The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena

By Jim Rossignol on October 30th, 2008 at 12:36 pm.


Those of you who joined with us in remembering the excellence of The Chronicles Of Riddick might be pleased to learn that developers Starbreeze are returning to the sci-fi world with a full new campaign. The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena was originally announced as a remake of the first game with modern tech and knobs on, but will now include an all-new campaign-length amount of material. The stealth and neck-breaking will be back (Back!) only this time aboard some kind of troublesome mercenary ship called Dark Athena. Vin Diesel will naturally be making the requisite grunts and murderous mutterings. Atari are publishing, and it’s scheduled for early next year.

Full press release after the jump.

ATARI TO PUBLISH ‘THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: ASSAULT ON DARK ATHENA’ WORLDWIDE SPRING 2009

- New Follow-up to Acclaimed First Person Shooter ‘Escape from Butcher Bay’ Sends Anti-hero Riddick on a Brutal New Adventure -

LYON, FRANCE – 30 October 2008 – Atari, one of the world’s most recognized video game publishers, today announced that first person shooter The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena is joining its 2009 publishing and distribution line up. In conjunction with Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group, Tigon Studios and acclaimed developer Starbreeze Studios, Atari is bringing the franchise to the new generation of consoles for the first time packed with thrilling new adventures. The highly anticipated title is scheduled for launch on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Windows® PC in spring 2009.

Previously announced as a remake of hit title The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay with added content, Atari can today reveal that The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena contains a brand new full-length campaign. This exciting announcement promises a title which will include the original game re-imagined for a whole new audience, an entirely new chapter in the Riddick saga and, for the first time, intense online multiplayer combat, making The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena a must-have experience for any fan of intense action gaming.

“It’s very exciting to have Assault on Dark Athena as part of Atari’s 2009 publishing line-up,” said Phil Harrison, President of Infogrames Entertainment, the parent company of Atari. “The first game in the series was a landmark in action gaming and the outstanding team at Starbreeze are creating a feature-packed follow-up which will delight fans and new players alike.”

“The Riddick IP offers a rich universe from which to develop no-holds barred games, and we’ve believed that since the days of the Pitch Black film,” said Bill Kispert, Vice President and General Manager, Interactive, Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group. “Assault on Dark Athena extends the franchise fiction; adds to the mythology with new storylines, characters and locations while remaining true to the original material; and gives fans an experience they haven’t seen before. As we introduce this new Riddick chapter, we are also excited to welcome Atari to the Riddick family.”

“We’re thrilled about this remake and expansion of Escape from Butcher Bay.” said Ian Stevens, Head of Game Production, Tigon Studios. “Assault on Dark Athena tells a new story in The Chronicles of Riddick, while at the same time sharing our original vision with a larger audience. We’re excited about the coming months and talking more in-depth about new features like the addition of Multiplayer!”

“Working with the Riddick franchise for us is an extraordinary experience,” said Johan Kristiansson, CEO, Starbreeze Studios. “We are deeply enthusiastic about the partnership with Atari that will bring this rich game experience to a new generation of consoles. With this release we’ve pushed the limits of the Starbreeze engine, delivering an extensive game package designed to thrill gamers worldwide. We can’t wait for it to hit the shelves.”

In The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena the player takes the role of Riddick, as played by Vin Diesel, using stealth and action to overcome the merciless crew of the predatory Merc-ship Dark Athena which awaits its prey in the dark reaches of space. Cheating death through a series of spectacular battles and events, Riddick will fight for his life amid a storm of malevolence and horror. The Chronicles of Riddick series of games takes the player deeper into the universe of Universal Pictures’ films The Chronicles of Riddick and cult classic Pitch Black, which first introduced Vin Diesel as enigmatic anti-hero Riddick.

Featuring a brand new exhilarating adventure, a high-definition re-imagining of the classic Escape from Butcher Bay campaign and new multiplayer options, The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena will thrill fans when it launches in spring 2009.

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55 Comments »

  1. FatRat says:

    Awesome! The first game is one of my all-time favourite FPS’s… Great to know that Starbreeze are doing it, too, as I enjoyed The Darkness as well.

  2. ChaosSmurf says:

    I read the LP of the original over at the Let’s Play Archive (http://fromearth.net/LetsPlay/Riddick/) and it was brilliant. Might pick it up if I see it somewhere. Definetly excited about the idea of another, similar game.

