Bungie ♥ Actvision: BFF!

By Kieron Gillen on April 30th, 2010 at 12:00 pm.

I have totally upgraded my photoshop ability.
Well, 10 years, which is BFF! in corporate terms. News broke of this yesterday, with the aforementioned 10-year publication agreement to bring Bungie’s next game universe to market. Bungie will keep intellectual property rights and remain independent. Obviously, this is enormous industry news, and there’s no real details yet – I wouldn’t be surprised to see some at E3 – but this is relevant for one key reason. This is a multi-format deal. And something which hasn’t been mentioned explicitly yet… well, the PC (and the Mac, for that matter, given Bungie’s roots) are other formats. It’d be good to have Bungie back with us. Question, is what are they doing? What would you like them to do? The MMO angle is brought up repeatedly, certainly. Personally, I’d be a little disappointed if they split from Microsoft just to make another Sci-fi universe…

In other notes, analysts are reaching new levels of incisiveness with this one.

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101 Comments »

  1. Dr.Danger says:

    Myth remake!

    • Rich says:

      That. Would. Rock!

      A genuine Myth game, unlike the one by Mumbo Jumbo (spit!), would make me cry with happiness.

    • Subject 706 says:

      Yes, please Bungie, drop this me-too FPS mentality and give us a proper new Myth game!

  2. Mario Figueiredo says:

    > Question, is what are they doing? What would you like them to do?

    1. I’d like them to come up with new IP(s) and not keep on development over and over on the same IP.

    2. I’d like them to target the PC platform first, and port to the console second

    3. I’d like them to not include DRMs in their games

    Now, since 1 is not the objective, 2 is not likely at all, and 3 is very unlikely with Activision unless you happen to do 1, I’d like Bungie and Activision to drop dead.

    • lhzr says:

      2: hah! good one

    • Rich says:

      I thought new IP was pretty much their declared objective. Seemed that way in the interview over at Eurogamer.

      Doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be sci-fi though, and it’s almost certainly going to be an action game.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Yes, new IP to be franchised over the course of their 10 year deal. That’s pretty much my point.

  3. xrobbedgex says:

    The picture to go along with this article made me laugh so hard that people started coming to my desk to see what was so funny. I don’t think they got it.

  4. V. Tchitcherine. says:

    Whatever it is -also hoping it’s not an MMO- I hope their level design is better than cut n’ pasted segments repeated ad infinitum with minor enemy-placement variance, this was one of the chief sins of Halo.

    My wish is a cyberpunk RPG-FPS… but that’s always my wish.

  5. Lukasz says:

    Future Warfare!
    FUTURE WARFARE!

  6. Bozzley says:

    Quick and slightly related question – what the f**k are all these analysts doing in the games press anyway? What the f**k does Michael Pachter etc have to do with anything to do with games? How come each and every one of their half-assed speculations gets spread across games sites like Flora? Who are they, what are they doing, and when can they f**k off back into obscurity? Sorry for the swears, I’m in a grumpy mood today.

    • Starky says:

      Michael Pachter is a very smart guy who’s explained many, namy times in quite some detail what he actually does (find it on game trailers)…
      .
      He’s a market analyst – his job is to track a number of stocks, from the larger gaming companies – know what is going on with those companies, and know what business they are doing, when they are doing it how and how successful it might be. In order to make successful future estimates and be able to advise his clients (usually institutional investors, pension schemes and the like).
      .
      He knows more about the gaming industry (not games themselves, but the business behind them) and specifically those companies he charts in detail than almost anyone not sat inside those board and strategy meetings.
      .
      So his job is to advice institutions investing millions upon millions of dollars if X company is a good investment, for how long and so on.
      .
      The reason why his word is respected is because he’s very good at what he does – he knows a LOT of what happens in the upper echelons of the industry, and no doubt has a lot of contacts in all of the major publishers (if only because he’s a guy who can funnel millions of investment their way).
      .
      .
      . Why oh why does editing on the forums remove any paragraph spacing? I want my edit button back…

  7. Bozzley says:

    Also, would a Halo MMO be such a bad thing? There’s no sign of something like, I dunno, World of Starcraft, and The Old Republic looks like it’s going to follow the WoW model closely. A Halo MMO might be the next big MMO thing.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      For me it would. Since I don’t play MMOs, it means they would be wasting valuable time and human resources on crap I would never buy.

      Would much rather have their intelligence and talent (they do have that) being spent on games I wanted to play. But of course, anyone’s garbage is someone else’s treasure. But you did ask. So here’s one answer.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      Indeed, but since Microsoft own the HALO name, Bungie won’t be part of it under the Activision deal.

