Top 7 Cancelled Comic Games That Need Another Chance

5. 100 Bullets

Whether now or a decade ago, an open world game with tons of violence, Tarantino-esque mobsters, sexy femme fatales, and a massive government conspiracy sounds like a recipe for success. So it makes all the sense in the world that Vertigo’s long-running noir series, 100 Bullets, is a perfect starting point for Acclaim to make its own Grand Theft Auto. To give the game even more cred, series creators Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso were even involved in story and art direction. What could go wrong? Just about everything.

100bullets

As good as the intentions might have been for a 100 Bullets game, it got picked up by Acclaim just as the schlock-selling studio was entering its death throes. Despite being shown at E3 2004 and getting that snazzy trailer, Acclaim fell apart before the planned release date. Fans of the series got their hopes up once more when D3 grabbed the publishing rights, but their planned 360/PS3/handheld versions never materialized either, leaving the crime saga effectively dead once more. I’m sure what does exist of the game can’t be good, but much like Azzarello himself has stated, I still have hope that 100 Bullets could some day be the gritty action game it deserves to be.

4. Marvel Chaos

In the early ’00s, Marvel and EA seemed like a match made in heaven. You had Marvel, a comic house with few good games to its name, partnering with Electronic Arts, one of the biggest publishers of licensed games around. But the crummy Marvel: Nemesis showed that the pairing wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. And if there were hopes that EA Chicago’s next Marvel fighter would right those wrongs, those died along with the developer itself in 2007.

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The game had big names like Spider-Man, Hulk, Dr. Doom, and many more battling it out in highly destructible 3D environments. Marvel Chaos had the potential to finally show the kind of destructive battles only seen on the comic page, with gameplay that’s similar to the Gundam games big in Japan right now. But after flops like Def Jam: Icon, the developer shuttered and EA let its deal with Marvel fizzle out, a marked change from the fanfare of its announcement.

3. The Flash

If you’re a member of the Justice League not named Batman, odds are you’ve never had a good video game. And that includes The Fastest Man Alive, though developer Bottlerocket aimed to change that. The team responsible for the underrated Mark of Kri (and, ahem, the Splatterhouse reboot) wanted to give the Scarlet Speedster the fast-paced open world game that he could flourish in. Unfortunately, they teamed with publisher Brash Entertainment to make it happen.

Flash

As their name implies, Brash was an ambitious publisher that planned to revolutionize licensed games, though they only ever put out shit like Space Chimps and Jumper tie-ins. The company even scored the rights to a Superman and Flash title, though only Flash got far enough to prototype footage (shown above). It would’ve certainly been flawed and (knowing Brash’s reputation) underfunded, but the open world running of The Flash is similar to the super-powered exploration of later Saints Row games and Crackdown. Working on this cancelled title contributed to Bottlerocket’s eventual closure, though there’s still hope Warner Bros. Interactive isn’t done with Barry Allen just yet.

14 thoughts on “Top 7 Cancelled Comic Games That Need Another Chance

  1. Great article, but I think the first hurdle is getting Disney to actually make video games with their product. So far the Marvel license is only being used on a Free to Play MMO of sorts and Free to Play iPhone “games”. Hopefully, if Star Wars Battlefront 3 and the other mystery planned Star Wars game, are successful Disney will start seeking out ways to give Spidey his Arkham Asylum style return.

    1. That will never happen. Disney has proved that they’re entirely comfortable being completely irrelevant outside of their current wheelhouse. One day, when Disney finally merges with Warner Bros., we’ll begin seeing actual games come out, but not a second before the inevitable one company future comes to pass.

      1. I dont understand why Disney is fine with being irrelevant vidja game wise, (from the outside, at least) it looks like a high reward/no risk opportunity to just farm out (probably not the right term) their marvel franchises to third parties. Even at the worst, a bad ‘Avengers’ game would have still made millions. And its not like it would hold back the movie (or franchise) in any way, did the bad iron man games hold back the movies? (And again, at best we get good games, disney makes even more millions, and good press is had by all)

    2. Disney just doesn’t publish full console games anymore barring Infinity, and Marvel won’t let anyone else handle it after they were burned so badly by SEGA’s mishandling of their tie-in games. And now Activision’s licenses have expired we won’t be seeing any Marvel games for a long while.

      And if Disney merge with Warners then they’ll dissolve the games publishing arm, with the possible exception of the Batman and LEGO games. Disney just aren’t interested.

    3. I read awhile ago that Marvel was looking to start up it’s own game development like what it did with MCU. I’m still hopefully they will put the same attention into making games that they have into their movies. I really enjoyed the first Iron Man game. The second one was just unforgiveable.

  2. I remember seeing that Gotham by Gaslight demo quite a while ago and it’s incredible how good that cape still looks all these years later.

    Who knows? Maybe we will still get it one day. I’ve heard Rocksteady has been wanting to do something else for a while now so anything is possible.

    1. I highly doubt “something else” equates to “another Batman game”!

      At best it’ll be a Justice League game, or something original that’ll get them shut down after it sells 10 copies less than Arkham Knight.

  3. Man, those cape physics in the Gotham by Gaslight look good but just in the short clip I could see why they wouldn’t work in 3rd person game. Batman would look like an undulating mess 90% of the time.

    Put those physics to work in a “The Blob” game, think Katamari Damacy but with more seeing people actively digested.

  4. Excellent article Henry, I love reading about cancelled games.

    One minor correction (hey, you know that’s what I’m best at): there are actually TWO Gotham By Gaslight comics. The second is called ‘Master of the Future’ and has him go up against a mad Jules Verne-like inventor in an airship.

  5. Great article Henry. To anyone that has that Marvel itch that needs scratching, play Marvel Heroes 2015. The game is free to play, it’s fun, it plays just like Diablo 3 and the game was made by David Brevik, the creator of the original Diablo and Diablo 2. I am baffled that there has been no stream of the game by Laser Time, knowing what big Marvel nerds they are. The story mode is not bad at all, playing through Hell’s Kitchen, the savage land and Asgard!! Seriously running on the rainbow bridge for the first time was so cool. The game has almost 50 playable heroes!! One thing I like from the game is the banter between heroes when they run into each other, it’s spot on.

    1. The main reason is that Marvel Heroes was utterly awful when it came out. I have heard that it’s got a lot better recently.

      1. Yup, when Marvel Heroes first launched it es garbage. I played for about an hour then I uninstalled. That’s how much I hated the game but since it relaunched last year the has improved so much. Also, for the keyboard hating controller loving people, the game is getting controller support this fall.

  6. A Marvel’s Avengers could have been a fun play through, but I’m not a fan of the first person view. I agree with you on the Batman By Gaslight point; It probably couldn’t exist as anything other then a DLC add-on. With so many games copying the Rocksteady fighting formula, Daredevil could easily exist as a solid gameplay experience, but I doubt it would get the budget needed to make it great. It probably wouldn’t make it’s money back either…

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