Posts Tagged ‘Starbreeze Studios’

Wot I Think: Brothers – A Tale Of Two Sons

Originally released on 360 last month, Starbreeze’s uncharacteristic single-player co-op Brothers is a story of two sons on a quest to save their father’s life, and has now reached Steam for £11.99. As RPS’s leading expert on experiencing emotions, I set forth to find out wot I think:

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Family Gathering: Brothers – A Tale Of Two Sons

I’m not sure if any of the RPS crew have played Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons yet, but it’s out today and sounds like it’d be the ideal interactive experience for at least a couple of us. It’s a character-driven, single player co-op game, and I’m not sure what either of those things mean. ‘Character-driven’ because it’s about the brothers and their encounters with other people, creating moments of what I believe Professor Henry Playful would describe as ludonarrative resonance. We hear about the dissonance much more often, but occasionally these things called game do resonate along just the right axis. The ‘single player co-op’ part describes the mode of interaction – two characters, one controller. It’ll be interesting to see how it works with the more usual PC paraphernalia. From what I can gather, the joypad controls are a pleasure to use. Trailer below.

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Wot I Think: Payday 2

Crime Time
After a weekend on the beta, where the game crashed and lost my progress and the following missions were so tough that I couldn’t claw it back, I’ll admit I didn’t like Payday 2. I quit, leaving my friend Owen to carry on with random players. But Owen has a way about him. A childish enthusiasm that he constantly fired at me on IM. He was having fun, and he wanted Bopo & Bucko* to team up again. He’d show me the way, he said. Then Jim said we should WiT it. So I threw the mask on, we formed a crime team with a pair of other friends, and hopped back online. Here’s wot I think.
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Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons PC Bound

Yo, bro! Yolo, bro.
I’d like to think that Starbreeze’s self-co-operation game Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons came into being when Creative director Josef Fares looked at a modern game controller. He held it in his hand, probably while wearing protective gloves, and spotted the symmetry between the d-pad and the four face buttons. Then he shouted “eureka”, and ran around the offices showing it to everyone. Work stopped for the day, a team meeting was held, he was reprimanded for shoving the controller into the CEO’s face while he was on the toilet, but everyone eventually came around to the idea of controlling two characters. It was so bound to that moment of Xbox epiphany that it only came out as an exclusive on Microsoft’s RRODbox yesterday, but it is now on the way to the PC. I’m told it’s absolutely brilliant, too.
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Heist Master’s Voice: Payday 2 Footage

One art, please!
Nature seeks balance. That is the way of things. So it was that following news of a police procedural game (coming soon), I was also told of more footage of Payday 2, which is Overkill’s heist ’em up. Below there are 24 minutes of developer narrated action of the co-op shooter as they take part in an art heist. Then follows the inevitable betrayal. They steal things, then they are shot at. Balance was sought, and balance was got.
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Shhhhh: Payday 2 Probably Just Stole Your Wallet

Don't shoot until you see the whites of their horrifying weirdgross clown masks and OK just shoot whenever please

And you didn’t even notice. That’s how cold, calculating, and quiet it is. It rushed your home and left no witnesses. Your coat rack? Lying in a pool of its own fabrics. Your pet goldfish? Sleeping with the fishes. Other fishes. Dead ones. And you? Next. Hah, just kidding. I have no idea why someone’s stalking through your home, but it’s not Payday 2‘s fault. The heist-’em-up’s new trailer is disarmingly quiet, though. Admittedly, it’s all pre-scripted, but the big takeaway seems to be that this one’s going for methodical stealth over the first’s Left 4 Dead with cops approach.  Also, clown masks. They’re reeeeeally unsettling, pretty much no matter what. It’s all after the break.

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Go Cooperate With Yourself – Brothers: Tale Of Two Sons

Auditions for a third brother were eventually called off after the pair realized the talent pool wasn't particularly deep.

