Wub Wub Otherland Wub Wub

By Alec Meer on February 28th, 2012 at 11:29 am.

FInally! Chess 2.0 is here!

I suppose it’s a bit of a cultural death knell for an alternative dance music genre when middle-class geeks start ritually making vaguely inaccurate gags about it, and indeed when it suddenly finds its way onto every other game trailer. Dubstep – increasingly better known as Wub Wub – appears to be the go-to games marketing of 2012. Far Cry 3 and Borderlands 2 have already staked their wubby claim, and now it’s the turn of Unreal 3-powered MMO Otherland. Spectacular environments, light-trees, big fat men, big fat women and ladyvoice-ehanced wub wub wub wub wub wub wub wub await.

Gamingo’s title is based on a series of virtual reality-related novels by Tad Williams, and it looks – and hopefully sounds – a little bit like this:

Here’s a making of promo feature too, apparently made before the 2012 Wubolution:


Reminds me visually of Anachranox to some degree, though presumably it’s 31983.17% less batshit crazy than Ion Storm’s overlooked odyssey of strangeness.

I’m not sure I’ve got a clear sense of how Otherland works day-to-day just yet – it seems to be falling somewhere between tried and test monster-bothering and the posing/designing of Second Life. The character customisation is impressive stuff, though. Any game where you can make a fattie is alright by me.

Otherland will be a microtransaction-funded free title, and it’s due later this year. More infonuggets lurk here.

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78 Comments »

  1. StickyNavels says:

    Doesn’t look very much like Anachronox to me. I think you dropped that in there just to make me sad. You’re a mean little man, Alec Meer.

  2. julianbenson says:

    Wait, so it is free of microtransactions, or it’s free and funded by microtransactions?

  3. RedViv says:

    And I thought I was safe when they didn’t use it while that stuff was hip. Now it feels like trolling.

  4. Bhazor says:

    So sad. Interesting setting turned into a Pay to Win MMO.

    Could have been a great single player RPG or Guild Wars style co-op thing.

    • trjp says:

      I’m proposing a new rule here…

      Anyone who sees an F2P game and immediately calls it “Pay 2 Win” – without even having seen what the microtransactions system is – will have their username changed to “Victor Meldrew”.

      or they could just fuck off – either way PLEASE stop doing it – it’s really, really tiresome.

      I can list the number of F2P games which offer “pay to win” on the fingers of one hand – the rest simply offer a way for lazy people with a strange liking for hats to fund the game for the rest of us – and I LIKE that idea.

      Hell the commonest complaint about games is “no demo” – or for MMOs ‘no trial’ – but people make the whole game free and your first reaction is to condemn it – what a brilliant idea.

    • InternetBatman says:

      When subscription MMOs have failed they go f2p. Where do f2p MMOs go when they fail?

    • Shuck says:

      @ trjp: You must have a monstrous number of fingers! ;) You’re absolutely right, though – there are plenty of f2p games that manage to use that funding mechanic without it being “pay to win,” so one shouldn’t assume that it’s necessarily the case. I can understand why people might assume that, however, as there are a lot of games that do go the “pay to win” route (either on accident by poor design or on purpose), especially cheaper, more casual games, and it’s easily possible to only have been exposed to f2p games that go that route.

      @ InternetBatman: They shut down, of course, just like subscription-based games used to do when subscriber numbers flagged. Before they shut down, I think they’re more likely to try “pay to win” strategies out of desperation, though.

    • Skabooga says:

      While we are banning things, I would like to never again read on RPS the following:

      -white-knighting
      -strawman
      -antiquing

    • AndrewC says:

      I have never seen the term ‘antiquing’ before! What does it mean!

    • AndrewC says:

      Hrrm, reading urban dictionary does not deliver any definition immediately relatable to PC gaming, no matter how old the writers of this site are.

    • Chris D says:

      @AndrewC

      Not even if you include Gillen?

  5. Eclipse says:

    awful music, starts like crappy ’90s dance and ends with uninspired dubstep.
    The game setting sounds very interesting, but gamplay itself doesn’t really seem to be that exciting…

    • Shuck says:

      “The game setting sounds very interesting, but gamplay itself doesn’t really seem to be that exciting…”
      I can’t keep track of how many MMOs I’ve thought that about.

