3. Beyond Good & Evil 2
Speaking of engines, leaked footage from 2009 showcased what was supposedly Beyond Good & Evil 2, and it looked flat-out stunning. Fans gawked and pointed, hushed whispers tickling their collective fancy as they began to look at their current generation of hardware and thought, "Yeah, it's pretty good but can it run Beyond Good & Evil 2?"
Well uh, no. Or rather, maybe it could. But it won't. Designer Michael Ancel told GamesIndustry.biz that "we are targeting the next generation of consoles" on June 6, crushing everyone's BG&E E3 dreams.
If that sounds at all familiar, remember that Duke Nukem Forever had not one, not two, but five goddamn engine changes as it moved from platform to platform, generation to generation. So far Beyond Good & Evil 2 hasn't even shown us one official engine, but even the greatest journey of 12-year vaporware begins with a single step.
2. Shenmue 3
Shenmue, whose title makes absolutely no sense as far as anyone can tell, follows the tale of Ryo Hazuki as he struggles to make ends meet, get a girlfriend, feed lost kittens, and play Sega Saturn games all day. Or it could be about him seeking revenge on a Chinese wizard for karate chopping his father to death. Really, either summary is just as valid, as the game featured an unparallelled at the time amount of freedom.
Unlike other games on this list, the first Shenmue did indeed see a sequel. It took Ryo to the streets of Hong Kong, where among other things, he meets a hot biker girl named Joy. Get it? Joy rides a motorcycle joyride? This thing on? It's that kind of snappy writing that got Shenmue to its cult status, folks! Learn to love it!
Sadly, the closest most of us will ever get to a new tale starring the always-stylin' Ryo is the vast collection of slash fiction available on the Internet. Oh, I've got some sailors for you, Hazuki.
1. Half-Life 2: Episode 3
Portal 2 showed us the Source engine can still make great-looking games, and hey, Valve's puzzles are still fun. Team Fortress 2 showed us a well-designed multiplayer gameplay experience can last for almost half a decade. Provided it has enough hats, of course. Hats, hats, gotta have hats! Now Valve is going all Tower Defense on us with the upcoming DotA 2. Which leaves dear Gordan Freeman and company where, exactly?
Oh. Right. With the Combine assaulting Alyx and Gordan, and Eli Vance dead. Oh come on, you can't call spoilers on a game that's been out for four years. And if I did somehow ruin that game for you? Well, trolling mission successful.
Post-Dorklyst Depression (AKA: Disclaimer)
I actually like and own every game these vaporware sequels would have attached to, and I'm just as sad as you that they'll probably never come to pass. So now that my brief stint as a troll is over, let's all come together gamers, publishers, developers, media for a big group hug. After this list, we need it.