Posts Tagged ‘2K Marin’

BioShock: The Collection Is A Thing, But More Importantly, Sea-Life Facts!

BioShock: The Collection is the deeply uninspiring name for a bundle of all the previous BioShock games that for some reason 2K are still refusing to acknowledge. It’s now been rated by bodies around the world, including the ESRB, and yet 2K still remain schtum. Which is weird. Anyway, it’ll contain all three games, and in case you’ve forgotten, “Cutscenes also depict intense acts of violence,” and the c-word makes appearances. All games should be announced by the ESRB! It’ll potentially have had a little brush up and tidy, to look prettier on the young people’s modern consoles, but that’s not yet confirmed. Right, I’ve somehow included all the news about this above the jump, so join me for some fascinating sea-life facts below. BioShock is set in the sea, and that’s my excuse.

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Rapturous: BioShock Not Dead, Will Continue At 2K Marin

With Irrational 20,000 leagues under and Ken Levine off doing his own, significantly smaller thing at 2K, you might think BioShock dead in the water. You would, however, be wrong. Following on from Levine’s original comment that he was leaving the series in 2K’s hands, Take-Two Big Daddy Strauss Zelnick has confirmed at a recent analyst conference that the oft-divisive series will carry on and once-thought-dead BioShock 2 developer 2K Marin will do the honors.

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Sources: Bureau XCOM, BioShock 2 Dev ‘Essentially’ Closed

Oh boy. It is officially another One Of Those Days. The diabolical layoff stampede beast of certain doom has struck again, this time allegedly laying waste to the whole of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified and BioShock 2 developer 2K Marin. For now, 2K is only officially saying that there have been “staff reductions” at the oft-beleaguered studio, but sources close to the situation told RPS a significantly more dire tale.

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Drool: Eldritch Is Thief Meets Lovecraft Meets Roguelike

Also there are dudes from Magicka for some reason.

Eldritch just got announced by former BioShock 2/Borderlands developers David and Kyle Pittman, but it’s already rocketed to the top of my list of Exciting Doodads That I Will (Lovingly) Obliterate With My Excitement Lasers. The headline does not lie. The roguelike-like counts games like Thief and Dishonored among its closest inspirations, bringing them together in a clammy, tentacle-slathered Lovecraftian embrace. In short, you can fight, sure, but you can also stealth past enemies, upgrade otherworldly powers, and climb around the environment to discover alternate paths through the harrowing infini-dungeon. Oh Eldritch, let me count the ways. Wait, I already did. You should probably just watch the (refreshingly silly) trailer, then.

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Wot I Think: The Bureau – XCOM Declassified

It’d be a relief to spend a few days of gaming in the company of dapper sixties agents rather than gruff space marines. Sadly, the heroes of The Bureau, dress code aside, are space marines. They shoot monsters, then roll between carefully placed cover and magically summon turrets. There are tactics to be found, but are they in sufficient quantity to make the rest of the experience worthwhile? Here’s wot I think.

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The Bureau: XCOM Declassified’s Story Declassified

Poor guy, cried right through his mascara. Then he started crying mascara.

Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I actually think the original concept for what eventually went on to become The Bureau: XCOM Declassified would’ve made for a pretty cool game… if it wasn’t called XCOM. 1960s X-Files? A story that lures players into its irresistible green glow with both unrelenting mystery and the social/political tensions of the time? I would’ve played that. Don’t get me wrong: I’m incredibly glad that XCOM is back to being all about tactics, but this cut-scene-tastic Bureau trailer just feels generic. Everybody has neat hats, but we may as well be watching Commander Shepard (the boring vanilla male version) get levitated into the air by some unknowable alien force. Old timey hats or not, this just feels a bit, er, old hat.

