Before and after: the games that changed during development

Shadow of the Colossus

Team ICO’s enchanting adventure wasn’t always about a man, consumed by solitude and regret, murdering monsters. No, it used to be an enchanting adventure about several men, consumed by several times as much solitude and regret, murdering monsters. Below you'll see how the game originally known as Nico subtly evolved into one of PS2's most beloved titles.

Resident Evil 4

The most respected survival horror game in history went through more transformations than William Birkin in Resi 2. It originally started life as a high flying, John Woo-esque action game. Considered too big a departure from previous games, the project eventually morphed into Devil May Cry.

Above: Early versions of the game maintained the series' locked camera views

After this, Capcom went in a similar direction to the Silent Hill games, with screens showing Leon fighting his way through misty surroundings and even a mysterious airship. This was again cut with Doctor Salvador savagery, and the company quietly canned this version.

Above: Old hook hand isn't exactly El Gigante, is he?

The final iteration of the game, before it turned into the over the shoulder scarefest we all know and love, featured Leon in a haunted house. We’re glad this version didn’t survive. As much as we love derivative haunted houses and shitty enemies who look like cast-offs from I Know What You Did Last Summer, we think we’ll stick with decapitating Los Illuminados.

Star Fox Adventures

Or ‘the game that used to be Dinosaur Planet before bizarrely having the Star Fox license pasted on top of it five minutes before going gold’. Originally set for the N64, Rare’s new IP was an adventure game in the mould of Zelda. After seeing the British developers’ designs for the leading characters, though, Miyamoto decided they looked so similar to Fox McCloud that the project should be changed to include our least favourite team of animal intergalactic pilots.

Above: The game’s original lead, Sabre, (top) was transformed into Fox

The newly named Star Fox Adventures shared many similarities with the original title; so much so, many fans complained the game’s universe felt completely out of synch with the Fox’s mythology. Sadly, for all those moaners, it would be Rare’s last game made exclusively on a Nintendo console. The company jumped in bed with Bill and his money-stuffed mattress in 2002, developing games only for the Xbox and 360 ever since.


Bungie’s first entry into their epic sci-fi FPS franchise had very little to do with headshots, plasma grenades or teabagging. No, it first started life as an RTS known as Blam! Sounding like something you’d associate with Adam West punching campy villains in Batman, the project had a short shelf-life.

The game soon made the transition from tactical top down fare to a third person shooter at E3 1999. This didn’t last long either and soon the game was an FPS and the rest is <groan> history.

Above: An early trailer from the first entry in the series, complete with German subtitles. Achtung!

June 15, 2009

Games that haven't changed in ten years
A decade of evolution - squandered

The Top 7... Failed Franchises we can fix
Here's how to set them right


  • hamsterdoom360 - January 21, 2010 7:10 a.m.

    That was the best Halo fanfic I've ever seen. (anyone else think the words you type in to post a comment sound like crappy band/domain names? "liable peevish" for instance)
  • gtojudge - July 12, 2009 6:57 a.m.

    Halo? third person? BLASPHEMY
  • Taxtm - June 19, 2009 7:34 a.m.

    I gotta say, I love Okami, but really, the realistic looking trailer didn't look bad at all! I liked it anyway
  • Logan2911 - June 18, 2009 9:47 p.m.

    I Hope Rare makes another game like Bad Fur Day. I loved it on the N64 & the xbox
  • rwells - June 17, 2009 2:51 a.m.

    anal blister
  • Curtis_Stone - June 17, 2009 2:36 a.m.

    I actually prefer the old Sam Fisher...The new one looks like a slightly aged version... Whereas the old one looked, well old... Showed his distraught and frustration...Showed REAL character...
  • ViolentLee - June 16, 2009 10:39 p.m.

    I'd almost add Kameo to the list, just because it went through 3 platforms: GameCube, Xbox, and 360. I have a working copy for regular Xbox. And yes, I think I'm cool.
  • voluptuouswhale - June 16, 2009 6:15 p.m.

    It's always fun to see games change as we do but some of them are really durastic Blam!s' spartan helmet was hilarious.
  • Vagrant - June 16, 2009 7:15 a.m.

    Wow, I'd never seen the original SotC thing. Looked like it could've been multiplayer, hah. Though I thought the old Splinter Cell: Conviction gameplay looked pretty good, I think the new version has some fantastic ideas. That said, I still don't hold much hope the overall game will be much good. Also, I quite like the environments and stuff in "realistic" Okami. Meh, I'm sure that change was for the best, anyway.
  • mertor3190 - June 16, 2009 6:23 a.m.

    I remember most of these. Good thing SoTC went on the way it went. The experience feels alot better alone.
  • deora2dude - June 16, 2009 6:04 a.m.

    that conker video was the funniest thing i have ever seen (zero puctuation and RVB aside) (captca city 17... ok then)
  • JamesT - June 16, 2009 4:11 a.m.

    It would be interesting to read more about the Resident Evil to Devil May Cry transformation. I'd love to know how you get from awesome horror series where you conserve ammo and have a fixed camera to an awesome hack and slash series where you keep enemies in the air with bullets.
  • IAMinFAMOUS - June 16, 2009 2:25 a.m.

    I'm beginning to sense that GR is slowly starting to become Halo haters. Why, GR? Why? After all the Halo Radars (the articles that got me into GR). Well, good article anyway.
  • jar-head - June 16, 2009 1:34 a.m.

    in starfox...i hoped that damn ball got lost in the blizzard...
  • Rodrigo90 - June 15, 2009 8:45 p.m.

    "...who makes Jack Bauer look like Jack Osborne." You gonna regret thath
  • WolfAeter - June 15, 2009 7:50 p.m.

    hell... lots of memories!!! but i don't remember that okami ad.
  • sixboxes - June 15, 2009 6:48 p.m.

    Prey seems out of place on this list. The changes were made mostly due to technology constraints, not style and design ideas. For the people calling attention to TF2 - I could be wrong, but I thought the concept from the very beginning was that stylized cartoon look. It's a departure from TF1, yes, but not what the column's about.
  • SaulFidgeonGuy - June 15, 2009 4:09 p.m.

    Nico looked pretty good, if it was online it would ave been amazing SOTC was brilliant but playing 4 player online to take down colossi would be awesome also glad they changed Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow was the only game i liked but Conviction is starting to look great
  • AntistaIsTheLight - June 15, 2009 3:10 p.m.

    Two words for the old Conviction model: Chuck Norris.
  • Quantum - June 15, 2009 2:40 p.m.

    How could you forget Team Fortress 2?

Showing 1-20 of 59 comments

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