BioShock Infinite had some great original songs and arrangements. You can buy the original game s soundtrack, but there s some new music in the recently released Burial at Sea DLC that you couldn't easily listen to, until recently. Irrational Games posted three full, original songs from Burial at Sea to its official website, along with some commentary from the game s Music Director, Jim Bonney. Bonney describes the first song, Little Sisters Song, as an idealistic musical conversation between Mama Tenenbaum and the little sisters. I was thinking about ways to create depth in daily life in Rapture, and thought that the Little Sisters Home could use a little propaganda music, he said. A song that would ease the minds of the citizens that little girls being taken from their families was really just another example of living the Objectivist s Dream!
The Pie Song, which is in the style of a 50s folk protest song, was produced by Marc Lacuesta and performed by Korby Lenker.
And the final song is Old Man Winter Jingle, which promotes the Old Man Winter Plasmid. The announcer you hear in the end is actually Irrational Games Senior Sound Designer Jeff Seamster.
For more behind the scenes stories on original music in Bioshock Infinite, check out Irrational Games official blog.
Cellar Door, the developer behind the excellent Rogue Legacy, has already started working on its next project. The team's not ready to say anything concrete about it yet, but it's notoriously against working within the same genre twice. Does that mean we won't see a Rogue Legacy 2? A recent interview indicates that the game's creators might just make an exception. The developer's next game, which it started working on in early March, likely won't play at all like Rogue Legacy, a platformer "rogue-lite" with imspiration from Demon's Souls and Castlevania. However, Cellar Door said that it does want to make an exception for Rogue Legacy, and that it will probably start working on the sequel in the next two years. We do want to make it, we just didn t want to jump on it straight away, co-creator and lead programmer Kenny Lee told Edge. We ll most likely hire another programmer when we do. It took us about a year and a half to make the first game, so we could get Rogue Legacy 2 in development in the next two years. For more on Rogue Legacy, check out our interview with Teddy Lee, Kenny s brother and co-creator at Cellar Door.
The fury over Oculus VR s acquisition by social media giant Facebook seems to have fallen to a low simmer as the raw emotion has a chance to cool. Another factor: we don t really have any more information now than we did the day after the news broke. Aside from Oculus founder Palmer Luckey s defense on reddit, no one inside the deal has spoken up. Now, development legend John Carmack, who famously left his position at id Software to work as Oculus s chief technology officer, has spoken up for the first time.
I share some of your misgivings about companies existing and operating only to be acquired, Carmack wrote in response to a post by Peter Berkman. There is a case to be made for being like Valve, and trying to build a new VR ecosystem like Steam from the ground up. This is probably what most of the passionate fans wanted to see. The difference is that, for years, the industry thought Valve was nuts, and they had the field to themselves. Valve deserves all their success for having the vision and perseverance to see it through to the current state.
VR won't be like that, Carmack continued. The experience is too obviously powerful, and it makes converts on contact. The fairly rapid involvement of the Titans is inevitable, and the real questions were how deeply to partner, and with who.
Our own feelings about the acquisition ranged from shock to cautious dismay, but I ve heard more than few Oculus fans cling to the hope that, if Carmack is on board, then there must be something great about the merger. The co-creator of Doom also mentioned that he didn t have anything to do with the merger, saying I wasn't personally involved in any of the negotiations I spent an afternoon talking technology with Mark Zuckerberg, and the next week I find out that he bought Oculus."
While he did a thorough job of explaining why a merger with someone was bound to happen, he didn t go so far enough to calm fears that Facebook would become the owner of all personal data ever exchanged through virtual reality. Facebook s long-term goals for owning this technology are absolutely unknown to everyone who isn t Facebook, and that s cause enough to worry for most people.
You can read Berkman s full blog post and the ensuing comments here.
After what turned out to be a pretty short delay, the new Naval Strike DLC is landing today for Battlefield 4 Premium members, along with an extensive update full of balances, tweaks, and squished bugs. The new DLC adds four new maps with a distinct ocean-y flavor and the new Carrier Assault mode, based off of the classic Titan Mode from Battlefield 2142.
After announcing a delay for the new maps last week, DICE explained on its blog that the PC version had been held up because we concerned that the combination of the pack and planned PC updates would increase performance issues on mid-range to high-end PCs.
DICE can hardly be blamed for working under an abundance of caution after fall s very rocky launch and the ensuing fallout; barely a week later, they ve already got it sorted out. I don t mean to poke fun: this is exactly the type of developer behavior we should be encouraging. If it s not ready, don t release it.
