Gamers are an excitable lot, prone to getting emotionally invested in a game during the very early stages of development thanks to hype alone. Unfortunately, all life is fragile, especially a life constantly threatened by budget constraints, callous publishers, encroaching projects and creeping deadlines. Any videogame that even makes it to store shelves is very lucky indeed, for there are many that fall by the wayside.
Take for example publisher Nibris' Sadness, the Wii game that never was, and most gamers had assumed never would be. Fair play to Nibris, they strung us along for quite a while before the curtain finally dropped, but was anybody surprised by its cancellation? Not really.
In honor of these aborted might-have-beens, join us for a list of canceled games from this generation that we find particularly tragic. Some of their deaths were shocking, some of them predictable, but their miserable, lonely deaths were most certainly a cause for sorrow.
Sadness' death is not tragic because people were especially looking forward to it, but because the entire game's history was one endless, weary joke. The title was revealed before the Wii had even been launched, and in the five years since, all that had ever been shown was a handful of black-and-white images that may or may not have been screenshots and half-baked conceptual allusions that may or may not have been bollocks.
One of the game's developers had revealed that the only thing Nibris ever developed was a mine cart section, and we all know much people love playing those. Sadness had long been considered Vaporware before the official confirmation of its cancelation came and even when it arrived, there was no formal announcement. Composer Arkadiusz Reikowski mentioned it on his blog and it took a month before the English-speaking press discovered the thing. What a way to go!
Sadness by name, Sadness by nature. This sorry little title was truly a wretched little beast.
Red Faction: B.E.A.S.T
A few years ago, the Wii earned itself a bad reputation for being a videogame graveyard, and there's no denying that Nintendo's white box of waggle has seen quite a few deaths in its time. Among the bodies lies this promising little title, Red Faction: BEAST. A third person game running along the same lines as Red Faction: Guerrilla, the early test footage showed a solid foundation, at least conceptually.
The public only found out about BEAST after it had already been canceled. So the blow was softened, but it's still a shame that the Wii got to miss out on a Red Faction game, especially with the potential chaos one could have wreaked with motion control.
Faith and a .45
Developer: Deadline Games
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360
The ignoble death of Faith and a .45 was a shame in the truest sense of the word. Developed by the folks behind the superb (but chronically underrated) Total Overdose, this Bonnie & Clyde inspired co-op game had incredible amounts of potential. Having players kiss in order to revive each other was an inspired touch, and fantastic combat tricks such as having one player shoot an explosive that the other had thrown hinted at one of those few titles where teamwork was more an interwoven part of the game than mere aesthetic gimmickry.
Unfortunately, the project was "put on hold" before developer Deadline went bankrupt, effectively destroying any hope that Faith and a .45 would ever see the light of day. Dreadful thing to happen, considering this game looked to be a unique and charming title from a studio that had demonstrated it could pull off unique and charming titles.
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