Visceral Games was responsible for some major hits during its time, but the studio was also behind some games that gamers never got to play. One such title from the Dead Space developer that would have allowed players to step into the shoes of Jack the Ripper was cancelled many years ago, but the game's background and development process are just now coming to light.
The Ripper would have attempted to portray Jack the Ripper, the notorious serial killer of 1888 in London as a sympathetic character, but also suitably unbalanced vengeance killer. According to Polygon's interviews with the game's developers, The Ripper would have followed Jack in a reimagining of history as he attempted to take down not the innocent victims that history portrays, but a clan of vampires plaguing the city's streets, all with the assistance of a group of Freemasons.
The Ripper's concept was evidently seen as unique and novel, yet also risky, with mixed feelings among the development team and studio alike. The game's method of handling his killings - turning the real-life victims of Jack the Ripper into vampires that deserved to be hunted - stirred up controversy further. It may have ultimately remained unclear, as well, if Jack was legitimately hunting vampires or hurting innocents, as the character was designed to suffer from PTSD, hallucinations, and frequently slipped in and out of Silent Hill-esque hellish versions of the real world.
In the end, the game would never see the light of day beyond some promotional art and leaked footage making it to the internet. Members of the development team were repeatedly shifted on and off of the project, and the title was moved to a different game engine entirely which set back the game's development progress considerably. The Ripper was ultimately dismantled, put back together as the project Blood Dust, and then that too was abandoned, as EA chose not to put the resources into releasing and marketing the game despite being in development for so many years.
Jack the Ripper has appeared in titles like Assassin's Creed since, but the take on the character that Visceral devs dreamed up is gone for good. After all this time, it's clear that some of the developers who worked on The Ripper still think fondly of it. Sadly, The Ripper wouldn't be the last Visceral game to get the axe, with EA closing the door for good in 2017, removing Visceral Games from its ambitious Star Wars title and subsequently shuttering the studio.