      The depths to which Activision would sink to get their hands on the HALO franchise cannot be safely contemplated by any sane human being. They’d probably even claim DAIKATANA was a good game if it meant they could get their hands on Master Chief (* shudder *).

  8. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Bungie will keep intellectual property rights and remain independent.

    Oh, playing hard to get.

  9. Unaco says:

    At least the story for the new IP, whatever it is, will probably be on par with MW2… right down there on the bottom rung of the literary ladder. I used to be quite fascinated and enthralled by the Marathon story line (rampancy and all that). Dunno what happened to it with Halo.

    • Rich says:

      Comparing Halo’s storyline to MW2 is harsh. MW2 was the worst kind of mindless Hollywood drivel.
      I would say Halo had quite an interesting sci-fi back-story. It may not have been anywhere near as deep as Marathon, but then Marathon’s story was like a book you read as you fought through the game. Entirely text based.

    • lhzr says:

      halo’s story – fun
      mw2′s story – trash

    • oceanclub says:

      “I would say Halo had quite an interesting sci-fi back-story.”

      I played Halo 1 on PC, and a small bit of Halo 3 on XBox 360 (was utterly bored after an hour). There’s a Judgedreddesque dude in a helmet, a ringworld, a load of aliens… I’m really trying to remember what the story actually was, and failing. (Must go read the Wikipedia synopis.)

      Needless to say, I think it’s probably the most overrated FPS series of all time, even more so than COD. (COD4′s story was fairly standard Ross Kempisms strung together, but the mechanics of the game were solid.) Halo 1 wasn’t bad, but I remember playing it, going through the same copy-and-paste level for the umpthless time, spraying my console-friendly hosepipe of a weapon at yet another comedy alien, thinking “is this it? Is this what people are raving about?”.

      It’s 7 years since Halo 1 came out on PC (let’s pause briefly to remember the utter fiasco of the Halo 2 launch – did anyone here ever buy it on PC), so honestly, I can’t imagine anything Bungie do will have much impact on the average PC gamer; a lot of love for them seems to be due to nostagia for a 16-year-old game. As part of Activision, I think they’ll be even more conservative from now on, not less, so I can’t see any kind of radical departure. Expect “Sphere”, a new futuristic FPS set in a Dyson sphere starring Captain Head and his adventures against the Deluge.

      No, not Angry Internet Man, just Vaguely Curmudgeonly Old Gaming Man.

      Obligatory grumble: bah.

      P.

    • Rich says:

      “let’s pause briefly to remember the utter fiasco of the Halo 2 launch – did anyone here ever buy it on PC”

      Nope. DX10 required for no other reason than MS wanting to push Vista on us. No sale.

      To be honest, the best of Halo’s story was presented in a series of books. The ones set before and after Halo 1, were written by the same guy and were quite good. The one set during Halo 1 was like a walkthrough. The universe Bungie thought up was big and interesting. They just didn’t present in their games very well.

    • Bret says:

      Yup.

      Although I think ODST brought back a little of that Marathon charm.

    • kromagg says:

      @oceanclub:
      I do think that halo is mostly very popular. It has some critical acclaim (it’s not a bad game, or at least I don’t think so), but it doesn’t really show up in the greatest game of all time lists (not from journos I respect, anyway). It is a very mainstream game and it being accessible to many people of different stripes almost automatically means that its story and gameplay are a bit oversimplified.

      In other words, if games were movies then Halo would be Avatar.

      Me, I’m still bitter about Microsoft buying bungie when halo was still (going to be) a PC title. So there’s that.

  10. Rich says:

    I’m not sure if anything they do in their new deal can be related to Halo.
    Presumably they had given their IP to Microsoft, but the details of their contract might prohibit any kind of Halo MMO etc.

  11. Amqz says:

    Strange… I’ve never heard of a company called Actvision.

  12. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    2011: Bungie chiefs leave over royalty dispute with Activision, half the dev team leaves with them to form Rebound Entertainment.

  13. Jimbo says:

    “In other notes, analysts are reaching new levels of incisiveness with this one.”

    I can’t tell whether you mean they’re stating the obvious, or that they’re showing a poor understanding of the situation? Anyways, I think it’s the latter. I doubt Acti were courting Bungie with the intention of replacing IW, or that they ‘replaced’ IW because of their deal with Bungie. And I extra double-doubt that Bungie are ever going to go anywhere near the Modern Warfare franchise.

