Rare Footage of Free Radical’s Battlefront III Hits the Web
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…LucasArts royally fucked up by cancelling one of the most impressively ambitious Star Wars titles to date.
It’s not uncommon for games to get the axe during development. Whether they’re low profile concept pieces that simply can’t gain the right traction or big budget affairs no amount of money can fix, sometimes a publisher needs to stiffen their chin, eat their losses, and squash a title.
But Star Wars: Battlefront III, a true successor to the Battlefront name developed by the studio formerly known as Free Radical (a team pooling years of experience from properties such as the original GoldenEye and the TimeSplitters series), was uniquely cut down by LucasArts — having had a fresh regime change up the ladder — when the game was reportedly an inch near completion.
Now, with LucasArts’ full dissemination brought on by new owners Disney, we’re likely to never play BFIII…But at least you can see it in action. The video above is a few minutes of alpha stage footage of the game, and while the gameplay is very reminiscent of its predecessors, there’s a few truly standout innovations on display including flashes of a more cinematic story and the mindblowing ability to go from ground level to stratosphere to docking in a star destroyer all in real time.
The six minute vid here not quite enough (of course it isn’t)? Weep over a full hour of footage hereabouts.
Remember Me Lands a Summer Date
First time developer Dontnod’s sci-fi actioner, Remember Me, has gone and got itself dated. The Capcom produced title will see a Western release June 4th and on June 7th for the European market for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
A dash of Arkham Asylum’s combat, a bit of Assassin’s Creed’s platforming, and a whole mess of Total Recall’s, well, everything, Remember Me follows Nilin, an amnesiac who awakens in 2084 Neo-Paris (don’t ask me to point it out on a map). Nilin soon discovers her forgetful disposition may be a taste of her own medicine; in her former life, she was an expert at “memory remixing,” a skill that gave her access to others’ memories, allowing her free reign to manipulate and modify them at her whim.
It’s a rife concept that plays on the notion of literally rewriting people, effectively playing God. Hopefully Remember Me’s meatier notions aren’t overshadowed by mindless action (both Total Recall’s suck in their own special ways, after all), but I’m willing to give Dontnod the benefit of the doubt considering how hard up the industry is for original IP’s, especially when studios are saving up their “Wow” shit for the soon-to-be next generation.
On paper Aliens: Colonial Marines sounded absolutely ace. A direct continuation to one of the most influential and timeless science fiction films of the last fifty years signed off as official canon by 20th Century Fox, developed by Gearbox Software, one of the most renown and rejoiced gaming studios of this generation.
Colonial Marines should have been great. Living and breathing Jimmy Cameron’s universe, a perspective on the future that countless, countless games, novels, and films still unabashedly rip off to this very day, should have made for an engrossing interactive experience that its imitators could hardly match because, instead of playing loose homage to the 1986 film, Colonial Marines had free reign to tap from the source.
I’ve been a huge fan of this franchise since early childhood; my immediate, almost unconscious response to “What’s your favorite movie?” is always “Aliens” without hesitation, and I’ve been excited about this game for a very long time. By the time this review posts, you’re likely to already have heard the sordid truth. It hurts me to say that Aliens: Colonial Marines doesn’t just miss the mark, it makes a vapor cloud the size of Nebraska fifteen miles away from it.
Destiny Unveiled: Details On Bungie’s “Shared World Shooter”
Bungie has returned from their three-year video game hiatus to show us a project so utterly ambitious, its success could mean changing the console shooter as we know it from here on out.
So, what is Destiny? Bungie likes to think of it as “mythic science fiction” in a massive, always-online world. But we’re not allowed to call it an MMOFPS, despite how fitting it sounds. The ingredients may all be there — gigantic open-world, instantaneous co-op, in-game currency to unlock better gear, the ability to embark on raids…But, no, MMO doesn’t fit the bill according to Bungie. Despite the need for persistent online-access, publisher Activision promises there’s no subscription fees, and Bungie claims the amount of players you’ll encounter has a controlled cap, shirking MMO standards. Bungie prefers to call it a “shared world shooter” (think Borderlands on a larger scale).
Players don the role of a Guardian, warriors tasked with protecting the last of human civilization. Drawing their power from the moon-shaped “Traveler” floating above Earth’s last city, Guardians can evoke class-specific skills to thin the alien onslaught attempting to bloody humanity. Three such classes were revealed: the Titan, a brute with a focus for guns, big ones; the Hunter, a lithe infiltrator with a knack for sneaking and a sure-shot sniper; and the Warlock, a mage imbued with the Traveler’s decidedly supernatural power.
