This weekend's suspected shock announcement that Gearbox has taken on Duke Nukem Forever (and already finished development) has delighted fans of kicking ass and chewing novelty confection... but many are concerned about the impact this will have on their other IPs. Apparently, however, we have nothing to worry about as Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has confirmed continuing development for each of their key franchises. Here's the skinny.
After a short showcase of Halo-themed anime and some comic shorts on Halo Waypoint, you might expect 343 to be massively shifting its PR focus towards pushing the core brand. You know, the games. However, 343 head honcho Frank O’Connor has confirmed that they're still geared up for delivering a Halo movie.
“We’re still interested in making an excellent ‘Halo’ movie. We’ve created an awful lot of documentation and materials to support a feature film. We have a good idea of what kind of story we want to tell, but won’t move on it until there’s a great reason to do it. We’re in no particular hurry.”
Just in case the film doesn't pan out (again), O'Connor is also "intently watching" the viability of translating the saga into a TV series.
Does Halo have the potential to be a great film? Yes, probably. However, I personally hope that 343 are using this time to acquire serious developer talent for continuing the franchise rather than becoming sidetracked. Both Frank and the studio have a lot to live up to once Reach is released and Bungie leave for fairer multiplatform climes. [Variety via VG247]
Gears of War's Carmine family may be losing sons at a tragic and alarming rate, but at least their sacrifice won't be in vain. The fate of Clayton Carmine, the last remaining sibling in Gears 3, has been decided by gamers purchasing "save" or "die" T-Shirts from the Xbox Live Avatar marketplace- and doing so has now raised a whopping $150,000 for Child's Play (Penny Arcade's games for child hospitals charity).
Well done everyone that took part... and feel free to let us know how you voted! Personally, I hope that Clayton bites the big one in Gears 3. It's tradition, you know.
It took forever to arrive, but when it did it was well worth the wait and is probably the best tactical shooter on current generation consoles. At £7.99 it deserves a place in any shooter fan’s collection, even if they’re hesitant about the more tactical approach.
That’s almost £2 cheaper than the next best price at Game Gears.
Your squad is easy to manoeuvre round the battlefield. You select where you want them to go and they’ll find the nearest available cover rather than stand around like idiots. The covering fire system works well, with an icon over the general vicinity of enemy troops. Red means they are free to fire. Wear this down to grey by firing back and they’ll be supressed and generally avoid risking sticking their heads out for a shot. The squad controls are simple to grasp even for players new to the series and the sense of satisfaction you’ll get from outmanoeuvring the enemy is quite special.
After countless WWII games, this squad-based shooter this is the best representation of the constant harrowing fear and panic of the battlefield. Relying on a slower, more thought out tactical approach than Medal of Honor et al, the gameplay is infinitely more rewarding with some missions taking over an hour. The final mission is nothing short of terrifying, with an ending worthy of the cinematic greats.
The story of the game follows on from the last PS2 game but don’t worry about it too much if you missed it as the plot is easy to pick up (you may be tempted to raid the dusty PS2 shelves after this though). The scale and ambition is on a par with Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, with spectacular action and real emotion between the soldiers. You’re in the middle of the infamously botched Operation Market-Garden, where instead of the war being over by Christmas, the allies received a major ass-kicking. Most missions involve taking out the giant 88 guns, liberating Eindhoven or simply staying alive against seemingly impossible odds.
The main perspective of the game is first person shooting, but this is quite difficult with your gun-sights taking up so much space onscreen. Instead, the best option is to find cover and lean out and shoot. Here the camera zooms out to third-person and puts cross-hairs on the screen which helps your targeting much more. Ammo is plentiful for standard weapons and you’ll need it as it’s quite difficult nailing Nazi’s from afar.
Brilliant AI, a simple, well implemented squad command interface and tense against the odds encounters make this the best WWII game yet. Hells’ Highway raised the bar considerably for WWII shooters. Unfortunately, since then the shooter genre has become obsessed with identikit shooters set in the Middle East that rarely ask for any thought. The Rainbow Six games are the closest match, but a little dry in comparison in terms of execution, setting and plot.
No conflict has found itself the subject of as many computer games spin offs as – what has become in recent years - everyone’s favourite war of all time: World War Two. The whole obsession seemed to begin with Saving Private Ryan; the film which really wet everyone’s appetite for gritty WWII drama. However it was the Brothers In Arms series which truly succeeded in providing gamers (who were having to make do with horribly linear titles like Medal of Honour or the slow–paced action of Hidden and Dangerous) with that WWII buzz they really yearned for.
Currently, you can relive the horrors of the American 101st Airborne division complete with a harrowing step by step account from Sgt Matt Baker, for just £9.99 from Shopto. This is the cheapest deal currently available according to price comparison.
Hell’s Highway is the third edition to the Brothers in Arms series. It follows the tale of Matt Baker and his squad – portrayed in the first instalment Road to Hill 30 after they parachuted into Normandy the night before D-Day – as they embark on Operation Market Garden. Of course anyone who has seen the film A Bridge Too Far or watched the cheesy Band of Brothers adaptation will know it all goes spectacularly wrong. And yes, it’s all the fault of us cocky Brits and our overrated General Montgomery (or so the Americans like to argue!).