    Their analysis seems way off the mark to me, apart from the “everything we just said is never actually going to happen” bit.

  14. MartinX says:

    Giev Oni 2

    • Snargelfargen says:

      YES an Oni remake would be amazing, especially if they drew inspiration from Mirror’s Edge for the movement. Sadly, Oni is pretty obscure now, so it’s unlikely they would gamble on it when they could just start a new IP.

      I wouldn’t be surprised If they drew on Bungie’s sci-fi experience to make a CoD version of battlefield 2142. Something with lasers and a grim, post apocalyptic future. And dedicated servers.

  15. PHeMoX says:

    It’s been what they have been planning to do all along that’s for sure!

    They had already purchased the franchise rights back from Microsoft for some of their original productions.

    Not so sure how much of the Halo franchise they actually own right now, but I can see this deal as being a way of saying they want to finally do what they’ve said many times before … focus on new and / or other franchises for their next games.

    I totally hope to see a new Oni game. With the exception of level design, that game was just about perfect. It’s just begging for a sequel.

  16. Red Scharlach says:

    oceanclub:

    Hates gonna hate.

    Not really sure where people get off calling an expertly balanced and characterful game series as more over-rated than Call of Duties‘ slogging corridors or Half-Life 2‘s rapid decline into becoming dated.

    Play ODST. It’s everything Episode Two should have been and a whole lot more.

    P.S. Chances are, their new IP will be a shooter franchise. It’s blatantly going to be action-oriented either way.

    I would not say no to Bungie revisiting a fantasy setting either.

    • Rich says:

      “Play ODST. It’s everything Episode Two should have been and a whole lot more.”

      You mean long sections of boring streets, interspersed by chats with cast of Firefly?
      The open world stuff was just a slog.

      Half-Life 2′s ‘decline’ has hardly been rapid. It’s 6 years old and still looks nice. OK the episodes have been slow to release, but I’m still hoping that Valve update the engine for HL2, Ep1 and Ep2, to Ep3 standards on release (as they said they would).

      Halo has never been ‘expertly balanced’. It’s fun, don’t get me wrong. It just never enjoyed the kind of scientific tweaking process Valve apply.
      I’ll concede that Ep2 is probably the least fun episode so far though.

    • Red Scharlach says:

      I mean open hub world with a heavy encouragement on exploration.

      Half-Life 2 hasn’t aged well at all. Especially not in the AI department. If by “scientific tweaking process” you mean make the game as manipulatively accessible as possible, then yeah: Valve have definitely honed that down to a cynically scientific level. Even Halo at its worse (The Flood, or Halo 2 past the first couple levels) gave you all sorts of options in tackling a same combat scenario, while the enemies would always react visibly to what you did, allowing for all sorts of emergent situations to pop up.

      Hiring Adam Foster is good and all, since Minerva proved just how much was left to learn from Bungie’s original game – and is pretty much the only reason I have Half-Life 2 still on my PC until Black Mesa comes out – but Episode Three better be fucking amazing, because more corridors, obvious physic puzzles and geek-friendly characterisation just won’t cut it any more.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I don’t think we played the same Halo game.

      Anything with the Flood was “shoot them a lot with the shotgun” and “throw grenades if in a pickle”

      Even on legendary difficulty it failed to be anything more than duck hunt. I have no idea where you get this idea that flood had great AI, considering all they ever did was run straight at you.

    • Stabby says:

      I’ll just say that Episode 2 is the best shooter I’ve ever played.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      Yeah, the Flood are not a good example to bring up here. They are, after all, just the headcrab zombies from HALF-LIFE who appear in greater numbers and can move a bit faster but are vastly stupider.

      Then there’s the Covenant, who are irritating gimp-monkeys who no sane person can take seriously as an enemy, and whose AI was programmed by a post-full-frontal-lobotomy monkey who’d just spent six months straight watching the Jeremy Kyle Show.

  17. wokjraslnfsa says:

    WANT ALIENS
    WANT ARCADE STYLE DEATH KILLING
    WANT HALO ON PC!!!!!

    Well, I like halo, but they really went downhill with halo 2-3, in terms of creating a cheesy story. ODST didn’t even touch my gag reflexes, but it was still mediocre. Visa vi, NEW IP WITH MANY ALIENS WITH A GREAT STORY!

  18. Pani says:

    I actually had to go away and wiki Bungie to find out what they’d done in the past. I suppose I always associated Halo with consoles and therefore had no interest in them.

    Can we have a little more detail in posts please – just to explain what the heck is going on! Thank you!

