Looking good, still holding out for that perfect Alien game...
When I was over at Heatwave earlier in the year, checking out Gods & Heroes, a huge bug cropped up during Scrum. The team stopped gabbing. The silence of clever people racking their brains filled the room. From the back came a lone grunt, followed by “nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.” That’s how pervasive Aliens is, especially in games. The movie was fundamentally different from its subtle, stealthy predecessor Alien, owing more to Robert Heinlein’s book “Starship Troopers” or Night of the Living Dead, than Giger’s disturbingly sexual xenomorph. “It’s the game I’ve been ripping off my whole career” says the effusive and ubiquitous Randy Pitchford of Gearbox, demoing Aliens: Colonial Marines, “we put facehuggers in Duke Nukem 3D and working on the Half-Life series with its head-crabs and when we helped Microsoft bring Halo to PC, there’s the dropships and the sergeant is basically Apone. Yet we’ve never had a sincere, true sequel to it in videogame form”.
Apart from Rebellion’s amazing first attempt at Aliens versus Predator, I have to add.
Colonial Marines has been built with an entirely new engine – Pitchford describes it as an attempt to raise the bar with dynamic lighting and real-time shadows. “We love the dark corridors of games like Dead Space and we want to push it to a whole new level… Aliens is a team sport with the highest stakes. Squad-based tactics with survival horror, and it’s all canon.” Up to four players can play together and drop in and out during the campaign, and you take the part of the elite Marines, with their huge arsenal of ludicrous weaponry.
The game takes place after the events of Aliens, but brings us back to LV-426, exploring the wreckage of the colony Hadley’s Hope, finding the derelict spaceship where the crew of the Nostromo first encountered the alien eggs in Alien, and boarding the abandoned Sulaco. Our demo however starts with the marines waking from deep sleep into an evacuation scenario, there’s a crash… and three of them wake up on the planet, separated from the main team. Just another glorious day in the corps. A bit of mildly witty dialogue and they’re off, into the station.
The tension music builds as they walk through the damaged operations centre of Hadley’s Hope and we get a chance to look out over the colony. It’s a total wreck, with the familiar shell of the atmospheric processor that blew up at the end of Aliens squatting in the middle, like a popped blister the size of Nebraska. “Here we’re going to discover what happened to Hudson, Burke and all those guys who were left behind; but we’re also going to uncover new secrets.”
As we turn away from the window, that familiar, traumatising beeping starts up, getting faster. Yep, the motion tracker’s back. One of your teammates is dragged upwards, horrifyingly, as the aliens swarm everywhere, out of the ceiling, the floor, the panelling, the goddamn walls. Though they’re fast, they’re not as fluid and relentless as they were in the movies or AvP, but this is still early in development.
The protagonist kills a few with short, controlled bursts, then beats off an alien with his machine gun’s butt (not bad for a human) and runs for it, following his remaining squaddie out of the window and into the piles of wreckage from the explosion. There we encounter an entirely new type of alien – larger than AvP’s Praetorians, a great battering ram of an alien, with a huge wedge-shaped armoured head. Predictably, your small arms fire just bounces off this huge carapace.
It starts smashing through the wreckage after our fleeing soldiers and, thankfully for us, is distracted by one of our NPC squadmates, who it flattens before we can even shout “get away from her, you bitch”. Dodging past it, we run into a blockhouse and slide under the door just as it’s shutting. The giant Alien slams into the door, but can’t quite batter it down. Inside is temporary calm, in a hanger with a large number of marines getting into defensive positions in the hope of help arriving. The tracker shows the monster Alien retreating. I feel safer already.
The acting sergeant orders us to support a grunt named Bronson, who’s defending the lower passageway. We descend beneath the hanger and set up a sentry gun, just as aliens start pouring up the corridor. We hear shooting up above as well, and the enemies just keep coming. After a minute of bloody confusion in this express elevator to hell, Bronson is dragged away and we’re ordered back upstairs, leaving the sentry behind. In the hanger, it’s chaos; everyone’s being overrun. We just got our asses kicked. We choose to flee, heading for the APC at the back of the base. The lights go out and Pitchford moans “what the hell, they cut the power, man.”