    Wonder if they’ll include the original-with-knobs-on as part of the package as well.

  3. The Sombrero Kid says:

    brill

  4. Senethro says:

    Awesome, I was worried that this was somehow going to miss the PC

    ChaosSmurf: No need to buy the original, the “original with knobs on” is intrinsically part of AoDA.

    I remember a time when they said that this was going to be mostly remake, with an additional 50% new content. Still buying it though.

    Did anyone like the commentary mode Starbreeze did on the PC, with charmingly nerdy Scandinavians telling you how they created the sound effects of a man pooping? (rocks dropped into a tin bowl)

  5. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Strange, at the time it was mentioned they didn’t mention a PC release.

  6. danielcardigan says:

    The original is probably my favourite FPS of the past few years. I preferred it, much preferred it, to HL2 even.

  7. Bobsy says:

    Hooray!

  8. hydra9 says:

    Aye, the original is one of the best action-y type games I’ve played. Hooray!

  9. Urael says:

    Loved the first game. Perplexed by the decision to remake it after only a few years but also very happy to see more Riddick coming from such a solid development crew.

    I’d love to see something, an interview maybe, detailing the decisions behind the remake, and how much is being remade? Were the devs unhappy with the first release? – that kind of thing. I imagine it will be similar to the recent Tomb Raider: Anniversary release (which I also loved) – obligatory graphical upscale, re-worked levels, a few surprises? (Plus the new campaign)

    @Senethro: The commentary in this game is possibly the only commentary I have ever deliberately sat through in any medium (apart from the LOTR dvds), such was my abiding love for the game. And it was thankfully worth the re-play, with lots of interesting dev-type info on all aspects of the game’s creation, and those oddly upper-middle european splotches of humour too.

  10. Maximum Fish says:

    Seriously, this is the best news i’ve heard all year. I just drooled coffee all over my shirt. They don’t actually make words long or flowery enough to express how freaking awesome this is.

  11. jackflash says:

    This is clearly more about cashing the IP in on the “next gen” (current gen) consoles than anything else, but I’m mildly interested. My computer wasn’t powerful enough to play it back when the original came out, so.

  12. wiper says:

    One of the odd people who didn’t actually think much of Riddick the first time around, but I’m not here to rain on everyone’s parade on that front.

    Rather, I’m here to complain about the preposterous name of the spaceship – Dark Athena. I mean, what next? Bright Poseidon? Muted Hera? Lightly-toasted Dionysos?

  13. Urael says:

    Dark Athena? It sounds very much part of the baroque-futurism style Riddick evolved into in ‘Dark Fury’ and ‘Chronicles’. I rather like it. What kind of ship deserves a name like that…?

  14. Deuteronomy says:

    Together with Mass Effect, the first Riddick is probably the best console port I’ve ever played. Both are great games with real cinematic atmospheres.

    Far Cry 2 and Bioshock on the other hand have made me extremely leery of console ports. Both have skeletons of a great PC game within but ultimately disappoint with a full blown case of consolitis.

  15. futage says:

    Eeeeeeee, grand.

  16. jonfitt says:

    Played the demo of the original and really liked it, but never got around to playing the full game. A re-imagining plus full campaign sounds perfect. So long as those who played the original tell me they didn’t f it up.

    Incidentally, I think I read that Vin Diesel is a gamer.
    How weird do you think it would be to play yourself in a game?
    Not just an Oblivion character you tried to make look like you, but a professionally modelled avatar with your voice.

    I think it would be pretty disturbing. Everyone has insecurities, do you think he’s thinking “am I really that bald and grunty?”

  17. thefanciestofpants says:

    Fuck Yes. And starbreeze are making it. Fucking hell yes.

    Hope this one includes ace developer commentary like the first. It’s got my preorder monies.

  18. Nick says:

    I seem to recall reading something about the original cash in game being veto’d by Vin as shit and him having something to do with what was actually released. Can’t find any sources on casual search though.

  19. pi8you says:

    This’s exactly the sort of news item I like to wake up to. Excellent. I missed out on it the first go around, but now am well equipped to handle it however it comes out.

  20. Rook says:

    Not only is Vin Diesel a gamer, he’s a huge nerd that plays D&D.

    I’m still not sure if it’s a good thing or not that PC missed out on The Darkness or not. I’m kinda getting used to things showing up in a slightly improved state on the PC a few months later but I guess that one isn’t coming.

