Video games that should be released by now (but may never be)
Video Games That Should Be Released By Now (But May Never Be)There is a unique frustration experienced by video game fans whose anticipatedfavorites are delayed indefinitely. The recent release of Duke Nukem Forevershows that “delayed indefinitely” is not the same as “canceled,” but Duke’sadoring public was left waiting for almost a decade and a half.What else is in development limbo? Here are 5 titles:Shenmue IIIYou can’t accuse the Shenmue series of lacking ambition. The original Shenmuebroke records as the most expensive video game produced at the time, costingUS$70,000,000 to produce and intended to be the first installment of a story told in16 chapters. Shenmue II cost less to make and covered more ground, includingchapters 3 through 5, but the remaining 11 chapters have yet to see the light of day.Shenmue III’s announced development has already been cancelled twice, but fanshave reason to remain optimistic. Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki still works for Segaand claims to have finished the storyline.Half-Life 2: Episode 3Maybe Valve doesn’t hate Half-Life protagonist Gordon Freeman, but it seems likethey’ve done everything in their power to avoid putting an end to the Half-Life 2storyline. This isn’t unusual for the franchise, considering that there was a six-yeargap between Half-Life and Half-Life 2 — with three Half-Life expansions releasedduring that time. Since the Portal games have become a surprise fan favorite, theconclusion of Half-Life 2 may be delayed even longer. Luckily, fans can probablyexpect some more expansions to hold them over until Episode 3’s release.Beyond Good and Evil 2Ubisoft’s Beyond Good and Evil was designed to be the first installment in atrilogy, but disappointing sales numbers crippled plans for an immediate sequel.Fan pressure appears to have kept the game’s development alive, but at a moremoderate pace. While past rumors had spread alleging that the game’s designerMichel Ancel was leaving Ubisoft Montpellier and suspending the game’sdevelopment, Ancel himself has said that the game is still in progress — heattributes the delay to the development team’s insistence on staying small to focusthe game’s artistic spirit. Beyond Good and Evil 2 is currently targeting a release
on the next generation of game consoles, which means it won’t be hitting shelvesany time soon.Final Fantasy Versus XIIISquare Enix’s FF Versus XIII dwells in the peculiar gray area outside of the mainFinal Fantasy series, which may explain why it remains unfinished. The game wasto be set in the same universe as Final Fantasy XIII — similar to the way that FinalFantasy X-2 continued in the Final Fantasy X universe — but using completelydifferent characters. While hordes of rabid fans drive the main Final Fantasy titlesonto store shelves in a timely manner, companion stories can end up getting put onthe back burner to meet other obligations. Even though Square Enix previouslyannounced that Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII were beingdeveloped together, the former has been available in Japan since 2009 while thelatter is not expected to be on shelves any time before 2012.Starcraft: GhostFans of Starcraft’s Sarah Kerrigan, the “Queen of Blades,” know that Blizzard canmake games with compelling female characters, but Ghost moves the Starcraftgames in an unexpected direction by shifting from real-time strategy to third-person shooter. Ghost’s planned release on consoles is also a departure fromBlizzard’s usual PC-friendly titles. These changes may have caused problems forthe development of Starcraft: Ghost, but Blizzard has stubbornly refused to cancelthe game’s development outright. It has languished on “indefinite hold” since2006, but fans have been left with Starcraft Ghost: Nova, a novel detailing theprotagonist’s backstory.Some of these games seem more likely to be released than others, but that may notbe a good thing. Considering that Duke Nukem Forever was criticized for failing tokeep up with the times after its extended development cycle, getting canceled maybe a kindness.