Posts Tagged ‘THQ’

Red Faction: Guerilla’s destructible scenery makes it still worth playing today

Two hostages. One building. Five government guards with reinforcements waiting in the wings. In most games, I’d try to sneak in with a silenced rifle, methodically popping enemies in the head one-by-one. But in Red Faction: Guerrilla, I don’t even have a gun in my inventory, let alone a silenced one. What I have instead are explosives. Lots of explosives.

I rig five charges at random points on the outside of the building, retreat to a safe distance, and squeeze the detonator. Glass shatters and debris flies off at all angles, a steel girder whizzing past my left ear as concrete and metal crumble down on top of the EDF soldiers, crushing them alive. But, predictably, the hostages are caught in the chaos. One is buried in the rubble, the other limping out with her health in the red.

The game tries to make me feel bad, alerting me that ‘morale’ in the local area has fallen to account for the dead guerrilla fighter. But I really don’t care. Because blowing up buildings is fun – and Red Faction: Guerrilla makes it more fun than any other game out there. Read the rest of this entry »

The Legend Of THQnix: Dead Publisher Is Back, Kinda

THQ is dead, long live NordicTHQ. The world’s greatest purveyor of Good 7/10 Action Games sadly succumbed to bankruptcy and closed down in 2013, but most of its assets, studios and franchises were bought up by various other firms. Gearbox got Homeworld, Sega got Relic, Deep Silver got Saints Row and young Swedish publisher Nordic Games got Darksiders, Red Faction, Supreme Commander and a bunch of other stuff left among the ashes. As well as, it transpires, the THQ name. Nordic is now to be known as ‘THQNordic‘.
Read the rest of this entry »

Unsmashy: Red Faction Guerrilla Patching Continues

I do hope you intend to fix that, m'laddo.

Red Faction Guerrilla is a cracking game for rolling around as a giant space asshole, smashing every building to the ground and giggling at its destruct-o-physics. But what then? What when everything is smashed and only you remain standing? You can’t smash yourself, Hammerman.

Why, you rebuild it so you can start smashing all over again! Something I did not know RFG has, because it was limited to multiplayer, is a gun which rebuilds smashed things. Now it’s in singleplayer too, as Nordic Games are admirably – and somewhat puzzlingly – still patching it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Red Faction: Guerrilla?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

There was a point back in 2009 when I became obsessed with Red Faction: Guerrilla. I’ve always liked destructible scenery in shooty, ‘splodey games and Guerrilla looked like it might change the landscape of action gaming forever. No more would we tolerate canned collapses – instead, we’d demand authenticity of a sort, with physics engines ensuring that every building caved-in and crumped in a believable fashion. Hammer time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nordic Necromancers Raise Zombie THQ From Its Grave

THQ is the Living One; it was dead, and now look, it is alive for ever and ever! And it holds the keys of Darksiders and Red Faction.

Like X-Men, big games publishers never truly die. There’ll always be a businessperson somewhere willing to invest a few hundred thousand bucks that might otherwise go to the taxman in picking up the name of a company that fell in the great gaming profit wars. Someone keeps stitching Atari’s dessicated face to some Frankenstein creature or another, the re-animator recently pumped his necrotic formula into 3D Realms and now the recently-departed THQ has been exhumed. Wielding the grave-digger’s shovel are Nordic Games, who’d previously done similar with the defunct JoWood and Dreamcatcher brands.
Read the rest of this entry »

Adagio: Gearbox Re-releasing Homeworlds


Polygon are reporting that Gearbox have announced their intention to release HD versions of Homeworld 1 & 2 for PC. We already knew this was a possibility, of course, with their having acquired the license during the IP stripping of THQ earlier this year. No date on in yet, but my bet is early in 2014, to coincide with the next International Homeworld Day. That’s on everyone else’s calendar too, right?

Sega Sue THQ For A Million Bucks, Which Seems Odd

The reason I’m not a financial advisor, an accountant, nor even allowed access to RPS’s bank accounts, is because my understanding of money is thus: “Ooh, look at the pretty colours! I like the blue ones best! I’ll swap you my pinks for your blues?” So it is that I look at Eurogamer’s news that Sega is suing the not-existing-any-more THQ for £630,000 with only bemusement. It seems they want the Company Of Heroes pre-order cash from Steam.

