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Realtime Worlds

Blast From The Past | Crackdown

Jonathan Lester
Blast From The Past, Crackdown, Realtime Worlds, Xbox 360 games

Blast From The Past | Crackdown

Skills For Kills, Agent!

I've been playing a great deal of Sunset Overdrive recently. My hands are tied until our full review goes live next week, but for now, I can confirm our earlier assertions that it feels like an outrageous and anarchic mash-up of Crackdown and Jet Set Radio Future. Only twice as meta.

Ah, Crackdown and Jet Set Radio Future. Two truly excellent Xbox exclusives from generations past -- has it really been seven and twelve years?! -- that I'd dearly love to revisit. If only we had some sort of semi-regular article format where we glorify classics from yesteryear and explain why they still have a place in our hearts through rose-tinted spectacles.

Oh wait. We do. It's time to reboot Blast From The Past, and I think there's only one place to start. We'll cover Jet Set Radio Future next week... and start with one hell of a super-sandbox, agent.

Blast From The Past | Crackdown

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From Portal 2 Co-Op to Pirating The Pirates - News Roundup 22nd August 2010

Jonathan Lester
Games news, Portal 2, PS3, PS3 Jailbreak, PSN, Realtime Worlds, Torchlight, XBLA
Portal 2

Sony Jailbreak Pirates... Under Threat From Piracy!


This week brought us the (sadly inevitable) news that the PS3 has been completely hacked to play backup games and movies by copying Blu-Ray discs to the Hard Drive. Known as PS3 Jailbreak, this applet uses a combination of software and a USB dongle. We take a dim view of piracy here at Dealspwn... but in an ironic twist, the Jailbreak software and device has itself fallen victim to imitation and subsequent competition.

PS3 Jailbreak are now urging consumers to support their developers by buying the "original solution" in the wake of their own piracy device being pirated. There's something... genuinely poetic about the whole situation.

Portal 2 Dated, Co-Op Gameplay Trailered

portal 2

During our Gamescom preview, we learned that Portal 2 is slated for a February 9th release... and not much else. We were hoping to get some more information about the cooperative mode, but luckily GT managed to get an extremely short gander at how it's going to work.

For your delectation: robots, terminal velocity and a button slam dunk.

Torchlight XBLA & PSN Release Ready for Christmas?


Deathspank gave us a funny, flawed and surprisingly pretentious taste of downloadable loot grinding- and it's practically alo0f on both XBLA and PSN.  However, Runic Games' Torchlight is headed to both downloadable marketplaces and has now been strongly hinted for a Christmas release.

In an interview with Joystiq, Runic Games CEO Max Schaefer revealed that they were looking for a release "by the holidays"... and that the sequel would also be heading to consoles after the springtime PC and Mac debut. [Joystiq]

Realtime Staff Sacked En Masse


A while back, we hypothesised that Scottish Studio Realtime Worlds (creators of Crackdown and ABP) was on the ropes... and it sadly seems that our fears were confirmed. Over 60 staff members were laid off in a brutal speech that forced them to march out individually to collect their severance package and leave the building.

At least they aren't going to have to worry about employment. 23 have been rehired for a new project, and from the whispers that we heard on the trade floor, a number of other big-name developers are doing their best to secure some experienced talent on the cheap. [Gamesindustry]

From Bioshock Infinite to Rage Against The iPhone - News Roundup 13th August

Jonathan Lester
Bioshock Infinite, Games news, id Software, iPhone, Irrational Games, John Carmack, Ken Levine, Patch, RAGE, Realtime Worlds, Sniper: Ghost Warrior
Bioshock Infinite

Project Icarus Becomes Bioshock Infinite


Just in case you didn't know, Ken Levine and Irrational Games dropped a megaton yesterday. At the announcement presser for Irrational's Project Icarus, Levine outed the title as none other than Bioshock Infinite. Think Bioshock, but in a fantastical flying citadel with clockwork robots, new plasmids and loads of roses. I'll let the trailer fill you in.

Apparently, Irrational Games felt that they'd milked Rapture's underwater setting as far as they could without becoming complacent, and had decided to ignore Bioshock 2 in favour of an entirely new setting. Basically, they like a challenge.

