The Dorklyst: 10 of the Greatest Canceled Projects in Videogame History

By Andrew Bridgman / January 11, 2013

3. B.C.

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It's a well-worn joke in the gaming world that Peter Molyneux likes to boast big – his insane claims about how huge and immersive and world-shattering the Fable series would be pretty much single-handedly ruined the franchise for a lot of people, who had way-too-high expectations for some decent games that could never live up to the hype. But at least most of his games were released, so that we could laugh about his ludicrous statements and hold him to his words. In that way, maybe it's for the best B.C. never came out.

B.C. would have put you in the prehistoric world, controlling a tribe of cavemen as they tried to evolve and survive against rival tribes, natural dangers, and – best of all – dinosaurs. The game developers claimed you would be able to do anything to survive – you could trigger an avalanche to fight off hordes of enemies, poison your rivals with plants, use anything you could see as a weapon. And to top it all off, the most advanced enemy AI ever committed to a videogame.

But none of that other stuff really matters, because who cares about anything else when a videogame has dinosaurs?

2. Starcraft: Ghost

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You may have heard of StarCraft – a modestly popular RTS series that happens to support 90% of the South Korean economy. You may not have heard of its spinoff, StarCraft: Ghost, because – amongst other things – it was never released, and remains a spectre in the world of gaming…a ghost, if you will…

Okay, if you haven't already smashed your monitor, let's talk about the game: it looked pretty interesting, if you consider a game designed to be Splinter Cell set in outer space to be interesting, which you absolutely should. It was a third-person stealth game, and would have expanded on the story of a Ghost agent in a post-Brood War world. Sadly, delays upon delays eventually led Blizzard to quietly discontinue work on the game. Yes, believe it or not, a Blizzard game with delays. We apologize for blowing your minds.

Luckily, much of the backstory from the game was re-appropriated for the novel StarCraft Ghost: Nova. Unluckily, novels are books filled with words that you have to read and almost never videogame cutscenes that you can watch in HD while double-fisting Red Bull.

1. Fallout 3 (aka "Van Buren")

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Back in ye olde dayes of pixel-based videogames, Black Isle's Fallout games were of the top-down isometric point-and-click persuasion and buggy as hell. But when Bethesda Software took over the license and released Fallout 3, that all changed to a fancy 3D FPS/RPG hybrid (and, to honor the spirit of the originals, kept the game-ruining bugs and glitches). But Black Isle had their own version of Fallout 3 that was never finished, due to silly things like they had no money and oh god where did all the money go?

The original Fallout 3 (codenamed "Van Buren," after America's most post-apocalyptic president) was to look very similar to the previous Fallouts – albeit with some fancified 3D graphics and real-time combat elements – and was nearly completely done when everything fell apart. The plot (involving competing groups battling for control of Hoover Dam) will sound pretty familiar to those who played/desperately tried to ignore the constant glitches of Fallout: New Vegas, as many of the original developers worked Van Buren significantly into that game. However, a few of the unimaginably awesome features of Van Buren were not included in New Vegas, including:

  • Taking control of an orbital nuke platform and playing God (the Old Testament one, no less!)
  • A town ruled by dogs
  • The Grand Canyon (now filled with cannibal mutants)
  • A TOWN RULED BY DOGS

If only there were dinosaurs involved with the town ruled by dogs, maybe this not-quite-completed masterpiece would have gotten the financing to get finished? Sadly, we'll never know.

(But the answer is "yes, absolutely, who could resist that?")

Filed Under   mario   the dorklyst
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