I was going to do Jet Set Radio Future this week, but with All Hallow's Eve looming, an anarchic cel-shaded romp through Tokyo-To doesn't quite fit this spooky time of year. We need something horrifying. We need the chill running down our spine, the fetid breath on the back of our necks, the cyclopean indescribable terror that lurks in the darkest corners of our psyche just beyond our perceived veil of reality. The fear. We need the fear.
Or, erm, a horror game I suppose.
So seeing as I've personally banged on about one horror game above all others over the last four years, it's high time we paid SHODAN her dues and took a lingering look back at System Shock 2. Irrational Games' Sci-Fi horror masterpiece is exactly that: a masterpiece of intricate level design, adaptive gameplay, sensational artwork and atmosphere, but by all rights it shouldn't have been scary at all.
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Look at Ken Levine in the photo above, taken at E3 2011. That's a man passionate about bringing a BioShock game to Vita, holding the handheld proudly aloft, barely weighed down by an astonishingly vast sack of cash poured into his pockets mere seconds before the event.
Three years on, however, and we've practically given up hope. After all, Irrational Games has all but closed down and Sony has confirmed that they aren't supporting the Vita with much in the way of AAA games any more. Today, Levine has banged yet another nail into the coffin, though does give us a hint of what the vapourware project might have looked like.
Hint: it wouldn't have been a shooter.Click here to read more...
If the entire BioShock series has passed you by this generation -- anyone? -- you can now pick up the whole lot for a shade over sevel Quid. The superlative original game still stands tall with its compelling setting and fearsome twist, while 2K Marin's sequel was arguably redundant yet hit hard with a more emotional storyline.
Infinite? I was riveted for the duration, but the more I think about it, the less I like it. Still worth playing, though, so you can wade into debating its ambitious plot and moaning about its rubbish tower defence bit. Thanks to jaystan @ HUKD!
If the entire BioShock series has passed you by this generation -- anyone? -- Steam is willing to let you have the entire trilogy with change for a Tenner. The superlative original game still stands tall with its compelling setting and fearsome twist, while 2K Marin's sequel was arguably redundant yet hit hard with a more emotional storyline.
Infinite... speaking personally, I was riveted for the duration but the more I think about it, the less I like it. Still worth playing, though, so you can wade into debating its ambitious plot and moaning about its rubbish tower defence bit. Thanks to Major Soapsuds @ HUKD!
If the entire BioShock series has passed you by this generation -- anyone? -- Steam is willing to let you have the entire trilogy with change for a Tenner. The superlative original game still stands tall with its compelling setting and fearsome twist, while 2K Marin's sequel was arguably redundant yet hit hard with a more emotional storyline. Infinite... well, speaking personally, I was riveted for the duration but the more I think about it, the less I like it. Still worth playing, though, so you can wade into debating its ambitious plot and moaning about its rubbish tower defence bit. Thanks to good_kid_maad_city @ HUKD!
On another personal note, I'd highly recommend picking up the Minerva's Den DLC for BioShock 2. It's fantastic.
Platforms: PS3 (reviewed) | Xbox 360 | PC
Developer: Irrational Games
Here it is then, the final piece of Irrational and Ken Levine’s adventures with the Bioshock series. With Levine’s decision to close down the studio, the only Bioshock content we’ll be seeing in the future is if 2K decides to put a new team together and go on ahead without the game’s inspirational creative lead. Today though, we’re here to see how Irrational bow out on one of the most respected legacies in gaming.
To fully appreciate everything that Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea - Episode 2 has to offer, you really need to have completed not only Episode 1 and Infinite, but also the original two Bioshock games. Gameplay innovations are thin on the ground here, but Burial at Sea carries on where it left off by serving as a tribute to the fans and a link between the worlds of Columbia and the underwater city of Rapture.
Instead of hopping into the boots of yet another version of Booker/Comstock, you find yourself popping on the heels of Elizabeth as she tries to track down Suchong for Atlas (from Bioshock 1) who is holding Sally (the Little Sister from Episode 1) hostage. Elizabeth is travelling alone, but frequently speaks with Booker on the radio. Well, a version of Booker that lives in her head at least. It’s a touching relationship despite what we know of the events of Infinite and Episode 1 as this is a version of Booker that Elizabeth has broadly separated from the Comstock paradox. Thankfully, third time around, the mind-bending narrative is more evenly spread, easier to fathom and doesn’t clumsily hit you with an information overload in the closing scenes.Click here to read more...
Having worked on Thief: The Dark Project back in 1998, Ken Levine cheekily references the classic stealth game in BioShock Infinite's final PC pack.Click here to read more...
It's Game Buzz time, folks! Prepare your ears for half an hour of rigorous, news-oriented discussion as we trawl the past week for the hottest topics from the industry.
