Shellshock 2: Shellshockier

By Alec Meer on September 30th, 2008 at 6:33 pm.

Here’s a sequel I didn’t expect to happen. Shellshock: Nam 67 was what Guerilla Games got up to before making those Killzone games on Playstation 2/3. An underwhelming fps-but-with-more-shoulder, it turned up in the midst of the brief Vietnam obsession that hit the PC in the mid-2000s. It was also a straight down the line war is hell jobbie. Which makes its having a sequel even odder, because Shellshock 2 is about mutants and experimental toxins and stuff. Someone’s been reading their Agent Orange conspiracy theories, clearly.

But it’s still in Vietnam, Eidos still owns the Shellshock name and horror-shooters are very much in vogue at the moment, so really it all makes sense in the end. What is odd is that there’s actually a 2 in the name, given that Eidos tends to slice numerals out of its sequels (see recent Hitmen and Tomb Raiders), and I somehow doubt there’s a horde of rabid Shellshock fans hanging on desperately for this. Perhaps it’s Fallout 3 thinking – even if the original game isn’t familiar to most of the intended audience, the suggestion of heritage and success that a 2 or 3 gives can make a game seem a bigger deal to newcomers.

Interestingly, a sequel was first announced in 2004, the year the original was released, but presumably that collapsed when Guerilla was bought up by Sony. So this new one, Blood Trails, is being handled by Rebellion, they of Aliens vs Predator (woo!), Dredd vs Death (noo!) and Rogue Trooper (smaller woo!). Who, coincidentally, today were named the 83rd fastest-growing private technology, telecoms or digital media company in Britain by the Sunday Times, and the fastest-growing games developer in that list.

There was no recent mention of Shellshock 2 until this August, which no-one particularly seemed to pick up on at the time. Today, though, we get the first screenshots and video, plus the promise of a Christmasish release date. Which seems incredibly soon for a game that’s pretty much only just been announced.

And look how seriously it’s taking the Vietnam war:

Here’s the Skynyrd-soundtracked trailer, which may be hinting that the infection thing is one big metaphor for the horror/madness/futility of the Vietnam war, or is just being hugely crass:

Tuesday 30th September/… Eidos Interactive, creator of some of the world’s leading videogame properties, today announces a return to the war-torn jungles of Vietnam in Shellshock 2: Blood Trails, a brutal and twisted psychological first person shooter, coming to disturb your Christmas.

At the height of the Vietnam War, a covert ops cargo plane carrying a top-secret consignment known only as ‘Whiteknight’ is lost over the deepest, uncharted jungles. Special Ops soldiers are immediately dispatched to the scene to retrieve the top secret shipment and one-by-one they disappear without a trace… until one month later, one of them suddenly walks out of the jungle.

Crazed and deranged, something in the jungle had ripped out his humanity, poisoning his soul. Something in the darkness had driven him mad….and followed him out.

Taking the first-person war game and turning it on its head, Shellshock 2: Blood Trails places you in a war where fear takes on a whole new meaning.

“Shellshock 2 is very different to any first person shooter you’ve seen before; at times it feels more like you’re in a horror movie than a game,” said Lee Singleton, General Manager of Eidos Game Studios. “Survival takes on a new meaning as you fight against all sides of the conflict: your enemy, your allies and the victims… the casualties of Whiteknight, an enemy that ultimately has no side.”

Shellshock 2: Blood Trails will be released for Christmas 2008 on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft®, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Games for Windows®.

__________________

« | »

, , .

21 Comments »

  1. Gladman says:

    Clip clip clip clippy pictures.

    Graphics reminding anyone else of boiling point?

  2. ron says:

    man i was hoping this was about the shellshock that was an “urban” tank combat game with rappers driving tanks and saying “urban” phrases like “GET THE HELL OUT THE WAY” when you ran into other tanks and stuff.

    http://www2.worldvillage.com/wv/gamezone/html/reviews/shock.htm

  3. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Jiggletech? Check.

    “Plays like a movie” nonsense? Check.

    Not very interesting developer? Check.

    Piss poor previous title? Check.

    Bargain bin of obscurity? Double check.

