Below is a collection of games which are in some way similar to the Ecstatica games (and maybe even Urban Decay) and potentially of interest to their fans.
Games similar to Ecstatica Edit
The Ecstatica games have several distinct features, be it their graphical style, the old-school 3D action adventure gameplay, their (for the time) very cinematic use of the medium or (in case of the first game) the fantasy setting based on folklore. Below are a few games that share some of these features and possibly inspired or were inspired by Ecstatica or Ecstatica II. The selection is limited to games from the 90's and as close to the release dates of the Ecstatica games as possible in order to keep the list comparably short.
Alone in the Dark 1-3 Edit
Alone in the Dark is a title probably mentioned in every single review of the original Ecstatica and is the game that is almost universally regarded as the original survival horror game that set the most fundamental standards for the entire genre, including ones followed by the Ecstatica games (especially the first one, obviously). It introduced the World to 3D action adventures with polygonal characters controlled via tank controls in front static backgrounds. It also borrowed solutions from point & click adventures and RPGs like interactive environments and an inventory. It is also worth mentioning that it already used a cinematic approach to story telling with the characters sometimes being locked in scripted sequences and camera angles being used to underline certain objects or hint at danger, much as it is done in Ecstatica. From 1992 to 1994 three Alone in the Dark games were released using the same graphics style and interface (followed by two reboots many years later). Unlike Ecstatica the Alone in the Dark games are set in the early 20th century and deal with lovecraftian monsters, ghost pirates and undead cowboys.
Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain Edit
Blood Omen, originally released in 1996 and ported to PC in 1997, was the first entry in the epic Legacy of Kain series. It is a very dark and gory title that tells the epic story of the vampire Kain who is out on a path of revenge and soon ends up being a pawn in other powerful individuals' intrigues. It is a 2D Zelda-clone but much like Ecstatica it makes no compromises when it comes to the depiction of death and torture. Being a Zelda-clone it is also mostly taking place in one large consistent world that the player can largely explore at his leisure and which opens up as the story progresses (although here the player character develops far more than in Ecstatica). It is also notable for presenting a detailed and believable medieval world, despite being set in a fictional fantasy realm.
While belonging to a completely different genre than Ecstatica, Darklands, a 2D RPG released in 1992, shares a notable feature with it: it is set in a medieval fantasy world based on folklore rather than tolkienesque fantasy literature. Darklands goes further with this than Ecstatica, however, being based in a rather specific historical context and trying to simulate a medieval world as the one people believed to live in back then. The Catholic Church is present, as are witches and mythical creatures.
King's Quest series Edit
King's Quest: Quest for the Crown, originally released in 1983, is largely credited for giving birth to the graphic adventure genre. Like Ecstatica it is set in a fantasy world with many incluences from famous fairytales and myths as well as fantasy literature and pen & paper role-playing-games. It is riddled with humour, both parodying the source material as well as telling a serious plot. The style changed hugely over the course of the series, however, the seventh game from 1994 looking like an animated Disney film and the final entry from 1998 being a comparably dark mixture of point & click adventure and role-playing game. All of the games in the series have something in common with Ecstatica.
Quest for Glory series Edit
The Quest for Glory series has a similar premise as the King's Quest games, also being largely humorous point & click adventures set in a fantasy realm with notable influences from folklore, but with the addition of RPG mechanics and combat, making them even more similar to Ecstatica than King's Quest.
Little Big Adventure 1+2 Edit
The Little Big Adventure games, released in 1994 and 1997, are another short series of 3D action adventure games featuring gameplay somewhat similar to that of Ecstatica or Alone in the Dark, albeit based in a family friendly setting. It is notable for also using a characteristic and rather untypical graphical style. Little Big Adventure uses polygonal graphics but a very strong use of Gouraud shading makes the extremely low-poly models appear very round and sometimes even makes people wrongly assume that it (at least partially) uses ellipsoid technology like Ecstatica.
Games similar to Urban Decay Edit
While Urban Decay never saw the light of day it had creative and technological ambitions that other games would fulfill many years later. Below is a list of several games that probably (based on all information available) capture pretty well what Urban Decay would have been like.
Grand Theft Auto III Edit
When it comes to games about crime in an urban setting the Grand Theft Auto series is most definitely the ultimate reference and certainly needs no introduction. Especially since the GTA games not only tell stories but simulate life in cities riddled with crime, they probably capture some of Urban Decay's ambitions, which was not just meant to be a simple action game but was going to show what life looks like in the poverty-stricken districts of modern cities. And out of all games in the series, Grand Theft Auto III, with its greyness and nihilism, is probably the GTA game closest to Urban Decay's vision.
Kingpin - Life of Crime Edit
Kingpin - Life of Crime is a first person shooter released in 1999. It is notable for its extremely dark, dirty and gory style and being mostly set in poor districts riddled with drugs, crime, violence and prostitution. It is also notable for providing a certain amount of social interaction and a comparably non-linear structure. When it comes to the setting and maybe even interaction with characters Kingpin may have been very close to what Urban Decay was going for.
Max Payne Edit
Max Payne is a third person shooter released in 2001 that also spawned two sequels. Its plot revolved around an NYPD detective whose family was killed by drug addics and who was later framed for a murder he didn't commit and thus went on a personal vendetta, trying to clear his name and punish the people who actually murdered his family and his friend. Thus there are notable parallels between Max Payne's and Urban Decay's plot. Max Payne also shows the poverty-stricken districts at some points throughout the game and, like Urban Decay, is heavily inspired by action films and thrillers, using many story-telling devices found in cinema. It is at least as much about style as it is about content and is riddled with homages to the films it was inspired by. Chances are that out of all games ever made Max Payne is closest to the creative vision behind Urban Decay.
Rockstar North's Manhunt, a stealth game released in 2003, is among the most controversial games ever made. It puts the player in the shoes of James Earl Cash, a murderer sentenced to death, who rather than kicking the bucket unexpectedly wakes up in a town inhabited by gangsters and is forced by a perverted movie producer talking to him through an earpiece to brutally murder them on film. Sooner than later Cash is on a path of revenge against said producer. The game is mostly remembered for its extremely graphic and cruel execution moves. The stealth gameplay with its ultra violence probably captures some of Urban Decay's style and gameplay. Manhunt also features cover based shooting, which was also meant to be present in Urban Decay.