When touching on the sheer scope of the game, Bungie revealed players will have to think big. Not only can you traverse amongst the ruins of Earth’s once-great cities — locations like the swamp infested Old Chicago and the “European Dead Zone” — but your exploits encompass the whole of our solar system with customizable spaceships bouncing you from planet to planet (while Bungie hinted at space combat, it was mum on whether or not we’d take control of our vessels).
Each locale offers you the chance to create your own “Legend,” a set of missions that compose a story molded by your actions. These Legends can be tackled by your lonesome or you can better your chances with Guardians you meet, randomly generated in your session seamlessly and unobtrusively (think Journey with a spot of the ol’ ultra violence). Bungie made it a point that Destiny’s story isn’t told, but found; players having to actively seek, or even shape, the narrative and lore through discovery and completed Legends. How that works is anyone’s guess since Bungie was far from clear on the subject.
And that same obscuring, self-perpetuated fog hides the rest of Bungie’s grand effort. We know to expect Destiny on both current and next-gen technology (PS3, Xbox 360, and whatever’s around the corner) but Bungie is dodgy about when, though they’re sure cross-platform online play is being ruled out. We get the general premise, and a bunch of conceptual art to boot, but the public hasn’t seen minute one of gameplay footage. This may only be the first reveal, but it seems the meatiest of details are purposely being withheld. Though, mission success if it was Bungie’s intention to make me crave more.
The general assumption was that we’d see Destiny release before the year’s out, but with critical information lacking and two of the four consoles it’s intended for still not public knowledge, it appears we’ll be waiting quite awhile yet before we experience this shared world shooter. From what we’ve seen and heard today, though, it looks worth the wait.
Bungie’s Destiny Unveiled This Sunday
The time is soon upon us, folks. Announced on its newly created Facebook page, February 17th marks our first official reveal of Destiny, Bungie’s first major title since giving up control of the wheel behind the phenomenally successful Halo franchise.
Just an arm’s throw back, we were privy to a sizable leak of story info and concept art that Bungie begrudgingly confirmed as real. In said lowdown, the basic premise picks up seven-hundred years from now and pits players as “Knights” bent on protecting the near-extinct remnants of humanity and their “Last City on Earth” against bizarre creatures creeping in from the fringes of the universe.
What we don’t know is just what the hell kind of game Destiny is supposed to be. Brace for impact: there’s going to be shooting involved. But ever since the project hit the radar, it’s been hinted we might see Bungie take on multiplayer of the massive variety which, in and of itself, hints at an equally large open world.
MMO/FPS, open world/co-op shooter, Halo-meets-Nancy Drew…Whatever in the fuck it is, it’s an original IP from one of the industry’s best, fan-loyal developers and that’s enough of a reason to be excited. See you Sunday, folks.
Aliens: Colonial Marines - New, Redeeming Trailer and Season Pass Info
Gearbox has once more let loose a new trailer for their canonized, video game sequel to 1986’s Aliens, and thank Weyland for that because the recent “Kick Ass” Trailer was so tremendously shitty, it had the distinction of being the only piece of marketing to actually jam a hazy cloud of doubt into my head about Colonial Marines.
This two-minute spot is a return to form, though, and gives us yet another atmospheric taste of the game’s competitive multiplayer, including insights into some of the abilities both camps — Xeno and Marine — are outfitted with. Running and gunning won’t be a prevailing strategy when the enemy can swarm you from just about every dark, dank crevice, so you know the drill; assholes and elbows, people!
Moving on, a recent Gamestop listing has shed some light on a mixed blessing of news: Colonial Marines will have a Season Pass accompanying its release, priced at $30. More content is always good on paper, but I don’t take kindly to the fact that getting the most out of my game also means having the most taken out of my wallet — $90 if you’re just nabbing a standard copy and the pass.
Much like Borderlands 2’s setup, this Season Pass scores you four separate content packs planned for a spread out release between March and sometime in the Summer of 2013. No exact specifics were spilled regarding the content packs, but fans can expect both campaign and multiplayer add-on’s including new maps, new modes, and items for character customization. With each DLC at $10 a pop, you’ll save yourself a tenner by springing for the Season Pass.