We recently published an article on canceled PlayStation games on our sister site, Game Rant. That focused on all PlayStation games that absolutely never came out. This time we wanted to delve into released games that went through some turmoil during development. Every game has multiple iterations, but whether we see those changes is another story. These ten entries are fairly well-known, semi-well documented examples of some classic PlayStation titles.
10 Star Wars Battlefront 3
Free Radical Design basically had the third console installment of Star Wars Battlefront 3 ready to go. It was apparently 99% complete before the ax was eventually chopped. From the gameplay footage that leaked, it looked to be more of the same from the first two games, but on a bigger scale. That is exactly what fans wanted, though. After this was scrapped, EA and DICE eventually put out the third game, which was more like a reboot. If only the world got this game instead.
9 The Last Of Us
Naughty Dog went through several games before The Last of Us concept was finalized. Production first began on a gritty sequel to Jak and Daxter. Then there was a sci-fi game called Savage Starlight somewhere in between. Now while we could go through every scrapped concept art for Joel and Ellie, like how she at first looked a lot like Ellen Page, we want to focus on the biggest change to the game. Instead of being a close confidant before her untimely death, Tess was actually going to be chasing them as an antagonist. That would have had a huge impact on the story.
It’s as good a time as any to remind players what the first Borderlands could have been as this year is the tenth anniversary for the series, on top of launching the third mainline title.
When production first began on the game, it had a more realistic look. This was eventually scrapped in the hopes that the cel-shaded design would make it stand out among its peers at the time. A remnant of this can still be seen on the box art. The wastelander shooting himself reveals what the art once looked like. Get a magnifying glass and check it out!
This year also marked the tenth anniversary of inFAMOUS. Like The Last of Us, this game went through a change before finalizing the name to inFAMOUS. It was first called True Hero, which looked more inspired by their previous work, Sly Cooper.
On top of that little factoid, the official Twitter account for Insomniac tweeted out a few tidbits on some more changes. One huge detail was that players would assume a secret identity and like Superman, could transform in phone booths.
6 Kingdom Hearts
First of all, the very concept of combining Final Fantasy and classic Disney films should not have worked, but it miraculously did. Now before everything was finalized to make Sora the protagonist, Squaresoft wanted Mickey to be the star ,while Disney wanted it to be Donald. On top of that, before Sora was a Keyblade wielding boy, he was a lion lad with a chainsaw sword instead. Now that could have been epic!
Xenogears suffered in order to make Final Fantasy VII successful. Both games were being developed around the same time, but the budget shifted more toward Final Fantasy VII, leaving this new unproven concept high and dry. It becomes very apparent on the last disc where there isn’t much gameplay and most story stuff is told through huge text dumps. At least it wasn’t canceled altogether, right? Maybe its true form can be revealed one day in a remake.
4 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Metal Gear Solid V also suffered from budget cuts. In the special edition of the game, there is a bonus disc. On said disc is what remains of the final act, which shows Big Boss chasing down little Liquid and trying to get the stolen Metal Gear back. As it stands now, the game just ends with players knowing he escaped with it. That is it. It’s very obvious that the game received cuts even without that disc’s movie, which is of course up on YouTube. Konami and Hideo Kojima had an ugly public battle.
3 Final Fantasy XV
The development of Final Fantasy XV is perhaps the craziest cycle in all of video games. It was first announced alongside Final Fantasy XIII as a more action oriented-counterpart. This was called Final Fantasy Versus XIII and as one can imagine, there is still tons of footage left online.
Throughout its ten years in development, it went through many cycles of being absent. It was rumored to be canceled several times, which is technically true since the game was fully rebranded as Final Fantasy XV at E3 2013.
2 Doom 4
DOOM 3 originally launched in 2004 and it wasn't until 2016 that a reboot/sequel came out. That's a long gap in between games, right? Well, it wasn’t just a random thought Id Software had one day. No, they tried to get DOOM 4 up and running for years, starting around 2007. One the most well-documented prototypes was for the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation. It could have been more open world, set on Earth, and was even planned to be more like Call of Duty, the current first-person shooter king at the time. This Noclip documentary sheds further light on this long process.
1 BioShock Infinite
BioShock Infinite was also in development limbo for a long time. It was first announced in 2010, launched in 2013, but work had started all the way back in 2008. Besides characters looking different, like Elizabeth going from a young girl to someone more adult, her powers were also going to be better utilized In the game there is that flash of her teasing Paris, but in an early trailer, she was also shown being able to revive a horse with her powers.