  19. Magic H8 Ball says:

    oceanclub said:
    Needless to say, I think it’s probably the most overrated FPS series of all time, even more so than COD. (COD4’s story was fairly standard Ross Kempisms strung together, but the mechanics of the game were solid.)

    Halo created the current FPS mechanics(health regen, two weapons). Except in Halo the regen health made sense(no regrowing limbs) and in Halo the two weapons was a tactical choice(because the weapons were vastly different). Speaking of vastly different, so were enemies.

    You might not like the new world order, but Halo was revolutionary.

    • Chaz says:

      Yeah you got to give credit due where it’s due, and Halo did pretty much set the bar for subsequent FPS’s and yet it always seems to get written off as genric space marine shooter number xxx.

      I also never quite understand all the flak Bungie gets for supposedly “churning out” halo games by the dozen. Including the as yet unreleased Halo Reach, that will only make 5 Bungie Halo games plus one Halo RTS by Ensemble. Compared to some of the other major franchises out there, like Final Fantasy, CoD, Medal of Honor, Star Wars etc, thats peanuts.

    • Mahel042 says:

      You mean that HALO is responsible for everything wrong with the FPS genre?(limited weapon inventory and health regen)

    • Rich says:

      I’ve never had a problem only being able to carry a limited number of weapons, or health regeneration. I like the old system too, in games like HL2, but healthpack hunting always seemed silly in COD 1 and it’s expansion.

      If Halo is responsible for the use of checkpoints in FPS games, then everyone at Bungie should be shot. I demand and investigation into this immediately.

    • Chaz says:

      I think check points are great, as long as they still include quick saves too of course. The problem I have now is that I’m so used to check point saves that I’ve become unstuck when playing some older games again as I’ve not bothered to quick save. I lost about an hour or more of Dungeon Siege the other night after forgetting to quick save periodically.

    • Subject 706 says:

      @Chaz
      Playing Dungeon Siege lowers your IQ. Unless you are playing one of the Ultima mods, that is.

    • Red Scharlach says:

      Quick, Mahel! Tell us how awful it is playing an FPS on a console, because aiming with a bar of soap and swivelling with no regard for inertia or gravity is far more realistic than deliberate movements with twin analog sticks!

      There’s absolutely nothing wrong with regenerating health or limited inventory if done well, which Bungie generally does. Hell, even removing health was somewhat tolerable in Halo 3.

      Because there has never been any second-rate FPS titles on console or PC for that matter that abused med kits and being able to carry an entire military arsenal on your person, right?

    • Tei says:

      You mean Halo lowered the bar for FPS, so consoles can have fps’s too?

    • Red Scharlach says:

      How exactly are characterful AI opponents, specialised weapons, a deliberate control scheme and wide-open environments “dumbing down”?

      I love my DooM and Build engine FPS games as much as the next guy, but don’t pretend they were particularly deep.

      The whole “consoles = shit” mentality is really very tiring.

    • Vinraith says:

      “Consoles = shit for FPS” != “consoles = shit”

    • Red Scharlach says:

      Funny then that FPS games sell so well on consoles now!

      Must be because they’re awful!

    • Sarlix says:

      No, it’s because they’re cleverly marketed. And some are probably good, but mostly the marketing.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Last I heard, most console owners were gamers.

      It stands to reason a game made for a console with good marketing will sell well, especially since you don’t even need the brainpower of installing something.

    • Tei says:

      A FPS is a game where you aim and shot to baddies. And consoles add autoaim to the equation.
      Autoaim removes part of the key, the point, of playing a FPS. Is like, I don’t know.. Is like training wheels.

      http://bikeblog.foghead.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/training_wheel1.jpg
      http://images01.olx.com.ph/ui/2/46/33/18234333_1.jpg

      This make console games more a toy, and less a game. I would describe console gaming as “Assisted Gaming”, or “Gaming on Training Whells”. I think is a accurate description, since the autoaim and cover systems all server the same purpose to help the handicap of the console player.

    • Nick says:

      Avatar is top of the box office of all time, it must be a great film. Right?

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      Nothing in the entire history of FPS gaming to this point is more mentally retarded than instant health-regen.

      “Finding medikits that instantly heal 20/30/40% (depending on difficulty level) of your health is really unrealistic!”

      “Okay! Now if you’ve been machine gunned in the spleen seventeen times you can hide behind a waist-high bit of concrete (AP rounds? In the future? Surely sir, you jest! That’s just science fiction!) for three seconds and you get 100% of your health back!”

