Brothers Disarmed: Furious 4 Now Its Own Thing

By Alec Meer on September 3rd, 2012 at 11:00 am.

It probably doesn't even look like this anymore, does it?

I’ve never entirely understood the outrage that Gearbox’s Tarantino-esque shooter Furious 4 was tagged as a splinter cell of their rather more sober World War 2 franchise Brothers In Arms, but perhaps I’m just not in tune with the common upset-on-the-internet man. Regardless, those who decided that F4 was surely a replacement for rather than an off-shot of BIA will doubtless be relieved to hear that its contentious prefix has been removed. This ultra-violent, parodical take on World War 2 will no longer be deemed a Brothers In Arms game. To further sweeten this new deal, Gearbox have been hinting that news on a new BIA game proper is inbound.

Scant details on this surprised change come from Kotaku, which reports that Furious 4 will be turned into a new IP and ‘renamed’ – so mightn’t even be F4 in the end, and Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford as claiming F4 might involve genre hybridisation, a la Borderlands. “”Our Pokémon has evolved. It has different powers” is all we have to go on on that front. As for a possible new BIA game, apparently Gearbox’s community day on Sept 15 will be when to watch. The big sillies, don’t they know we’ll all be in back in Black Mesa then?

Does everyone feel a bit better about this now?

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30 Comments »

  1. The Sombrero Kid says:

    We have a contract, There WILL be a game.

  2. Shivoa says:

    It’s not a series I have much attachment to but my understanding is the issue with the BiA name (and associated many interviews about how the series creators respect the history and use actual reports of events to guide their hand in development) is “Schindler’s List 2: Inglourious Basterds”. It’s not really good form to spin-off a tongue in cheek fun arcade shooter using the branding of your serious WW2 series. It isn’t a good message to send and the disconnect makes it even more stark what a brazen PR/recognition push it is rather than a natural brand extension.

    • Bhazor says:

      Pretty much this.

      I’m surprised Alec doesn’t understand this.

      Another issue was that they were taking away the fantastic and still rarely copied gameplay. After Road to Hill 30 I can’t play any shooter without wanting to order a squad around. Without wanting to call in covering fire as I flank around the side. It’s a system that really works and lead to some brilliant moments in the first three games. Sure enough Furious 4 dumped all that and became a four player co-op shooter. Because thats original*.

      *Excluding Borderlands, Left 4 Dead, Killzone, Payday, Serious Sam, Alien Swarm, Battlefield Bad Company, Conflict: Desert Storm, Dead Island, Gears of War 3, Ghost Busters, Halo 3, Lost Planet 2, Resistance 2, Syndicate etc etc

      • Alec Meer says:

        Oh I understand that some people make that argument in order to feel they’re on a moral high ground, but I don’t agree that it’s appropriate attitude for what in either regard is an entertainment product about repeatedly shooting pretend men for fun – and not an act of reverence.

        • Shivoa says:

          Whatever the quality and design of the actual products, the BiA series is advertised as reverent. The issue can cause outrage entirely via the PR space. You don’t need to have watched either of those films, as long as you’ve been exposed to the PR/trailers for them you know it wouldn’t be appropriate. Same thing with BiA and F4, the PR message implies a disrespectful switch in focus that destroys the earlier PR communication about what BiA means as a series.

        • Secundus says:

          hahaha oh boy the guy who gave spec ops a glowing review is telling people to not care about the tone in shooters.

        • TsunamiWombat says:

          WW2 is a touchy thing for a lot of people. I dunno, i’m kind of with everyone else on this – in the first games they had interviews and voice overs with actual soldiers. It was very much like Band of Brothers, the Vidya Game, and had a very somber tone to it. F4 was a wacky slap in the face with a fish afterwards, and I think the dissonance made people upset.

          Also Fix ‘n’ Fire, I misses it :(

        • bill says:

          Personally I thought Brothers in Arms was a dull corridor cover shooter with the extra boring and time consuming need to flank everybody. I gave up after a few levels.