  4. Chris Evans says:

    The only good ‘Nam game that I am aware of is Battlefield: Vietnam. Wow, now that is saying something!

  5. Maximum Fish says:

    Reminds me of the Korean movie, R-Point. Only with the infusion of Creedence/Buffalo Springfield/(now apparently) Skynard ‘in-the-chopper’ music. What a cliche.

    We’ll say R-Point [unironically] meets Tropic Thunder

  6. Stupoider says:

    I really liked the first one, had to be one of my favourite games on the Xbox (although I didn’t have a wide selection of games to play). I’m always interested in the Vietnam war, but I doubt I’ll be getting this game.

  7. Nick says:

    “Bargain bin of obscurity? Double check.”

    Checkaroo.

  8. Dracko says:

    So, essentially, it’s a reverse Far Cry phenomenon.

    Even though the first Shellshock was a horrifically terrible game with derivative racism to boot.

  9. Duoae says:

    @Chris Evans:

    Actually Vietcong was a brilliant game… better than BF:V IMO.

  10. Martin Kingsley says:

    @Duoae, y’know, I agree with you there. Oh, it may have been punishingly difficult when it wanted to be (and let’s not even talk about the expansion pack, which took ‘punishingly difficult’, jacked it up on steroids, and sent it back out to play with the normal kids again under the moniker of, ‘fuck you with a rake so hard’), but it had a reasonable semblance of plot, good firefights, some neat graphical touches for its time. I’d take it over BF:V any time. Pity Vietcong 2 was a horribly deformed mutant fit only for living in my cellar, never ever to see the light of day.

  11. Pod says:

    I’ll never tire of titles in the style of Die Hard 2. EVER.

  12. Bluepixie says:

    Yeah, I remember the “other” great Vietnam game, Vietcong. Awesome for the time, jungle combat had never been seen like that before and the water effects looked ace. Unfortunately it spawned a rather uninspired sequel, too much corridor crawling and not enough jungle. :( Also reminds me of that brilliant Half-Life mod “Heart of Darkness”; Apocalypse Now meets Dawn of Dead , which if they capture even just a little of the atmosphere from, it could turn into something special.

    With Rebellion on the stage, I’m hopeful.

  13. mister slim says:

    Guess we’ll have to wait and see which Rebellion we get: The Rebellion that makes shoddy tie-in PSP games or the Rebellion with a knack for integrating story and game mechanics.

  14. Ben Abraham says:

    The choice of period-esque music is an interesting one. It seems to almost be riffing on the BF:V music vibe, but with overtones of Apocalypse Now… Could go either way at this point…

  15. Thiefsie says:

    Viet Cong I still remember (beyond being a fine FPS) as one of the most aurally impressive games ever.

  16. Yhancik says:

    But will it have storytelling-by-logs, plot twist, hackable robot drones and moral dilemma ?

  17. Clicky says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that Dredd vs. Death was a great game ?

  18. Bobsy says:

    “Shellshock 2 is very different to any first person shooter you’ve seen before; at times it feels more like you’re in a horror movie than a game,” said Lee Singleton, General Manager of Eidos Game Studios

    (snigger)

    Seeing as how gaming press releases go to games journos… he must know there are already horror FPSs, yes? I mean… there’s really no shortage of them. Who exactly is he trying to convince? Other than himself, natch.

  19. Cian says:

    So am I alone in being a little excited by the trailer? I’m going to be sympathetic and say the zombie plague angle is the horror of war, and the angle of fighting against all sides fits in rather neatly.

  20. The Shed says:

    Well, this is depressing. I knew Shellshock: Nam ’67 as an Xbox 3rd person action game that I had no interest in, yet when I played it was actually better than Killzone, with quality level design, realistic (within the console limits) battles, and a decent story. Seems in the PC universe it’s seen in a totally different light. Pity how some things work on some platforms, others don’t.

    I loved the 3rd person camera angle in the first game, it was like Max Payne with a few more details in terms of trap defusing. First person is obviously going to be completely different… Oh well.

  21. Podge says:

    I loved shellshock 1, but i have to say when i saw that this was 1st person i was hesitant, but i love zombie games, ive been itchin for a nam game, and now theres both, so im gonna play it…. Besides, full dismemberment makes games much more fun to play