Back in September the lovely minds behind the not so lovely Contrast revealed their next bash at a creepy, atmospheric title. We Happy Few seems to mash together elements of BioShock and first-person survival games, all set in an eerie English setting that has more fake smiles than pints of warm beer. Since then, the game has been silent - but it's going to need your money soon.
It still stings to think about the shuttering of Irrational Games and the displacement of some many developers that made the magic of BioShock happen. Not too long after the exodus, a new studio comprising of ex-Irrational developers launch a Kickstarter for The Black Glove - a brand new narrative focused adventure game that looked like it shared a lot of DNA with its BioShock Big Brother. That too, sadly, is now on ice.
Ken Levine might not be on top of everyone's best friend list, especially after he and 2K shut down Irrational Studios seemingly out of the blue last year. Levine has since stayed with the publisher, and is currently toying around with new game ideas with some of the remnants of the BioShock and System Shock team. And so far, it’s all sounding very much like what he’s been trying to achieve for years.
Hey. that’s a nice backlog you got there. Real nice, right Geoff? And look at this! You’ve almost finished it! Just a few more games to go! It’d be a shame if something were to happen to it. A right shame. Oops! I seem to have accidentally gifted you an entire anniversary of games there guv. A right shame that is…
Contrast was one of the first games offered up on PS Plus for PS4, and it really didn’t impress. While developers Compulsion Games nailed the atmosphere, the controls were floaty and made the game an absolute chore to just play. The studio’s next game has nothing to do with Contrast, and that’s probably a good thing. That, and the fact that We Happy Few has an atmosphere as creepy as BioShock.
BioShock creator Ken Levine is one of my favorite game designers of all time, but he broke my heart earlier this year. In February, Irrational Games shut down and laid off the majority of its staff, with only Levine and a select few staying. Ever since then the future of Irrational has been a mystery, but now they could finally be gearing up for their next project.
London's largest game design company, aka the minds behind Warframe and Dark Sector and co-creators of the Unreal franchise, has been acquired by a Chinese holding company. But don't worry, this could actually be a good thing for Digital Extremes.
Many were sad to see Irrational Games closing their doors. The studio gave us some good titles, most notably, the rather awesome Bioshock series. It took gamers into some really imaginative places under the sea and up in the sky. Some who worked on that franchise have now been freelancing and working on another game in their spare time. They are looking to kickstart their new title which is called The Black Glove.
Last week 2K began teasing something to do with BioShock. Many of us thought they were ready to continue with the franchise after the closure of Irrational Games earlier this year. Not only did their announcement yesterday shoot those rumors down in flames, they revealed a port that no one really saw coming.
I was devastated when Ken Levine announced that he would be shutting down Irrational Studios. The development house has been behind some of the most iconic games of this generation, namely System Shock 2 and BioShock. With Levine leaving many believed that it was the end of the road for BioShock, with the second part of Burial at Sea wrapping things up quite nicely as well. For better, or worse, 2K isn’t ready to let that ship sail.
Way back before BioShock Infinite was even out, Ken Levine climbed on stage at E3 in 2011, to announce that BioShock was headed to the PlayStation Vita. 3 years on, and it looks like it’s never going to happen. Worse…it sounds like it could have been pretty damned amazing.
BioShock Infinite, I felt, provided closure on the entire series. That closure was fortified with Ken Levine shutting down his studio, Irrational Games. Still, as one of the more popular and best selling franchise of the last generation, 2K games parent Take-Two would be stupid to just give up on the brand. They’re not stupid.
When the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 era started, publishers were quick to bundle older-gen games together, selling off a slightly HD collection of previously played titles that had been given a slap of 16:9 paint. With the new-gen, that’s not going to be a passing fad, although developers and studios are quick to call re-released games “Remastered Editions”.
Unreal Engine 3 was the stand out engine in the last generation with some of the best games being powered by the truly remarkable engine from Epic.
Bioshock Infinite was a departure from previous games in the franchise. Taking to the clouds, the game was a five-year development odyssey that ditched the oceans and objectivism of an underwater kingdom for a more personal tale of love, loss and parallel dimensions.
With Irrational Games now closed, the Bioshock franchise has gone with it. But Burial At Sea gives the cult hit games the send-off that it deserves in a second act that plays to its strengths.