      “That’s fully comprehensible and makes sense!”

      “WIN!”

      In fairness this started on PC (with CoD2, IIRC), so it’s not a console vs PC thing, just a very, very moronic thing.

  20. Sagan says:

    I said this in the other thread already, but here it is again:

    I take a lot of what I said about Bobby Kotick back. I still think he is an idiot for running Guitar Hero into the ground so fast and for the mess with Infinity Ward, but seeing as he had another huge thing ready to make billions of dollars, he is clearly smarter than I gave him credit for.

  21. Mr_Bacco says:

    [Digression begin]
    I would say that not even the novel(ish) mechanics in Halo 1 were its best part (The AI was pretty sick for the time though). It is the fact that it was (and still is) fun to play that make it a great FPS.

    There are some times when an intelligent FPS (a Deus Ex) is what you want. Then there are other times when a hardcore challenge is in order (a Raven Shield). But sometimes a bit of fun is all you want and something unassuming and unpretentious like Halo 1 fits the bill perfectly. Check out this website to get an idea of what I mean: http://www.badcyborg.net/

    Oh and ignore Halo 2 and 3. They broke my heart.
    [Digression over]

    Back on topic, I can’t see this being a happy marriage that produces good things or ends well, given the recent past of both parties involved.

    • Red Scharlach says:

      Thanks for that link. First I’ve heard of this site. I definitely feel compelled to set up mega-battles now.

  22. Chris says:

    According to Destructoid, Bungie won’t be showing anything at E3 this year:

    “While [Bungie Design Director Joseph] Staten wouldn’t tell me when they planned to reveal the brand new IP, he did make one thing clear: we won’t see it at E3 this year. In fact, we probably won’t hear about it at E3 this year at all.”

    - Chris

    PS: Anyone else using Chrome – is the CAPTCHA box invisible for you too?

  23. Urthman says:

    MAGIC CARPET! MAGIC CARPET!

    Imagine an open world that is huge like Just Cause but small in the sense that the Just Cause map is an entire planet that wraps around as a sphere.

    You’re flying around on a magic carpet, wielding spells that can harness the weather, summon hordes of creatures, and sculpt the landscape to raise up entire mountains and drop them on your foes.

    It’s a multiplayer action game with base-building and territory control as the victory condition. Like Just Cause 2 or Red Faction, much of the action involves destroying the buildings of your enemies (sometimes by causing a freaking volcano to erupt in the middle of their base, or tornadoes, or tidal waves, or a dozen fire-breathing dragons), but unlike those games you have your own territory to defend, and you have magic spells that rebuild after the destruction caused by your enemies.

    Are you feeling the awesome power potential of Magic Carpet?!!!!

    • Jad says:

      That’s all well and good, but Magic Carpet was made by Bullfrog, not Bungie. Bullfrog, they of Peter Molyneux, now Lionhead, working on Fable 3. Bullfrog made Populous and Syndicate and Dungeon Keeper and Magic Carpet and others. Bungie made Marathon and Myth and Oni and Halo.

      But yes, Molyneux should make a new Magic Carpet.

    • Urthman says:

      Oh brain, why do you embarrass me this way?

    • Tei says:

      “Oh brain, why do you embarrass me this way?”

      No, what is embarrasing is that no one has made another Magic Carpet. The idea practicaly code itself.

    • Chaz says:

      Yes Peter Molyneux should do another Magic Carpet, but you do realise that as a first party developer for Microsoft it’ll most likely end up being a 360 exclusive even if he did.

  24. Tim Ward says:

    People still care about Bungie? Amazing.

  25. oceanclub says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_wield#Integration_into_media

    “Rise of the Triad and Marathon, both released on December 21, 1994, were the earliest first-person shooters to integrate akimbo pistols”

    I am quite willing to applaud Bungie for being the joint inventors of dual-weapons-in-games. Whether they can them to dine out on this fact for 16 years is another issue.

    P.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Good call! Completely forgot about Rise of the Triad.

      Besides I’m not even sure where the innovation is in dual-wield… or regen. Or why we should even be talking about it. I think some folks here will go to any lengths to bring some light and noise into what essentially is a bleak and silent graveyard of FPS ideas for the past 10 years.

    • Bret says:

      Would that make Bungie the first to give gaming akimbo double barreled shotguns?

      Because that gets them a good deal more license to do whatever they want.

      (Whenever I see the FEAR shotgun described as the best ever, I silently shake my head in shame for those who never loved the WSTE-M.)

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      RotT was the BEST. You could just hit keys on the numpad constantly to drive your opponent nuts with constant taunting.

