The video game industry usually has a few major casualties of war in the form of projects that for one reason or another are cancelled. Sometimes budget reasons can be the cause for a project being binned while other times it’s simply because the development studio has issues and the publisher becomes less than confident in the product. There are likely dozens of cancelled games we know absolutely nothing about but some of the more notable ones we are privy to oddly enough are superhero games. Licensed games have a well established reputation in the video game industry but the cancelled superhero games we have seen have always looked to be good if not provide something different.
Today we have another looked at a cancelled superhero game in the form of the Justice League. The iconic DC superhero crime fighting/galaxy saving group was once set to be a major property for Warner Bros. in the form of a live-action movie helmed by George Miller (Mad Max). Miller’s Justice League film was well underway in pre-production with costumes, sets, and actors being finalized (Armie Hammer was set to play Batman), but the project was given the boot by WB over budgetary concerns.
Besides never seeing George Miller’s version of the Justice League and superheroes such as Wonder Woman and The Flash, we would never see The Justice League video game that developer Double Helix was working on – at least not until today. The ever knowledgeable Superannuation chap has come across our first major set of images from the cancelled Justice League video game. Originally set to be an adaptation of the film, the game reportedly continued development as its own entity until WB ultimately gave that project the cancellation stamp and put Double Helix in charge of the ill-fated Green Lantern video game.
Double Helix’s vision for the Justice League video game saw it as a 3rd person brawler, much like what we saw in the Green Lantern game. The images we have from the Justice League come the website of Jonathan Gwyn who served as Art Director and Lead Level Artist on the project. Depicting the main heroes and villains of the game, the Justice League game featured a somewhat odd visual style which consisted of Batman stages which took heavy inspiration from Batman Begins (note the train track and Wayne Industries logo) while marrying that with a slightly stylized Batman design and accompanying worlds that bared a resemblance more towards their comic book counterparts.
As a game I think that the Justice League could’ve worked if each hero felt as they should in respect to their powers. Having the game be a brawler would obviously enable things such as Superman’s might to be felt but how would things like flight or the fast speed of The Flash be conveyed beyond simple punch combos or finishing moves? A basic 3D brawler may have been the simplistic route to take the game in, especially to take advantage of co-op gaming, but in the end I doubt we would’ve ended up with a product on par with the Batman games from Rocksteady.
I continue to be surprised at the amount of superhero games WB Games has cancelled (which most recently includes a rumored The Dark Knight Rises tie-in game), but I guess such a thing may simply be a case of WB wanting to keep the quality high and not dilute the market too much.
So what do you think about this Justice League project, would it have been something cool to play or was WB right in cancelling it? Let us know in the comments section or on our Facebook page.
To view more art from the cancelled Justice League game head over to Jonathan Gwyn's site.