games / Columns

The 8 Ball: Top 8 Unreleased Crowdfunded Games

August 30, 2016 | Posted by Marc Morrison

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball. With all my recent talk about Kickstarter the past few weeks, I wanted to try and put together a list of Kickstarter games I’m looking forward to. I’m going with “crowdfunded” here, because at least one of these games wasn’t on Kickstarter at all. My only criteria for this list is that the games aren’t fully released yet. A few of these games are on Steam Early Access, hell one of them has been on there for years now, but the full game isn’t out. Also I’ll give a quick honorable mention to Yooka-Laylee. I don’t really have any personal interest in it, but another 3D platformer is always nice. With that said, let’s begin:

#8: Shenmue 3

I give almost no damn about Shenmue 3, but there are fans that do, and they are a pretty crazy bunch. Still, to those people, my hat is off to you, since you managed to bring a long dead (and kind of bad) franchise back from obscurity into a pretty sizable crowdfunding campaign. I have a strong inkling this game is going to disappoint the rabid fans of the franchise, as it is going to be a dramatically smaller and cheaper game than Shenmue 1 or 2 was, but hey, at least you’ll get to see Ryo Hazuki in action again.

#7: The Long Dark

This game has actually been for sale for almost two years now in Steam Early Access. However, the vaunted story mode still isn’t out, and the release date seems to be around 2019, give or take. While I enjoy the sandbox mode it currently has, it’s not the story mode that they promised and have been talking about for years now. Suffice it to say, I want the story mode, I want more direction than the game currently has to offer, with the voice acting, and a narrative storyline. It’s only been two years now, what’s another few more years to wait for.

#6: Frog Fractions 2

It’s been just under a year since they had any updates on this game, and people want to know what is going on with it. The first Frog Fractions was such a crazy game when it came out, going from a parody of early learning games, to full throttle insanity in game form. No matter what form Frog Fractions 2 inevitably takes, and who really knows at this point, I like to think that Frog Fractions 2 will be even crazier than the first one.

#5: Project CARS 2

 photo Cars 2_zpss9ibmhhd.jpg

I liked the first Project CARS so it makes sense that Project CARS 2 will be good as well. I’m not even sure what the status is of this game actually since WMD’s website doesn’t say how much they need, or have raised, just what tiers they are offering to people. The only thing I want with this game is more of a structured campaign, like you can just race with any car in a quick race, but with a season, you start off on the bottom of the rankings, race for money to buy a new car, etc. That’s really the only thing I want from a game that I know will likely be good.

#4: Torment: Tides of Numenera

The original Planescape: Torment remains one of my top 5 games of all time. The story, gameplay, voice acting, and music all created an atmosphere for a game that remains extremely unique and special. I sincerely pray that Numenera is able to live up to the quality of its predecessor. Judging from the trailers and such, it looks a lot more scifi focused than Planescape’s steampunk designs, but that’s not entirely a bad thing. It won’t have voice acting like Planescape did, and that’s a shame, but hopefully the gameplay can make up for it. It still has Colin McComb working on it, and that is good enough for me.

#3: Divinity: Original Sin 2

I mentioned last week about the success of the first Original Sin, and I have high hopes that the second one will be even better. I guess we’ll know soon since it’s coming to Steam Early Access in a few weeks. They’ve talked about how this game is going to be a tad more open, with how you can create your characters, their backstories and so on. Also, party dynamics look to be improved, since the first game had some great dynamics with the two main characters, but the other ones got left by the wayside a bit. This will likely be one of the best RPGs of the year, once it fully comes out.

#2: Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2 is the big reason I went with “crowdfunded” rather than “Kickstarted” for my article title, since Psychonauts 2 went with Fig instead of Kickstarter. Still, Psychonauts 2 has long been wanted, if not demanded by fans of the original game. While the first game wasn’t a huge commercial success, it was a critical one, and in the era of 3D platformers, it stood out with its humor, sidequests, variety of gameplay, and story. Psychonauts 2 looks to have most of the original people back for it, so I can only pray that it reaches the same heights as the first game did.

#1: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

After the resurgence of Metroidvania games in the past few years, and with Konami not making any more good games (sorry, Metal Gear Survive is going to blow), it’s nice to see Koji Igarashi going back to his roots with another Castlevania style game. I’m sure working at Capcom and working on crap like Castlevania: Harmony of Despair and Castlevania: Judgment killed his soul a little. I know this game is good, just based off the short demo that is available to Kickstarter backers. The combat is great, the updated visuals are nice, and it just “feels” like a sequel to SOTN which is what people want. My only hope is that you can turn into mist at some point. I backed this game the day the campaign was announced and I await it showing up at my doorstep once it is finished.

For comments, list which crowdfunded campaigns you are waiting for them to finish.

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The 8 Ball (Games), Marc Morrison