The 6 Greatest Video Games We'll Never Get to Play

#3. Survival Horror With an Emphasis on "Survival"


By EzioAuditorre and TheSax

EzioAuditorre had the theme down ...

I've always wanted a survival game where you actually work to survive and even struggle. Say, the beginning of Fallout. You get kicked into a wasteland from the only thing you ever knew where you had almost no survival skills. Instead of the first thing you do being go forth and kill people, you attempt to find food and water without getting caught. You find a gun? Too bad, you have no idea how to use it unless you train with it, and by that I mean target practice. As you train your ability to use that weapon or item gets marginally better. You hide in the day and scavenge at night, until you can finally confront people. Also, the world has its own ecosystem and does its own thing, kind of like Skyrim, but less scripted things. The end goal would probably have something to do with why you're in the wasteland in the first place, which is why this game is so hard for me to figure out. Like, you can't just go scavenge forever and eventually become Bear Grylls and that's the end, there has to be a driving plot that makes it vital to survive but also keeps you from just sitting on your ass trapping animals. And that is where my idea falls apart, because I am for shit at making up stories.

But TheSax solved that problem for him:

I would absolutely love that set on the Jurassic Park islands. The basic premise is that it's a hardcore survival game, but with dinosaurs. The highlight would be of course the hardcore mode, in which you only have paper maps and a compass, whatever weapon you find throughout the island and that's that. No radar and the dinos (raptors) would stalk you at every turn, you would have to run desperately up a tree (or fight I guess) against them. You need to eat, drink and sleep, and any part of your body can get damage and will need medical attention. Basically Bear Grylls in Isla Sorna, without the camera crew and shit scared.

Why It's Awesome:

A survival horror game. With dinosaurs. If you don't have an erection right now, then it's either perfectly OK (because you're a female), or it's never going to be OK again (because somebody has absconded with your dick).

I know this concept has technically been done before -- but not done well. Not like they said: with an emphasis on total helplessness and wilderness survival instead of rehashed crate puzzles and shitty shooting mechanics. It never occurred to me before they said it, but the two of them are absolutely correct: Dinosaur survival horror isn't "done right" unless your character has a "drink own urine" button.

How It Could Be Ruined:

You could pick the wrong dinosaurs. If you cast biologically accurate velociraptors, for example, it would just be a game about a water sports fetishist swatting at clawed turkeys.

How It Could Be Even More (Unrealistically) Amazing:

If you get to play as this guy:


#2. Magic: The Gesturing


By Reckless_abrandon

My idea is a multiplayer 1-vs.-1 dueling magician game for something like the Kinect. Spells would be cast by hand gestures alone. One hand would cast defensive wards and buffs on yourself, while the other would cast offensive spells and curses on the opposing player. Weaker spells would have easy gestures, and stronger ones would be more elaborate. Also, the strength of the spell you cast would depend on how precisely you performed the gesture, and a completely failed attempt at a spell could actually harm yourself.

So there would be a very steady learning curve for all levels of players. Beginners might just be spamming weak magic missiles at each other. Experts might be ripping walls of stone up from the ground to block massive fireballs while calling down chain lightning strikes. This would of course be incredibly difficult, as you would not only have to have good enough muscle memory in each hand to do whatever complicated gestures, but you'd have to be able to do it without thinking about it so you could watch what your opponent is doing to counter his gestures. You would also be able to study the styles of different opponents and find their weaknesses, just like a real imaginary wizard battle might go.

There would be a leveling system, but in no way would it affect the strength of your spells. All spell casting would be entirely reliant on personal skill. Leveling would give you cooler accessories to decorate your avatar. Beginners would all just have robed acolytes that could gradually evolve into a necromancer, warlock, or what have you. It would be easy to determine at a glance how skilled your opponent is just by how much character their character has. One would be able to determine just how fucked up they would get by the length the opponent's wizard beard, the solid mass of facial piercings on a tribal shaman or the intricacy of the lacing on a sorceress's bodice.

The other thing that the leveling would affect would be the arena of battle. Beginners might duel in small caves or castle halls, intermediate players would be in haunted swamps or forests and expert-level players might fight on massive barren plateaus on alien worlds. This would give an eye candy incentive to improving your game, as there would be plenty of satisfying environmental damage. As you level up, you eventually get to watch entire countrysides get burned and demolished as your spellcasting becomes more godlike.

Why It's Awesome:

That's the kind of total immersion that no motion capture game has even thought about employing. Sure, MC consoles have a few similar games with simple gesture controls, but nobody's actually utilizing how technologically impressive stuff like the Kinect can be. Plus, most developers just don't seem to get that sometimes difficulty is the best thing you can do for a game.

