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The Darksiders series is to get a scene-setting novel tie-in, THQ has announced.
Written by fantasy veteran Ari Marmell and published by Random House's Del Rey imprint, Darksiders: The Abomination Vault is set thousands of years before the events of the first game in the franchise.
The book follows twin Horsemen Death and War as they attempt to scupper a mysterious plot to resurrect powerful ancient weapons and trigger a devastating conflict.
It's due on shelves in May this year, a month before Darksiders 2 is expected to launch.
Undermined publisher THQ has publicly recommitted to developing a host of core games - some of them years away.
The note has no doubt been issued in response to scrutiny of THQ's long-term health.
Five internal THQ studios are making games "aligned" to several of the publisher's key brands, the company revealed. They are UFC Undisputed, Darksiders, Company of Heroes, InSane, Saints Row, Warhammer 40,000 and the new game by Patrice Desilets.
Those internal studios are presumably Yuke's, Vigil, Relic, Volition and THQ Montreal.
UFC Undisputed and Darksiders boxes are ticked by upcoming games UFC Undisputed 3 and Darksiders 2.
But Company of Heroes Online was cancelled last year, which means the above Company of Heroes project may be Company of Heroes 2. A sequel has been rumoured but never confirmed.
The Saints Row reference is presumably a fourth, unannounced game in the series. And why not? Saints Row: The Third has now shipped 3.8 million copies, THQ revealed. Lifetime shipped estimates are between five and six million.
The Warhammer 40,000 project could be multiple games: MMO Dark Millennium Online, Space Marine 2 or Dawn of War 3. Of the three, Dawn of War 3 carries the most weight. THQ has talked relatively openly about the project before, whereas talk of Space Marine 2 has been more wishy washy.
Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online may have been properly announced, but an ominous cloud looms over its future - THQ was rumoured to be selling it off. That we've seen little of the game since it was announced in 2007 strengthens these claims. MMOs are also notoriously long and arduous undertakings. If THQ was to be struggling, shedding an MMO burden would certainly lighten the load.
THQ's note went on to announce the company's withdrawal from the kids' licensed game market.
The note also mentioned that THQ would try to establish "new franchises on the next generation of game devices". Clarification of that statement will be given during and investor call next week.
Following the failure of its uDraw tablet for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and December's shutdown of it's children's game division, THQ has officially announced today that it's focusing on its core franchises. So Spongebob is out, UFC, Darksiders, Company of Heroes, inSANE, Saints Row and Warhammer 40,000 are in.
In Vigil games' upcoming Darksiders II, players assume the mantle of Death, who is pretty much the only "personified supernatural force" more badass than War, the protagonist of the first game. The video above demonstrates gameplay from the early chapters of the game, showcasing Death's lighter move-set and quicker combat abilities.
Our intern Pierre saw a demo of Darksiders II last week; by his telling, the game will feature a larger scope and a more open map than its predecessor, much more platforming and a more nimble protagonist, and more armor customization options for Death. You can see a lot of that in the video.
Check the gallery above for shots for the game's most recent trailer the game. We'll have some more in-depth impressions of the summer-bound sequel later today.
The trailer above depicts how Death, man's simplest and greatest fear, has evolved over the ages to become the character that we will take control of in the game.
A mistake Saints Row: The Third didn’t make, but always seemed horribly likely to, was promise more than it could deliver. Those trailers, those terrifying spoof gameshows, the hype of such a scale of silliness and violence, was all delivered. Which is one of the many reasons why it was one of 2011′s best games. But how do you follow it up? With a weird cat-thing and his twisted competitive event, Genkibowl VII.
A job posting for the role of franchise development producer on Blizzard's next MMO indicates that the developer is considering product placement and possibly in-game advertising for the game, codenamed Titan.
As well as various branding and merchandising responsibilities, the producer is to "work with major consumer brands to facilitate product placement and licensing within the world of Blizzard Entertainment's next-gen MMO that enhances the gameplay experience."
This is the first indication, and a strong one, that Titan is not a fantasy game, but is set in the present day or the future - potentially a near future.
Blizzard is notoriously protective of the integrity of its fictions and would be unlikely to consider the move if it wasn't harmonious with the game's setting - as suggested by the requirement that the licensing "enhances the gameplay experience".
Back in 2005, a Blizzard April Fool satirised the deal between Sony Online Entertainment and Pizza Hut that allowed players to order pizza from within EverQuest 2.
Blizzard has previously stated that Titan is a brand new franchise with new art, design and lore, and not related to its fantastical StarCraft, Warcraft or Diablo universes; president Mike Morhaime called it "something that's completely new and fresh". No other indication of the game's genre, platforms, gameplay or release date has been given.
Lost Alpha is an ambitious mod for Shadow of Chernobyl that aims to recreate all the content that was cut from the game between alpha and release. New (old) areas and new (old) mutants are the main additions, with the bulk of the mod being recreations of the cut locations. The team are aiming to stick as close to the original versions of the cut content as they can based on known info and it’s all looking mighty impressive. After a long time in development, release is closer than ever, which has of course been true every minute since it was first announced. We should have a date in February. In the meantime, here’s a trailer and a FAQ.
In between all the talking there's quite a bit of gameplay footage here of the upcoming Darksiders II.
If your ears tune out to the sound of developers talking up their own game—and really, who can blame you—know they're basically saying they're going to try and fix all the empty and boring bits from the first game.