Vaporware Chronicles: Harker

Harker was a game in production at Double Helix Games, formerly known as Shiny Entertainment and The Collective. We all remember what happened with a prior The Collective game, Dirty Harry, and it seems another amazing title was lost to us all. For those of you who are scratching your head and thinking that you’ve heard of Double Helix Games before, you are correct, they are the team that gave us the mediocre Silent Hill: HomecomingHomecoming was released late 2008 and just wasn’t up to par with earlier entries into the series.  I remember playing this title all the way through, and while it didn’t frighten me, or give me gooseflesh like the first entry, I did have an enjoyable time. I wonder though, would Harker have been a better decision for the developer? This is something we will never know unfortunately.

The game would have put gamers in charge of Jonathan Harker, for those of us who are well read he is the protagonist in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Set in the 1800’s Harker is tasked with saving his beloved Mina and makes it personal. Mina gets entranced by the Count and Harker is the only one with the knowledge and desire to save her. The game’s producer Nigel Hook spoke of a mire visceral Harker, “Harker’s goal is to bring an in-your-face, visceral, and personal style of combat to the survival horror genre. None of these vampires are going to die with one shot. They’re going to fight for their survival, which will give the player a huge level of satisfaction when they successfully execute one.” They had a slew of vampires set up for Harker to deal with, all with special powers and possibly different sizes. This all sounds amazing. I played The Order: 1886 and loved the world they created with all of these monsters; it sounds as if Harker was going down this route, minus all the quick time events I hope.

After soaking in the trailer, my want of this game grows and sadly it will never be quenched. I played through most of Volition’s The Punisher game and I am reminded heavily of that title. The combat looks like it would have had a Batman: Arkham Asylum feel, with some environmental finishers thrown in for absolute over the top gore. Who wouldn’t have purchased this game? I know I would have bought it as would have many of my fellow survivor horror enthusiasts. I want to go on a digital vampire killing spree like this one, instead I’m stuck with quick-time events and old FMV games to quench my vampire games thirst. I do realize that Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a vampire game, but it isn’t spooky and I have fought much more than vampires in that title.

(Harker - Double Helix Games)

(Harker – Double Helix Games)

In early 2008 Foundation 9 announced that Harker had been put on hiatus. The vampire slayer was sent into slumber by another game, Silent Hill: Homecoming. This makes good business sense. Why try your luck with an untested IP like Harker when the juggernaut Silent Hill falls into your lap? Had I been at Double Helix at the time I would have chomped at the bit to play in the Silent Hill universe, but I would have kept Harker on the backburner. As a businessman I would want as many option on my table to make money, and while new IP’s can be hard to get off the ground, they can be quite profitable. I think that if Harker had been completed it would have been an amazing first entry into a nice niche of vampire games. As I wrack my brain for current vampire games, none come to mind other than previously mentioned The Order: 1886; which deserves a sequel in my humble opinion. Right now, there just aren’t any amazing vampire games out there for us to sink our teeth into. Yeah that’s right. I went there.

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