This week, we'll be looking at Maverick Hunter. Things will be a bit different for this Left Behind. I had trouble finding a decent amount of information that could be arranged into the usual categories of Plot, Gameplay, How it failed, and how the legacy lived on. Instead, I'll be doing an overview of what information I was able to find. Now, let's take a look at a promising game that fell into obscurity.
After the huge success that was Metroid Prime, it was hard for game studios not to take notice of the waves it was making. One such studio was Capcom. Keiji Inafune, the creator of Mega Man, gave his blessing for Capcom to transition one of their most beloved IPs into 3D. For a while, everything looked promising, and it seemed that this new entry to the series would attract new and old fans alike. However, Keiji Inafune's departure from Capcom might have lead to the destruction of one of the most promising games in the Mega Man franchise. Maverick Hunter's life began under the wings of Armature Studios, based in Austin Texas, and founded by 3 former members of Retro Studios. Mega Man's new design was to be made by the concept artist that was responsible for creating the Iron Man armor used in the Iron Man films. The game's mythology was to be based around the Mega Man X series, intending to take a much more mature and gritty approach than its lighthearted, cartoony predecessors. The game would keep true to its roots, keeping the platforming elements that made the game famous, as well as featuring many classic characters that would have been imagined in entirely new ways. Of course, other famous elements such as the X-Buster, the dash feature, and the wall jump would be making a return appearance in this installment. Several sources stated that Armature had finished a working prototype of the game that was entirely playable. Unfortunately, despite the promise the game showed, it was decided to be too much of a risk, and was terminated behind the scenes without a word, shortly before Keiji Inafune's departure from the company.
Surprisingly, there is some demo footage of the game that can be found on the internet. The game's asthetic features are noticeably different, as mentioned previously. After reviewing the footage, one of the first things I noticed was the change in the arm cannon. As far as I know, the arm cannon has always shot energy, not bullets. However, the arm cannon in the demo is clearly taking more of a machine gun style of shooting, and seems to be firing bullets, as well as the ability to fire missiles. Another noticeable feature is Mega Man being able to use some sort of finishing move. I'm unsure how it would have been triggered, but I would imagine it would be button based, or a quick time event. Mega Man also seemed to have the option to throw grenades at foes. The last thing I noticed was the HUD. It seemed to take a style very similar to the HUD from Metroid Prime, very simplistic.
Footage of the demo:
There you have it. The story behind another game that didn't manage to to see the light of day, and one of the many promising Mega Man games that got canceled. Do you think this could have been a revival for the Mega Man franchise, or would it just have been an epic flop?