Read the rest of this entry »

Circuitously Fortuitous: Interplay Nabs Freespace IP

Remember the days before Volition exclusively made (admittedly marvelous) games about superpowered crimelords/US Presidents dubstep gunning virtual reality aliens? Those were very different times. For one, we didn’t have smartphones or Facebook or music players we have to actively worry about ingesting or anything like that, but mainly that era saw the Saints Row’s developer craft some of the finest space combat sims in all the ‘verse. Unfortunately, Freespace and Freespace 2 couldn’t out-dogfight the then-mighty retail mothership, and the Interplay-published series crashed and burned. But here’s the fun part: Via Volition, Freespace ended up at THQ, who’s now sold it back to… Interplay.

Read the rest of this entry »

Left Hand, Metro Right Hand: 4A On Poor Work Conditions

To hear former THQ boss Jason Rubin tell it, Metro: Last Light studio 4A Games is maybe not the best place to work. He doesn’t mean that in a whip-crack-y, everyone’s-a-jerk way, though. Quite the contrary, actually: he recently claimed it was a case of absurdly talented people working elbow-to-elbow in “appalling” conditions. Their offices? “More like a packed grade school cafeteria than a development studio.” Picking up new hardware was apparently also quite the ordeal. “When 4A needed another dev kit, or high-end PC, or whatever, someone from 4A had to fly to the States and sneak it back to the Ukraine in a backpack lest it be ‘seized’ at the border by thieving customs officials,” said Rubin. But what about 4A’s side of the story? Creative director Andrew Prokhorov recently saw fit to chime in.

Read the rest of this entry »

Power Cuts And Responsibility: Making Metro: Last Light


We’ve yet to WiT Metro: Last Light on RPS, thanks to the review code not working, but its recent release has prompted ex-THQ boss Jason Rubin to write an astonishing article on the development of the game. Over at GamesIndustry.biz, Rubin has written an incendiary post on the daily struggles that Kiev-based dev team 4A Games faced, calling their game “a stunning achievement”, and asking for more recognition of their abilities. If accurate, he paints a team building a game with a tiny budget, in a country where implied corruption necessitates smuggling higher-end equipment past customs officials, for a company he describes as “irrational”. I’m British, so my monocle is currently on the floor.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ass Creed Creator Leaves Ubi Again, Fired This Time

Eventually, Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets will make another game. He’ll just have to make some excruciating blood sacrifice on an arcane altar in some Mayan ruins first, because he is clearly cursed. First he left Ubisoft to chase his new vision, then eventual partner THQ drowned in a sea of unsold uDraws, and now – only a few months after being brought back into the Ubisoft fold – he’s flying solo once again. This time, however, he claims the departure wasn’t voluntary at all. Well, unless you define “being unceremoniously booted out the front door by security guards” as voluntary, anyway.

Read the rest of this entry »

And Everything Else From THQ Went To… Nordic Games?

Did you hear that ominous raven on my shoulder that portends the impending doom of all that ever was and will be? Everything's gonna be fine!

OK, Nordic Games, the jig’s up. You can go ahead and change your name to THQ II: The Rise Of Mecha-Bilson already, because seriously, you just purchased the publisher’s legacy. Sure, Gearbox snagged Homeworld, and the company’s modern heavy hitters found new, loving homes, but Nordic now (pending court approval) owns nearly everything else. Red Faction? Yep. Darksiders? Oh, certainly. And oh man, Titan Quest? Sure, why not. Supreme Commander too. And hey, remember Full Spectrum Warrior? I must admit, I – along with my good friend, Basically The Entire World – had forgotten about it, but Nordic deemed the military tactics sorta-sim worth salvaging. Here’s the kicker, though: all those? Only the tip of the iceberg.

Read the rest of this entry »

Homeworld’s For Sale, And Supreme Commander Too

When Sega plucked Relic from the ashes of THQ last month, it appears they didn’t get the Homeworld license along with it. So for now the sublime space RTS series remains without a home, in an odd case of life imitating art. The Homeworld IP is now up for sale in an auction of THQ’s remaining stuff – as is the likes of Supreme Commander, Red Faction, Darksiders, Titan Quest, Full Spectrum Warrior and a whole host of names known and forgotten.
Read the rest of this entry »

THQ, Wildman, & The Problem Of Voting With Our Wallets

Vote with your wallet. We constantly preach it as an approach that actually Makes Important Things Happen, but does it? Does it really? It’s such an easy be-all, end-all argument to toss out, but things are rarely that simple. The recent death of THQ and potential failure of Gas Powered Games’ Wildman represent very tangible examples of how “vote with your wallet” can screech and shatter like so many piggy banks being hurled into a craggy abyss. But there’s hope, too, if you know where to look for it. The industry’s changing. Here’s why that makes us – its most vocal, diehard fans – equal parts more and less powerful than ever.