  6. ankh says:

    I think that kind of thing only strengthens a subculture and if it doesnt then it wasnt worth it to begin with.

  7. Meat Circus says:

    Let’s put it this way. When PEOPLE WHO WORK IN ADVERTISING learn of your quaint little musical alleyway and park their exploitative PR twatwagons at one end, cultural permadeath is swift and merciful.

  8. Inglourious Badger says:

    At least everyone’s stopped using piano covers of the Pixies now.

  9. Jams O'Donnell says:

    On the subject of wub wub, just what relationship exactly does the wub wub dubstep have to stuff like Burial that was all two-steppy? I’m horrifyingly out of touch with music, but it seems like there are more than a few missing links there.

    • Delusibeta says:

      Arguably, it was Rusko’s “Cockney Gangster” that (accidentally) started the subgenre. Then Skrillex decided to make Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, and that blew up in the US.

    • Torn says:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubstep#History

      2-step begat Grime, which certain American producers got their hands on and started churning out ‘Brostep’ – harsh, lurching subbassy and music with drops that sound like transformers having sex. See Mt Eden, Skrillex, Datsik, etc. etc.

    • Bhazor says:

      I thought it was just the Yank version of Jungle. 15 years late.

    • shaydeeadi says:

      There aren’t enough facepalms in the world.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      I’m convinced there is an internet law, similar to Godwin’s law, which means that any internet discussion on music will inevitably end up sounding like Monty Python’s “Rock Notes” sketch.

    • Muzman says:

      The amount of people who say “Oh it’s just like Jungle/DnB”.
      a…e…Have they not ears? They differences are completely…what’s a good word…fundamental. Some things about the production of the Bass part of Drum and Bass carry over I guess, but that’s about it.

      Anyway.there’s that other thing called Fidget or Electro House that came along at the same time which is French I think, initially. That employed a lot of those harsher syth screeches. The famous one is that Deadmou5 guy. There was apparently a lot of crossover in the production techniques along the way in the last few years. Skrillex is arguably the bastard child of both genres as he’s pretty straight beat much of the time.

    • McCool says:

      That history is a bit of a gross simplification (Well, clearly, but a little too gross). There is nothing undubstepy about massive drops, robots having sex, etc, these kinds of tropes still get played with within Albion’s fair shores, though the explosion of this one aspect of dubstep across the seas has killed almost everyone’s enthusiasm for it. It’s part of the history of dubstep, but a grossly overstated one by what has now gotten huge around the globe.

      Muzman is on the money here, music by that Skrilly guy owe as much to Electro House as to dubstep. Dubstep itself is less about the drop, almost never has that kind of slick, hyper-clean production values (It’s in the same lineage as Grime and Jungle, for gawds sake). Just personally, what the genre means to me is that slow, disjointed 2-steppy beat, and everything on the even slightly wubby side of dub. Half the time I have no idea if what I’m listening to is dub or dubstep, and does it become grime if someone starts rapping?

      I started this post trying to clarify things and now I need to lie down.

    • shaydeeadi says:

      It is an unbelievably complex set of sub-genres that makes up dubstep. Most of the stuff being called dubstep nowadays is no where near what the sound of it should be/used to be. I still listen to DMZ/Youngsta sets from 2005/2006, I hardly listen to the turd that is called dubstep now, the viral spread of half time beats through various music has pushed the homogenisation of dance music to a scary point, with everyone desperate to pidgeonhole some new production style with ‘step’ on the end to fit in to the program.
      The sooner Dubstep collapses in on itself and has a rebirth as deep, hypnotic, subby music again the better.

      “2-step begat Grime, which certain American producers got their hands on and started churning out ‘Brostep’ ”

      Is a really wrong statement, but this is a gaming blog so I shall shut up now.

    • shaydeeadi says:

      ….

    • trjp says:

      All this musical genre nonsense exists only so that precious late teens/early twentysomethings can carry their childhood a little further and seem “street” at the same time – no-one else gives a damn.

