Posts Tagged ‘Irrational Games’

Ken Levine heads up Ghost Story Games

Ghost Story Games

Given Alice is not interested in any ghost stories which aren’t terrifying movies she can freak herself out with while alone in the house, it falls to me to tell you about Ken Levine and other senior Irrational folk’s new studio, Ghost Story Games [official site].

I’m not sure whether to call it a new studio or a rebrand, actually, as the site seems to position it as a new thing with familiar faces but their announcement tweet is: “The studio formerly known as Irrational Games is now called “Ghost Story”.” Maybe it’s more of an evolution or transition. Read the rest of this entry »

SWAT 4 breaches GOG, commences clearing wallets

2005’s tactical cop FPS SWAT 4 is one of the superest shooters and a strong contender for the best game those BioShockers at Irrational made, you might have heard. Probably from us. Several times. And each time, we cough and mutter “Er, but you’ll need to wander eBay or something to get it.” No more! SWAT 4 is now available easily and DRM-free from GOG. Gather some mates, fire up its co-op, form a plan, and try to neatly complete missions without killing anyone. You’ll not find the explode-o-murder of Rainbow Six Siege here. Well, not unless you want to. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Return To Rapture Remastered

Bioshock: The Collection [official site] is out next week, and as such you’ll be able to play the first two Bioshock games and all of the single-player DLC in renewed detail. Bioshock Infinite is thrown in there for good measure, but it already looks so pretty on PC they’re leaving it as is. 2K Games also plan to give the updated versions free to people who own the originals. How? What’s the catch? I checked, and it turns out it is surprisingly painless. Read on!

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BioShock Original And Remastered Graphics Comparison

So I can’t play the original BioShock because I can’t deal with injections at all. I played Binfinite, though, and that was better, although I think some of the DLC is perhaps not my cup of tea in terms of icky moments. That’s why I’m now watching the BioShock: The Collection Remastered [official site] trailer through my fingers, ready to cover my eyes at any moment should a needle make a sudden appearance:

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BioShock: The Collection Bringing Revamped Rapture

Rapture is still one of my favourite video game places, and I’m quite keen to return to it all fancied-up. Following a string of leaks, publishers 2K today announced BioShock: The Collection [official site]. It’s coming our way in September with all three BioShock games and their singleplayer DLC plus a video series with words from sweet Ken Levine. Most notably, the first two are being revamped – though 2K say Binfinite is pretty enough already. It is quite pretty, that’s true. Here, catch a few glimpses at the nice improved Rapture in this announcement trailer:

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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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Have You Played… BioShock Infinite?

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

It’s not all we hoped it would be, but I liked BioShock Infinite [official site]. Am I wrong?

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Doing Comics Justice: Freedom Force Vs The Third Reich

Superheroes are, my dear mole cave people recently thawed following a decades-long slumber, very much in vogue right now. Films about whiny teenagers with the least interesting powers of an arachnid are ten a penny, but video games of this kind have been oddly lacking. The superhero games we do have – for example, the Arkham series – are mainly about specific superheroes, not about the idea or the spirit of their original format, the comic book.

I have a strange bias here, as I’m one of the fifty people on earth who loves games but never cared about comics or superheroes. So I say this without exaggerating or clutching at straws: Freedom Force Vs The Third Reich [Wikipedia page], a real-time, squad-based tactical beat ‘em up from 2005, is the only game that truly shows why people love comics.

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Bioshock Through The Looking Glass

The contemporary big-budget FPS has a few different strains: blood-n-guts military settings a la Call of Duty, open-world environments like Far Cry, and high-concept dystopias. Outside of open-world most of these styles were first codified in the 1990s, and FPS games then and now share an enormous amount: primarily a core mechanic of shooting many hundreds of enemies in the face over and over again, as well as crossover in areas like structure, goal-chaining, and narrative delivery. FPS games, in other words, have for a long time been constructed on resilient and proven principles. And many of them come from Looking Glass Studios.

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Conceptual Theatre: Irrational Vets Making The Black Glove

Smell the Glove.

Though BioShock is seemingly continuing, essentially everyone who ever worked on the series has split up, split off, or travelled to the four corners of the world. BioShock’s one of the finer modern FPS series, sure, but what might its makers do freed from the demands of sprawling development with huge budgets and mandatory face-shooting? We’ve already seen Gone Home and Eldritch from BioFolks gone indie, and now another group are having a crack.

Several Irrational Games alumni have announced The Black Glove, a first-person game where you’ll need to alter people’s past lives to change a production in a strange theatre. Ooh, metaphysical!

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Ken Levine “Winding Down Irrational Games”, Lays Off Staff

Hmm.

In a post on the Irrational Games website titled “A Message From Ken Levine”, the BioShock creator announced that he’s “winding down” Irrational Games. What does that mean? All but a core team of fifteen developers are being laid off, so that the remaining few can focus on new ideas, “a long period of design”, and the idea of “replayable narrative”.

This is a surprise.
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Three Minutes Of BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea Episode 2

There's always a lighthouse. There's always a city. There's always a bit where you get knocked down and drop your weapons.

The first part of Burial At Sea, BioShock Infinite‘s Rapture-bound DLC, met a mixed reception. Alec loved its pre-fall beauty and felt frustrated by its inevitable, violent turn and quick end. Which I suppose means there’s plenty of reason to feel excited by the arrival of part two.

