Games that "don't exist"

I saw it on sale somewhere before Christmas for 25 quid

I actually had Obsidian as a kid. My dad, who never really played games, would occasionally be in the game store with us and get pulled in by some box art or something as a lark and buy a game for himself which he would inevitably not play for more than 15 minutes.

It was a really bizarre game with a bunch of absurdist geometry and art, non-sequitur humor, and a plot involving the resetting of earth with nano-bots in order to prevent environmental disaster from ozone depletion and air pollution. I never finished it because later puzzles were way too difficult for me as a kid.

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Remember Snowblind studios and they’re pretty okay fantasy action games based on existing properties? These weren’t industry changing games but they were solid and got good reviews.

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this is 99% of games. they come out then they’re forgotten. you could probably fill several listicles of ps2-era fps games that wanted to be halo killers. or about how there was a huge glut of ww2-era shooters.

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I knew of Obsidian because of this article on one of the studio’s earlier games: Loadstar: The Legend of Tully Bodine. The story there of the developers, Rocket Science Games, is a banger in the genre of tech startup faceplants. Bottomless funds, endless hype, magazine cover features, and every one of their games cratered. Not because of any lack of talented workers: they managed to ship 2 fascinating and original cult classics, Obsidian and Rocket Jockey (a physics-driven vehicle combat rodeo game).

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Red Steel 2 for the Wii.

Really cool music, a samurai/cowboy theme (probably a little problematic, but I don’t recall overt racist stereotypes (I was also 12)), and you did all your combat (shooting, swordplay) with motion controls. It whipped and it was like 3 hours long. I played it twice at least.

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This might be heresy on this forum but honestly I would put Alpha Protocol on this list considering the Obsidian title that came out shortly after was Fallout: New Vegas which has pretty much permanently stayed in the mindset of the culture.

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Mind how Days Gone was somehow apparantly very successful and sony keeps putting it in sizzle reels despite it being absolutely nothing at all? Like I dunno if it actually belongs in this catagory but it sure FEELS like it should.

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That game has an inexplicably devoted fanbase. Patrick has talked about how he got more hate mail for his negative review than anything else he’s written. I don’t know if it’s a biker thing, a Sony fanboy thing, or both.

I don’t think it’s heresy: I think almost everyone who regards Alpha Protocol as being brilliant is also sadly resigned to the fact that it isn’t get the recognition it deserved. “Doesn’t exist” doesn’t imply a lack of quality, just a lack of influence, after all. [And, conversely, there’s plenty of examples of films and game which do “exist”, but for shallow reasons that make them less interesting than less influential alternatives.]

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For what it’s worth, I think Quake 4 actually did a bunch of things better than Quake 2 [although it also has a horrifying sequence in it that I always mention in my lists of ‘things about video games that upset me’, and no, it isn’t the stroggification sequence] - but it’s solidly uninnovative game in the context of its release date.

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This reminds me, even thought they did a Waypoint special on it, ZombiU has been completely forgotten.

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Another point I forgot about was that the game is very hard to get a hold of given it’s been delisted and isn’t backwards compatible.

Oh, I’d forgotten about the whole delisting thing. Limited term Copyright licenses for music in games are… strange. [This whole discussion did prompt me to check that I still had Alpha Protocol on Steam though, so…]

I’m honestly curious about what the sequence you’re thinking of is. No need to explain if you don’t feel like it, of course.

I actually replayed the game this fall and there’s a couple of alright sequences in it, just sequences of an era that had already back then been made more or less obsolete (imo, mostly for the better – 2002-04 FPS storytelling was worse than what came before and afterwards).


OH ALSO I just remembered that a Wolfenstein game released in 2009 by the same team. I swear, Raven got the worst luck in this era – not getting the opportunity to shine on good level design, which should have been their ace. Last I heard, they’re now occupied with CoD support, although I suppose that Raven Software now isn’t actually the same Raven Software that existed back then.

It’s the way in which you kill the Strogg stroylent processing creature by force-feeding it until it ruptures. The entire thing is just gratuitously cruel, with the panic on its face and everything, in a way which really soured me on the whole ultra-macho FPS design thing (and I actually stopped playing for several hours after the sequence happened when I played through because it really shocked me at the time) of the period… [I tend to think that one of the accidental benefits of the low-poly models and limited animation available in the mid-late 90s FPSes was that the equivalent games didn’t have the opportunity to be that sadistic.]

Bloodrayne had a remaster last year, I think. It also is very much remembered for having those godawful ads.

I know there’s a Bloodrayne stan on this forum, I wonder if they’ll come out with their case :slight_smile:

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I’m a Bloodrayne stan and didn’t even know the remaster was a thing let alone already out so I think that says a lot lmao

But this reminds me of Terminal Reality’s REAL game that doesn’t exist, Nocturne!

Firing guns akimbo, clothing physics, the setting, it being intentionally built to be sort of an action game and sort of Resident Evil at the same time, Nocturne had some solid hype behind it and a few “this is the first game to do [graphics technique] in this way and do it this well” hype too, sold well, was generally liked, and it’s even in the same setting as the official Blair Witch games that came out in the 00s.

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When the PS5 and Series X were announced, it felt a little weird to me, it didn’t feel like an entire console generation had passed. Then I remembered Ryse: Son of Rome and whatever the hell that fourth (fifth?) Killzone game was called, and only then did the passage of time hit home

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I genuinely completely forgot Killzone: Shadowfall existed until reading your post, and I actually had it at launch and everything too.

Ryse…

Look I was a GameStop manager at the time so I was at the conference where the PS4 and the One were getting super hyped, we got free PS4s and Ones at launch, and after seeing all the hype stuff and playing it a big a few months earlier and everything and yet…I think I forgot about Ryse literally as the game was installing and didn’t get past the “you can play the first chapter while the game installs” section. I think it’s the only game I forgot about literally as soon as I stopped playing it lol

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