  21. Charlie says:

    I enjoyed the first but thought it was pretty flawed. Good to hear they are remaking it. They really should do this with other games that didn’t realise their potential.

    However, I would rather see a sequel to The Darkness than Riddick.

  22. Bobsy says:

    Apologies if this is already widely known, but doesn’t Vin Diesel actually own the devs/publishers?

  23. Senethro says:

    I can’t remember the details, but isn’t Riddick a property that Mr. Diesel to some extent owns, and so keeps a very close eye and firm hand on the video games involving it? I think its Tigon Studios that he owns or is some high up in.

  24. shamanic miner says:

    If you wanna live, get a shiv.

  25. cowless says:

    It’s a bit early for a remake, isn’t it? Riddick is far from being old enough to be ugly.
    Still, never hurts to port stuff.

  26. Paul Moloney says:

    Yes, indeed, Mr Vin even wrote a foreword for one of the recent editions of D&D. He does seem to be a cool guy; shame the movie didn’t do that well (I quite enjoyed it, certainly better than many SF movies that did better at the box office).

    “Both have skeletons of a great PC game within but ultimately disappoint with a full blown case of consolitis.”

    I hate consolitis with the best of them, but I really can’t see how this can be aimed at Far Cry 2. Mouse works well with it with no lag, the HUD is wonderfully minimal (to the extent of not being there at all most of the time) and there’s none of that nonsense about “Press ” in any of the menus.

    P.

  27. Psychopomp says:

    Yep, Vin Diesel is a huge nerd. He owns either Starbreeze or Tigon or both, and takes a direct role in the development of any games he’s related to. So far, it seems games are where he’s meant to work. Say what you will about his movies, but he’s a talented game-maker, IMO.

    Concerning The Darkness, the PC didn’t miss much on the gameplay side. Story-wise, on the other hand…
    I’m just going to say that Starbreeze are *very* talented storytellers and leave it at that. Not to mention turning on a TV in-game, sitting down for 5-minutes before realizing that, yes, I can indeed watch the entirety of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

  28. Carra says:

    Ugh, why would you want to make a remake of a 4 year old game?

    Brilliant game of course but what would a remake add except slightly prettier graphics?

  29. Nick says:

    Yeah, it’s not even as though it was a Asian Horror game or something…

  30. Chaz says:

    Loved Butcher Bay, the atmosphere of being locked up in the prison felt genuinely oppressive, superb game, so will look forward to this one.

  31. Gorgeras says:

    Ron Perlman has commented before on the huge competition for roles Vin Diesel gives him. It’s hard doing the big tough guy bod with big tough guy voice thing when there are younger models out there. Perlman hangs in though partly because of his friendship with the Hellboy director and also….because Diesel has a re-occurring weight problem.

    It’s obviously got something to do with him being a nerd. Maintaining muscles is quite easy; plenty of gamers seem to do some kind of tough exercise about twice a week, either weights, martial arts, climbing or dancing. What’s harder is shifting the flab that comes from sitting down to play games for an average of two or three hours a day.

    My personal experience is that I and other gamers favour load-bearing exercise that builds big ass muscles, not aerobic exercise that burns fat. This is the problem for Vin Diesel when he’s looking for work. Ron Perlman might be nearly sixty, but he doesn’t have our filthy habit, at least on the scale that Vin Diesel does.

    I got back into street dancing recently, but I know it isn’t gonna shift my gut, just put rippped abs over the front of it. Picture Matt Lucas’ muscle-suit in Little Britain USA.

    I reccomend Mr Diesel, myself and every other muscle-chubby gamer out there takes up swimming. Easiest, fastest and slipperiest way of burning fat.

  32. Deuteronomy says:

    Paul,

    FC2 has a lot going for it, but there are a lot of problems. Chiefly the lack of a persistent world. There are design decisions linked to the people who play on consoles, like the weapon unlock system, and hardware limitations, like the lack of the persistent world. The gunplay also feels quite dated because of hitscan, mouse lag, and horrible hitboxes among other things.

    Riddick on the other hand was pure awesome on the PC.

  33. Paul Moloney says:

    Deut’y,

    Plenty of console games have had persistent worlds (I presume you’re referring to the re-spawning?), while PC games have had spawning. Why do you think that it was done in FC2 because rather than by design?

