Thanks to Ruddy2007 @ HotUKDeals! Note that a 4-pack is also available on Steam, which will save you an extra few pence if you all chip in.
Matt Gardner (Dealspwn): I saw the first incarnation of this game back at E3 2011, what's changed for the team in that time. Obviously everything went rather quiet for a while, now it's back it's a third-person game rather than a first-person game, the name has changed. Can you tell us about the journey this game has taken up to this point?
Nico Bihary (Producer, 2K Games): Sure, so back in 2011 we gave this presentation for a game with a first-person perspective. But it's funny, we always talk about what's changed, but I'd like to start with what's remained constant: a focus on squad-based, tactical combat, which was evident even in 2011.
As you'd go around in this first-person perspective, which was to serve an exploration and research need, every time you ran into an enemy, or a combat situation, you'd pull back into a third-person perspective, and UI would pop-up that was kind of like a less elegant version of the Battle Focus wheel we have in place now. There were similar mechanics between the two versions. But as we evaluated that mechanics, and really started developing those battle encounters, it really started to emerge as the “bullseye” of the gaming experience. So we looked at it and said that if third-person allows for a greater tactical-perspective, if it augments and enhances Battle Focus and makes using it intuitive, then the first-person perspective really became unnecessary.
As you're in development, there are times when a game will speak to you, and it'll become clear and tell you what's good about and what's perhaps not. And that was one of those moments: we realised that the first-person perspective was almost completely superfluous, and we came away with a more refined game, and something really good because of it.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PC (tested) | PS3 | Xbox 360
Developers: 2K Marin
Publishers: 2K Games
The year is 1962. The Bay of Pigs Crisis has just happened. Paranoia is rife on the US mainland as the Cold War begins to kick off, and the world is plunging into a quagmire of paranoia, secrecy, mistrust, and clandestine ops.
Only the Communists aren't the real enemy at all.
The above forms the basis for 2K Marin's tactical action title, and if it sounds eerily familiar, well that's because it is.
"There wasn't a “Big Bang moment” where the [XCOM] service just came into being, so we really wanted to tell an origin story, and we really liked the idea of setting the game in 1962, just after the Bay of Pigs incident," producer Nico Bihary tells me. "So you have this global atmosphere of paranoia, it's the start of the Cold War, and set against that backdrop we have this really believable story about how XCOM could be formed.
"So we have this clandestine organisation, constructed to defend against enemy threats and covering them up, but it takes time. So we wanted to zero in on the Bureau as this organisation that really hasn't matured yet technologically or organisationally to fight off a massive alien threat, but was really established early on to be a counter-intelligence group."Click here to read more...
Clandestine ops. Alien cover-ups. Waging a struggle against an extra-terrestrial foe without letting the general public's proverbial hit the fan. The new trailer for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified touches on how the story of XCOM got started.
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified releases for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on August 20th in the US, and the 23rd everywhere else. We'll have our monster preview for you in a couple of hours.Click here to read more...
XCOM is back. Again! Only now 2K Marin's tactical shooter goes by a different name -- The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. We went hands-on with the game last week, and you'll be able to read our full preview and interview with producer Nico Bihary tomorrow. In the meantime, however, we realise that Marin's game, met with heavily polarised reactions when it was first announced way back in 2010, disappeared from view for a year or two. Much has changed since we saw it back at E3 in 2011, but here are eight reasons why we reckon it's worth a second chance having resurfaced now...
Let's clarify this. The very first notion -- the brief , unexpanded idea of rebooting X-COM as a shooter -- was awful. We strode into the makeshift presentation cinema at E3 back in 2011 fully prepared for a disaster. But instead, 2K Marin admitted that they'd made a huge mistake, and revealed that the game would now be a much more strategic venture.
To cut a long story short, read our XCOM preview from two years back: what Marin had in mind back then was perhaps clumsily conveyed, but it had promise. Promise that's now been realised.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PS3 | Xbox 360 | PC (version tested)
Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
Of all the enemies we've faced in Pandora's dangerous wastes, the Psycho is easily the most famous. Gracing both games' box art and constantly burbling all manner of vaguely threatening nonsense, these depraved lunatics charge into combat with no self-preservation whatsoever, gleefully bringing sharpened sticks to a gunfight and setting themselves on fire at the slightest provocation. They've certainly got a bit of a reputation for brainlessness, but you can't argue with the results.
However, after getting hands-on with Borderlands 2's latest vault hunter, it appears that we've grossly underestimated their intelligence. Krieg The Psycho may look every inch the tactless goon, brandishing an enormous chain axe and continually bellowing all manner of insane epithets at the top of his lungs, but he's an advanced character designed for Borderlands veterans looking for a nuanced and surprisingly tactical gameplay experience.