In the back room, it’s last stand time. so they’re getting a cargo exoskeleton ready, attaching flamethrowers to it, setting up sentries and checking their nukes, knives and sharp sticks. It won’t make any difference; we’re all gonna die. Aliens pour in from all directions and despite the the flying lead, they overwhelm the troopers; the exoskeleton staggers down with aliens all over it, just as the tank Alien burst through the wall. It pauses, pensively crushing a marine in one of its four arms, then lollops over to us, grabs us and screams triumph in our face.
Game over, man. Until Spring 2012, that is.
(And, yes, I filled that preview with Aliens quotes. Can you spot them all?)
** While MGM and Universal sort out the tangled mess that is the CHILD'S PLAY remake, TikGames and Universal are moving forward on a Chucky video game. "We're proud to be able to bring a fan-favorite movie character, such as Chucky, to gaming platforms," Alex Tikhman, TikGames co-founder, said in a press release. "Fans have been asking for a Chucky game for years and, soon, gamers around the world will be able to enjoy highly-entertaining, interactive, downright gory experiences with this brand."
The game will be made available to download and for the PC. A press released stated players will be able to use Chucky's full repertoire of stealth and guile to dispatch victims in a multitude of distinctive methods. (thanks to ShockTillYouDrop.com)
Creative Assembly being the award winning developer behind the Total War series
VG247 have just spotted a tweet from UK member of parliament Ed Vaizey that suggests the Total War developers, Creative Assembly could be developing a new game based on the Alien films.
His tweet reads: “Great visit to Creative Assembly one of UK’s best developers. Now hiring for new blockbuster based on Alien”
“Based on” suggests it might not be an official alien game, but The Creative Assembly is owned by Sega, who published Rebellion’s Aliens vs. Predator reboot last year, and are behind Gearbox’s upcoming Aliens: Colonial Marines. They have the rights to the Alien franchise. This could be happening. We’ll bring you the latest details as soon as they emerge. ZOMG. Get the latest updates below.
Sega have told CVG that the new Alien title will be “a peer to Dead Space 2,” and is currently only confirmed for consoles. It would be very surprising to see the Total War developers move away from PC development, however.
Sega boss Mike Hayes has told CVG that Creative Assembly have been “given the direction to win awards.”
“This is very much a triple-A project,” he says, “We want this to be a peer to the likes of Dead Space 2.”
Eurogamer say that The Creative Assembly are planning to grow their studio to work on the new title and confirm that development is already underway, though it won’t be ready to show at E3.
According to RPS, development will be handled by the team behind console hack and slash, Viking: Battle for Asgard. The game will be based on the first Alien film, which suggests more tension and scares than the mass bug shoot of Aliens.
One of my favourite PC games looks like its getting a sequel, a bunch of trailers and gameplay below. Don't get any illusions about any relation to Tim Burton's crapfest, this came first and doesn't suck ass
Seems like fans won't have to wait forever for Duke Nukem Forever.
New York, NY - January 21, 2011 - 2K Games and Gearbox Software announced today what will be a landmark date in gaming history - legendary hero Duke Nukem will make his triumphant return in Duke Nukem Forever® on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation® 3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC on May 3, 2011 in North America and May 6, 2011 internationally!
Duke Nukem is one of the biggest and most recognizable brands in the interactive entertainment industry. Irreverent, non-PC, and uber macho, Duke Nukem is the perfect, uncompromising ass-kicking hero to remedy the overdose of today's gaming archetypes. Duke brings his signature brand of babe-lovin', cigar-smoking, beer-chugging and ass-kicking action as he saves the Earth and its babes from hordes of invading aliens. Where will you be when Duke Nukem Forever launches? Better mark your calendars, Duke's legend is being told this May and his brand new trailer, viewable at www.dukenukemforever.com, promises to blow your mind!
Looks like PS3 owners (and I bet, Xbox 360 and PC owners too) can get a pimped out limited/special edition copy of Aliens Vs Predator due out on all platforms (barring the wii, of course) this February.
Hunter Edition confirmed for US consumers! There, I can finally say it; the Hunter Edition which was announced fairly recently from our European friends is now 100% confirmed in the US with an added bonus – a hardcover graphic novel from Dark Horse Comics featuring the original Aliens vs Predator comic!
PlayStation 3 pictured, click in to see the images of the Xbox 360 version as well
Don’t worry, all the other goodies are still included, such as the four Multiplayer maps (before they release to the general public), a fully articulated and disturbingly creepy Facehugger model, Weyland Yutani sleeve badge, and a 3D lenticular postcard. To sweeten the deal, if you pre-order you can pick up some exclusive skins for all three species in multiplayer.
