The more I think about this “lost” game, the more I want to weep. It has awesome written all over it. Well potentially. Okay, at least conceptually. But like whether Kurt Russell survived in the end of The Thing (not a spoiler by the way, as you should have seen it by now), we will simply never know.
What? There are some of you who didn’t know there was a planned Dirty Harry video game? Well there was. Let us sit of the floor, crossed legged and lament what could have been.
Simply titled Dirty Harry, the game was to be developed in association with Clint Eastwood’s Malpaso and The Collective Inc to be published via Warner Interactive. The idea was that the game would continue the story of loose-cannon police detective “Dirty Harry” Callahan as he sought to clean up the streets of San Francisco. The events where to take place immediately after the “Scorpio” case. Clint Eastwood was reprise his role as the character in the game, lending his voice and likeness as well as consulting and creative input to the game. The game was scheduled to be released in 2007.
It all sounds very interesting and it is easy to imagine a finished game that had elements of GTA and the FPS genre. At the time several other classic film franchises were being developed into games of a comparable nature, with both critical and financial success. The Godfather, The Warriors and Scarface are but a few examples.
So what went wrong? Why did this game never reach the consoles or the PC? Well there were apparently some internal problems with the developers and staff got laid off, allegedly. Warner Bros. pulled the studio off the project and claimed that work was being transferred to another studio. Nothing has been heard about the game since, prompting realists to believe that the project has been cancelled and the overly optimistic to dream that it may still emerge one day.
So the above trailer and a smattering of screenshots and production art is all that really survives from this lost game. It is obvious that quite a substantial amount of development had gone in to the project. Please note that the above trailer does not actually show any footage from the game engine. It was animated by a production house, using the concept artwork to simulate what the game may have ended up like. However, you will notice that it is very much in the idiom of the screenshots which are in-game footage.
So there, you go. The story of the lost Dirty Harry game. It would seem that not only does a man have to know his limitations, but so does a game developer.