originals\ Sep 27, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Top 5 Games that Will Never See the Light of Release


Typically, when a game doesn’t make it out of development, there’s a logical explanation behind it. Through lack of interest, money drying up, development houses getting shuttered, or a variety of other reasons, it’s sadly not uncommon for a game to get the shaft. More often than not, it’s a good thing for the developers to cut their losses on a game that simply won’t live up to standards. However, there are games that are just too awesome to let go of, even when the publishers and developers have dropped them. Here’s a look at five games that could’ve been amazing, if they were ever lucky enough to see their release.

Thrill Kill A game that was meant to make Mortal Kombat look like an ice cream truck filled with puppies, Thrill Kill was a 3D fighter meant to put violence and gore at the forefront while introducing four-player melees and weapon-based combat on a fully 3D plane. The game became hyped just on shock value, and became highly anticipated in some circles. Unfortunately, the controversy proved too much for the fighter, and it was canceled prior to its release. A complete version of the game was leaked by a few members of the development team online, where it is available today.

Shenmue III Having to include this title on this list is a real heart-breaker, as it should’ve been the final entry to a story that will now sadly go unfinished. Yu Suzuki’s ambitious mystery franchise began on the Dreamcast and quickly garnered a huge cult following on the system. Unfortunately, due to consumer apathy for the second title (which released on the original Xbox to ho-hum reception), the third entry was shelved indefinitely. It’s extremely unlikely that SEGA will ever release it, but hey at least we’ve gotten four Yakuzas…right?

Star Fox 2 Set to release for the Super Nintendo in its final years, this could’ve been a definite boost for the last days of Nintendo’s 16-bit juggernaut. Sadly, the plug was pulled on it late in game’s development. Apparently, the powers that be at Nintendo figured that the game could possibly steal some thunder from their upcoming Nintendo 64 iteration of StarFox, and decided to cut the game off as it was pretty much in the can (the game even had box art, see above). C’mon, Nintendo, throw us a bone…Virtual Console release, please?

Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans What was set to be a point-and-click adventure set in the Warcraft universe was another game that wasn’t long for this world. The game was set to combine sprites that rivaled animated films, as well as a cast to high-profile voice actors. The game could’ve been a tremendous swan song for the bygone adventure genre (which had seen better days), but instead never made it out of development, even though the game was extremely close to having a final build. In fact, some people have reported seeing near final code of the game on torrent sites.

StarCraft: Ghost This is the big one. Having seen the game in playable form at a couple E3s, as well as the rabid fanbase waiting for any morsel of information about the action-stealth title set in the StarCraft universe, it’s simply staggering that the title never saw public release. Even though Blizzard won’t come right out and say that the game is canceled and even go so far as deny that the game’s development is dead, many gaming websites have marked the game as canceled.

Honorable Mention:

Duke Nukem Forever The granddaddy of all vaporware games, Duke Nukem Forever became a running joke, not just for the ironic nature of its name (which not-so-subtly became a reference to its time in development hell). Unfortunately, Duke Nukem Forever’s development was plagued with a host of issues, and it seemed to be dead in the water when developer 3D Realms went under earlier this year. However, there are rumors floating around that 2K Games has put Gearbox in charge of finishing the title, and that it could be released soon, with a playable demo available as soon as September.

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