Starbreeze debuted a fairly promising-looking trailer for its bro-op puzzle adventure Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons not too terribly long ago, but it wasn’t tremendously illuminating in regards to how the game will actually, you know, play. Now, however, we finally have a (multi-part) answer: a) as a fascinating little hybrid of single-player and co-op, and b) probably better with a gamepad. While the latter’s got me feeling less-than-brotherly toward Starbreeze (so much so, in fact, that I’ll make fun of them for having a name that sounds like a fabric softener. Hah! Take that), I’m still quite intrigued by the possibilities here. Have your own brother help you past the break to see it in action. Unless you don’t have a brother. Then I guess you should just give up.

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Bro-op: Starbreeze Reveals Fantasy Romp ‘Brothers’


Starbreeze likes dark things. Once upon a time, it put out the pitch black Chronicles of Riddick and, er, The Darkness – among others. (It also helmed the recent Syndicate reboot, but we don’t talk about that.) Its next big project, then, comes as quite the change of pace. To my knowledge, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is almost entirely bereft of hyper-violent space prison shankings or entrail-devouring demon tentacles. Instead, it’s a fantasy to-do about… well, pretty much everything’s in the title. Brothers (who are also sons) set out to cure their deathly ill father (who is presumably also someone’s son, and maybe someone else’s brother). Also, Swedish filmmaker Josef Fares is involved. Catch a quick peek after the break.

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Starbreeze Smash And Grab PayDay Devs

A: We'll be your publisher from here on in. B: Yes. Quite.

I think it’s more of a polite corporate takeover (IF SUCH A THING EXISTS) than a masked, gun-toting robbery, but the fact remains that Syndicate Riddick developer Starbreeze is awaiting shareholder approval as it bids to buy Overkill Software, they of PayDay: The Heist. If it all goes ahead, Overkill shall continue enhancements of the first game while also working on a sequel, which must feature supernatural elements and go by the name HeistGeist. Starbreeze have plenty in development already, with three internal teams working on three separate games, including “free-to-playish” Cold Mercury, the self-funded P13 and one other mystery title.

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Everybody’s Free: Starbreeze’s Next Game Is Free-To-Play

Ah, Syndicate. Er, nice try.
We have a name, Cold Mercury, and we have a vague notion as to what the business model will be, free-to-play, but that’s all there is to know about Syndicate developer Starbreeze’s next game. Business smarties GamesIndustry.biz dug up the details from Starbreeze’s CEO Mikael Nermark. He said.

“Starbreeze will not leave the AAA segment. We are discussing with several leading game publisher on publisher financed games, but we will broaden our product portfolio of games in the new business models and segments that have arisen in the games industry. I am convinced that Starbreeze will be successful with the new games.”

So what are we looking at, here? Adam reckons “The first in a series of episodic FPS games following the career of American Music Club. The next one will be called Temperate San Francisco.”

Wot I Think: Syndicate Co-Op

Alright, I’ve spent today investigating Syndicate’s four-player co-operative online mode, and while I’m obviously several decades away from reaching all the unlocks and whatnot, I’ve got a firm handle on how it all works and if I think it’s any cop. Is it as forgettable as the singleplayer? Is it anything like Syndicate? What would the world be like if Mr Mark Question of Shoreham-on-Sea hadn’t invented the question mark in 1913? Read on for answers to at least two of those questions.
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Ascii What You Did: Syndicate Dev’s Message To Pirates

STARING EYES
The humble .nfo file is a business card, instruction manual, and score-setting rap song in ascii form. They’re the files that the piracy scene drops into their releases to claim bragging rights for that particular chunk of nefarious code. So why the hell did Syndicate Developers Starbreeze stick one in the legitimate release of their first-person shooter? Redditor MikkelManDK spotted the file in the game’s directory: it’s there to partly to mock the scene a little — the install notes read: ‘1) Insert disc 2) Play ;)’ — and partly to bring the Warez groups into the games industry: Starbreeze’s .nfo asks them to apply for jobs.