Read the rest of this entry »

THQ Doomsday Update: Sega, Crytek, Others Reveal Plans

THQ is dead. Long live… er, not THQ. But its motionless remains haven’t gone undisturbed. A number of major publishers descended, vulture-like, to make off with the choicest cuts money could buy. And also Homefront. Yesterday, however, we had no idea what exactly was next for the likes of Metro, Saints Row, Company of Heroes, Darksiders, and South Park. Sure, they’ve found new homes, but will they fit in? Or will they be forced to live in the cramped cupboards of neglect, with nary a wizarding school in sight? Well, it’s still a bit early to say for sure, but – based on comments from each publisher – things are at least looking up.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fin: THQ Sells Off Most Studios, Basically Done

Update: Helpfully, reader and probable Prince of Handsomeness The JG Man dug up the court form outlining details (including amounts, back-up bidders, etc) of each sale. You can peruse that here.

Original: Well, I suppose it was inevitable. After THQ’s attempt at averting a Humpty Dumpty sales situation failed miserably, the writing was pretty much on the wall. So now the grim reaper’s scythe has hacked the once-gargantuan publisher into itsy-bitsy pieces and scattered any remaining ashes to the winds. On the upside, pretty much every major THQ franchise and developer (minus Darksiders dev Vigil, sadly) landed safely in less-likely-to-kerplode homes. Also, Relic and Creative Assembly live under the same roof now. Can Company of Shoguns: Total Homeworld or some other dream team RTS be far off? Probably. It’s still kind of a silver lining, though, and anyway SHUT UP I’M SAD.

Read the rest of this entry »

Divided We Fall? – THQ Properties To Be Sold Individually

Largely unrelated to this image, but still relevant: If Dawn of War 3 never happens as a result of this sale, someone dies.

OK, hold onto the floppier parts of your brain, because this is about to get a bit complicated. So remember how THQ went bankrupt and fell into bed with “stalking horse bidder” Clearlake Capital? Well, the primary intent of all that was to keep THQ in one piece while dealing with that nasty little “having basically no money” thing, but – at the 11th hour – there was a twist. Creditors decided THQ’s all-or-nothing sales approach wasn’t fair to them (it’d probably pull in less money, after all), and a US bankruptcy court judge agreed. So now THQ’s gone from monolithic one-gulp meal to easily chopped up buffet, and rumor has it that a number of major players are interested in various series, games, and franchises.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tunnel Vision: Eyes-On With Metro: Last Light

Er, I suppose there’s some uncertainty that Metro: Last Light might actually be released, but for now let’s proceed on the basis that THQ have managed to save themselves from the moneyan apocalypse.

Last Light, from an hour or so I spent watching real-time play recently, appears to be almost a do-over of the ambitious but awkward Metro 2033 rather than a traditional sequel. It’s rescuing and remixing the stuff that worked but, as far as I can tell, without devolving into a shiny Call of Dudebro affair. That critical switching between indoor and outdoor action and gun-free survivor settlements remains, as does the strange bullets-as-currency system. It’s much more like 2033 than I’d presumed, I’m relived to find, glossier though it may be.
Read the rest of this entry »

THQ Filing For Bankruptcy, Selling Off Assets

Buy more THQ games so this poor man can afford a better jacket.

Oh boy. Remember how things haven’t been going so hot for THQ lately? If you’ve somehow forgotten, do you remember your name or any key facts about yourself? Have you hit your head or recently traveled forward to this time period? Are you an amnesiac, infant, or ghost? AT ANY RATE, we’ve finally reached the expected conclusion of this rather depressing series of events, but – as ever – there’s a twist. In spite of how the word “bankrupt” – which is derived from the root “bank account ruptured and screamed in agony as warm monetary lifeblood erupted from its depleted tubules” – often connotates, THQ isn’t doomed yet. Instead, it’s merely employed some tricksy business maneuvers to dodge an avalanche of debt. For now, though, your favorite game series are safe.

Read the rest of this entry »

THQ Consider Picking Up A Penguin

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only Ubuntu

This is admittedly a bit of an “ooh a thing may be happening sort of at an unknown point in the possible future”, but I’m frankly quite fascinated by the moves THQ are making as they battle to fend off moneypocalypse. The Humble THQ Bundle was divisive, what with it not involving the DRM-free indie games that Humble has become synonymous with, but one thing it seems to be is a sign of THQ striving to court a PC audience after long years of being very much console-focused. The PC-only Company of Heroes 2 appears to be a very big deal for them (and Metro: Last Light too, a preview of which I’ll bring you later this week), but now they might maybe perhaps possibly be going one further – they’re talking about Linux support for their games. This is not the usual MO of a large publisher.
Read the rest of this entry »