There’s nothing more tragic in the gaming industry than wasted potential. We’ve all got caught up in the hype certain games amass and been bitterly disappointed when we actually get to pick up a control pad and play. The most frustrating games are those that clearly could have been awesome, were it not for some terrible, mostly unforgivable changes during the development stages.
It pains us to reflect back on these titles. So immense were the possibilities, yet so immense were the failings of the powers that be to capitalise on them. We remember for the sake of history and in the hope that these same mistakes will never again be repeated…
10. Aliens: Colonial Marines (XBox 360/PS3/PC) – Gearbox Screws SEGA
SEGA had purchased the rights to the incredibly popular Alien vs. Predator franchise and decided to give the project to Gearbox to develop. It was a big responsibility. The series had produced awesome titles. SEGA was trusting Gearbox to make a game that was worthy of the AVP name and were backing them with a huge amount of money and resources.
At some point, Gearbox decided that SEGA’s funding would be better put to use if they were to transfer some of it over to another game they were developing at the time – Borderlands. This was completely unbeknownst to Sega, who were unaffiliated with Borderlands. Yeah, not involved at all.
When SEGA found out, they cancelled Colonial Marines. Briefly. Then they hired another team to develop the game, panicked, rushed it out and what we got was a tremendously awful unfinished game. Pre-release footage of Gearbox-era gameplay appears to show what could have been a much more credible experience.
If only the team had a shred of morality, their decision to shift focus could have been avoided and we quite possibly could be playing another awesome Aliens vs. Predator game right now. Still, Borderlands is pretty good.
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This article was first posted on September 25, 2013