“But we felt we had said what we wanted to say about Rapture, about those kind of environments and that kind of feel. We want to scare the hell out of people, we want to shock people, but we didn’t want to have any of the tools, the crutches, that we knew how to do that with." -Ken Levine to Eurogamer

I'd go into more detail, but Felix will be delivering a full preview tomorrow. Stay tuned!

id Demonstrates Rage... on the iPhone?!


Yesterday we informed you that id Software were gearing up for a "neat" annoucement- and I'm more than willing to admit that I didn't see this one coming. At all. Apparently id founder/Technical Director John Carmack has found a little downtime between overseeing Rage and Doom 4 development, and decided to try out compressing textures to fit id games onto the Wii. This project subsquently ballooned out of all proportion... resulting in the ability to fit Rage onto the iPhone 4 at 60FPS.

Carmack showed off the technology during Quakecon's keynote speech- and bar some control issues, it's an incredible achievement. After all, the graphical quality apparently "kills" anything on the PS2 or original Xbox! Why not check out the demo below (which doesn't do it justice).

God bless you, Carmack. Some developers posture, shout and don't deliver... but id clams up, works hard and makes it happen. Even if "it" happens to be a surprisingly capable accidental side project that no-one was expecting. [1UP]

Realtime Worlds On The Ropes?


We've been hearing some ominous rumblings from sources close to Scottish studio Realtime Worlds, the developers behind the original Crackdown, APB and the upcoming Project MyWorld . Games Industry reports that numerous publishers have turned down the opportunity to get behind MyWorld due to its untested concept- and have had to sack 60 team members in their latest employee restructuring effort.

VG247 has also issued a seperate report claiming that the entire MyWorld team has been laid off... which also suggests that 60 staff have been made redundant.

We've also heard rumours that Realtime Worlds plan to sell APB in order to claw back some capital.

These are all rumours at this stage- but trust me, something is rotten in the state of Realtime Worlds. Don't expect to see any more MyWorld announcements for the time being.

UPDATE: RW has confirmed the redundancies but have stated that they'll be retaining APB for the time being.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior Gets Free Gamechanging Patch

sniper ghost warrior

By all rights, sniper games should be awesome... but by screwing up some of the basics, Sniper: Ghost Warrior didn't manage to live up to its potential. We expected City Interactive to leave it at that- but luckily, they've tinkered about with some of the more annoying problems and released a free title update that will correct some of the rampant annoyances of the Xbox 360 version.

These improvements include a raft of tweaks to the AI routine and stealth system, resulting in a better (i.e. less broken) sniping experience. I'll be sure to amend the review if they make a substantial difference to the gameplay. [BattleStrats]

From Our High Expectations to Shocking Leaked Gameplay - News Roundup 3rd June 2010

Jonathan Lester
APB, Eye of Judgement, Games news, inFamous 2, Realtime Worlds, SCEE
Infamous 2

Realtime Worlds: Want APB? Lower Your Expectations!


Realtime Worlds' Cops & Robbers MMORPG has been highly anticipated- but has also been receiving some severely lukewarm review scores. According to Dave Jones (RW Dev), this is our fault for having such high expectations.

“Some people had too high expectations. The game years ago was initially tagged as GTA MMO, which we’d never said. I think that’s set huge expectations. That’s not what we were building, so I was expecting that."

Bizarrely, Jones then went on to compare APB to GTA 1- stating that reviewers were expecting a very different experience, but grew to love it after getting to know it. Apparently, we're also judging APB for what it isn't rather than reviewing the product for what it actually offers.

Well, that's us told then. By this logic, remind me not to get at all excited for Crackdown 2! We wouldn't want our high expectations to ruin our enjoyment of the game... [VG247]

Sony to Shut Down Eye of Judgement Servers


You a fan of Sony's brave and complex Trading Card Game? Unfortunately, you'll need to squeeze the most out of your expensive and lovingly-crafted deck over the next couple of months, because Sony Europe will be dropping the hammer on the Eye of Judgement Servers. You've got until September 20th to score some wins and net the trophies, folks!

