Rising from the dead has always been reserved for the likes of Jesus, or even creepy zombies, so it’s a shame then that games don’t ever really survive death in the same way as our dear Jesus Christ. Even when a game does see light at the end of the tunnel, it ends up an awful mess littered with bugs and a disappointment that sends us into deep despair.
Games just like Star Wars Battlefront 3, which hasn’t made this list purely because it exists just as an entirely revamped affair known simply as ‘Star Wars Battlefront’, which is a game I despise. Not because it’s a bad Star Wars game because it’s truly immersive and looks drop dead gorgeous; but it fails to reach the potential of the ‘Battlefront’ series of old. I put this down to EA having a fan connection similar to Kojima and Konami. Very fucking bad.
Some games just die from developers spending too much time in the creative phase. For example, the botched Dark Knight film tie in game. Made by Pandemic Studios, it was that impressive during development it attracted the likes of Bono from U2. But time restraints along with lack of funding lead to the game’s demise. Yet another EA related franchise 0 I think you may already see how this list is taking shape.
It has been very difficult to narrow down the list to just five, as I was considering the games above and more, but the titles I’ve selected are brands that are purely notorious with all kinds of gamers. Icons of their own genres, games that would stand the test of time and live on as true classics. These games would easily make a top 100 list for me and the fact games of this nature can enter production limbo does make me slightly upset.
So this list may resurface old feelings, nostalgia to the greatest degree, I even teared up a few times thinking of every pixel. You have been warned, you may get some serious anxiety from reading this. I’m totally kidding, here’s my top five picks:
5. Timesplitters 4
Yes! Yes! Yes! Is what I’d be saying if I was Daniel Bryan and if Crytek would actually release this goddamn game! The subtitle should be ‘Lost in Time’ because this is where Timesplitters lies, a game that once engineered so many film references with the best single-player and arguably the best multiplayer ever. But maybe I’m biased.
The game did define a shift in how we played FPS’s: it was slick, fast and action-packed, containing as many guns as Zack Snyder has bad film reviews. It truly is a shame that this game will be forever lost in time. An ill-fated petition to save the franchise sadly failed to raise enough banners. If only I could jump through a time portal and warn Free Radical of their impending doom – I’ll give it a try later with my PlayStation 2.
4. Zone of The Enders 3
Kojima! Why? I practically tear up every time I think of him, slumping into my chair with a whisky thinking what could have been. Konami fucked over Kojima, he got pissed, Sony passed his sinking ship and the rest is history, along with this amazing title.
To be fair Konami may wish to revive the cult classic sometime in the future. But I have a feeling they don’t care for flying around in Orbital Frames screaming like a Saiyan, whilst hacking at poorly underpowered mechs. ZOE resonates with me because it’s essentially a Japanese anime at its core. I believe Kojima wanted the title to expand into this form of media as well at some point. So imagine what the series could have achieved, a popular animated series airing on Crunchyroll then new missions fused into the game based on the show. Rest in peace, Dingo. Unless Konami would like a new production team manager, call me?
3. Mercenaries 3
Some videogames still linger even in death as is the case with Mercenaries 3. It had an alpha state which looked playable and very similar in style to the 2nd game in the series. Whilst Pandemic’s Mercenaries games were renowned for having flaws, it was the times when the titles did something good that really put a smile on your face. Blowing shit up. It was as simple as that, Mercenaries got the art of blowing up stuff right.
See a building in the distance spewing out soldiers, carpet bomb it. See five tanks rolling towards you, guided missile. It was super satisfying to have a plethora of different explosive options at your fingertips. Sure, the draw distance was questionable and the graphics weren’t anything to write home about, but the core game was very satisfying; even with its questionable physics but who cares when you’ve got a nuke? A fucking NUKE! Just Cause 3 is the only game in this generation to replicate the formula, but it just isn’t Mercenaries. I would love to see the series return. But with Pandemic dead as a dodo and EA as blind as bats, I doubt we will see this iconic series return.
2. Burnout 6
Fucking EA again. How do you make a game that’s losing popularity even better? Take the whole team behind one of the best racing games ever and let them handle the situation. Satisfied? No, because Need for Speed still sucks. Burnout was probably the best racing game ever to exist (EDITOR’S NOTE: whoa there). It was beyond the realm of realism where you drove at Wipeout speeds around city streets avoiding oncoming traffic. Or if you enjoyed chaos then you’d find the nearest T-junction and crash into everything. The reason for this was that the game had the best crash cinematics ever and each crash felt individual. There were so many crumple zones to look out for I’d forget that I was racing.
Burnout tapped into a part of me that I didn’t know existed, a state of zen aiming to take a race to its very limit. To try and race as fast as I could without crashing. Unfortunately though, we may never see the series appear again, even after the amazing Burnout: Paradise which provided us with a pinnacle for the franchise. It has everything you could want from a Burnout title with possibly the perfect goodbye letter to the fans without Criterion knowing it. Yet do not despair too much however as Criterion aim to bring some Burnout back in a new IP they are making. So I’m interested to say the least, but we will never see another Burnout as it’s truly buried underground.
1. Metal Gear Solid VI
Oh Kojima, here we are again. I need a top up. Metal Gear Solid is a dead franchise? I’ve truly entered alert mode right now.
When a production team sets out to create a game they probably only dream of reaching the heights of Mario, Sonic, Zelda and Final Fantasy to name a few. Well Kojima Productions, you managed to insert the legacy of Metal Gear amongst the elite names. It genuinely feels strange to talk about MGS in a way we won’t ever really see it again. Maybe we will see it, but without Kojima, it’s not the same. It’s like a cheese toastie without the toast. You may have cheese but the core ingredient is missing and I think I’m too in love with the idea of Hideo Kojima. From the iconic ‘!’ alerts, to the ‘?’ confused guards, a soundtrack composed by Harry-Gregson Williams and let us not forget that gruffly Snake voice. True there’s some hate between David Hayter and Kojima right now. But forget that because Hideo managed to make it all gel in harmony. Hell, even he is iconic.
To have Metal Gear die from the gaming world is like losing Vince McMahon from wrestling. Some might not like him but we’d all hate to lose him forever. Metal Gear Solid truly deserves an over the top convoluted sequel with Konami allowing all the time it needs to operate. So for me Metal Gear Solid is the number one game that deserves to be rescued and to never have a game on as grand a scale as MGS is truly a waste. Shame on Konami for their treatment of Kojima Productions staff, but imagine how immense another Kojima Metal Gear Solid title could have been. I do say good luck to Kojima on current projects with Sony though, this series will truly keep us waiting.
So there it is, my top five games that deserve a proper burial. It’s funny that the running theme seems to be production teams that give you a taste of a franchise only to mash your dreams into oblivion. Looking at you EA and Konami. It truly is a shame though that we may never see these titles reign supreme in a title chart any time soon. If you feel I’ve missed any out, please leave a comment. But as Juba said in Gladiator: ‘Someday soon… But not yet.’
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