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The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Declassified

Headline thanks to BooleanBob
I just read Adam’s thoughts on the previous footage of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, and I can see why he was grumpy. His video was from earlier on in the game, whereas Revision3’s runthrough is from bit later on, but his points stand: the moment-to-moment shooting doesn’t seem nearly as interesting as the command system that tosses the rest of the squad into battle, and every time it’s dropped in favour of cover-based blasting it doesn’t feel right. I disagree with him that it should just be turn-based, however. I’m not that much of a grump.
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2K Marin’s Jordan ‘The Cradle’ Thomas Goes Indie

He might not have quite the profile of a Levine or Smith, but as a lead designer on Thief 3, particularly of The Cradle level, not to mention the similarly nerve-torturing Fort Frolic map in BioShock, Jordan Thomas is a name just as worth knowing. While being granted more overreaching control of a project resulted in 2K Marin’s smart, improved but too safe sequel BioShock 2, followed by a disappearance into the black hole which eventually morphed into The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, Thomas also took on some creative duties late in BioShock Infinite’s development. Now he’s moving away from franchises into creator-controlled, independent territory, and I am not-entirely-quietly confident that this will mean great things.
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Truthiness: The Bureau – XCOM Declassified

Two things to note in regards to this latest The Bureau: XCOM Declassified video. Actually, make that three things because it’s worth mentioning that the name becomes worse every time I have to type it. It’s not the worst use of a colon this side of an alien probing session, but it is a tad cumbersome. I’m also increasingly wary of the stop-start nature of the command system and, yes, I know that may seem a strange complaint coming from a man who loves all things turn-based. I guess I just want it to go the whole way and be turn-based. My final objection, before dropping the video onto your screen, relates to the setting. The nifty period style doesn’t seem to extend beyond the hats – the rest comes across as more futuristic than actual XCOM.

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Censory Perception: The Bureau – XCOM Declassified

I love XCOM, X-COM and pretty much any variant thereof. Heck, I’d probably buy X-MOC, a spoof version in which the invading aliens are broad parodies of Z-list celebrities, provided the combat was turn-based and the deaths were permanent. The idea of an alien invasion in a period setting that permits excessive use of fedoras and chain-smoking agents is also pleasing to my aesthetic sensibilities, so it’s odd that The Bureau: XCOM Declassified isn’t causing me to polish my shiniest shoes in preparation for good some old-fashioned investigation and elimination. Like the evidence of extraterrestrials that the agency is so keen to censor or destroy, the footage of the game in action is perplexing, if not outright alarming. It looks like XCOM but where is the ‘end turn’ button and why do these agents have so much techno-magic? Take a look.

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Brogue Agents: The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Footage

I’m really sorry about this. I’m about to ruin XCOM for you. Are you ready? To the tune of Sex Bomb, by Tom Jones:

XCOM, XCOM, you’re my XCOM
And baby you can turn me on

There, now you can all share in the pain. I’ve had that in my head for the past half-hour, after watching VG247‘s sneakily snuck video of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. What was once simply known as XCOM and was an FPS is now a third-person cover-based shooter that looks a whole lot more like an XCOM game of yore.

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The Truth Is In Here: The Bureau – XCOM Declassified

It’s alive! The name change from XCOM: Mad Men Edition to The Bureau had been anticipated for some time, but we weren’t entirely clear as to whether the former first-person reboot would retain any trappings of its original title. Moments ago, a video and press release revealed that 2K Marin, they of Bioshock 2, are indeed working on the game and that it will be called The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. It’ll also be out on August 20th. I’m glad it’s a period piece and I’m glad it still has XCOM in the name because I’d enjoy seeing at least some of the transition from men in fedoras with retrofitted alien tech to hovering super-snipers. Here’s the trailer. It’s live action.

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That Much-Delayed 2k Marin Shooter Is Not An EXCOM

This boy transforms into Cthulhu. Calling it now.

Whatever happened to the other XCOM, the 2K Marin-made shooter which was revealed long before last year’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown made everyone, except you, happy? It’s a question we’ve already asked several times here. We ask it because we don’t know the answer, and unless anyone involved feels like getting their Talpidae on and sneaking us some info, we won’t know until 2K reveal all. Which appears to be something that will happen rather soon. There’s a viral campaign of sorts, there’s a mysterious package being sent to games sites which aren’t us, and, well, there’s a blog post. That kind of undermines the air of mystery, I guess.