Premium members should already be seeing the new maps and modes; everyone else should see it in two weeks on April 14. You can see a full list of the fixes and tweaks here, if you re so inclined. You can also check out our preview to whet your appetite while you wait.
Humanity's first mission to another world has gone horribly wrong. The ship has crashed, its crew scattered and lost, and the planet, thought by scientists on Earth to be teeming with life and hope for a better future, is an arid wasteland. But as you struggle to come to grips with hopelessness, you make the most amazing discovery of all: you are not the first to arrive, and you are not alone.
Lifeless Planet is a journey to another world that becomes a journey into the past, as you learn that the Soviet Union somehow arrived first and established an advanced scientific outpost. But how did they get there and where did they go?
This outpost has seen better days.
"I love science and science fiction, and especially games that bring these themes into the experience. I really enjoyed the LucasArts adventure game The Dig, as well the classic cinematic platformer Out of This World, aka Another World," creator David Board explains. "I grew up in the '80s and very much remember the intrigue and intensity of that era. I also really enjoyed The Twilight Zone and Cold War sci-fi B movies. I think they really conveyed the combined sense of optimism and dread of what science was capable of in the hands of humankind, and I'm trying to channel some of that old-school sci-fi drama in this game."
Board is essentially a one-man show at Stage 2 Studios, the indie operation behind Lifeless Planet, and he's been working on the game for roughly three years. He's a website designer by trade but games have been his passion since the early 1980s, and Lifeless Planet is a reflection of his love for those early adventure games and the fear of nuclear annihilation that pervaded the post-war years.
This alien power plant continues to operate.
There's a pulpy feel to Lifeless Planet. An astronaut on a distant world, a lost crew, and a bizarre mystery with echoes of home: It could be a drive-in movie, or an episode of some forgotten 1970s television show. The gameplay in the Early Access version feels perfunctory: the platforming is simple, levels are linear, and the puzzles come across primarily as a way to insert variety into the action. I occasionally found myself confronted with a blocked passage, for instance, but my absent Soviet hosts had been kind enough to leave dynamite lying nearby. Problem solved!
The Early Access release covers only about the first third of the game, and Board says the difficulty does ramp up somewhat as it progresses, although he's taken pains to ensure that it doesn't get out of hand. "Some sections get harder later on, but by then you will have gained more skill," he said. "I really want people to finish the game and play through the story and not get stuck. I've taken the same approach with puzzles."
The strangeness continues.
The story really is the thing in Lifeless Planet. The original idea was to create a conventional platformer, but "the story took off and took over," Board says. "It's just one of those ideas that clicked, and there's no doubt now that's the part of the game that most resonates with people."
There are aspects that feel contrived, like the jetpack that functions or fails as the story demands, and I spent an awful lot of time just walking, taking in the sparse sights but not actually doing anything although that's a perfectly reasonable itinerary under the circumstances. But that emptiness also served to intensify the excitement of discovery, and while I was walking, I was also thinking.
That, for Board, is the goal. "My personal philosophy is that narrative games should have challenges, but the moment I spend too much time in one place, the magic starts to fade for me," he says. "I love really challenging action games and really challenging puzzle games, but this game is about story. I want challenges along the way, but I don't want to extend gameplay by making things unnecessarily tough."
An alien vista.
The Early Access demo is quite short no more than two hours in length but it includes only the first six of roughly 20 chapters (the Early Access page says 20, while Board describes it as "about" that number), and although they're the "most polished" of the bunch, there are still a few refinements to be made. And while it appears to answer Lifeless Planet's first and foremost question yes, there really is a Soviet base on another planet the mystery grows even deeper by the time the demo over. Playing it now, in other words, won't spoil you for the full release; if anything, it will have the opposite effect.
Board says he hopes to have Lifeless Planet ready for full release in May.
Odditie-s, a small indie games blog curated by @moshboy, has assembled The Pirate Bay Bundle, a torrent that offers 101 indie games. As @moshboy explains, they are small, weird, free (mostly ignored) video games that you probably haven t played made by well over one hundred passionate game makers. Some, he explains, were made for game jams like Ludum Dare, some by celebrated game makers (though I didn t spot any I recognized), and many by developers we ve never heard of. It sounds like @moshboy put an insane amount of work into this bundle. Many of the games are only available to play in a browser, so he had to convince each developer to provide him with an offline version. The bundle also includes five unedited .txt files of interviews with developers, so if you want a crash course on what individuals on the fringes of the games industry are making, dive in. You can find the torrent on The Pirate Bay, which has NSFW ads, so watch out.