    I honestly haven’t noticed any mouse lag in the game and I tend to be sensitive to it; it’s one thing that put me off Bioshock at the beginning. I’ve put my settings to get at least 50fps; try that and see if it helps.

    I haven’t noticed the horrible hitboxes; bullets go roughly where they’re supposed to, adjusting for the fact that since I’m using the early crappy weapons, there’s bound to be a spray effect.

    Again, I don’t see hitscan weapons necessarily being a console trait; over the top third-person action shooters like Max Payne had projectile weapons, while the Half-Life series used hitscan weapons. To me it’s a design choice. I think some people were expecting FC2 to be a realistic mercenary sim, hence the disappointment. I’m actually pleasantly surprised to find it a mix of realistic settings and atmospherics combined with movie action.

    P.

  34. Senethro says:

    What the…? When did hitscan become a dirty word?

  35. David Gentle says:

    >>When did hitscan become a dirty word?
    It’s not, you’re thinking of “shitscan”. It’s a whole other thing.

  36. Tired says:

    “Full press release after the jump.”?? What jump? There is no smegging “jump”! AAARRRGGGHGGHGHghghghghg….

  37. Deuteronomy says:

    Paul this is off topic but anyways . . .

    I am enjoying FC2 even though I expected something different. The devs mentioned Stalker at least a couple times during interviews, so certain expectations were set as far as what kind of game we were getting. There’s a certain flatness and unreality to FC2 that I just can’t get over.

    Actually if you look at the promised features for Arma II, you get the kind of dynamic living world with civilian NPCs changing front lines etc that FC2 seemed to promise (although yes I realize they never actually promised these things).

  38. LEEDER KRENON says:

    What’s with the fat guy bragging about his muscles in this thread? I don’t want to read that junk. Street dancing? You make me sick. Beer, chips, kill yourself gaming. There’s nothing to live for.

  39. Gorgeras says:

    All my fellow chubby endomorphs, do the milkshake dance!

    My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard…

  40. Putter says:

    So glad they mentioned PC, which afaik I know, they have not done before. Always just PS3 + 360.

  41. Mr. President says:

    I hope they bring more of the kind of humor we saw in the penultimate action sequence (you know what I’m talking about) “Don’t run into things!”, mwahahaha.

  42. Quater says:

    So wait wait hold on I don’t fully get it… does this game have the original Butcher Bay campaign *as well* as the new one, or is it just the new one?

    Also somebody said something about how it must be weird to play as yourself in a game – you clearly haven’t played the Godfather game. Even on the Wii version (which is hte best one by miles) you can create a character so eerily, “uncannily” like yourself that I actually had to go in and change the look of him because A) it was creeping me out and B) I’m Irish and looked completely miscast among the olive-tanned, greasy black hair, massive eyebags brigade.

  43. Srejv says:

    Gorgeras’ milk brings all the boys to the yard…

  44. Kieron Gillen says:

    You’ve got me listening to Kelis now.

    KG

  45. BruceL says:

    A few things:
    * This game does include all of the original Escape from Butcher Bay. Dark Athena is mostly like a mission pack, except it includes the original game rather than making you own it in order to play. The original game will receive some kind of graphical upgrade.
    * When this was first announced a year and a half ago, they talked about the new campaign then too. This is not a new thing like they are making it sound in the PR. Same goes for the multiplayer.
    * The addition of a PC version IS new, and also very awesome.
    * Vin Diesel owns Tigon Games, not Starbreeze. Don’t know much about what Tigon does, actually. There’s a very good chance that it’s one or two guys in a room doing production-type things, like setting up US voice actors and schedules and etc. Most of the actual development is done by Starbreeze, a 100+ person studio in Sweden.

  46. Chavez says:

    BruceL: Not quite, Dark athena is not a mission pack, it’s a complete game in it’s own. You’re getting 2 full campaigns and multiplayer.

  47. BruceL says:

    I stand erected. Corrected. Whatever; just can’t wait!

  48. malkav11 says:

    Yeah, when Dark Athena was just a revamp of the first game with a few new levels, it was a PS3 exclusive (I guess they figured Xbox and PC players had already played it and didn’t need a relatively minor update.). I was a little afraid that even this expanded version would still be PS3 exclusive, but duh, of course not…the PS3 isn’t selling *nearly* well enough to get an exclusive made by people unrelated to Sony.

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