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Syndicate Doesn’t Launch With This Launch Trailer

Mocking blind pigs with lens flare? You must really hate cute things, EA.
In another example of the games industry twisting a word until its meaning shatters into a thousand pieces of bacon shredding shrapnel, blinding a nearby piglet who only wanted to use his eyes to see what was happening, and who’ll now go through the rest of his life bumping sadly into your leg and hoping you’re not a rabid wolf… that piglet trusted you, damnit! See what you’ve done, industry? You’ve toss around words like “free” and “beta”, blinding curious little animals who only wanted to play with you, and now EA have gone and released a “launch” trailer for their FPS reboot of Syndicate, yet the game remains decidedly unlaunched. Well, it’s not on my PC and another piglet will never be able to appreciate eye things ever again.
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Fishing For Chips: Syndicate’s Tech Wars

He is on the verge of exploding himself for your pleasure.

Last time out, Syndicate was showing off its guns and I don’t remember seeing a single flamethrower, which made me grumble in a manner befitting a madman denied the ability to burn the flesh off his enemies. The latest piece of video advertainment is all about the power of technology, which allows agents to persuade their opponents to commit suicide and attack their allies, among other ethically questionable activities. It’s certainly far more interesting than the guns. The removal of chips from peoples’ skulls to gain experience is described as a “critical mission objective”, which is something the same mad part of me that wants a flamethrower approves of heartily. Watch between the tiny gaps in your cybernetically augmented HUD below.

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So… You Can Look At Syndicate’s Guns


UPDATE: Turns out there is a trailer, too. (Below.)

This has to be one of the weirdest asset releases we’ve seen lately: a batch of screenshots in which the protagonist of Syndicate is having a good look at the gun that he’s carrying. That’s what it’s about: admiring the shooting cylinder. Conveniently it features most of the guns you’ll be toting in the game. So big. So gunny! Mmm. Full gallery below!
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Darting Around: Syndicate Coop

The video is 84% headshots or attempted headshots

There has already been a short trailer showing the chip-fipping, face-slamming action of the Syndicate reboot, this being the boot that may stamp on the face of your gaming past forever. This longer video shows an actual play session on the same map, jumping between agents’ viewpoints to confuse me but otherwise giving a fairly good idea of how things will play out. There will be lots of violence, death and use of cover. Strategy? Well, you’ll have to wait for team-mates before opening certain doors and really tough men will absorb thousands of bullets so you’ll need to heal one another during those fights. Oh, just look at it.

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Syndicoop: Four Men vs All The Other Men

yeah, whatever, bang bang

A reasonable number of folk around these parts are, I think it’s safe to sweepingly generalise, a little nonplussed that Starbreeze’s Syndicate remake is going down the mostly linear manshooter path. All along, though, we’ve been told the game’s four-player co-op mode would entail a more direct nod to the strategicish Bullfrog original. Is that, could that be, true? Time to find out.
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Hands On: Syndicate

A man walking near a thing at dusk or dawn. FACT.

As everyone knows, Syndicate is back. And as everyone also knows, it’s a first-person shooter, which perhaps isn’t the direction everyone was expecting it to head in. I’ve sat down and played a small section of the game, and below you can read my thoughts.

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Syndicate: Eurocorp Old & New

Rilo Kiley?

This is one for the young people, perhaps – as part of another trailer for the upcoming Syndicate enshooterising, we get a potted history of Bullfrog’s original game. “A cyberpunk wonderland,” apparently. Then it segues into a pic’n’mix of previous and new Syndishoot footage, and I guess we’re supposed to think “gosh, the reticule-based adventures of MILES KILO sure are highly thematically similar to an isometric tactical game.” Still, it’s nice to see the original Syndicate (“quite a unique experience”, claims robo-lady in the video) given a proper nod – never thought we’d see that as part of a bombastic, noisy trailer like this.

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