Posts Tagged ‘Irrational’

RPS Verdict: The BioShock Trilogy

Almost ten years after our first trip to Rapture, the BioShock trilogy has been re-released and (in some cases) remastered. The Collection [official site] looks lovely but it’s far from perfect.

Today, we’re looking back though – a lot has happened since the first game’s arrival, including the departure of director Ken Levine from the studio that made two of the three games, and a resurgence of the first-person immersive sim as a genre. Here, we consider all things Bioshock and decide, among other things, which of the games is actually the best.

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Rapture Reborn: A BioShock Remastered Gallery

Almost ten years after we first daddied and kindlied and golfed, BioShock has today returned in an apparently fancy-panted remastered version, aka Bioshock: The Collection [official site]. Sadly it’s not in the best of shape, in terms of what we PC folk tend to demand from our settings menus and whatnot, but perhaps a more overriding question is but how does it look?

I shall show you, in thirty different ways. A few thoughts of my own just beneath the cut too.

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What Is A ‘Bioshock Collection’ And Do You Want It?

And now on Vague, Possibly-Nothing News Hour, it’s the apparent leak of something called The BioShock Collection, which appears to comprise BioShock 1, BioShock 2 and BioShock: Infinite Art Budget. Which isn’t super-interesting in itself, given we’ve all been able to pick up said bundle or the components thereof for absurdly low prices in various Steam sales. What is twisting my Plasmids, man, is that the leak claims this pack is coming out for Xbone and PS4 in addition to PC. Which might meant that we’re in for a – oh lord, save me from the buzzwords – next-gen spit’n’polish of the series.

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What I Want From The Next BioShock

Ken Levine has moved onto other projects, and Irrational essentially no longer exists, but publishers 2K have declared that the BioShock series will continue nonetheless. Good, I’m glad: the games so far have had downs as well as ups to say the least, but they have, to a one, attempted to do things that other big-budget shooters do not. It’d be a terrible shame if that was lost and the floor ceded to yet more military-inspired prepostero-realism. I’m also fascinated to see what a BioShock game that wasn’t led by someone who has, for better or worse, become something of a figurehead for game stories and high concepts would look like. Would they become more free to explore their own worlds, less hampered by the need to meet expectations of Big Ideas and Ultimate Answers?

There are things I’d like the next game to try. There are things I desperately pray it doesn’t do. These are just a few of each. Would you kindly take a look? (Contains some spoilers for BioShock 1 & Infinite).

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BioShock Co-Devs 2K Australia Closing After 15 Years

So that's why they call it Oceania.

Irrational Games as we know it closed in February, though the BioShock studio lives on in a way with a small group of survivors under Ken Levine at a new team within 2K. Once upon a time, though, there were two Irrationals. A Canberra arm of Irrational was founded in 2000, then later renamed 2K Australia. It mostly worked with Irrational and other 2K studios, on games from Freedom Force to BioShock Infinite, but most recently was behind Borderlands: The Pre-sequel. And now it’s gone too.

Parent company 2K Games have confirmed that they’re closing the studio and laying off the staff. Sounds like it was too expensive for them, and too remote.

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Looking Glass / Irrational Does System Shock 2 Live

Even a few years ago, the idea of getting to watch assorted Looking Glass and Irrational alumni play and talk through revered sci-fi immersive sim System Shock 2 sounded like an absurd fantasy. Twitch and Twitter, whatever else they might be throwing at the world, have broken down so many barriers. For instance: two of hours of System Shock 2, with live commentary provided by the likes of BioShock’s Ken Levine, Gone Home’s Steve Gaynor and Ultima Underworld’s Paul Neurath (not to mention all the other landmark games those guys worked on).
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Post-Irrational Decisions: 2K Founds New Super-Studio

reporting for dury, sir!

OK, normally “human being accepts new job at large company” isn’t our sort of news, unless it’s a really big name. The creative lead on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed perhaps doesn’t make it onto any auteur lists (though he has worked on enough other Star Wars games to fill a few Sandcrawlers), but Haden Blackman fetching up at 2K is fascinating because… well, what’s going on at 2K? Where are the big games going to come from in a post-Irrational (as-was) world? Well, perhaps from Hangar 13, a new 2K internal studio whose stated intention is “delivering mature experiences loaded with meaningful choices.” Reading between the lines: 2K wants its next BioShock.
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