  26. Viskernus says:

    Why would you be getting excited about this unless you’re an activision stockholder? Are you expecting soulful retro pc games? Are you not expecting this to result in more successful attempts at pushing the boundaries of utter contempt for customers they can get away with?
    Well, I guess I’m sounding like a troll or a boycott queen, but it’s really alienating.

  27. Radiant says:

    HALO’S STORY WAS INDECIPHERABLE!

    Seriously.
    If you hadn’t read any of the ‘novels’ or limited edition comic books you had no idea wtf was going on in those stupid cut scenes.
    “Holy truth of what?”
    “Who?”
    “New Mobasassa where?!”
    “Glass eyes??”
    “Planets?!”
    “Reach is what exactly”
    “What just happened”
    “I no longer care”

    FAO game developers.
    Tell me the story in the game please.

    [Gears of What I'm looking at you too]

    • Red Scharlach says:

      I don’t know, the story in Combat Evolved and ODST were pretty self-contained and straight-forward. I imagine Reach, being removed from the trilogy at large, will be easy enough to follow. No idea if it’ll be any good, though. I mean, CE was a basic FPS story with little delusions and worked well for what it was going for and ODST didn’t drive home any of its noir-esque pretenses in a crass fashion and had a great optional sub-plot that made it clear you were simply playing out the prologue to a far more human story.

      Of course, the sequels changed all of that, I don’t disagree there. At my most cynically, I’d imagine that Microsoft wanting them rushed out meant that Bungie didn’t have all that much room for damage control and figured it would do wonders for marketing the franchise cross-media. I haven’t read the books, and I doubt I will unless I find them in a used book shop, but I’ve heard they’re pretty okay bubblegum space opera. The graphic novel though was kind of impressive on account of the talent it got, mainly Tsutomu Nihei and Jean Giraud.

      The ARGs were all pretty swell, though, and it was great to see them be somewhat integrated alongside with old-school terminals in ODST. I do hope Reach will have something similar.

    • Radiant says:

      I agree with you about CE to an extent.
      But even with that it failed to convey, in game, even simple things.
      Like what’s a grunt?
      Who are the brutes and what is their relationship to the other fellas?

      I quite enjoyed the comics as it goes. [that's how I knew vaguely what was going on.]

    • Red Scharlach says:

      I’m not sure how it mattered what grunts are.

      What the Hell are Imps or Pig Cops?

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Nice try deflecting the argument, but an Imp is a demon. SHOOT IT. Doom didn’t try to pretend it had a storyline other than “go kill everything because they’re demons and therefore bad”.

      Less so for Duke Nukem. He has a point, y’know. If you weren’t such a fanboy you’d realize the rest of us seriously have no comprehension of any of how the Covenant works. I had to be told what the heck a Hunter actually is. Apparently it’s like a hive mind worm thing in armor. In fact, the plot of Star Wars the Phantom Menace is easier to follow. At least then I actually had a clue who the bad guy was. It fits well with that movie, really. Both are completely indecipherable plot wise. Here’s what I basically got out of the plot.

      Three dudes with silly names that sit in hoverchairs tell the Covenant to attack us. Every mega space marine besides the protagonist is killed on some planet. They then send this one guy to… actually, why didn’t they just send him after the main dudes in the first place? He’s practically invincible, the one thing he can’t do is apparently fly a ship. Why not teach him how to fly a ship, then come up with a plan to get him on board one of their cruisers? That’s all it would’ve taken. So anyways you spend the entire first game doing nothing besides rescuing people who all die when you blow up the ring.
      Then the second game you fight aliens on earth for no reason because honestly you could’ve just blown up the city like they did anyways. So you finally kill a leader guy, and it amounts to practically nothing. Oh and you’ve been fighting parasites that are utterly pathetic if you have any sort of explosive weapon (ignore the floating bowling ball’s advice). Then the flood guy teleports you to go kill more dudes. Then you’re gonna kill another leader guy but he’s already dead so you chase after the one remaining one. Also, some ape things called Brutes suddenly showed up, without any reference to them at all previously. So you kill some leader brute guy and jump into basically a railgun thing but don’t quite land right, and somehow end up on earth billions of lightyears away. I guess he just fell out when the stupid ship landed.
      Then in the third game you do even more nothing, fighting on the ground for some inexplicable reason with a bizzare pseudo lovestory with your AI to rescue it. You spend half the game doing that, and the AI has a key thing to activate the rings which somehow you knew you’d need to blow up the gravemind which apparently was the big threat the entire time. So you go to another ring which for some reason you are AMAZED to see and everyone you know besides the jerk general and the alien space marine dies.