This passed me by somehow, but it's still worth a mention. There's going to be a Mordheim game! Mordheim is one of Games Workshop's more obscure Warhammer Fantasy spin-off projects. It's a turn-based strategy game set in a city obliterated by a magic meteorite. Precious fragments of said meteorite, called Wyrdstone, have drawn bandits and adventurers from every corner of the world. Giant rat-men face off against heroes of the empire, Elves, pirates, mercenaries, Witch Hunters and chaos demons. It's like the end of the Hobbit, except the armies are 1000 times smaller, and prone to incurring terrible injuries and mounting psychological damage from battle to battle.
Focus Interactive note that "if you fail, some of your units might lose a limb... or worse. Keep in mind that in Mordheim: City of the Damned, a dead unit is lost forever!" which suggests that the game will realise the morbid comedy of your squad's gradual dismemberment. It'll also have "RPG elements, fast-paced tactical combat" and, importantly, "intricate unit customization".
Much of the fun of Mordheim lies in tailoring each character's skills and inventory. Imagine XCOM without the world-defending meta-game, but with loads of individual character customisation, set in a gothic city full of poisoned blades, weird magic and warband leaders that'd sooner sell you to the fighting pits than pay you a fair share of the booty. Will you give your ordinary mooks helms and shields, or spend all of your stolen money on a pair of wall-melting Warplock pistols for your big boss?
A while back, I pondered what the perfect Warhammer game might look like, and mentioned that Mordheim could make a great hook for a videogame. Hopefully Focus and the folk at recently formed Montreal studio, Rogue Factor, can do the Mordheim name justice. The first screenshots certainly have the gothic atmosphere I'd expect from the City of the Damned. Also there's a rat dual-wielding flintlock pistols, which sums up Mordheim quite nicely.
Every Monday, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places.
Few would deny that Bioshock Infinite's floating city of Columbia is a gorgeous place to shoot spliced-up weirdos. The first sight of Columbia's main square is impossible to forget. It's a blaze of glorious colour, enriched with hundreds of incidental details, all contributing a little to the story behind Infinite's hovering dystopia. There are many more moments to match it, so we've captured a few here in glorious 4k resolution to celebrate Infinite's terrific art design. Enjoy.
The sequel to 2013's best badger simulator is afoot. In Shelter 2 you play as a mother Lynx who must roam and hunt to sustain her her litter of cubs adorable, defenseless, easily-eaten cubs. The sequel will develop the muted cardboard-collage visuals of the first game and feature a much bigger open world in which to hunt and hide.
Shelter 2 will feature "different types of movements, jumps and a variety of prey to kill." There are new "maternal features", which will let you lift and carry cubs, call them over and instruct them to drink at rivers. That should stop them from getting lost and bumping into things, which had Pip tearing her hair out when she wrote about playing Shelter for us in January.
Lynx tend to eat hares and small mammals, which puts them a little higher in the food chain than the humble badger. In Shelter, the shadow of a hunting eagle meant a cub could be snatched at any moment. What menaces await in the new snowy climes of Shelter 2? Bears? Armed and organised badger revenge squads?
All we have to go on is the teaser trailer, enriched by music from the Retro Family, who scored the first game. Shelter 2 is due out in Autumn, and you can find out more on the Might and Delight site. Be sure to scroll down for some lovely concept art, you might just find a new desktop background.
The Devastation map pack for Call of Duty: Ghosts will include four multiplayer maps and part two of the increasingly mad Extinction mode. The co-op players vs. NPC aliens aside is set on a "high-tech ghost ship" besieged by a "skyscraper-sized" sea monster and infested with dog-like alien creatures. The trailer also teases the inclusion of the Predator. The actual Predator, from the films. I haven't paid attention to Call of Duty in a while, so it feels like returning to a familiar old house I thought I knew, to find it full of dinosaurs.
The shooting will be familiar enough, I'm sure, even with the addition of the "Ripper 2-in-1 SMG/AR", pronounced "Ripper two-in-one Smgaargh". Multiplayer maps include Behemoth, set on the walkways of a vast mining machine, Ruins, set in a Mexican jungle near an erupting volcano, Unearthed, a map "inspired by" Modern Warfare 3's Dome, and Collision, set on a cargo ship that's crashed into a New York bridge.
The Predator's a tease. Is he playable in a new mode? Is there a map-specific killstreak that sends him after the enemy team? XBox live players will find out on April 3. PC players will probably get it a month later. It'll cost $15 / 10. Find out more on the Call of Duty site, and get a look at the new maps, and the famous monster, in this trailer.