The game itself features the same squad based combat we’re all used to from the prior editions. However there are some new features to Hell’s Highway including Bazooka and Machine Gun teams. The health system is apparently not quite as harsh which should help to reduce game rage, and the situational awareness mode has been replaced with a tactical map which is a bit easier to manage. Apparently the game also features ‘historically accurate recon maps’ which sounds great, but given the whole Arnhem offensive went wrong because the British failed to spot hundreds of Panzer tanks waiting for them in the Dutch forest, maybe that’s not such a good thing after all.
Thanks to adsldave from Hotukdeals.
For this weekend’s steam deal customers can purchase all three additions to the Brothers In Arms series. The deal consists of Earned in Blood, Hell’s Highway and Road to Hill 30 all of which can be downloaded for the bargain price of just £12.99. However for anyone who already owns some of these games, bear in mind that steam are also offering them individually. So this might be a very good opportunity to complete your Brothers in Arms Series. Given that Road to Hill 30 and Earned in Blood will already set you back over £12, this deal offers the opportunity to make a nice saving. (But get in their quick as the deal expires on Monday!)
The Brothers In Arms series follow an American squad of paratroopers who, landing behind enemy lines in Normandy just before D-day, must fight their way through France in a bid to liberate Western Europe. Fans of the film Saving Private Ryan will immediately see many similarities between the look and faced past intensity of the game which, essentially, designers have attempted to lift from the Spielberg classic.
It is a game where tactics are highly important, and the player must use the fire teams under their command to suppress and then out flank opponents. Running in like Rambo can be fun, but without proper support from their squad, players will simply find themselves mown down in a cloud of red mist. In order to succeed, players must learn to employ the strengths of their particular fire teams.
Assault squads, with their grenades and sub machine guns are perfect for out flanking and then taking down enemies at close quarters. Rifle squads on the other hand must be used to suppress enemies from a distance . So the game attempts to offer players a realistic feel of WWII small arms battles and the synchronized methods of attack employed by officers at the time. Fans of history and of good sFPSers will find a perfect blend in this classic series, which, apart from Hidden and Dangerous, is probably the best WWII FPS game on market.
The fallout from id Software’s acquisition by ZeniMax Media continues to rage today, with a co-founder twittering his opinion on the matter. And in other news, Gearbox Software trademark four ‘War Hero’ titles in preparation for a potential new game announcement; Crackdown 2 will be developed by half of its former staff; Mythic and Bioware combine forces; and Serious Sam returns on Xbox Live Arcade. Phew!
Gearbox Software, developers of the Brothers in Arms series, has trademarked four titles, each an alteration of ‘War Hero’. The titles share a vague similarity to Activision’s Guitar Hero and Modern Warfare games, with Gearbox perhaps hoping to gain some indirect brand awareness.
The four titles Gearbox trademarked are, ‘War Hero’, ‘World War 2 Hero’, ‘Modern War Hero’, and as a subtitle for their Brothers in Arms series. Either these titles are for a completely new game or for a modern retelling of Brothers in Arms. Time will tell. [Eurogamer]
Co-founder of id Software and infamous big-mouth John Romero has been twittering his ‘disgust’ of his former company’s acquisition by ZeniMax Media. Romero’s ‘disgust’ was then mitigated with a rather formal sounding update from Romero, claiming he is now happy with the deal, and that he was ‘sorry’ for his earlier remarks.
Sounds like some ZeniMax lawyers flew to his Twitter, threatened to throw him from his nest unless he apologised publically. Romero, who co-created Doom and the critical disaster Daikatana, is well-known for his bold claims and irrepressible personality in the game’s industry. [1up]
Ruffian Games, the recently forged development house hand-picked by Microsoft to build Crackdown 2, claims it has half the staff who worked on the original while at Real Time Worlds. Bill Thompson, Creative Director and former RTW employee, assured fans core members of the original design team are onboard.
Real Time Worlds admitted to being somewhat upset by Microsoft handing development to newcomers Ruffian instead of the original team, but Ruffian’s Producer, Jim Cope, believes the two companies maintain a strong working relationship. [Joystiq]
EA has announced developers Mythic and Bioware will combine into a single development house, but will keep their respective names. Bioware chief, Ray Muzyka, will lead the new team, which is expected to combine their talents in the MMO and RPG markets.
Sadly, in the aftermath of the merger Mythic founder Mark Jacobs has left, although the exact circumstances are unclear. Whether Jacobs left because he was unhappy with the merger or simply because he felt it was the right time remains to be seen. [VG247]
Serious Sam, the comic action-hero shooter, is to be polished and ported to Xbox Live Arcade. Developer CroTeam have re-tooled the CroTech Engine to deliver Serious Sam: First Encounter. It will be released in late Summer, for a price of 1200 Microsoft Points, equating to £10.20. [Kotaku]