Offline play will still be available- and I can see a dedicated cult following starting up for this one. [SCEE]

Leaked inFamous 2 Gameplay Shocks Internet


The first gameplay footage of inFamous 2 has emerged... and it might just shock you. Deplorable pun aside, the leaked video focuses on brutal physical combat, improved wall climbing/running and some seriously big explosions rather than Cole's trademark zappy powers. Actually, you might be forgiven for confusing it for Prototype from the first couple of minutes! It's well worth a watch- and by the looks of things, it's shaping up nicely. [Thanks, Gametrailers]

From Black Ops to Bungie Reaction Roundup - News Roundup 30th April 2010

Jonathan Lester
Activision, APB, Bungie, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Games news, Realtime Worlds, Treyarch
Call of Duty: Black Ops

CoD Black Ops Revealed


Treyarch have accidentally revealed that their next CoD title will be named "Black Ops." Whilst there's nothing on the prematurely-launched website except an empty blog and a logo, this likely means that the game will feature multiple theatres of war rather than solely Vietnam. Cold War Russia has also been tipped to appear, as well as the possibility of stealth mechanics.

After acquiring voice talent and Vietnam war period music, Treyarch has also laid hands on Russian voice actors. With the newly-revealed 'Black Ops' title, it seems that a globetrotting adventure may well be in the works. [Blackops]

APB Launches July 2nd


APB, the upcoming MMO from Realtime Worlds (of Crackdown fame) will launch this July. A pricing structure has also been detailed: with the boxed game (RRP £34.99) providing 50 hours of play and the ability to top up £5.59 for an additional 20 hours and purchase a 30 day unlimited package for £7.99. The game will also offer RTW Points that can be exchanged for play time or in-game rewards.

"An additional benefit to this evolutionary model is the ability for you to convert your own customisations and rewards to tradable (sic) products to give to friends or clan-mates or to place on the Marketplace to earn more RTW points (convertible to game time) or in-game cash,"- APB FAQ

APB promises to be an online sandbox set in a dynamic city and will deliver GTA-style action to hundreds of players. [Realtime Worlds]

Bungie Reaction Roundup

bungie comm

The dust has settled, the rubble has been cleared and the internet has finally been fixed. The industry is now coming to terms with Bungie's decision to sign on with Activision for a decade... and in fact, everyone's taking it rather well. It's roundup time!

  • Bungie is delighted by the move. They've stated that the deal will allow them to reach (no pun intended) a "larger audience" while retaining their status as an independent developer. Whilst there's still a grey area over whether they'll also be tapped to work on Activision IPs and retain any shared technology, they're definitely the real winners from this deal. And they know it.
  • Activision, as you'd expect, are equally delighted. They've gained a veteran FPS developer (replacing, you know, that other studio) and has diverted attention away from... you know, that other studio.
  • Microsoft has stated that their relationship with Bungie will remain "unchanged"- at least until Halo Reach is released. Since they still retain the rights to the Halo IP (and there's technically nothing stopping Bungie developing another Halo title down the road)...and Bungie are sure to release their next IP on the 360 due to their years of development experience... I don't think they're too worried. [MCV]
  • Sony is acting like a giddy schoolgirl with a hopeless crush.

"Congrats to Bungie. Marrying their creative minds and incredible talent to the power of PS3 will be like giving PS3 fans Halo on steroids."

Anyone else amused by this? I'd be excited too, but the language is reminiscent of acquiring a PS3 exclusive rather than the possibility of a multiplatform port. Looks like Sony has marriage on the mind. [Kotaku]

  • The fan reaction is probably the most interesting and surprising of all. With a few exceptions, Bungie fans are reacting to the news in a mature and reasoned way (rather than threatening to boycott the company, burn their copies of Halo etc etc). However, many are genuinely worried that aftersale support and multiplayer maintenance for Halo Reach will suffer when Bungie focuses its resources on its new IP. I hope that Microsoft's 343 industries will be able to take over Reach's community maintenance and prove that they can do more than direct anime shorts.

Well, you've heard the games industry's reaction- but we want to hear yours. Have your say in the comments!