Shock! Irrational’s New Game Looms Close

That’s the studio formerly known as 2K Boston formerly known as Irrational to you. As in Ken Levine’s original-name-reclaiming bunch: the developers who made System Shock 2, SWAT 4, Tribes Vengeance, Freedom Force – and, of course, Bioshock the first.

And there’s that Pandora’s box opened. The important news, though, is that Irrational are finally taking the lid of whatever their new project is next week. Several years in the making, massively mysterious: whatever it is, whatever it’s like, it’s bound to be a big old chat-magnet.

The reveal’s coming on the 12th, specifically, and will be heralded by a CGI trailer. Whatever could it be? For the longest time it was rumoured to be the XCOM remake, but it turned out earlier this year that 2K Marin and Australia were tackling that. Oh look, another Pandora’s box.

So: whaddaya think it’s going to be? Irrational asked their most devoted the same question, and have rounded up the best fan-guesses into this here podcast. Not sure why anyone bothered guessing though, when it’s quite clearly going to be a remake of Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude.


  1. Freud says:

    How tedious to announce they are next week will announce something. Pointless fluffy hyping.

    • Shih Tzu says:

      I notice that you are now aware of it and have even been sufficiently engaged enough to post a comment about it. Pointless fluffy hype? Or entirely effective fluffy hype?

    • cliffski says:

      its effective fluffy hype, but it is still not news. It is still irritating, and would be good if so much games news was not an announcement about when the date of an announcement is going to be announced.
      can I buy the game they are mentioning yet?
      So can I take any action that gets me the game soon?
      So I do wonder why i should care.

    • Tei says:

      But, if announcing the announcing of the game get more sales wen the game finally release, then it make sense for his marketing departament.

      And people want to know something is in the making.
      And people love hype, people is not stupid that way, and know hype is mostly a gullible sentiment, but love it anyway.

      Blizzard has a unannounced MMO (not based in prior IP). The day Blizzard announce that will announce what that MMO is about in the next BlizzCon (or something) the whole Internet will explode.

      T2 seems one of the largest studio still doing AAA games for the PC crowd, so what these people release will be a “theme talk” for months.

      In short:
      It don’t need to make sense for you wen make sense for the other people.

    • Baboonanza says:

      I don’t think the complaints we’re about the press release, that’s just PR doing what PR do, but the fact that it was reported here for no real purpose.

    • AndrewC says:

      What with the Internet, the ecology of games-culture is discussion. Endless gamers bumping around online haunts looking for things to discuss. These sorts of things are the results.

      It’s all our fault!

      (Also: Wooo! I think Bioshock is good!)

    • Pantsman says:

      A very good point. Perhaps then you should take a page out of my book, and just not care. Which would preclude being irritated. :P

  2. Jimbo says:


  3. a.nye.123 says:

    So this is an announcement to announce that there will soon be an announcement.

  4. a.nye.123 says:

    So this is an announcement to announce that there will soon be an announcement?

    • a.nye.123 says:

      Arg. Double-post; how might one delete such a thing?

    • dalziel86 says:

      This is an announcement to announce that your announcement announces that this is an announcement of an announcement that there will be an announcement.

    • Torgen says:

      Yo dawg, we heard you like announcin’, so we put an announcement in your announcement so you can announce about your announcement while you’re announcin’

      or something.

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      Ah, RPS, you disappoint me. I expected this crap from the tards at Gamespy or Kotaku, but you? Look, this is me, disappointed on you: =(

      And to make matters even better, the announcement will come in the form of a pre-rendered cutscene. So we’re not even going to see the f’ing game proper.

      As I said: =(

    • Duoae says:

      @ eclipse mattaru

      Unless that’s your real name RPS won’t respect your disappointment anyway.


  5. Psychopomp says:

    It’s clearly going to be a gritty Freedom Force FPS

    Your superpower is bullets

  6. Daniel Rivas says:

    Bioshockville. It’s a facebook game.

    Calling it.

  7. Cael says:

    I hope it’s not System Shock 3, cause they’d only butcher it.

    • Daniel Rivas says:

      EA owns System Shock, so I think it’s safe to say it isn’t.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      You mean by extrapolating from SS1 over SS2 to Bioshock moves you straight to idiocracy? Yep, agreed. But then again: link to ^^

      I think some mentally healthy people (= don’t believe in “IP”) should make a SS3, and put it up via torrent. Only question: How to make money from their service, without the infected IPiods fucking it up?

  8. Justin Keverne says:


    But seriously, I’ve liked everything Irrational have done so whatever this is I’m almost certain to buy it.

    In the Podcast Shune Elliot also mentions a gameplay demonstration that the public will get to see shortly after the press but I can’t help wishing they’d release that before the CGI trailer. The way they released an in-game walkthrough video of BioShock as one of the first promotional materials was a really smart move. Now we’re back to traditional CGI fluffy trailers first and then actual gameplay weeks later.

