The best video games never made

Sorry for the posting gap, I’ve been embedded in the Fox Hole outside of Rob Ford’s home in Toronto.

Ok, I’ll say right off the bat that this list is comprised mostly of the games of today. A few of them are from earlier generations, but the majority are those types that are, ‘Oh, man they’re so close.”

The terms for this almost-there product is vaporware. It means, basically, that a piece of software is announced to the public, but is never released or officially cancelled. This means it’s in a constant state of limbo where chances are it’s going to hell.

These are all games that showed a lot of promise when they first appeared and perhaps a few made it to players, but in a different form. So here are five games that you most likely will never play…

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Coded Arms Assault

Coded Arms Assault, from Konami, appeared during the Tokyo Game Show’s 2006 showcase. It featured a soldier wearing what was pretty much a football helmet as he/she broke into a secure online server. What really intrigued me about the game’s narrative was how it broke the fourth wall.

The fourth wall is – in a word – tricky. In order to pull it off correctly, the break has to be subtle enough to clever, yet unnoticed at first. No More Heroes is an example where the fourth wall is broken with you present in the room, and it’s pretty damn obvious when it happens. In Coded Arms, the fourth wall is broken when it turns out this “game” you’re playing is actually a virtual program designed to hack into secure systems.

What the hey, hey? How cool would that be if it turned out that the video game you were playing was actually just the virtual representation of real-world hacking? Since the game never came out – though there were a few PSP games – we can never know the true extent of the game’s narrative, but this trailer really made me want to play.

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Beyond Good and Evil 2

Ubisoft developers need to put everything down and work on Beyond Good and Evil 2. Seriously, I’m not even joking here. Assassin’s Creed and Watch_Dogs are kids toys compared to having a sequel to this amazing game, and it could happen since there’s proof the game is already in development.

There’s a trailer one paragraph below, so be sure to check that out. For those who might not be familiar with the original game, I just want to let you know that there’s a lot of hype and a lot of people who say it’s amazing without actually having played the game. The game features Jade, a photojournalist and conservationist, who runs an orphanage in Hillys. After an alien attack, she finds herself contracted by the IRIS Network to find out what’s really going on.

It’s an amazing adventure game that features some great writing and some great characters, but there’s been little word on the sequel. There are a few videos that can give us a little hope, but beyond what looks like a test and a cinematic, Ubisoft seems to be focusing more on its other series than one of its forgotten hits.

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MechWarrior

Instead of creating this game, which would have been awesome, the devs at MechWarrior ended up making a free-to-play version of the game, so that’s something. What the video below really showed was the game’s ability do to scale well. There have been far too many games where you play a giant, lumbering mech, but few of them actually make you feel like one.

The initial trailer made the whole game feel so promising, but ultimately the game’s been out of sight and mostly out of mind since the trailer’s debut. Company Harmony Gold set out some legal action against the developers behind the game since they are the owners of the Robotech universe. In 1996, there was similar action taken between BattleTech and Harmony Gold resulting in the games being unable to use designs inspired by the Macross universe.

So few games are able to get the “Mech” feeling just right, and MechWarrior was one of those series. A few years ago, I played through Front Mission Evolved and it just had these floaty, horrible, awful mechs that were too big, too fast, and too agile to feel huge. Still hoping to see this game one day, but until then we’ll have to settle for the online version.

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Six Days in Fallujah

This game could have elevated the medium. Back in 2009, Atomic Games and Konami wanted to bring the true stories of the American soldiers at the Battle of Fallujah to players. Due to public outcry and the media bashing the game without actually having read, played, or seen any of it killed the project.

It’s crazy to think about how quickly “public” opinion was able to quash any reasonable arguments for the game hitting shelves. I won’t write much more about this, but I believe the clip below explains the insanity surrounding this promising game. For a “fair and balanced discussion” yeah right. I hate Fox so goddamn much.

Fuck…

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Eight Days

Few trailers have ever made me this excited for a new generation of consoles. Eight Days appeared back in 2006 at the Electronic Gamings Blah Blah Blah Expo. This trailer just gave you that, “Holy shit, did that just happen?!” kind of feeling. However, back in 2006 I don’t think many people were read up on the idea of the cinematic trailer.

In 2013, players are still far, far away from seeing a character realistically jumping through a window like the characters seen in the trailer. While there are games like Assassin’s Creed that have strove to make it look realistic it’s still a while away from looking like the trailer above. What Eight Days represented was the possibility of what third-person shooter games could look like in the future. Right now GTAV is probably the closest we’re going to get to this.

***

Also thanks to IGN for pretty much every screenshot on this list. Man, they were really up on things during the 2006 period during the last generation cycle.

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