Irrational want to whet your appetite for wetness with a three-minute video, but be warned: it assumes you’ve played part one and will heavily imply spoilers if you haven’t.
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BioShock Infinite Claims Infinite PC Bells And Whistles

'Good,' thought the statue, upon reading the news. 'Then all is well.'

After reading Alec’s impressions of BioShock’s star-spangled salvo against American exceptionalism, I got quite excited. So of course, I proceeded to do what any rational, well-adjusted human being would: list off all the potential ways it could go horribly, horribly wrong. Nefarious hacker code theft, of course, was up there, as were natural disasters, a scenario in which total destruction of Infinite was the only way to disarm a city-obliterating bomb, and the very real possibility that Ken Levine replaced all the audio diaries with recordings of himself taunting us about how there’s never going to be another Freedom Force. Or, you know, it could just straight up not work. But that last one, at least, seems significantly further outside the realm of possibility than the others, as Irrational’s suggested that BioShock Infinite’s PC version will actually work quite well.

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No BioShock Infinite This Year, Not For You

This embrace is not within your reach.

Let’s do this, okay: When a new game first announces a release date, let’s just go ahead and ignore it. Wasn’t it Einstein who said the very definition of insanity was filling a balloon with kittens and then severing off your own leg? So it is that BioShock: Infinite has declared it won’t be with us this year at all. They’re now looking at February next year.

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Necrofancy: BioShock Infinite’s Siren

She's not as scary if you give her an amusing nickname. Hello, Flappy!
I’d hate to have supernatural powers. What if there’s a supernatural equivalent of a sneeze? You’re driving along in your Crueltymobile, or whatever it is evil people do when they’re not battling others, then: “Ahhh-Ahhh-AHHHH-CHOO” and all of a sudden every kitten in three blocks is now a giant, man-eating snarg. No, I’d rather remain mundane and in control of my surroundings, lest I suddenly develop hay fever. I’ll bet the Siren, the final Heavy Hitter in BioShock Infinite‘s series of boss reveals, can’t go anywhere near a graveyard, in case she burps and an army of undead are suddenly awoken and grumpy. The floating, ethereal, shrieking monster can raise the dead to fight Booker.

EDIT: The video of the Siren in action is now in the post.
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What A Scream: Bioshock Infinite’s Boys Of Silence

Just hide down a narrow passage and watch as he tries to get through like a dog carrying a bone

The Boys of Silence sound like an incredible New Romantic band so I was slightly disappointed to find that they’re actually blind men with two gramophones soldered onto their heads. If ever a game needed less mechaniman monstrosities and more synth pop, Bioshock: Infinite is that game. With these cantankerous “walking cameras” that emit the shriek of a thousand sirens and Mr Tickle’s dangerous yet sorrowful offspring it’s a world full of ruined metal men. What do they do for fun? Brief footage of a Boy of Silence below, along with Mr Levine and others enthusing about the concept.

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Wild Palms: Bioshock Infinite Footage Shows Handyman

He's all hands.
Levine describes this latest “heavy hitter” character as “sort of a tragic figure.” The video goes some way to explaining why: a heavily-scarred gentleman trapped in a giant, ape-like robotic suit, at the centre of which is what appears to be a heart in a glass case. Threatening, indeed, but you really wouldn’t want to share his fate. There’s a bit of footage, and even a few glimpses of concept art for what the handyman could have been in other, hideous incarnations.
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Mecha Patriots: All We Know About BioShock Infinite

George Washington is going to kick your ass
BioShock Infinite is by far the game I’m most excited about this year. I’m torn between wanting to know everything, and wanting it to be a surprise, but that plan was somewhat undermined by being sent to New York to cover the reveal of the game. My attempts to wipe it from my brain by drinking lots of vodka and dancing with Kieron (we linked arms and kicked legs) around a restaurant failed. Instead I’m burdened with The Knowledge, and an insatiable desire to know more. Last night’s reveal of the Motorised Patriot, part a new class of enemy called Heavy Hitter, I added to my Levine Shrine. He talked to G4 of how the Patriot is a fearless killing machine, and how the Heavy Hitters “… are enemies that are used to not just be more powerful, but to augment the abilities of the more traditional BioShock enemies. You’re going to come across them in certain areas of the game, and they’re going to provide a really unique challenge.” Everything we know about the floating World’s Fair, including footage of the patriot in action, is below.
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Hardcore: BioShock Infinite Has ‘1999 Mode’

Grubby girl.

Irrational Games have just announced a new play mode that will be appearing in BioShock Infinite. Called 1999 Mode, it’s aimed at appealing to those who think games have become too easy. Ken Levine explains, “We want to give our oldest and most committed fans an option to go back to our roots,” adding that 1999 Mode means that you’ll face more permanent consequences from their choices you make, and force you to stick with the specialisations you choose.

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World In Progress: Bioshock Infinite

I have spared you all the low-cut nature of this young lady's clothing. You are welcome.

When a Bioshock Infinite video arrives in my lap, which is how I demand delivery of all gaming news, I do not expect it to feature actual human beings speaking at me. Ziplines and plummeting are gravely missing from this video. Although it does contain game footage, it’s mainly Ken Levine talking about the world he’s creating, which he sees as but one of the game’s main characters.

There’s a focus on actual people characters, with the voice actors behind Booker and Elizabeth also featured, breaking the rule that they, being the opposite of Victorian infants, should be heard and not seen. Now, in my mind’s eye, Booker Dewitt will always look like Troy Baker, whose name should immediately be attached to Syndicate’s antagonist.

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