    • Bhazor says:

      Well that happened with Bioshock, a pre-rendered cinematic followed by that great “Hunting the big Daddy” playthrough.

  9. jeremypeel says:

    Umm… I know cynical witticisms are important and everything, but this is really bloody exciting, right?

    Think that needs to be established early on.

    • Metalfish says:

      If I ever play APB again, I know what character I’m creating….

  10. Jeremy says:

    I think we’ll see a new IP being thrown at us… hasn’t that been the rumor anyway? I can’t imagine they will revisit any of their previous work, unless they magically picked up Thief rights through their Looking Glass connections? Is that even possible?

    Honestly, whatever it is I am excited, the people at Irrational are connected to quite a few amazing games, even when they weren’t AT Irrational.

    • jeremypeel says:

      Thief 4 is currently in development, bru. At Eidos Montreal. Of Deus Ex 3 fame. Not sure what to think about that yet, but Irrational certainly (and sadly) aren’t making it.

      I’m really hoping for a new IP to be honest; something that shows Irrational are taking advantage of their newfound massively, massively financially successful status to push things forward like we know they can.

  11. Cooper says:

    Game company in shock announcement that they are currently making a game!

  12. James G says:

    ElectricShock: In a steampunk setting you use the newly discovered power of electricity, to gain dominion over the rampaging clockwork automata

    CultureShock: An Ex-US Naval officer attempts to integrate in 1940’s Mumbai (well, Bombay then I suppose) after the end of the war after being forcibly ejected from the Navy and fleeing before he could be court martialed.

    AfterShock: An exciting and informative edutainment title about the geology of our planet. Defeat your enemies and adapt the environment through controlling seismic shifts, and volcanic eruptions.

    ShellShock: ‘When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous snail.’

    • Metalfish says:

      I, for one, would welcome more Kafka-esque games.

      Will I have to invest points into my shell to protect me from apples?

    • Sonic Goo says:

      “I, for one, would welcome more Kafka-esque games.”

      Fight your way through a massive bureacracy, mastering procedures, gathering documents and arguing with bureaucrats until you reach… The Castle.

    • Gabe McGrath says:

      Actually, you got the plot of Culture Shock wrong.

      CULTURE SHOCK: A squad-based FPS, with a cover system. Take control of a team of space marines as you travel back to 1994, hoping to get your groove on with Australian eurodance group “Culture Shock”.

    • Jad says:

      I seriously want to play all of those games. Particularly the CultureShock one.

      Also: wow, I haven’t seen the word “edutainment” in years. Its hard to believe that people actually wrote that word in all seriousness back in the day.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Are you kidding? Every TV station has a “edutainment” show nowadays. Usually more wrapped advertisement showing a factory from the inside, with all the evil and bad stuff not shown. But the “word” is very alive in those businesses.

      Yes, I know… What’s a TV station? Is that a website? ^^

  13. JohnArr says:

    I’ve got 50p on a Syndicate reinvention. Dunno who’s got the IP at the moment though, maybe that’s why the bookies gave me such good odds.

  14. ManvsPanda says:

    Co-op with 3 AI mates in underwater city, where I can punch big daddys in the face and order my team mates to handcuff little sisters.

  15. Nick says:

    SWAT 5!

  16. Acosta says:

    PhotoShock, a game where even Alec’s total lack of finesse to deal with Photoshop (Paint?) won’t matter at all.

  17. yhancik says:

    Loom, it’s a Loom prequel !

    Alec knows all about it and hid it sneakingly in the title.

    • Tei says:

      “Loom 2”

      Described by most people like “Like if Braid and Portal has a child” and “…a very solid puzzle-action 3d game with strong story elements”.

  18. Sonic Goo says:

    To be honest, I’m more curious what Monolith is up to. They didn’t make FEAR 2 themselves, so that means their last game is from 2008…

    *hoping for NOLF3*

  19. manintheshack says:

    But do they own Syst3m Shock?

  20. bhlaab says:

    If it’s exactly like Bioshock I am going to be annoyed

  21. deanimate says:

    A game where you can eat horses

  22. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Cultureshock, not steam punk, not cyber punk, but plain old punk, set in an alternative universes 70’s London.

    In all seriousness I can’t f***ing wait to find out.

  23. lurk says:

    I don’t really care what their big announcement is, as long as it has “oh also Freedom Force 3” at the end.

  24. Xeon06 says:

    Swat4 was one of my all time favorite games, so I dearly hope it’s another tactical shooter like that they’re announcing.

  25. Flakfizer says:

    They’re rebooting the good old 1950’s FBI shooters we love so much.

    Unfortunately they’re making it an isometric, squad based tactics / strategy title where you protect a modern earth against alien invasion.

    How dare they etc.

