Now, looking at this today, during a time when we’re already inundated with more zombie games than many of us know what to do with, the fact that we missed out on another might not sound like a big deal. However, City of the Dead wasn’t just another zombie game. It was to be based on George A. Romero’s series of zombie films, which meant it probably would have had some sort of critique on modern society and consumerist culture. It was supposed to be the first in a series, with Tom Savini lending his voice and likeness to a character in the game.
We haven’t heard from it since its debut at E3 2005, where actual (unplayable) gameplay footage was shown at the event. Those who saw it in action said it contained “high levels of violence, blood and gore, to the point of excess.” Now that sounds like what I want from a zombie game.
Yes, we got a Resident Evil 4 and yes, it was amazing. Even though it took the series in a decidedly more Michael Bay approved direction, I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
With that said, Capcom’s original concepts for the direction Resident Evil 4 would take were mildly intriguing. One was significantly closer to “horror” in its themes, as it took Leon through a creepy castle where he struggled to survive against a horde of malevolent spirits. Some of those concepts made it into what would eventually become Resident Evil 4, but watching this early gameplay footage makes it impossible not to wonder where the series could’ve gone had Capcom stuck with their original plan.
There are many more horror games that have been lost prematurely over the years, this is but a small taste of what could have been. It’s not a definitive list, so feel free to offer your own picks in the comments below!
Also, let me know which of these games you would’ve liked to have seen the most: