In 12 years many, many things can happen. Without going any further: those years passed between the launch of the first Xbox and Xbox One, they delayed the arrival of Grand Theft Auto V with respect to grand theft auto iii and the same ones that distance Nintendo DS from Nintendo Switch. Seen in perspective, it’s scary, isn’t it? Well, 12 years, that same period, is the time it took Blizzard to announce, change control and cancel StarCraft:Ghost What happened to this video game that promised so much but was left in the lurch?
A very promising Blizzard game
We are in the year 2002. That same year the first Xbox arrived in Australia, Europe and Japan; and two years before PlayStation 2 did it all over the globe. The generation gap was superlative with respect to previous systems. Blizzard, attentive to this, wanted boost its video game division on consolessince it has always been a developer focused on the PC and its launches on desktop systems at that time -Starcraft 64 for Nintendo 64 or Diablo on PlayStation- did not quite take off.
The narrative started from a very promising point of view. Mengskemperor of the Terrans, desperately tries to appease the rule of the Zerg using a chemical weapon called Terrazine that endows Ghost agents with special powers… and disables the wills of those who inhale it. This project would be called Project: Shadow Blade. Our protagonist, Nova, would uncover the intentions of such a plan, rethinking her position within the Ghost and doubting the good intentions of the Terrans themselves.
Blizzard thus decided to give a twist to its modus operandi: they would leave the strategy aside a bit to turn to a third-person action title, further away from the ‘point and click’ and more focused on shooting, jumping, moving through scenarios intricate. The gameplays were very reminiscent of metalgear either Splinter Cellwith a third-person camera and mechanics very similar to those of the aforementioned games –stealth, firearms, melee, gadgets, etc.-.
The inclusion of a multiplayer potential with up to four different character classes was notable.
Notable was also the inclusion of a multiplayer potential with up to four different character classes: Marines, Light Infantry, Camazots and Ghosts. Each class had its gameplay peculiarities: infantry could deploy turrets or parapets but Marines were capable of grenades. Also, the Ghosts were the only ones enabled to use optical camouflage, like the protagonist of the adventure.
Blizzard’s goal was twofold. On the one hand, they sought to attract a greater amount of public to their universe but moving away from the strategy and focusing on another more “comfortable” genre, such as action; and on the other, offer his followers a different StarCraft experienceminimizing the huge battles of the franchise through a more personal and individual point of view thanks to Nova.
What happened to Starcraft Ghost?
Blizzard gave the green light to the project by delegating its development to Nihilistic Software, former LucasArts workers who had given life to the remembered Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption, acting as a mere supervisor. His constant “snip” to the development, the lack of a clear narrative and the general tiredness of Blizzard ended up motivating Nihilistic’s departure from there, being Swinging Ape Studios who would pick up the glove and get back to work with the matter. Small nuance: the Americans ended up acquiring this company to guarantee the development of Ghost… although we already know how it ended.
However, this took place in the year 2005 and, if you remember correctly, Xbox 360 was released that year and PlayStation 3 one later. The game was beginning to feel outdated, with systems more typical of sixth generation than seventh. Thus, Blizzard announced in 2006 the indefinite pause of the project, not its cancellation… although the public already feared the worst with the approaching generational change.
Who would have thought a month ago that Starcraft Ghost would leak in some way? pic.twitter.com/24wCp4XBsE
— Andrew Borman (@Borman18) February 16, 2020
Finally, in 2009 there was the merger of Activision and Vivendi Universal, which owned Blizzard. What did that entail? Well, a multitude of projects already planned cascaded on deaf ears. One of them, yes, StarCraft: Ghost. Five years after this change of hands, the video game was officially canceled. In 2019, the company shed light on the cancellation of Ghost: “There wasn’t a real mode where we could cover all the fronts; we couldn’t build an environment to pull off something as ambitious as StarCraft: Ghost, because we couldn’t give it all the resources it needed.”
The gameplays that came to light a couple of years ago we were encouraged to fantasize about him. What would we have been able to enjoy on PlayStation 2 and Xbox if that had materialized? Would we be facing one of the games of the decade? Would it have stayed in a want and I can’t? We will never know, unless now with Microsoft in charge after buying Activision Blizzard it is decided to resurrect the project. Although, for now, it doesn’t seem like a priority for those from Redmond.
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What happened to StarCraft: Ghost, the action and stealth game from Blizzard that we waited for more than 12 years and never played – Starcraft Ghost – 3dgames
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