Sex 'n' Drugs 'n' Rock 'n' Roll
What we missed: The Duke Nukem Forever of its day. Really. Sensible Software's magnum opus was a £2 million point-and-click adventure game that was said to span 17 CDs, feature 40 songs, 6 pop-videos and have an 80,000 word script. Almost nobody got to see very much of it, although every time it was previewed, there was some new "Wait, what? " moment to enjoy. It was a point-and-click adventure whose main character, Nigel Staniford-Smythe, originally had multiple drug habits, all of which had gameplay effects. Cocaine for instance would make him talk nonsense, while heroin slowed things down. (A similar thing had already been done in the edutainment game Wrecked: A Psychedelic Adventure , of course...). There were puzzles about pimping. I'm sure that at one point, I read a preview that talked about it being split into two parts, with a puzzle where having sex with the wrong person without a condom would mean Nigel getting AIDS and dying in the second half . Was that even in the game? Who knows? What we do know is that it's we'd love to have played it, just to find out how crazy it was.
Unfortunately, however good or bad the game was, its ambitions quickly outstripped Sensible's resources. Its initial publishers pulled out, and nobody else was brave enough to pick up this very, very, very British black comedy, whether through fears of how much money it would make, or simply backing a game where the main character would have sex while crucified naked on a pentagram and singing a rock song. Even with hits like Cannon Fodder under its belt, Sensible didn't survive much longer.
What we got: Nothing. Games like Postal 2 have since picked up the baton, but we've never seen anything as crazy and over the top as Sex 'n' Drugs 'n' Rock 'n' Roll was intended to be. Now, it lives on only in these videos and the fevered nightmares of the censors who insisted the shurikens be taken out of Shadow Warrior, and that the mad drivers of Carmageddon only allowed to run over zombies.
Command & Conquer: Continuum
What we missed: Westwood's attempt to turn Command and Conquer into an MMO. While nobody ever heard many details about it, it was due to feature an evolving world and do some pioneering things with instanced content, factional warfare, weapon crafting, travelling between hubs and more, with action combat and settings ranging from a sunken Los Angeles to the dinosaur island from the original game's Easter Egg. According to one developer, you'd simply have randomly crash-landed on it while flying across the ocean. With ideas like that, Continuum might have been good, bad, or just grotesquely ahead of its time, but it would definitely have been interesting. More interesting than Tiberian Sun, anyway.
What we got: Command and Conquer Renegade. Command and Conquer: Generals. Command and Conquer 4. Oh, and Earth and Beyond, which Westwood put resources into only to see it crash and burn shortly after release. Still, never mind, eh? At least the Red Alert games are still fun.