Grave Gamer News & Views — 2K games

Bioshock 2 Dev Taking Franchise Over from Irrational When Boston...

Bioshock 2 Dev Taking Franchise Over from Irrational

When Boston based development house Irrational Games announced they were closing their doors for good, many assumed the franchise they created, Bioshock – a critical darling and fan favorite – would sink into the sea with it.

Irrational’s owner, publisher 2K, assured the gaming populace Bioshock would live on; somehow, some way. Bioshock, after all, makes money, and you don’t just let something that makes money slip to the bottom of the sea (or fall to the top of the sky…?).

Take-Two CEO/Best Name for the Next Bond Villain, Strauss Zelnick, believes the series has yet to reach its commercial potential. Of course, the writing on the dry-erase board says no more than “Make more Bioshock eventually.”

We haven’t given any color on how you should think about it yet except we do believe it’s beloved,” Zelnick said to Gamespot.  "We think it’s important [and] certainly something that we’re focused on; something 2K Marin will be responsible for shepherding going forward.“

2K Marin, a team forged in 2007 from former members of Irrational, brought us Bioshock 2 – a title that hemmed so closely to the original that it might as well have been called an expansion (to toss some fairness into the mix, the game did have an excellent story; it’s not all choppy waters). Last year, 2K Marin released The Bureau, an XCOM spin-off met with mixed reviews and a wall of indifference from fans used to the strategy-heavy formula the series is known for.

All right, so we’re not exactly passing Bioshock into steady hands. But keep in mind, it took Treyarch a few goes at the Call of Duty formula before they started to wind Infinity Ward’s bi-yearly releases. Thankfully, 2013’s Bioshock Infinite is fresh enough in our minds where there’s no rush to deliver a follow-up. Take your time getting it right, 2K. Kind of a delicate IP you got there.

Evolve Bursts Through the Trees This October You’re not alone out...

Evolve Bursts Through the Trees This October

You’re not alone out there. No, I’m not referring to your three, twitchy comrades ready to spray lead at anything that ruffles a bush. I’m talking about the hulking monstrosity stalking you from behind the treeline; the thing that you’ve tricked yourself into thinking you’re hunting.

Turtle Rock Studios, the house that brought you the co-op sensation Left 4 Dead, returns to the scene with a new take on cooperative multiplayer action (the “new” being the experience of having your body slammed against a rock by a thirty-foot tall creature who’s punched its way out of a Corman movie).

Publisher 2K has announced Evolve will launch globally October 21st on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Multiple monsters, hunter classes to play as, and dozens of maps are promised on disc as soon as the game hits shelves.

One of the more titillating next-gen only affairs announced this year, I’m hoping Turtle Rock can outshine the zombie shooting legacy it relinquished to Valve in Left 4 Dead. If this “4v1” experiment works, the better question will be, which is more fun? Tearing a monster down one bullet at a time or tearing a hunter apart one limb at a time?

Maya by PetraDragoon

Witness the Rise of Handsome Jack in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel...

Witness the Rise of Handsome Jack in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Strap on your spacesuits and reload your guns – you aren’t on Pandora anymore, kids.

2K Games and Gearbox President Randy “The Man” Pitchford have turned rumor into fact this morning by announcing Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Before you sharpen your Pitchford pitchforks over Randy’s firm statement that Borderlands 3 wasn’t in development (and it still isn’t), here’s a little context:

Borderlands 3 will happen, says Pitchford, but it’ll be a next-gen affair chasing after bigger, bolder design goals. The Pre-Sequel, on the other hand, is built on the Borderlands 2 engine and is meant to cater to the massive install base found on PS3, 360, and PC.

The Pre-Sequel, as it’s so oddly but, for this series, fittingly labeled, is plopped snugly between the time our first Vault Hunters cracked open the vault in Borderlands 1 and when our new heroes led a resistance against the sociopathic, goblin-faced Handsome Jack in the second game. It’s a sequel to 1 and a prequel to 2, ya follow? “Mid-quel”? I don’t know what you’re saying and, frankly, your made up word offends me. Moving on.

This go around, your battlefield has been moved from the wastelands of Pandora to the low-gravity, nil-oxygen moon orbiting the planet. Your team, as usual, is a rag-tag outfit of personalities, each possessing skills unique to their class. Instead of a group of vigilante Vault Hunters, however, this “new” cast serves under a way less murder-y Handsome Jack, Hyperion’s leader. While never-before playable, Borderlands fans should already know this lineup of characters.