To be honest, it rather looks as though everyone's been too busy playing Titanfall to create any headlines, but we still find time to chat about the closure of Irrational Games, Microsoft's "testing" of lower digital pricing, and why Phil Spencer and co. passed on Rime, before dishing out our Winner and Loser of the Week.
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language.
Irrational Games have effectively closed their doors, but not after providing one of the defining IPs of the last console generation. If you want to experience the BioShock series as a whole on PC, FunStock Digital are selling the whole lot for £9.99, from the seminal original to the under-rated BioShock 2 (bite me) and acclaimed if controversial Infinite. You'll get Steam codes. Thanks to the legendary jaystan @ HUKD!
Now that the last DLC pack for BioShock Infinite has reached the end of its development cycle, Irrational Games co-founder Ken Levine shocked the gaming world yesterday by announcing that the 17 year-old studio is getting the axe. Citing a desire to create digital "narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable," all but fifteen of the staffers now find themselves out of a job, with Levine now freed up to work as part of a small flexible team.
It's a sad day for the veteran studio, the fans and most of all the workforce, but ultimately, the decision might well be more rational than it first appears.
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We weren't exactly enraptured by BioShock Infinite's first story DLC pack when it released last year, but if you bought the season pass -- seriously, please stop pre-ordering season passes before the content exists -- you might be interested in watching a brand new trailer for the second episode. It's spoiler-intensive, but will send BioShock fans into a frenzy thanks to the shock appearance of a familiar character. Don't say we didn't warn you.
To be honest, we reckon that Burial At Sea was a tacit admission that Rapture is a far superior setting to Columbia (which falls apart when you think about it for too long). What do you reckon, and are you looking forward to Episode 2?
Would you kindly let us know in the comments.Click here to read more...
The price continues to tumble for Infinite, with this being the cheapest we've seen the PC version for. Overall this deal from GameFly will save you nearly £15, which is an absolute bargain.
Is it the masterpiece we waited so patiently for? The jury is still out on that one despite it being months since it release, but in our review Matt described it as "a thoroughly engrossing rollercoaster ride in a crumbling, thought-provoking paradise." For just over a fiver, I'd say it's worth entering Columbia and finding out for yourself. Thanks to jmss @ HUKD!
Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360 (reviewed)
Developers: Irrational Games
Publishers: 2K Games
Burial at Sea does a dangerous thing. In bringing the characters of Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth in a kind of thematic full circle, introducing them (and the player) to a Rapture before everything turned sour, Irrational run the risk of destroying the essential differences that made Bioshock Infinite work independently of its outstanding predecessor. Worse yet, by looking backwards instead of forwards (as the last hour or two of Infinite, and indeed the game's name, suggested was an expansive possibility), it seems almost overly sentimental and a little forced. After all, you can just pick up the original Bioshock for a quid or two these days if you really want to kill Splicers.
Once again, you're cast in the role of Booker DeWitt, only this time he's a private dick in a Rapture still in its heyday. That means crowds and music and lights and action. The story is set a little after Fontaine's initial rebellion, and the early scenes see a woman with a Songbird necklace enlisting Booker in the search for a young girl named Sally, who we surmise might have been gone missing as part of the widespread trafficking of children in order to fuel the ADAM factories that seem to be adorning whispers in dark corners. This version of Elizabeth is a little older, and far more cynical than her Infinite counterpart.
It's interesting to see how having a visible, useful companion changes your experience of Rapture. Initially, we end up doing a little tourism. Look, says Irrational, here's Rapture as you always wanted to see it! It feels a little like it's all been done to suit our purposes, rather than that of the story. It's not too long, though, before we're bearing witness to the disease that's already seeping down from Ryan to take hold of the underwater city, and once more we find ourselves sneaking through dimply-lit corridors and battling gene-mod addicts.Click here to read more...
System Shock 2 is still one of the scariest and most chilling games ever made, a must-play for fans of Event Horizon or if you want to experience the game that inspired BioShock. This is the cheapest price we've ever seen. Deal ends at 19:00. Thanks to Smash41 @ HUKD!
BioShock Infinite's first singleplayer expansion launches on November 12th, Irrational Games confirmed today. Burial At Sea: Episode 1 takes places to Rapture, recasting Booker and Elizabeth as a hardbitten private investigator and mysterious client respectively. Irrational have also rebalanced the combat to make for a more tense experience, and added a few extra features into the bargain.
Details and blurb below. You can even watch the first five minutes of it here, if you really want to.Click here to read more...
Ken Levine, the luminary behind BioShock, System Shock 2 and BioShock Infinite, will have his achievements honoured with a special award at this year's Golden Joysticks, the UK games award ceremony.Click here to read more...