          But I’m still rather surprised that Alec can’t see why people would be a little unhappy about Brothers in Arms: Inglorious Basterds. I think others have explained it better already, but it’s just such a jarring change from the image of the first games. (as dull as the gameplay may have been, they did do a good job with the authenticity and marketing it as such).

          It’d be like tacking standard shooty multiplayer onto Sec Ops: The Line.

          (although, other than those two titles, I can’t think of many other franchises that’d cause this uproar, as most other games aren’t supposed to be serious or have a meaning).

        • MikoSquiz says:

          Well, of course. Video games aren’t a form of pure entertainment, not art, and as such shouldn’t be viewed in the same way as proper grown-up things like films or books. (?!?)

          • Bhazor says:

            All those colours and rapid movements? Theres no way movies will gain any artistic credit. Surely they’re just for slapstick humour.

        • Droopy The Dog says:

          …But it’s just a name! There’s no rule against a series trying something different occasionally (despite activision’s best efforts). It’s not like they’re making allusions to it being anything like the 101st centered games like some elaborate bait-n-switch. All the promo material’s made it pretty darn clear what type of game you’ll be getting.

          So I’m with Alec, how does a tongue in cheek game sharing the same prefix as a somber one cause people such ire?

        • Chaz says:

          Well WW2 was pretty much by and large about shooting people in the face, and that was one of the least worst aspects of it. So it’s pretty hard to make a game about WW2 that isn’t about shooting people in the face or at least doesn’t involve some violence. To then basically intimate that a game is shallow and imature just because of that, is essentially a lazy sterotyping of the whole FPS genre. In the same way that not all war films are shallow action flicks, not all FPS games are just about shallow entertainment. Some do try to rise above that and BIA was one of those series of games that tried. Furious 4 using the BIA moniker makes about as much sense as HBO releasing and episode of Band of Brothers: Bill and Ted’s Excellent War.

          And it has nothing to do with wanting to feel on a moral high ground. Yet another sweeping generalisation from you covering everyone with this view point.

      • Bhazor says:

        “Pretend men”?

        Y’know Matt Baker is a real guy right? That almost every scenario was based on real events?

        • The Sombrero Kid says:

          lol Schindler was real too, that doesn’t mean liam neeson is Schindler because he pretended to be him.

          • Unholymess says:

            Exactly. And I think Alec is completely right, you lot are jumping up and down and shouting about something which by it’s very nature is not reverent. No matter how you look at it, no matter what exposition is laid over the shooty-shooty-bang-bang gameplay it is still, at it’s heart a piece of videogame entertainment that is meant to be fun. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that games can’t be important, insightful, relevant and indeed reverential of it’s source material, but I don’t think you can really get upset with a series having an OFFSHOOT, that’s right, offshoot, not part of the main canon, that emphasises silly fun over heartwrenching storytelling. It is after all, only a game people, only a game. And y’know, if you really don’t like it, you can always skip it. Nobody is forcing you to buy it.

          • BrendanJB says:

            If it has no ties to BIA in style, tone, or mechanics, then why call it a BIA game? Because it’s set in WW2 and you shoot people? It doesn’t bother me personally, I enjoyed the series but never had any real attachment to it, but I can understand why it annoyed fans of the series. It was a shallow cash-grab by branding a very obviously different game with an established franchise name to garner sales. There is nothing wrong with spinoffs, but the way it was done was very distasteful.

        • azzwort says:

          Matt Baker is not a real person, he is based on several people who participated in the various battles portrayed in the Brothers in Arms games.

          Also, as much as I hate Jim Sterling, his theory of how “whining and complaining works where petitions fail” has once again been proven correct, he’s still a twat though.

          I’m glad Furious 4 no longer bares the BIA title, and I honestly do look forward to a continuation of one of my favorite gaming franchises.

  3. Ashpolt says:

    Absolutely brilliant news. As a longtime fan of the BiA series, and very much one of the “angry internet men” who was up in arms (no pun intended…or even made) over this, for the reasons Shivoa noted, I’m glad to hear they’ve finally seen sense. I honestly never understood why they slapped it with the BiA brand in the first place – in what way is it linked to that series at all, other than that it’s set in WWII?