      It’s just a variation on writing moody songs or bad poetry – it’s emo noodling – pretending something matters a lot when it’s completely pointless.

      Everyone else simply listens to music they like and ignores stuff they don’t like – so there are only really 2 genres “Music I like” and “Music I don’t like” – every other genre exists for music nerds only (and even they won’t agree on what is what!!)

    • LoLAdriankat says:

      @ Muzman: Real dubstep is DnB+Jungle. You’re just thinking of this brostep abomination that’s been calling itself dubstep.

    • cmi says:

      @LoLAdriankat wrong on the d&b+jungle part. dubstep evolved from garage and grime in about 2003. there is nothing in it which sounds like d&b or jungle, besides the deep subbass. d&b and jungle are fast paced, dubstep isn’t at all.

      @rps and all the others: please, please, please.. don’t call this shit dubstep. dubstep is the uk-style (i always thought rps is a british website and you guys don’t know the difference? ffs this genre was *born* in your country! (london, bristol, …)) not this “drooooooooop” american brostep shit. but seeing skrillex getting 2 grammys and having 60+ mio views on some of his youtube vids it’s too late i guess. (fun sidenote: skrillex himself never claimed he made dubstep, the “fans” adopted this term.)

    • Muzman says:

      We’re really going to have to lose this pretense that there’s some genuine Atlantic divide here. That it’s Americans who came up with wubs and screeches and shuffle beats or the agro flavour or whatever (i have seen all such accusations at different times). And that’s “bro step and it’s shit” or however it goes. This is garbage. All those things are dubstep (and some of my favorite aspects, for all that) and they go back some way, they’re just not all that is dubstep. Go back and listen to some Skream. Surely he has old school cred, of all people.
      You can hear the development of these things in stuff like this quite clearly too. Flux Pavilion, Dr P, Skism and loads of others have also mastered the ultra bright production style for years and they’re all Poms too.

      Yeah there’s fads and gimmicks and it’s a bit rote and cheesy at times lately and one sort of sub grouping of elements is kind of dominating the identity and you wish it didn’t (and I generally agree). But wherever you try and draw a clear line between nations or sounds or rhythms on this, it ain’t actually there. I’m sorry.

    • DiamondDog says:

      “what the genre means to me is that slow, disjointed 2-steppy beat, and everything on the even slightly wubby side of dub.”

      Same here. Dubstep isn’t just dnb+jungle.

      Rusko and Nero are as bad as anyone. This isn’t an American thing. As Muzman says, the elements for this have been around for a while. Although I didn’t like this stuff back then, either.

    • The Magic says:

      I like dubstep. Who else likes dubstep? It’s great isn’t it. Aw yeah. I like dubstep.

  10. Damn You Socrates says:

    Unless you can make your avatar look like a plate of bacon and eggs, I’m not interested.

  11. MerseyMal says:

    Been years since I read the books but I enjoyed them.

  12. Inigo says:

    Whenever I see mention of WUB WUB I keep hoping it’s going to be a freestyle rap battle between Curly Howard and Doctor Zoidberg.

  13. Werthead says:

    “Reminds me visually of Anachranox to some degree, though presumably it’s 31983.17% less batshit crazy than Ion Storm’s overlooked odyssey of strangeness.”

    Potentially it could be. The novels are set in different fantasy worlds which exist inside a computer VR network, varying from an alt-history where the Aztecs crossed the Atlantic and invaded Spain to a world of giant insects and a world derived from a chessboard, as well as a house the size of a city. If they channel the strangeness just right, they could come up with something appropriately mental.

    Or it could just be a somewhat mediocre MMORPG which doesn’t achieve its full potential. Guess we’ll see.

  14. Williz says:

    I thought this had died? Oh well I look forward to it, I love Tad’s books.

  15. torchedEARTH says:

    I’d like to hear more Jungle and Drum n Bass in game trailers.

    I can’t bear either of those genres.

  16. HexagonalBolts says:

    Before the PR usage comes the artists who are methodically manufactured by corporations, pop culture, or both. When that becomes widespread is when you know that your genre is utterly screwed. The vast majority of dubstep now just relies on rehashing expected cliches.