Athena, a Crimson Lance soldier formerly seen in the DLC The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, returns as your “Gladiator” class. Her shtick? The ability to kinetically propel a shield at her enemies for high damage. The shield, once upgraded, can either serve you defensively or offensively, depending on your tastes.

Nisha, the “Lawbringer,” puts in her time as her boyfriend’s pistol carrying right hand before residing as Lynchwood’s oppressive, tortuous sheriff.

Wilhelm, Jack’s “Enforcer,” brings experience and brutality to the team. At this point in time, he hasn’t gone all Borg yet; mechanical augmentation can be seen, but he’s a far cry from the hulking, robotic monstrosity he ends up becoming in BL2

Finally, Claptrap rounds out the cast in his first playable role in the series. Yes, it really is the annoying, dancing robot you ally yourself with by the second game. Yes, his perspective is only a couple of feet off of the ground. Claptrap will be your “Fragtrap” class, whatever that could entail.

As a heads up, Gearbox Software is not developing The Pre-Sequel themselves – 2K Australia will be handling that job. Already, they have interesting ideas that Randy himself says are impressively fun (low-gravity gunplay does seem thoroughly enjoyable). It’s not Borderlands 3, sure. But, upshot, it is more Borderlands, and I love me some Borderlands.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is set to launch sometime later in 2014. Check out the official gameplay reveal right here.

Universal Begins Production on Bioshock Infinite: The Movie...

Universal Begins Production on Bioshock Infinite: The Movie

Though a feature length film adaptation of Irrational Games’ original Bioshock failed to gain traction and move past the fires of development hell, it would appear rights holder Universal Studios is looking to the sky for another run at bringing the critically acclaimed IP to the silver screen.

Greenlit on the back of a spec script written by Jeremy Leven (The Notebook, The Time Traveler’s Wife) in conjunction with genre scribe Damon Lindelof (Lost, Prometheus), Universal is fast tracking a film loosely based upon 2013’s stalwart gaming experience, Bioshock Infinite.

While several key plot elements from the game remain in place – a man, a lighthouse, a floating city – Universal’s hurried excitement to reimagine Infinite for the big screen stems from the biggest narrative change found in Leven and Lindelof’s script: protagonists Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth Comstock are “wayward lovers in their mid to late twenties” attempting to reunite in the midst of a civil war waged on the streets of Columbia, a city segregated from the U.S. by clouds.

Booker fights alongside a rebellion of lower class citizens, the Vox Populi, while Elizabeth is the heiress to the ruling, and wealthy, Comstock family. The game’s religious overtones, Comstock’s cult in particular, are apparently being toned down purposely to service a wider palette, traded in for the classic struggle between the rich and the poor.

“It’s sort of a high concept, genre take on Romeo and Juliet,” said Lindelof. "Jeremy [Leven] has proven time and again he knows how to write fully fleshed out characters. I mean, characterization is his thing obviously. I came aboard because I wanted to realize the world of Columbia and play with the really lofty, cool concepts Irrational laid down, like multi-dimensional traversal and gigantic steampunk birdman things.“

"It’s been great working on this project with Damon,” said Leven. “We really complement each other’s strengths well, I think. I’m the go-to guy for drama and romance and such, while Damon’s your man when it’s time to maul a dude’s face with a skyhook.”

Hollywood hunk Ryan Gosling and Tinseltown sweetheart Rachel McAdams are said to be in negotiations to play the roles of star-crossed lovers Booker and Elizabeth respectively. “I’ve never heard of Bioshock, haven’t played a video game since Mario [laughs], but I immediately fell in love with the script,” Gosling said. “It’s really heady, really out there. And the love these two characters have for one another… It’s a bond stronger than blood.”

Universal currently has a short list of directors favored to helm the picture including Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class, Kick Ass), Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men), and Francis Lawrence (Constantine, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). Ken Levine, series creator and former head of the now disbanded Irrational, has confirmed he will be serving in an executive producing capacity. When asked how extensive his involvement would be, Levine replied, “I receive a paycheck and commence loud, hearty laughter on my way to the bank.”

UPDATE: April 2nd is here, folks. Thanks to all who believed my fabricated bullshit; you truly made April Fools’ a special day for me.