  26. Dude says:

    Shodan’s Sings the Blues.

  27. Risingson says:

    The Shockwave Rider: the videogame.

    Yes, let me dream.

  28. Renzatic says:


    Actually, I dunno. I haven’t played Bioshock. I’m just hopping on the bandwagon here.

    Oh, and what’s Shockshock about? I dunno.

  29. Sam Crisp says:

    Bioshock… 2?

  30. CyberBrent says:


  31. Tei says:

    Steampunk Medieval: King Arthur in SPAAACE.

    Merlin sends King Arthur to the future, only to ends in a post-apocalypsys landscape next to NEW VEGAS. King Arthur has to recreate the circle table and fight the neomutants that want to wype the land of humans. To do so, and using a old nuclear missile, he gets in space where he hijack a space station and hack into a computer network (using minigames) to shot at the neomutant base with a grid of X-Laser satellites.

    • Renzatic says:

      I would buy this game. Buy it with money.

    • Tei says:

      Snake Plissken: Escape from the Court of the King Arthur.

      After nuking the world in the medieval ages, Snake Plissken is teleported to the medieval ages, and captured by the pictus. Now he, and King Arthur (that has also ben captured by the canival pictus) has to escape caves infested by canivals and legendary beast to return to Camelot.

    • Tei says:

      ** SPOILERS **

      The game will end with King Arthur (that is a asshole) get eaten by a giant red snake (that he thinks is a dragoon), and Snake taking his gold hat, and stealing his identity.

    • Spinoza says:

      If Guinevere is in , I am in too

  32. Ragabhava says:

    Next week I will post an interesting comment about this.

  33. coldwave says:

    Shocking Shock

  34. Ian says:

    “Not sure why anyone bothered guessing though, when it’s quite clearly going to be a remake of Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude.”

    Walker would be enraged if somebody had the audacity to mess with his most favourite game.

  35. jon_hill987 says:

    Next week I am going to announce the date of a big announcement I am going to make where I will announce the date of an announcement..

  36. Number47 says:

    I am not enitrely sure what the game will be, but I am sure that it will have that same massmarket appeal (read console crowd pleasing) that Bioshock had and what made it, in my opinion an inferior game to System Shock 2. The reason Irrational made Bioshock more “accessible” and playable on consoles was to reach a wider audience, and with the financial success of Bioshock I doubt they will revert to System Shock 2 style of making games

    • Kommissar Nicko says:

      Shockshock will be the title where you, John Everyman, go to your job at the Minitrue and dumb down PC games for the console masses. One day, you decide that enough is enough, and begin to undo the damage that has been wrought (Shock 1). The ending will be ***SPOILERZ*** that the dumb is necessary, and no John, you are the dumb (Shock 2).

    • Kommissar Nicko says:

      Oh fie, that was supposed to be for Renzatic.

      I guess it’s tangentially related.

  37. jakobsbror says:

    I’m announcing that sometime soon I’ll say something interesting.

    me guessing a new mmorpg set in generic fantasy land. Medievalshock: Magicland.

  38. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    You know.

    Irrational said they’d premiere the trailer on the 12th of August.

    Konami said they’d have a launch party on the 12th of August, to celebrate Dance Dance Revolution coming to PS3.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

  39. pierec says:

    Ultima Underworld 3!

  40. Slamelov says:

    Deep Cover?, the unfinished project from Looking Glass and Irrational Games in 2001?

  41. FF says:

    Personally I wouldn’t mind a graphically improved and a bit more sophisticated Freedom Force, either.

  42. terry says:

    They couldn’t tease me more if they posted an animated gif of Ken Levine’s coquettishly batting eyelids.

  43. Dawngreeter says:

    Shopping Cart Races with diplomacy mini-games based on marbles. Mark my words.

  44. MrTambourineMan says:

    If it’s Bioshock 3 I’m gonna get medieval on their asses!

  45. Slamelov says:

    EA owns the IP of the Ultima games.

  46. Hunam says:

    Back to the Futureshock.

  47. MadMatty says:

    you know im a great fan of System Shock 1 and Swat 3! – Bioshock? —pppprrrrrrrrrrffffffffffffffffffffff…. (Raspberry)

  48. Gumbomasta says:

    in an episode of “Irrational Interviews”, Levine mentions that he’s been doing a lot of work with “robots”. My guess is that it’s a more streamlined Mechwarrior-type game in a semi-open world with Irrational’s storytelling prowess.

    • DeepSleeper says:

      “Irrational’s storytelling prowess” did so much for Tribes: Vengeance.

  49. Ginger Yellow says:

    All you haters, just listen to the podcast. There are some pretty funny suggestions on there.

    In fact, you should be listening to Irrational Behaviour regularly anyway. It’s really well done (Shawn has clearly learned editing skills from Robert Ashley) and provides good insight into game development.