2013 is upon us, which is the very nice way of saying that we thought we’d have our hands on games like BioShock Infinite by now. However, we should consider ourselves lucky that we should have to wait just a few more months instead of the rest of our natural lives. Please find below a list of potentially mind-blowing video game sequels that we’ll probably have to wait for longer than it took Duke Nukem Forever to come out.
5. Rogue Squadron Wii
The Star Wars Rogue Squadron series is one of the more underappreciated gems in the Nintendo library, boasting some of the best graphics, sound, and aerial combat on both the Nintendo 64 and GameCube systems. Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader was one of the few games to actually make it worth it to own a GameCube. By the time the third entry in the series came out, Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike, the wizards at Factor 5 felt so confident they whipped out Princess Leia in the golden bikini for the occasion.
A sure sign of any franchise’s success.
Few games went out of their way since the Super Star Wars series to accurately recreate the movies. As such, a Rogue Squadron game on the Wii not only seemed like a no-brainer, but the kind of game that would actually put a Wiimote to its proper use.
So, what happened?
Factor 5 parted ways with Nintendo to make a bad Playstation game, a Superman game they never finished and then go bankrupt, that’s what happened. Lair was a critical and commercial failure for the company from which they never recovered. As for their Superman game, let’s just say that if it was anything like Lair, it would have probably sufficed as a fitting sequel to Superman 64.
Controls for this game were so bad that if you couldn’t even accurately throw your controller at the screen.
Tragically, in the middle of a lawsuit over unpaid wages, gamers learned that Factor 5 was actually secretly working on a Star Wars: Rogue Squadron entry for the Nintendo Wii. Despite being just the system Rogue Squadron fans were looking for, any chance of anyone actually completing the game seem slim to nil. The developers secretly transferred work on the game to a company called White Harvest in a futile attempt to keep the game alive as illegally as possible.
Some information occasionally bubbles to the surface about the game, as well as enthusiasm for seeing the original Rogue Squadron trilogy remastered for Nintendo. Will we ever see this happen, never mind play the elusive fourth addition to the franchise? Your guess is as good as ours. All we know is that Factor 5 sure bet on the wrong horse by ditching Nintendo for its arch-enemy.
Thanks a lot, Superman.
4. Eternal Darkness 2
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem was one of those games that came out nowhere and, much like Myst or Limbo, and completely blew away everyone’s minds. The only problem is that it stayed nowhere, by which we mean the can only be found on the Nintendo GameCube.
Even the crickets didn’t feel like sticking around for this picture.
So, what happened?
Despite fantastic reviews and its unique, Assassin’s Creed-esque, millennia-spanning story, repeated pleas to sequelize Eternal Darkness repeatedly fell on deaf ears.
More or less, how progress has been going since 2002.
Silicon Knights designer Denis Dyack later stated that Eternal Darkness was intended to be a stand-alone game, but all that changed in 2008 when it appeared that a follow-up to the game was being discussed. Unfortunately, that was way back when Bush was still president, and any attempt at a sequel since then completely missed the Wii train and even the Wii U launch.
Mario Party, meanwhile, has spawned ten follow-ups.
Rumors have surfaced that the designers are interested in exploring a follow-up using next gen technology, but we’ve already heard this song played before. At this rate, we’ll probably have to wait another 2,000 years to see how this epic story continues.
3. TimeSplitters 4
TimeSplitters was created by alumni from GoldenEye 007, which should be all the information you need to know that the franchise is fantastic. Despite a mediocre first installment, the game’s spellbinding sequel TimeSplitters 2 earned rave reviews and received worthy comparisons to the game that spawned it.
Hell, even Shaun and Ed were fans.
The game was like and unlike GoldenEye 007 in all the right places, boasting fantastic levels, excellent music, and brilliant multiplayer options while delving more into humor, pop culture, and—of course—zombies than its predecessor. After a worthy continuation of the series with TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, concept art like this mother was all we needed to know that TimeSplitters 4 was going to be awesome.
We meant mother when we said that.
So, what happened?
Unfortunately, development for a follow-up fell into a snag due to changes at Free Radical and a dwindling demand. The developers still love the game and would love to make a full sequel, but stress that they need more support from its fan base in order to make such a project profitable.
Apparently, there’s not the same market for gun-toting monkeys as there used to be.
It doesn’t look like this is a marketing ploy because more than enough time as passed for them to release a sequel, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel for this beauty. Fortunately, it’s been nearly a decade and we still haven’t beaten every level in TimeSplitters 2, so there is time to wait.
2. StarCraft: Ghost
Think about it: A third-person shooter set in one of the most critically-acclaimed video game universes of all time. That’s what Blizzard had in mind with StarCraft: Ghost, a game that could have brought the StarCraft franchise to home consoles like a meteor.
Also, with this sexy lady.
The game had immense talent behind it and a brilliant storyline to work with, and all promotional material of the game looked stunningly beautiful. Had it been released, the game could have given Samus Aran a run for her money and possibly even opened the door to a StarCraft MMORPG of World of Warcraft proportions.
Also, a nerdgasm that would have shaken the global cosplay community.
So, what happened?
Simply put, this enormous, beautiful project ran out of gas. Development of the game changed hands several times until Blizzard put the game on “indefinite hold” in 2006. The game’s protagonist Nova, however, eventually appeared in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty as well as several novels, including one intended to serve as her backstory. Unfortunately, everybody except Blizzard is convinced that StarCraft: Ghost is dead, and the closest thing we have to playing it is this phenomenal trailer:
1. GoldenEye 007 HD
It would not be an exaggeration to summarize that an entire generation of students suffered a catastrophic blow to their GPAs because of GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64. The game simultaneously brought first-person shooters and multiplayer deathmatches to home consoles, ushering a new era of gaming that even Halo and Call of Duty stand in the shadow of.
The dog that ate your homework.
While Rare has since branched off into Perfect Dark as their spiritual follow-up to the game, that underutilized franchise and an even worse slew of Bond games left GoldenEye 007 loyalists with much to be desired. However, it seemed that everyone’s prayers were answered when reports got out that a HD remake of the game was not only being developed for Xbox Live, but that it looked every bit as awesome as the whole world imagined.
Sure enough, Sean Bean dies at the end.
So, what happened?
In 2002, Microsoft offered Rare $375 million for 100% of the company, that’s what happened. Since then, Nintendo and Microsoft had absolutely no luck sorting out how the hell they could release the game in a way that would make everyone happy. Specifically, it looks like Nintendo pulled the plug on the game at the last minute.
James Bond will return… probably never.
Yes, GoldenEye 007 got completely remade in 2010 and eventually appeared on all consoles, but it still didn’t end questions over what the hell happened to that drop-dead beautiful HD remake we saw in Xbox World 360 Magazine. Tragically, all we have of the game are snapshots and a three-minute playthrough of the Silo level, plus whatever bits and pieces of information devout loyalists are able to find on the game.
It’s a shame that Nintendo and Microsoft can’t sort out their child custody hearings because, even after 15 years, nobody does it better.
Please follow Jacopo della Quercia on Twitter!