  17. Melonfodder says:

    So it’s official then? Dubstep is the go-to music when you suffer from creative bankruptcy.

  18. Tei says:

    I am somewhat disapointed by the trailer for borderlands 2. The music of the first borderlan was consistently good. I am scared games will start including ugly music. Oh well, small problem, I can always play with music disabled.

  19. Wreckdum says:

    What about Syndicate? EA paid to license the wub wub into the actual soundtrack. I thought it was just for trailers until I fought the first boss and the music got all wubby crazy.

  20. RaveTurned says:

    New metric for trailer quality in 2010: “Start to Wub” (or “StW”).

    The smaller the StW in seconds, the worse the marketing campaign.

    StW here is 59 seconds. For comparison, StW for the Syndicate announce trailer is 49 seconds – though the first five seconds or so of that were ESRB warnings.

  21. slight says:

    Dubstep died a while ago. Luckily many of those who were making it are off making new and interesting things in all sort of directions!

  22. GrandmaFunk says:

    I blame bayonetta

  23. Swanny says:

    I couldn’t hear what the man was saying on the second vid, i could only stare in amazement as his beard pincered in and out as he spoke. Terrifying.

  24. theoriginaled says:

    If they can make it a less crappy second life they’ve succeeded.

  25. NegativeZero says:

    Read Wub Wub and somehow my brain interpreted that as Yub Nub, as in the Ewok party music at the end of Return of the Jedi before Lucas went back and ruined it. Unfortunately the trailer disappoints.

    On the upside, Lucas did such a good job removing Yub Nub that the kids these days probably won’t ever Wub Wub it.

  26. DrGonzo says:

    Dubstep is far from dead. That wub wub sound is though, although it doesn’t have all that much to do with dubstep. Its overused in the genre. But wub wub does not equal dubstep. Its annoying, I really rather love the genre but im not a fan of wub wub. More of a myeeeeeeeegr fan myself.

    Still judging a genre by what it sounds like when its used in adverts is, how do you say it? Fucking retarded?

  27. Cryo says:

    I’d be excited by this trailer if is was a single-player RPG. Setting looks quite interesting.

  28. Ridnarhtim says:

    Gamingo? Were you getting confused with Chillingo perhaps?

    They’re called Gamigo ^^

  29. SkittleDiddler says:

    I am old and crotchety, and I do not approve of the music in this trailer.

  30. lurkalisk says:

    DrGonzo, what exactly distinguishes dubstep if not that “wub wub”? As far as I can tell, dubstep is just electronica with some predictably dragged out and exaggerated sounds that many have come to call “wub wub”.

  31. alm says:

    Looks like you cannot sign up as they have been hacked :O

  32. Rawrian says:

    My grandpa says this dubstep sounds nothing like Burial.

  33. YourMessageHere says:

    Looks – and sounds – like a really confused collision of about a dozen things all happening at once. Each of them is pretty in itself, but bears basically no relation to any other element. Chess and Tron cities and excessive bass and dataverses and axes the size of telegraph poles and floaty fantasyland and guns and Pagodas and kanji and monsters and and and and HEADACHE.

  34. Synesthesia says:

    @lurkalisk:
    ive posted this before, and i dont even like dubstep that much, but its always cool to be informed before spewing the bile.

  35. Rhin says:

    The settings are nice, I’m glad they could use the “Virtual Reality” concept (although it looks like your character goes into VR, so it’s VR-ception level 2, rather than being 4thwall aware and changing your level 1 VR) ,

    the combat looks really vanilla. Like the terrible stand-and-swing-light-trailly-weapons combat in every other MMORPG out there.

  36. Ezhar says:

    Ugh. Gamigo makes terrible rubbish and this one isn’t helped by basing it on the worst VR related novel I never had the patience to finish reading because it annoyed the shit out of me by constantly pointing out how fucking virtual everything was (LOOK! An avatar! ).

  37. nimzy says:

    I actually found the “real world” in the novels — the African hellscape that is briefly described between forays into virtual reality — a lot more compelling.

  38. Iskariot says:

    The books are extraordinary. I read them twice.
    I would be very much interested in a game based on these books, but an MMO?
    No thanks.

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