Even after months or years of development time, not every game gets off the ground. This can be said of Monolith's Studio's unreleased Batman game, which would have brought an adaptation of The Dark Knight trilogy's third film to gaming systems.
According to a new video, Monolith Productions spent nearly two years working on a Batman game only for it to be scrapped. However, that work wouldn't all go to waste, as much of it was ultimately reworked and utilized in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, the studio's take on the Tolkien Lord of the Rings universe.
Following the success of the first two games of the Fear franchise, developer Monolith Productions was ready to move on to newer ideas. Before the developer got around to producing the critically-acclaimed Shadow of Mordor, the studio turned its attention to Batman first, following the success of the second Dark Knight trilogy film. The developer had hoped to entice Christopher Nolan, the film's director, into giving the green light for a game adaptation. Unfortunately, after 18 months of work, the game was ultimately scrapped, as no go-ahead from the director was ever given.
Rather than wasting all of that work, the game ultimately saw its assets make their way to Shadow of Mordor. The studio first worked on another Lord of the Rings title that was also canned, but served to influence Shadow of Mordor. The unreleased game would have been a co-op title featuring a playable Elf and Dwarf combo, but the idea of a co-op game was was ultimately shot down by WB. Monolith went back to the story board one more time and came up with a new single-player story featuring Talion, the Ranger players now know from Shadow of Mordor.
According to developers, Shadow of Mordor ended up inheriting several assets from the cancelled Batman title. The game's open world was made possible by the LithTech Engine's evolution for the Batman game, and the technology utilized to randomize enemy appearances, plus enemy AI used to bring Shadow of Mordor's orcs to life also originated with Project Apollo. At least one developer claimed that the two games were so tightly linked that a model of Batman holding a sword was used as a placeholder for Talion at one point in development.
While it's unfortunate that players never got to see what could have been of Project Apollo, the work didn't go to waste. Shadow of Mordor went on to be critically acclaimed and sold extremely well, and it may not have been possible without all the work that went into Batman first.
Shadow of Mordor is available now for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.