Found this excellent article on the interwebs that sums up how success killed Duke Nuke 'Em... probably not forever, but for the near future at least!
On the last day, they gathered for a group photo. They were videogame programmers, artists, level builders, artificial-intelligence experts. Their team was — finally — giving up, declaring defeat, and disbanding. So they headed down to the lobby of their building in Garland, Texas, to smile for the camera. They arranged themselves on top of their logo: a 10-foot-wide nuclear-radiation sign, inlaid in the marble floor.
To videogame fans, that logo is instantly recognizable. It’s the insignia of Duke Nukem 3D, a computer game that revolutionized shoot-’em-up virtual violence in 1996. Featuring a swaggering, steroidal, wisecracking hero, Duke Nukem 3D became one of the top-selling videogames ever, making its creators very wealthy and leaving fans absolutely delirious for a sequel. The team quickly began work on that sequel, Duke Nukem Forever, and it became one of the most hotly anticipated games of all time.
It was never completed. Screenshots and video snippets would leak out every few years, each time whipping fans into a lather — and each time, the game would recede from view. Normally, videogames take two to four years to build; five years is considered worryingly long. But the Duke Nukem Forever team worked for 12 years straight. As one patient fan pointed out, when development on Duke Nukem Forever started, most computers were still using Windows 95, Pixar had made only one movie — Toy Story — and Xbox did not yet exist.
On May 6, 2009, everything ended. Drained of funds after so many years of work, the game’s developer, 3D Realms, told its employees to collect their stuff and put it in boxes. The next week, the company was sued for millions by its publisher for failing to finish the sequel.
Front and center in the photo sits a large guy with a boyish face. You can’t tell from the picture, but he had gotten choked up when he made the announcement. His name is George Broussard, co-owner of 3D Realms and the man who headed the Duke Nukem Forever project for its entire 12-year run. Now 46 years old, he’d spent much of his adult life trying to make a single game, and failed over and over again. What happened to that project has been shrouded in secrecy, and rumors have flown about why Broussard couldn’t manage to finish his life’s work. What went so wrong?
Great idea tosspots; or alternatively, why don't you euthanise your retarded children and maybe, you know, ban guns?
Game Politics reports that Germany’s sixteen Interior Ministers have asked the Bundestag to ban the production and distribution of violent video games. This would mean violent videogames could not be purchased at retail or online in Germany, and that companies like CryTek would have to leave the country to continue production of their games. (That, or come up with creative solutions. Perhaps replace all the guns with vomiting cats? Would flicked elastic bands work, or do they come under violence?) Some more thoughts on this beyond the jump.
The move by Germany’s central government seems to have been inspired by the media reaction to recent school shooting in Winnenden, Germany, in which a seventeen year old killed sixteen people. It emerged that the perpetrator played Far Cry 2 and CounterStrike, as well as table tennis. He was also an unhappy teenage boy. Needless to say, fatuous conclusions were drawn.
It’s perhaps worth noting there has never actually been any evidence to show that violence in videogames increases the likelihood for gamers to go on a rampage with deadly firearms.
Nightmarish censorship implications aside, the potential outright banning of violent games certainly suggests that this could be a fascinating social experiment: will there be any less violence in Germany as a result of violent videogames being banned? Will peace and love break out among alienated teenagers who are denied gory entertainments? Or will creating yet another taboo simply make the experience of playing violent videogames even more transgressive, and therefore even more exciting? Hard to know, eh? Yeah, it really is.
Then again, perhaps there won’t be any correlation at all, and Germany will be left looking for something else to blame when another bunch of people get their lives taken away. And, you know, MAYBE THERE’S ANOTHER FACTOR INFLUENCING THESE SHOOTINGS.
Microsoft celebrates the new year with a mass epic fail.
Microsoft is just squeezing in under the wire to claim the rights to “weirdest tech story of the year.”Last night at approximately 2 AM, every 30GB Zune model on the planet crashed... The Zunes reset, powered up, then froze on the loading bar screen, and no conventional method of resetting them appears to work.
This is brought to you courtesy of Microsoft, who has been selling a video game console with a nearly 100% fail rate for three years. The Zune situation is all the more disasterous however seeing as all of them failed at the exact same moment, which people have taken to calling 2K9.
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