      In fact, even the Doomguy has a better track record than this. And everyone died in his game. Gordon easily does, and really his only bad one because Black Mesa got a Metroid style explosion to go in the end.

      Also, the “twist” ending that we’re the Forerunners? Called that when I first played Halo. Was so incredibly obvious. Of course that confused it even more because it basically says Earth is beyond the reach of the doomsday spinny things, so why not activate it in the first place.

      As I come from the legion of Quake 3 players, I expect to be able to dodge more than hide behind cover like a wuss. Halo’s multiplayer sets well for its community (14 year old boys), and no one else. Hell, the Heavy from Team Fortress runs faster than this guy. And this guy is supposed to be a cyborg? Apparently all they did was make it so he could jump stupid high. His superpower is bunnyhopping.

      So in closing, Halo is not that great, the story is frickin confusing when not stupidly obvious, and Half-Life 2 is STILL better because of the gravity gun.

    • Chaz says:

      Do stories really matter that much in FPS’s?

      I didn’t understand all of what was going on in Halo but I grasped the overall plot and I still had a great deal of fun playing the games. I’ve just burned my way through Borderlands with a few buddies in co-op, and I don’t have a single clue what the story was about as we just raced from waypoint to waypoint completing our objectives without even bothering to spare a second to read or listen to the story plot. Something about vaults, keys and alien artifacts was about as much as I gathered, but we still had great fun playing it.

      I’m not saying stories are not important and that they don’t add anything to a game, but in some genres like FPS’s I feel that they’re perhaps a little less important to your ability to have fun with the game. Lets face it no matter how good the story is it’s still going to boil down to the same thing as every other FPS out there, i.e. you’re a character with big guns and you’ve got lots of enemies to shoot.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      HALO CE’s failure was answering the vital question, “Why the hell am I doing any of this?”

      HALF-LIFE showed you all your co-workers being happy bunnies before getting their faces gnawed off, which gives you a reason to go all shotgun on some houndeyes.

      SiN started you off in a helicopter in a minigun. Hell, I’ll play the rest of the game if that’s going to crop up again. Plus, the box art promises the possibility of breasts at some point in the game.

      MEDAL OF HONOUR made you think you were Tom Hanks in PRIVATE RYAN for 20 minutes, so hell yeah.

      HALO? “Why am I fighting these little monkey guys in a scene lifted from Iain M. Banks’ CONSIDER PHLEBAS? Anyone? Okay, I’ll fight on if only to prove I didn’ just waste my £10. Plus RED VS BLUE is really funny.”

  28. Crush says:

    It will be a Halo clone, Bungie brass have been repeating the words broad consumer base over and over and Bungie haven’t much else to show other than Halo so anything less would be a flop.

    This isn’t that surprising either Bungie are huge sell-outs from Mac fanboys to the bousim of Microsoft and now to a deal with the scumbags at Activision theres one thing dear to Bungie’s heart and that is very large amounts of cash.

  29. Radiant says:

    Also with Halo what it did, for all its faults, was introduce online multiplayer fps to the console generation.

    As PC players we had a 10 year head start on these types of games to the point where /our/ online fps were already several generations of complexity above entry level [multi classes/multi role, multi objective, complex communications].

    Think of Halo as this generation’s QW:DM and you can see the importance of the title.

    Console FPS is only now just catching up to PC online shooters; it will be interesting to see where it will be in another 10 years.

    • Red Scharlach says:

      You say that like multi-classes are somehow a good thing.

      They can play Team Fortress 2 on console, you know?

      The best thing to come out of PC multiplayer is griefing, modding for the sake of griefing and racistman3D.

    • Radiant says:

      But we [the PC] have gone past pre-set multi class roles.

      We’re way past things as simple as an FPS.

      The majority of our online multiplay is RPG and that hasn’t even raised it’s head in popular online console gaming.

      In regards to TF2 I played that game when it was still called QW:TF back in the 1990s. Before TFC before even Q3F

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      No, you can’t play TF2 on consoles. Not the same TF2, anyways. The new weapons and patches make the game a lot better. (W + M1 Pyro nerf and Compression Blast buff anyone?) At this point, however, they’re waiting until they have content for all the classes first, because Microsoft has forced them to charge money for DLC.

      So no, console gamers can’t play the same game, since we get the patches automatically for free. It’s funny you’re smacktalking PC gaming, since, y’know. PC gaming site.

