans like me to speculate what Rocksteady is now doing with it’s time. Have they had their fill of Bats and jumped ship to making a worthy Superman title? That chance is all too exciting not to hope for.
9. Assassin’s Creed Lost Legacy
Assassin’s Creed games may be a pretty constant feature of every gaming year, but few people may know that the 3DS came within a dagger’s throw of getting one, namely that of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Originally conceived as a handheld, what would eventually be Revelations was planned as a 3DS game titled Assassin's Creed: Lost Legacy would follow Ezio’s travels to Constantinople along with the former Assassin city of Masayaf and his discovery of the Assassin Order’s origins, much like Revelations did anyway. Though it was quietly cancelled and its main concept developed into Assassin's Creed: Revelations, it’s a pity that we didn’t see what wonders the 3DS’s 3D capabilities could’ve done for the city’s breathtaking views as well as the system’s gyro-controls. At any rate, Lost Legacy would’ve at least been worthwhile if it had squashed the inclusion of Revelation’s crappy tower-defense.
8. Next-Gen Jak and Daxter
While it may have fallen under “cancelled ideas” rather than “cancelled games,” Naughty Dog’s once private musings of a then next-gen Jak and Daxter is still a long mourned one by fans of the wacky duo’s classic adventure games. As Game Informer has already covered, the studio had long considered returning to their beloved franchise shortly after finishing up Uncharted 3, but the project came to a creative fork in the road. Trying to meet the grittier realism of their studio rivals, Jak and Daxter would have reportedly taken even darker directions from Jak II and III, looking decidedly more human with far more unpleasant dispositions. Thus, as the series creators perhaps wisely decided, the time and feeling just wasn’t right for Jak and friends. Naughty Dog has been reluctant to disclose any of its old concept art or scripts with the public and, as a result, the potential Jak and Daxter’s current-gen prospects is difficult to gage. Perhaps The Last of Us will have burned all the violent terror out of Naughty Dog’s system for a while, maybe giving next-gen gamers a shot at revisiting the lighthearted memories of their childhood.
7. Mega Man Legends 3
Getting a new Mega Man title from Capcom has proved to be one of fans’ greatest struggles of this gaming generation and the death of Mega Man Legends 3 was all the more painful. Also known as Rockman DASH 3 in Japan, the game would have introduced two characters, Aero and Barret, joining with returning ones to rescue Mega Man Volnutt from the Elysium. It was announced for the 3DS in September of 2010 during a Nintendo 3DS press conference, nearly ten years after the Mega Man Legends 2 and surrounded with hype across the web. Capcom intended to release Mega Man Legends 3: Prototype Version in 2011 for the 3DS eShop, featuring 10 missions, and Barrett as a player character and was to act as a prologue to the main game.
It was to the sorrow of fans galore that Capcom confirmed by 2011 that Mega Man Legend 3‘s full game and prototype version had officially been canceled. According to GamesRadar, the only journalist to play either version was Nintendo Power’s very lucky devil of Chris Hoffman. Despite CyberConnect 2‘s CEO Hiroshi Matsuyama stated desire to continue development of Mega Man Legends 3, as well as Mega Man illustrator and designer Keiji Inafune’s similar enthusiasm, Capcom has since refused any outside offers.
Nevertheless, following its cancellation, a Facebook group entitled “100,000 Strong for Bringing Back Mega Man Legends 3” was created to get Capcom to resume Mega Man Legends 3’s development. The group’s membership most recently went over 101,180 but for now, Capcom has shown little sign of resurrecting Mega Man Legends anytime soon.
6. Stargate: The Alliance
Star Wars and Star Trek have come to dominate the majority of licensed sci-fi games of the last decade, but back before the dawn of the PS3/360 era, fans of the Stargate series once had a brief promise of playing their favorite universe too. Stargate SG-1: The Alliance, cancelled in August 2005, was said to have been based upon the events of the SG-1 seasons with all of the show’s main characters playable. Reportedly, the Alliance would have referred to the story’s alliance between Anubis and the new enemy, the Haaken. Though gameplay footage has been sparse, the game would’ve apparently been an FPS with an option for a third person perspective, consisting of some limited puzzle mini-games in tomb exploration. For fans enthusiastic about the series like me, jumping through a Stargate or hopping into a Goald death-glider would've been a blast on what detail the PS3/360 could've offered and it's a shame that exploring such a splendid series fell short.
The game’s cancellation was never officially confirmed by the developer, Perception Studios, despite forcing the majority of its staff into redundancy in early 2006 and the game has generally stayed locked away in mystery for loyal Stargate fans. Since then, Stargate was treated to the mobile game of Stargate Unleashed on I-Pad and I-Phone and with Stargate’s parent company of MGM studios having been pumped full of James Bond earnings from last year, there’s every hope that Stargate could be reconsidered for more adventures to come.
Up Next: The Many tragedies of LucasArts, more Pirates, and Lord of the Rings