Lamenting what Never Was

2개월 전

Hello there! Since it recently was the 1st of April, at first I was thinking of writing a joke post, but alas, my inspiration lead me somewhere else. If you followed me so far on Steemit, you may have noticed I get a bit critical and melacholic over video games. It should be no surprise (also given the title of this very post) that today I want to talk about a pretty sad subject: cancelled video games.

Most people I know are sad because of Star Wars 1313. It was to be an Uncharted-like video game made by Lucas Arts, initially featuring a new character: a no-name bounty hunter going to Coruscant's infamous level 1313. Later in development, it was mandated that the character be changed to a young Boba Fett to garner even more attention, presumably. I won't lie, it could have been a good video game, but I was not hyped for it. It just felt like it was chasing Uncharted's success at that point in time, just like the Tomb Raider reboot was trying to do.

Now, let's get to today's special guest: the cancellation of Prey 2, by Human Head Studios. As a heads up, before I talk about this game, I want to stress that I absolutely love Arkane's Prey, the System Shock 3 we never had. Back to the Human Head version: it was supposed to be an open word sci-fi bounty hunter game, with immersive sim design tendencies.

From the demo we have been shown, you would have been able to bring in targets dead or alive, barter with criminals for information or even threaten them by, for example, killing one of their guards in front of them. Sounds pretty slick so far, eh? In the movement department, the game would have also featured parkour a la Dying Light and even a hover pack to give you more air mobility. Combat would have brought the standard fare of guns to the table, plus other devices like bolas shot from a launcher mounted on your shoulder, plus whatever wasn't shown. There was also a social stealth element to it, trying to blend into crowds to get close to your mark. All this in that vertical slice of gameplay. All this, running on a heavily modified idTech 4.

So, the gameplay sounds pretty solid, but what about the graphics? Well, this was a while back, in 2011, so by today's standard it can't be considered cutting edge. The location would be an alien world called Exodus, which looked like a cyberpunk city, if I ever saw one, with neons, smoke, a high gang concentration, the whole deal. Add to that the fact that character designs were interesting, not everything was a humanoid and you were basically the only human in this strange world (and a pretty generic looking human at that).

Now, why did this game fail to release? Bethesda thought it wan not up to their standard of quality, for some baffling reason. These are the guys who, with each iteration simplify their games and somehow they end up even more broken than their predecessors. Thing is, Bethesda didn't stop at ruining one game named Prey, because they made a combo: Arkane was working on their System Shock 3 spiritual successor and our beloved publisher told them to name it Prey. Thing is, the name didn't help and people did not buy this amazing game, because they were still angry about the other Prey 2 they never got and probably never will unless someone leaks the build of it (please do it).

In any case, it seems CD Projekt Red will scratch that Prey 2 itch with Cyberpunk 2077, seeing as they promise a lot of neat stuff like what I mentioned above about this sadly cancelled game. Also, if you ever want to play a textbook example of a labour of love, please give Prey (Arkane version) a go. You won't regret it.

Images: cover, 1313, 1, 2, 3, 4


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