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6 Cancelled Horror Games That Could’ve Been Amazing!

City of the Dead

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.

Resident Evil 3.5

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:

Have a question? Feel free to ever-so-gently toss Adam an email, or follow him on Twitter and Bloody Disgusting.

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  • Pav

    It is very sad how great game projects ends. Mostly because of not being money making titles. There are many more great horror games which were never released:
    Deadlight – an FPS survival horror which was in development for PS2, settled on an ocean liner, the SS Hyperion. Vessel was located north of the Arctic Circle where night is extended for months. The concept for Deadlight was for the player to avoid the shadows and stay in the light, and to aggressively protect themselves against the threat that dwelled in the dark.
    Redwood Falls – FPS Horror for PS3/XBOX360.
    Winter – survival horror video game that was in development for the Wii.
    Insane – baby of film producer Guillermo del Toro.
    Campfire – PS2/XBOX survival horror that was in development in 2003 by Daydream Software.
    And more…

    • Raziel_cz

      InSANE isn’t definitely buried. Let’s hope it’ll eventually happen.

    • Adam Dodd

      I completely forgot about Redwood Falls, I was super excited for that when it was announced.

  • Tomie Kawakami

    Also, Silent Hill: The Box.

  • Pav

    Resonance – XBOX & PS2 Survival Horror Game
    Asylum – Horror FPS for XBOX and PS2
    Carrier 2: The Next Mutation
    Clive Barker’s Demonik – PS3 and Xbox360
    Dead Rush – Announced in 2004 but was cancelled a few months later. Developed by Treyarch.
    Possession – where you rule hordes of zombies to take over a small American town.

    • Adam Dodd

      Illbleed II, Harker, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, The Lost, Resident Evil 1.5… the list goes on and on… I think I need a hug.

      • NINTR

        Awww, poor Adam. I’ll hug you, if you want! XD I was a huge fan of Sadness and I always wondered what happened to it. I guess I never heard that it got canned. It’s no shock, but it’s still bothersome to learn that something you really wanted will never exist. :'(

        • Pav

          You can listen music that was composed by Arkadiusz Reikowski for Sadness. Songs are in demo version, not mastered but absolutely phenomenal. Polish game music blog “Gramuzyka” has come into possession of thirteen unreleased tracks from Sadness , proving there was actual work done on the game. This music was to be included in a demo version of the game that never saw the light of day.
          Arkadiusz Reikowski also composed music for Afterfall Insanity, Two Worlds and upcoming Sacrilegium.

          • Pav

            Sadness soundtrack download link:

          • Pav

            Come Midnight – survival horror game being developed by People Can Fly, but it was canceled when the developer began work on Bulletstorm. The influence of Epic Games seems to have forced the studio to dumb down their creative product in favour of appealing to the mass market.

          • Adam Dodd

            STOP, you’re making me sad.

  • Raziel_cz

    I’m sad because Call of Cthulhu: Destiny’s End was never released. On the other side, I’m not sure if it would have been as good as Dark Corners of the Earth is, although it definitely could have been really innovative at that time.

  • 905Justin

    the original resident evil 4 looks like it would of been a lot better than the one they went with. The series started going down hill with that game

  • InFlamesOfBirchmen

    Man, Sadness was the title that made me buy a Wii…

    • Adam Dodd

      REALLY? I’m so sorry to hear that…

      • InFlamesOfBirchmen

        Me too. The only game I have for it is the Metroid Prime Trilogy. Still worth it.

        • Adam Dodd

          No Dead Space: Extraction? That game is really good.

  • Slasher716

    Capcom should just kill Resident Evil. Resident evil sucks period.

    • Adam Dodd

      Are you not a fan of Resident Evil as it is today, or just in general?

      • Slasher716

        As it is today,

        I loved the first three Resident Evil games. After that, I believe the franchise as a whole (movies included) to have ruined the name of Resident Evil. This is just my opinion- please don’t take any of it to heart.

        I also believe that “The Evil Within” is the true successor to Resident Evil.

        • Rick-Taylor

          I’ve never heard of the Evil Within before. Why do you say it’s the true successor to Resident Evil?

  • Pav

    The Thing 2 – The Thing was a third person survival horror game, based to John Carpenter’s 1982 film The Thing. It was developed by Computer Artworks and released for PS2, XBOX and PC in 2002. A sequel, The Thing 2, was in development by the same team, but it was later cancelled when the company closed down.

    • Adam Dodd

      … are you trying to make me cry?

      • Pav

        Of course. I don’t want to cry alone.

  • Pav

    Harker – game being developed for the PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360 by Double Helix Games. Studio put the game on indefinite hold for the development of Silent Hill: Homecoming. Whether or not they plan to continue production of the game is unclear at this point.

  • Pav

    Agartha – horror adventure that was planned by the French developer No Cliche for the Sega Dreamcast. Development began in 2000.
    Game promised to have an interesting plot and gameplay: During the winter of 1929 in a Romanian village that was partially destroyed by a landslide that occurred during a mysterious earthquake, a subterranean city exists called Agartha. This is where evil is being kept prisoner and is desperate to escape. Kirk the human hero will encounter a series of characters from villages, the living dead, fanatics from an evil sect, monsters, demons, solider monks, priests, archangels and the Sentinel who is the ultimate personification of evil. As Kirk you can decide to save as many innocent people as possible or to trigger the arrival of chaos on earth. As Kirk’s morals waver between good and evil, this ambiguity changes the aims of the adventure and the narration of the story.
    However in 2001, Sega went out of the console business…

  • KidNickles

    DCotE was ORIGINALLY released on Xbox, with a follow up on the PS2…

    • Pav

      Call Of Cthulhu DCotE was released on XBOX and PC…

  • ThunderDragoon

    Damn, I would’ve LOVED to get that RE4 instead of the one we got. That was a big mistake of them to not go through with it. Making the choice to make the one we have was definitely the reason why the RE franchise is where it’s at right now. They only have themselves to blame for the money they’re losing. Ugh, it pisses me off.

  • Rick-Taylor

    I’m all for the DLC and sequel to Splatterhouse. It was supposed to carry on from the end of the game, but, oh well. I think I have more hope for Campfire. There’s just something about being a slasher and taking out college aged people for their stupidity.

  • BWAShotgun

    I would love to play both Resident Evil and Sadness, I’ve got more interesting titles to play though.
    And Resident Evil 4 is the best RE ever.

  • Laugh Riot

    I wanted to play The Grinder for the Wii
    It looked pretty great.
    Sadness looked amazing I hate it never got released.

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