In essence, Krieg boils down to one simple rule. To defeat your enemies, you'll need to hurt them as much as possible... and go out of your way to hurt yourself in imaginative and masochistic ways. Before tactically - and voluntarily - setting yourself on fire.
Click here to read more...
Thanks and credit to jp297 @ HUKD!
As promised, we have some XCOM news to start your morning. 2K Marin have finally revealed their long-delayed shooter, entitled The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, for an August 23rd launch, described as "narrative-driven experience that is smart, engaging, and challenges players to think tactically."
Trailer, screenshots and details after the break.Click here to read more...
Following some cheeky viral trailers, 2K Marin has officially told us to expect a reveal for their troubled XCOM shooter "in the coming days." So, Friday then. According to a new blog post, this new title has "undergone an evolution," and will offer a more story-driven take on the franchise.Click here to read more...
An odd live-action teaser suggests that 2K Games are set to make an announcement on April 26th. The strange video, which shows a child merrily cycling in 1962 along before noticing something in the sky, contains a cleverly-hidden mention of "Apr 26th" and "2K" (look at the right-hand side of the screen from 0:15).
So, 1962. 2K. Strange happenings. This all points to 2K Marin's XCOM shooter, which may have been completely rebranded following the icy response to its initial reveal. Since its official site and YouTube videos were taken offline a few days ago, a Friday re-reveal is looking very likely indeed. UPDATE: now this is happening.
X-COM creator Julian Gollop has once again praised Firaxis for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, suggesting that the brand was in serious danger from falling back into the bad old days of tacky budget spin-offs that wasted the core strategic gameplay.Click here to read more...
Publisher: 2K Games
Considering that Brave New World is designed to be the final expansion for Civilization V, it's only fitting that it focuses on the endgame. While Gods & Kings did a great job of freshening up the mid-game, Firaxis' latest content drop is all about sweetening the pot for more culturally sensitive players or economy-focused traders, granting us a host of new features and systems to dominate the world through tourism, money or diplomacy. Artists slave away on immortal masterpieces, archaeologists scamper around to secure priceless artefacts, and powerful game-changing rules can be voted on in the new World Congress; conferring lasting boons or devastating embargoes.
If this is all sounding a little too refined and cultured for your tastes, you'll also be pleased to know that Shaka Of The Zulus is finally making a comeback, meaning that the more warlike amongst us will be able to crush their rivals before they've even researched gunpowder. Indeed, the only evidence they ever existed will be the occasional arrowhead dug up by modern day tomb raiders.
I recently sat down with Brave New World for a couple of hours, and suffice to say that Civilization players are probably going to get dragged back in for yet another long haul.Click here to read more...
The future of 2K Marin's XCOM reboot, which was announced and even showcased before Firaxis' stunning strategy effort was even a thing, is now in serious doubt. 2K have shut down the official website and made every single gameplay trailer and video private, not a good sign by any stretch of the imagination.
So why are 2K turtling up? It's possible that the controversial game has been canned outright, repurposed or renamed - so will either get a big new re-reveal, receive a name change or die in ignominy. More as we hear it.
We may have seen it for slightly cheaper in the past, but the current offer from Gamergate is still worthy of note. It beats the next best offers elsewhere by over £4.50, and if you already own Borderlands 2 you may be interested to know that the Season Pass is also on offer for £11.98, which is the lowest we’ve seen the PC version of the DLC bundle fall to.
Essentially, it was more of the Borderlands action we had already played, but with the refinement of just about every aspect of the game, and an entertaining storyline that ties everything together, it makes Borderlands 2 a worthwhile recommendation for veteran Vault Hunters and newcomers alike. In short, it’s worth every penny of the asking price. Also, BUY JAKOBS MUNITIONS (none of that Maliwan hippy crap, thank you.) Thanks to minimarcy @ HUKD!
Apparently there are a few (million) people interested in this new BioShock game that was released today, and word is it’s rather good. Here’s what Matt had to say about it in his 9/10 review published earlier today:
Embrace Columbia and Elizabeth, though, and you'll find one of the most engrossing experiences to be had this generation. It's a game which has a default setting of being breathtaking and beautiful, a game which constantly encourages you to stop and think, even if it doesn't give you he chance for direct response. It's a game that we'll be talking about for months, whose occasional missteps are swallowed whole in a narrative of sweeping scale and epic drama. It's a game that you'll probably play again, immediately after you finish it the first time around.
And that's fantastic.
While I’m having to exile myself from getting involved with it (boooooooooo) I’m here to help any of you that are looking for the cheapest deals around for Irrational Games’ latest triumph, because as Matt basically points out in his review, it is absolutely worth the price of admission.
That said, saving a few pounds here or there is a good thing as well.Click here to read more...