I decided to clean out my room this week. Basically, just get rid of all the shit I've been accumulating in the room since college started. I found things I didn't even remember I had: 2 old DDR pads, a Frylock plush, some books, etc. Then I came across a stack of old Game Informers I was keeping for some odd reason, and I saw this:
THAT is the cover of the Jan. 2005 edition of GI. Now, I vaguely remember reading about this and, to my knowledge, this game hadn't been released. Where'd it go?
For those that don't know, Fear and Respect was to be a game released by Midaway with 2 huge stars working on it right off the bat: Snoop Dog, who's likeness would be used for the main character Goldie, and the director John Singleton
, the mind behind the game's story. Speaking of story, it looked to be an interesting one told in this game. You step into the shoes of Goldie, a recently released South Central native who's got a bit of a problem: he's got 2 strikes under his belt, meaning that one more arrest, and he's in jail for good. And it just so happens that, while driving home from prison, he gets ambushed by gang members, seemingly ordered to do so by 2 enemies Goldie made while on the inside. From here, an entire 1/3rd of the story was to be told in flashbacks, and the rest an American History X-type narrative where Goldie's trying to stop his cousin Lil' Red from following the same path of gang violence he did. Basically, it sounds exactly like what the makers of Paid tha Cost to Be da Boss
and Boyz N The Hood
would make; a sprawling epic found in the most unlikely of places, South Central L.A.
And blunts, invariably, were involved.
As for gameplay, you've basically played this game already: it's Gears 2 in tha hood. Cover mechanics were to be a big part of the game, dodging behind cars and walls, looking for the right time to cap a mofo. Also, night-time missions were to be played with a stealth feel to it, as you generally took missions that would drag you into rival gang territory. But, going back to the name, the big feature they were looking to focus on was a Fear and Respect meter. By killing more characters, or doing the right things in missions, you'd fill up what was basically a KOTOR light/dark side bar, and enemies in battle (and other NPCs) would react to you differently. For instance, a higher Fear level might scare away some enemies, but might cause others to be more aggressive, as it'll improve their rep to take down one of the baddest motherfuckers in the neighborhood.
Oh, what could have been...
To be honest, back when I first read about this game, I was damned excited. Looking over it now, knowing what I do now, and knowing the game won't be coming out, I'm not that sad about it. Everything that this game wanted to do has been done to death by now (good/evil choices, over-the-shoulder run-and-gun, etc.), though I do feel sad that this story wasn't tols: I love Boyz
so much, and to have the gaming equivalent of it would be amazing. That leads me to the question I asked in the title. Where did this game go? Canceled outright by Midway in early 2006. During a press conference, CEO David Zucker said:
"I think we're at a juncture in the video game business. Everyone's talking about it. How many times are you going to give me the 16th iteration of...I'm not even going to talk about the other products...The 20th iteration of a driving game isn't going to keep the industry growing."
In other words, Zucker thought that releasing the game into a market flooded with titles like it (hell, Snoop was already in True Crime: Streets of L.A.) wouldn't be good for the game, which I can respect. Though I would've loved to see more of the story, and anything with Snoop in it makes me roll up a fatty of joy, I guess Fear and Respect will just have to stay one of those games lost to the ages.
Any of you have games like FaR that met an untimely demise?