Gone but not forgotten
Ah, E3--that time of year that fills us with so much excitement about the future of video games. Deep in the heart of Los Angeles, developers and their publishing partners will showcase their wares and make plenty of promises about how their up and coming projects will blow your gosh darn mind. And sometimes they do.
Sometimes, though, they'll announce or tease a game that just sounds too good to be true--a game that is exactly what you've been craving. And then, as if it were all some if-only nightmare, that game disappears into nothingness, never to be seen again. Thus begins a vicious cycle of hope, where the gaming community at large wonders: "maybe this is the year we'll finally see [insert game here]." We sincerely wish the following games make an appearance at next year's E3--but fate, it seems, has other plans, none of which include an actual release.
Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6: Patriots
In 2011, Ubisoft released a video showcasing target footage for a new Rainbow Six game, subtitled Patriots. While we're used to putting down droves of terrorists in this series of tactical shooters, the "homegrown" variety showcased in the pre-rendered video hit a bit close to home. In it, disgruntled Americans fed up with a collapsed economy had formed a terrorist cell known as the Patriots, taking down money-hungry bank tycoons and anyone deemed somewhat responsible for the United States' financial downward spiral.
The gameplay improvements looked promising, with a substantial increase in tactical options and AI smarts. And its story--though a bit unsettling--seemed poised to provide a bit of social commentary on modern-day terrorism. But in March 2012, Patriots' creative director, narrative director, lead designer, and animation director were all removed from the project. Then, in May 2013, Patriots was delisted from GameStop's pre-order database, and Ubisoft has remained silent on its status ever since. Goodbye, Rainbow 6: Patriots; we hardly knew thee.
Here's what we know about Agent: It was teased on the PlayStation Blog in 2007 before being formally revealed at E3 2009 as a PS3-exclusive from Rockstar North; it's a stealth action game set during the Cold War era; and a "coming soon" image on Rockstar's website is the only proof of its maybe-existence.
With Grand Theft Auto V coming later this year, it seems highly unlikely we'll see Agent anytime soon, if at all. There is some speculation that Agent may appear as a PS4 title, though when Sony president of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida was asked about such a possibility following the PS4's reveal, he replied, "You are asking the wrong person. I have some knowledge, but I'm not in a position to talk about it." So... we'll take that as a maybe?
The announcement of a BioShock game for the PlayStation VIta came in the form of a brief, offhanded mention from Ken Levine, right after he got donefeigning interest in the PlayStation Move at E3 2011. But that 20-second reveal came with no details other than the game was one of Irrational Games' pet projects set in the BioShock universe, and that it was destined for Sony's then-new NGP.
Unfortunately, BioShock Vita was--and still is--merely a hypothetical game. Ken Levine recently stated that development on the project hasn't even started; in fact, Take-Two and Sony are supposedly still in the process of negotiating a deal, meaning it may never come to fruition. Color us surprised.
Star Wars 1313
Playing as a Jedi Knight is something you'd expect from a Star Wars game, but when LucasArts unveiled its third-person action project, Star Wars 1313, no one expected it to focus on bounty hunters and the criminal underworld of Coruscant. Not only that, but it was rated M, a first for Star Wars video games.
Gamers practically foamed at the mouth for a chance to dive into a part of the Star Wars universe that only novels had really explored. And then the whole project came to a screeching halt once Disney bought Lucasfilm (LucasArts was included in the transaction), and cancelled entirely once LucasArts was shut down for good. That being said, it is possible Electronic Arts--which has exclusive rights to develop future Star Wars games--might pick up where LucasArts left off on Star Wars 1313. Hey, we can dream, right?
Part Blade Runner, part Mirror's Edge, part sci-fi shooter. That's how we described Prey 2 in our E3 2011 preview. Sounds awesome right? But after numerous delays and rumors of cancellation, we'd all but accepted that Prey 2 was forever lost, especially considering a designer from Human Head Studios publicly stated it was stuck in limbo.
But now there's talk that Arkane Studios, developer of the excellent action adventure game Dishonored, has been tasked by Bethesda with rebuilding the game, which will supposedly launch sometime in 2016. We're not going to get our hopes up--but if there's one studio we can trust with making this game a reality, we'd place our bets on Arkane.
The Last Guardian
There is no other game on this list as exemplary as The Last Guardian, which we've been waiting to see in a playable state since its proof of concept footage surfaced in 2009. Early video clips depict The Last Guardian as a third-person game with an emphasis on puzzle solving, in which a young boy must interact with a gryphon-like creature to progress. It was adorably captivating--and we've seen basically nothing of the game since.
The Last Guardian's projected 2011 release date has long since come and gone, and Sony's acknowledgement of of technical issues and development roadblocks suggest it's trapped in a money-sink limbo. In December 2011, executive producer Yoshifusa Hayama and director Fumito Ueda announced they were leaving Sony, though the latter has continued his work on the project as an independent contractor. If recent rumors are true, The Last Guardian has been rebuilt as a PS4 game following multiple project restarts. But if it's absent at E3 2013, we're convinced it'll never see the light of day.
Until we meet again
And if you're looking for more, check out the top 7 painfully uncomfortable moments in past E3 pressers and the history of E3.