    • MultiVaC says:

      “The best thing to come out of PC multiplayer is griefing, modding for the sake of griefing and racistman3D.”

      I’m pretty the best thing to come out of PC multiplayer was the concept of networked multiplayer games. That was kind of cool.

  30. Magic H8 Ball says:

    oceanclub said:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_wield#Integration_into_media

    “Rise of the Triad and Marathon, both released on December 21, 1994, were the earliest first-person shooters to integrate akimbo pistols”

    If this is a reply to my post, I meant carrying only two different weapons at a time(as opposed to, say, Half-Life’s nine or hovewer much). Nobody cares about gun akimbo, it’s not a feature, it’s a gimmick.

    Funny then that FPS games sell so well on consoles now!

    Must be because they’re awful!

    More = better? Analog sticks better than mouse? Did you get lost on your way to The Escapist forums?

  31. Medina says:

    I would like to see them make another RTS. I don’t believe they still own the rights to he Myth series so I doubt that we will ever see a new game in that series. But I would really like to see a new RTS game from them. Myth multiplayer was the most fun I ever had playing a MP RTS.

    • Rich says:

      Myth’s mods were some of the best I’ve played.
      WW2, US civil war, Aliens. Brilliant.

  32. Rich says:

    “because aiming with a bar of soap and swivelling with no regard for inertia or gravity is far more realistic than deliberate movements with twin analog sticks!”

    And just who here mentioned realism? No it’s not realistic, it’s just better. It’s faster, it’s more accurate, you’re not relying on the dexterity of two (soon to suffer from RSI) thumbs etc.

    You want realism? Join the army.

    My ‘bar of soap’ has sufficient buttons on it that I can do a whole series of actions by slightly moving a finger, while aiming and moving, jumping, sneaking, crouching etc. At no point do I have to take my thumb off my aiming controls and almost never from my movement controls. It’s not perfect, but it’s sure as hell not as clunky using something designed for flight controls.

    Try to remember this is PC gamer’s site, though I’m sure plenty of us are console gamers too.
    … but FPS’ better on consoles? Get real.

    • Rich says:

      ^ A reply to Red Scharlach

    • Vinraith says:

      @Rich

      Indeed. FPS’s are games about pointing at things and shooting them. When the console iteration of any given FPS has to include generous auto-aim to even make that practically possible for most players, you know something may be less-than-optimal about the controls.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      And the PC will remain king until someone finally does it with the motion control stuff right (Metroid Prime 3 was fun but it lacked online multiplayer)

      Honestly I don’t think NATAL or that lollipop thing Sony is putting out will really do it, either. Especially not in the case of the Xbox, where you have to pay for their internet. Hahaha!

    • Chaz says:

      Actually quite a few console games you can switch the auto aim off, which I much prefer and I can still quite competently play on a dual analog pad.

      I’ve been a PC gamer for many years and I remember plenty of PC games that also have had the option to switch auto aim on, so I would hardly consider it to be a console specific feature. Infact I remember in most earlier FPS’s that it would generally be on by default in the options.

      But if it makes a game more accessable for less skilled people then surely it’s a good thing right?

  33. Kevin says:

    *sigh* I guess with a 10 year exclusivity deal, I can kiss my dreams of seeing a Marathon remake in the near future goodboye (unless Activisions agreed to get the rights, in which case I shall scream).

  34. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Considering a lot of people who used to work at Bungie in the old days have long since left AND knowing the way Activision does business.. I’m not expecting much. At any rate, the Bungie of old is no more.

  35. Helios_Five says:

    I was hoping activision would collapse with bobby kotick buried among the rubble. I can’t see why Bungie is stupid enought to sign up with that sinking ship, but I wish Activision only misery, if that means Bungie will fall with them, well so be it.

  36. WiPa says:

    Bungie will probably be making the new Modern Warfare games. Thats my guess anyway.

  37. adam says:

    Yay! 10 years of boring shooters that could have been made in the 90s if it wasn’t for the mostly better graphics.

  38. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    I’ll just say that Episode 2 is the best shooter I’ve ever played.

    Now that’s a statement damning the entire genre!

  39. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Chaz said:Infact I remember in most earlier FPS’s that it would generally be on by default in the options.

    You mean back when many people still used keyboards to play them?

    But if it makes a game more accessable for less skilled people then surely it’s a good thing right?

    No.

  40. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Your post doesn’t make any fucking sense.

  41. dethgar says:

    I’d like a sci-fi space game, one that focuses on using ships. This is needed, badly.