There is so much that happens in the video game world that the public is never made aware of. New intellectual property is created and destroyed all the time for a multitude of reasons and the public rarely hears a peep about it. Even games that are well on their way to being finished can get canned. That is the story of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse video game.
To understand the full impact of why this is such a celebrated released, you need a quick history lesson. Back in 2002, it was announced that 3DO would be partnering with Stan Winston to create a game for The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse video game which would be released on the Gamecube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox consoles. Unfortunately, six months later the 3DO company went bankrupt and the game was scrapped. In 2004, the game’s creator, Michael Mendheim, announced that the IP was “far from dead” but little was heard for several years. In 2008, a deal was struck with Vogster Entertainment LLC to restart development on the video game and things were progressing well. The art book was coming along, the video game was going well and it seemed hopeful that we’d see some fruit from these seeds. That was until late 2009 when Vogster shut down its game division and it seemed like neither the game, nor book would ever be finished. While the video game still continues in limbo, thankfully, Heavy Metal Magazine acquired the rights to publish the art book and here we are, the first product of the IP after twelve years of back and forth. Luckily, it was worth the wait.
Granted, this is not the video game that was promised, but we do get a very nicely done graphic novel that tells the story of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
The story follows Adam Cahill who is a descendant of King Solomon and a warrior of the Brothers of the Order of Solomon. Cahill is tasked with the assignment to protect two of the seven seals that keep the Four Horsemen in Hell. If all seven Seals are collected and broken, the Four Horsemen are released and do what they do best. Meanwhile, the cult leader Andrej Belarios, wants to initiate the Apocalypse and has been seeking out the seals. From there, you will have to purchase the novel on your own.
As you could tell from the recap, the story is really interesting with a well developed mythos behind it. The characters are thought out and it is a story worthy of adaptation. However, the most compelling part of the book is Bisley’s art design. After seeing what he created on the page, it is depressing that the video game fell flat. The twisted features of the horsemen is certainly something you wouldn’t soon forget. It is memorable in every sense of the word.
In the end, we are left with a product that has survived the trip from Hell and back. It is really compelling work with both the story and the artwork. You could easily see why they wanted to make this a video game and it is a shame that there are no plans to get this material to that medium. Luckily, the artbook contains the graphic novel in addition to several pages of concept art from the defunct game. While you can’t play this game, you can certainly see where the team was going with it. Who knows, if enough people can come together and support the artist and creators, who knows what avenues we’ll see open in the future. Until then, we highly recommend you check out The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.