    Hearing tell of a proper new BiA game is just the icing on the cake.

  4. Bhazor says:

    A lesson is learned but the damage is irreversable.

    They’ve fucked over the fans proving just how little regard they have for them and worse they’ve insulted the military advisors who actually lived through their scenarios.

    Fuck you Randy.

    • Unholymess says:

      They haven’t fucked over anybody, they have made a piece of videogame entertainment that you don’t approve of. These are two very different things.

      • spongthe1st says:

        The two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, however.

        To all the people who don’t have a problem with F4 originally having the BiA tag, I have a question:

        What would you have thought if when Tarantino made Inglorious Basterds he did so through HBO with the Band of Brothers brand tagged on the front?

        *Throws smokebomb and vanishes*

        • Unholymess says:

          I would have thought it was a very odd decision indeed but I wouldn’t have started shouting my mouth off and screaming about being “fucked over” but then, being of slightly more mature years than a lot of people of the internet, I don’t have that sense of entitlement that so many people sadly (Bhazor being a perfect example of this based of his/her posts in this thread) seem to grow up with now.

          I do see you point however Spongthe1st, and it’s a fairly well made one, but as with this game, if the scenario you paint had occurred, I would simply have chosen no to watch it. But then, I still haven’t gotten around to watching Inglorious Basterds anyway lol.

          • spongthe1st says:

            @Unholymess: I think herin lies the problem. I haven’t played BiA but I have watched Band of Brothers multiple times and loved it.

            On the one hand there is the voyeuristic and visceral thrill of watching combat (to refer to the ‘shooty-shooty-bang-bang’ element of video games, it’s there in films too). But, I remember the series more for being moved almost to tears by its more poignant moments and the fact that it gave me a great appreciation for the efforts and sacrifices of those fighting in WW2 (as did Saving Private Ryan).

            Therefore, I’d be distressed by the Inglorious Basterds scenario outlined in my previous post.

            So, assuming BiA has that affect on people who played it, I can totally understand their outrage.

          • Shivoa says:

            Just to make sure we have this analogy correct:

            Schindler’s List 2: Inglourious Basterds is announced with trailer.

            Later, film critic posts about the removal of the brand extension saying the linking of something based on real events in WW2 and a humorous jape created “outrage” that he personally “never entirely understood”.

            People in comments say this position is surprising as there seems to be a clear reverent marketing push for the first film that does not travel over to the offshoot/sequel and so brand being extended seems to undermine the previous PR/stance on Schindler’s List.

            ‘All movies must be fun/entertainment so can’t be serious’ seems to come up.*

            Comments collapse into the calls of entitlement (you are not allowed to express an opinion beyond the binary buy/not buy of capitalism; even in a piece which seems to show this kind of criticism leads to progress, like a game being detached from a brand that has been crafted to give a very different view of the subject matter than the offshoot) and swearing/ad hom attacks. Because it’s the internet so of course it will.

            * I’m not deeply into the BiA games so I have no idea if they play like a mindless fun or if the PR that comes with those games (and takes time to talk about historical accuracy, real events, and respecting the named people who have seen their stories told in other media and are being used in this series) paints a more accurate picture. My views come purely from the PR message disconnect (which seems to be where others who are fans placed their reasoning).

          • Bhazor says:

            All we need is a “kids in Africa” rebuttal and we’ll have the whole set.

        • MSJ says:

          Tarantino original series on HBO? I would cry so much tears of joy!!! Why would you say this when it is nowhere close to being reality?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Unaco says:

    Problem solved then, right? This was all the angry-on-the-internet-people wanted, wasn’t it? Name changed, connection to BiA dropped, problem solved.

  6. SirKicksalot says:

    If I were a WW2 vet, BiA would be insulting. Because its story and presentation are shit. Whoever was in charge of that – I have vague memories of Pitchford himself helming BiAHH – thought he was the next Spielberg. HH especially was so shamltzy and painful to watch! There’s nothing reverential about it.

  7. Shodex says:

    FURIOUSFACE!

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