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The Truth Is Somewhere: XCOM Shooter Videos, Site Gone

Quietly – ever so quietly – XCOM: The Game Of The Other, Very Different Game has poofed into Duke-Nukem-scented vapors. It’s touched down and carved crop circles into the fields of our imaginations a couple times, but not without 2K Marin knocking it out of its bicycle basket and dragging it back into the deepest reaches of some underground testing facility. Matters, I imagine, were only complicated when XCOM: Enemy Unknown defied 2K’s expectations by being incredibly well-received, leaving the idea of an XCOM shooter in an even fuzzier limbo. That in mind, it’s not entirely surprising to see the repeatedly revamped reboot suddenly vanish without a trace – especially when another revamp may well be the culprit.

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XCOM Developer Diary Explains XCOM


Still filled up with indignant energy and ready to type “This is not my X-Com!” in response to whatever comes out of 2K? Then you are in luck, because there’s a brand new video about the development of the squad-based UFO-shooter, with a couple of guys from 2K Marin explaining what they are up to. Watch it below! Jonathan Pelling, the project lead, says: “It’s about experiencing the origins of this organization from a really zoomed in and boots-on-the-ground perspective. We really wanted you to feel like what it was like to be one of the squadies in the original game, and not the all-knowing, top-down commander.”

In case you missed it, we also got a 20-minute walkthrough a month back, which showed the game in some serious detail.
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Twenty Minutes Of (Narrated) XCOM


2K Games have released the full twenty minutes of the XCOM E3 2011 demo, with the developers narrating what is going on. It explains some of the background and story, shows off the underground base, the agent selection process, the mission selection, the squad combat, and elements of the problem solving involved in the “battlescape” the game sets up. This is the most detail we’ve seen of the tactical elements of the game, and it’s definitely worth watching.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
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America Is Not The World: XCOM Preview


We’ve seen XCOM. Want to know what it’s truly all about? Read on below for the best XCOM preview on this or any other internet. Really, it’s got Giant Doom Lasers Of Doom, a bit about that squad-management stuff, reports on alien super-powers, themes of 1960s political incorrectness, correct art-history references, and everything else it could possibly need.

Go have a read.
This way to the underground base»

Interview: XCOM Tells The “Origin Story”


Recently we had a chance to look at 2K’s intriguing reboot of XCOM – and a full XCOM preview is coming up soon – but first there’s an interview which explains a bit about the world, and the intention to tell a story about the origin of the XCOM alien invasion in the setting of 1960s America.

In the depths of a bunker packed with strange humanoids that communicated almost entirely using the words “like”, “totally” and “hella” we spoke to something that claimed to be Jonathan Pelling, Creative Director at 2K Marin, developers of XCOM. Here’s what he had to say…
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BioShock 2 Protector Trials DLC Hits Today

You're fired! Hohoho I'm causing another being unimaginable pain

The BioShock 2 Protector Trials DLC arrives on PC today, adding a new challenge mode and six arenas to 2K’s inarguably moist epic. A mere seven and a half months late, too! That said, we’re getting it for free, and having had a read of Christian Donlan’s Eurogamer review this sounds to me like neat enough stuff. Take a look at some in-game footage below, if you’re curious. Thx Blues for the tip-off.
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2K: No Minerva’s Den


A post on the 2K forums announces that we aren’t getting what looks like a pretty decent single-player DLC for Bioshock 2:

We will not be offering Protector Trials and Minerva’s Den on the PC in the future – and I want to say that I’m sorry for the disappointment this will cause to PC players out there. As always, if any of these issues change in the future, I will update you guys first, but at this point in time I don’t want to make you wait any longer and these are the most definite answers I have and you guys should deem them final decisions.

Tsk.