How It Could Be Ruined:

They could make it about Harry Potter. That's the obvious tie-in. Don't get me wrong, I liked the movies OK, but I am not a Harry Potter fan. I straight don't give a fuck about British magical allegories for puberty. My problem isn't with the setting, though; it's that Potterizing the bastard would limit the scope. Nobody in Harry Potter was tearing apart worlds with their bare hands. Or if they were, they probably cried about it afterward, over tea, whilst discussing their unrequited feelings for one another.

How It Could Be Even More (Unrealistically) Amazing:

Tie it to a better property -- or fuck it: all the properties! Gandalf versus Emperor Palpatine; John Constantine versus Doctor Strange, hell -- you can even have Harry Potter in there. Just know that he's going to get his ass rocked off if Raistlin so much as coughs in his general direction.

#1. Han Solo: The Game


By Blemm

Man, just "Han Solo: the Game." You and Chewie just bombing around the Outer Rim in the Falcon, smuggling stuff, before the events in Star Wars. An open world/galaxy game, with multiple worlds and space combat in between. Basically, Evochron-esque space flight with Bethesda-style world building set in the Star Wars universe. Shoot, the final mission in the main story line could start with you taking Luke and Obi Wan to Alderaan and end with you getting those medals. It seems like such a no-brainer idea that I can't believe no one has even tried it.

Why It's Awesome:

Everything. Everything about it is the most awesome thing. And it's so goddamn simple. So ... why? Why do we have 20 Star Wars spaceship games, but not this one? Why do we have even one pod-racing game, and not 15 sequels to this instead? Why are there any other video games at all?!

How It Could Be Ruined:

George Lucas could get involved. That guy's deal with the devil expired on May 26, 1983, and he was never allowed to have another good idea again. But that didn't stop him from trying. I don't follow extended universe stuff, but I'm sure in the decades since Jedi they've already documented Han Solo's complete history, and Lucas Arts can never give us this game because, according to canon, Han was off winning a dance contest at the time.

How It Could Be Even More (Unrealistically) Amazing:

If somebody had a time machine and could get George Lucas from 1980 in on this shit. I don't even care that it was almost assuredly all fueled by Satan; that guy was friggin' rad.

Honorary Mention


By Herr Terror

I'd like to see a fantasy action/RPG that actually married action and character-building while finally doing away with on-screen numbers and stats. There are so many entries in this genre, yet everything thus far has either compromised the action feel (Bethesda, et al.) or been too light on the skill-building (any action game with upgrades, really). On the RPG side, allow polished collision detection rather than stats determine whether or not strikes connect. Whether a weapon is nice or dull, say it graphically.

On the action side ... say your character is armed with a sword and shield. Even though you have a basic block button, you tend to pull the directional stick away from opponents when you anticipate an attack. Doing this frequently in the context of combat causes your character to gradually move more quickly when stepping back, eventually developing a backward leap and increasing agility ... but failing to develop any skill at shield blocking, being easily staggered. Or perhaps you tend to strike out when you anticipate an attack, rather than use the block, and as a result your character parries more quickly, but still doesn't shield block so well. Or you use the block but tend to spam the attack button before the animation is over, eventually developing a shield bash. This is very simplified, but you get the idea. You would essentially grow your character, starting out untrained and slow and becoming something that handles crowds like Batman in Arkham City.


This was a damn fine idea, but the appeal of it was too similar to the Kinect wizardry game up there to use both, and I just can't resist the opportunity to slip in a Dragonlance joke -- for I am but a man, with all of man's weaknesses. But holy shit, what if you could do both? What if you could marry this idea of gradual, personalized skill-building with the motion control magic? What if that's how games like Skyrim or The Witcher work in the future? Choose to be a warrior, and you develop your skills in this fashion; choose to be a mage, and it's all gesture-operated spells. My God, that would be the end of nerds as a species. We would all die quietly, not with a bang, but with a nasally whimper, as we happily starved to death in front of our computers.

Herr Terror, what have you done?

In Summation:

Nobody's saying this is it, that these are the best possible game ideas in existence. They're just a few examples of all the vast untapped potential out there, literally just laying around in their frayed off-brand boxers and wasting their lives on Cracked articles. Think you have a better idea? Shit, you're probably right! Post it in the dang comments so that everybody here can experience the precise shade of blue your nerd balls have been, lo, these many years.

Fair warning, though: I am personally encouraging any and all game developers reading this right now to steal every single concept they see here. Dear Game Developers: I know you think you have a good idea for your next project, but you know what? Judging by the state of the game industry lately, you probably don't. Instead, if you have the talent and resources to take a crack at one of these, then for the love of God, steal from us. Do it shamelessly. Do it blatantly. Take every ounce of credit for everything but just give us the goddamn games already.

You can buy Robert's other book, Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.

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