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PC Gamer

One of the big surprises of the THQ fire-sale was that no one stumped up to save Vigil, creators of Darksiders. A sad end to the company though that was, not all of Vigil's staff did so badly, with many of the refugees reforming as Crytek USA. Now their CEO David Adams has announced an ambition to buy back the Darksiders name, tweeting that he'd "put 7 years of heart and soul into that franchise" and that "it belongs at home with its creators."

Good news for undernourished-horse fans everywhere!

Darksiders and its sequel were imperfect games but not unambitious ones, mashing together a Zelda-ish lite-RPG structure with a gratifyingly deep combo-brawler and Prince of Persia-style environmental acrobatics. What appeared initially to be a rather adolescent fiction about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse took some genuinely weird turns, as the roving eye of the developers flitted across styles and settings, all brought into lurid detail by an extremely accomplished art team. Even Jesper Kyd's score for Darksiders 2 is an overlooked gem.

I know the game has carved a little home for itself in the heart of several PCG staffers - and we'd love to see where the Darksiders team's talents take them next.

Thanks, Reddit.
Shacknews - Steve Watts

When THQ collapsed, it could not find a proper home for the Darksiders franchise and its developer, Vigil Games. After the studio closed, many of its former members found a new home in Crytek USA.

David Adams, now-CEO of Crytek USA, says that his company now plans on bidding for the franchise rights, saying that "it belongs at home with its creators."

"Going to bid on Darksiders IP," Adams tweeted. "Put 7 years of heart and soul into that franchise, and I think it belongs at home with its creators."

Destructoid later confirmed Adams' plans with Vigil co-founder Ryan Stefanelli. "When the Darksiders IP goes up for auction, Crytek will be bidding for it," Stefanelli said. "Not much more to say since the rest is left up to courts and legal shenanigans, but we're all excited at the prospect." THQ plans on auctioning off its remaining assets this May.

Plans for a bid come as a surprise, especially after Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli said that "we didn't want to continue with Darksiders 3, since that doesn’t fit with our strategy."

Other contenders for the franchise include Platinum Games, saying they'd be interested in picking up the IP "on the cheap." Either way, it seems as though the adventures of Death aren't quite dead yet.

PC Gamer
Saints Row 4

Saints Row 4 debuted last week with all the subtlety one might expect from a game with dubstep guns and rocket-launching guitars, and it's eyeballing an August 20 release. That sets up a scant month-long gap between it and Grand Theft Auto 5's planned September launch, and Rockstar's titan has both years of success and a heavy fanbase to bring to bear. Speaking to Eurogamer, Volition Producer Jim Boone says the team isn't worried in the slightest and feels Saints Row is unique enough to stack up to its giant competitor.

"Obviously, when announced its date and it was so close to us, that was an interesting phenomenon," Boone says. "But the thing we feel good about in general is that we're such a different game to what they are. If we were stylistically similar to the first Saints Row, I'd be horrified right now. Saints Row: The Third came out the same time as Assassin's Creed, but the games are so different in terms of what they do."

Saints Row 4 certainly departs heavily from its original predecessor (remember when you were fighting gangs?), adopting a chaotic grab-bag of wacky antics such as superpowers, alien invasions, and pedestrian-firing cat cannons. Grand Theft Auto 5 is much more narrative-focused by comparison, weaving a more serious tale of crime and redemption connected across multiple main characters.

For Boone, open world games have come along far enough for both styles to co-exist peacefully. "The genre's matured enough where you can have all these different styles and still be an open world game and be different," he states. "So I look at GTA 5 and think there's this massive game coming out, but I don't think that with our superpowers and alien invasions, no one will compare us to them."
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Nathan Grayson)

It’s a dark time to be a mulitplayer server. From the day you’re born, you’re living on borrowed time, and that goes double if any sort of sequel has your cushy spot on the rack in its sights. Which brings us to the original Company of Heroes. It’s coming up on its seventh birthday, Company of Heroes 2 is about to drop a fresh blanket of powder on the hot summer months, and a sudden publisher shift threw everything out of whack. It is, in other words, a prime candidate for the big server farm in the sky. But hark, against all odds, there is hope. Relic’s keeping its relics up and running by switching services. So long, apparent Aztec wind deity Quazal. Hello, Steamworks.


PC Gamer
company of heroes

After the controlled implosion of THQ, you may have been wondering what would happen to the original Company of Heroes, now that Relic and COH2 have been safely gobbled up by Sega, and its chilli-dog scoffing CEO Mr Hedgehog. The imminent shutdown of Quazal, who handled the game's online, hardly helped matters - but thankfully, Relic have come to a solution. Rather than leaving their six-year-old game to die, they're thoughtfully transferring the original Company of Heroes to Steamworks - you'll be able to 'opt-in' to the new service from April 8th.

Relic have teamed up with Smoking Gun Interactive - a studio made up of former Relic staff who worked on the original game - to bring COH to Steam "with as many of the original online features working on the new platform as possible." That means that the full suite of online options likely won't be available right at the start, but in the blog post Relic talk of a "roadmap" for COH1, so hopefully the game will be back to full strength in the coming months. Heroes' old, Quazal servers are set to close on May 7th.

Sadly, the years of accumulated online data won't carry across to the Steamworks version, but Relic are "investigating the possibility of creating an online archive of all the final data from the leaderboards, statistics, etc, to honor the gamers who have played so much for the last 6 years."

As for the sequel, well that's heading for Steamworks too. Company of Heroes 2 is out June 25th, while the date of its closed beta will be announced early next week.
PC Gamer
Origin Player Appreciation Sale

It isn't often we see the words "Origin" and "sale" next to each other, but this week is the exception: EA is running a week-long Player Appreciation Sale which discounts some pretty hefty games in the publisher's lineup—titans such as Mass Effect 3, Crysis 3, and Battlefield 3.

Here's the full list of games on sale and their prices:

Battlefield 3 Premium—$25
Battlefield 3—$12
Battlefield 3 Premium Edition—$30
Crysis 3—$30
Crysis 3 Digital Deluxe Edition—$40
Crysis 3 Digital Deluxe Upgrade—$10
The Sims 3 Seasons—$20
The Sims 3 University Life—$28
The Sims 3 Supernatural—$15
Dead Space—$6
Dead Space 2—$6
Dead Space 3—$30
Resident Evil 5—$10
Mass Effect 3—$10
The Walking Dead—$10
Batman: Arkham City GOTY Edition—$12
FIFA Soccer 13—$20
Command & Conquer Ultimate Collection—$15
Hitman: Absolution—$15
Saints Row: The Third Full Package—$25
Assassin's Creed 3—$35
Assassin's Creed 3 Deluxe Edition—$56
Darksiders 2—$18
Dead Island GOTY Edition—$10
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City—$25

Normal and special editions on sale? And they're big games? I don't want to spoil this rare opportunity to enjoy a good Origin sale with cynicism, but it's hard not to chortle lightly at the convenient devaluing of nearly half the games EA offered SimCity players for free earlier this week.
PC Gamer
metro last light punchy hitler man

The mutants in Metro 2033 were objectionable enough, but the guys that really took the biscuit were those underground Nazis, who appear to have returned in full force for Metro: Last Light. The following trailer shows a terrifyingly well-equipped subterranean army training for war - presumably a war against returning hero Artyom, and his plucky chums from the Metro 2033 station. Last Light, you'll remember, is out this May, so old Arty doesn't have much time to prepare.

Here's the trailer. After you're done, be sure to check out our recent preview.

Product Release - Valve
Save 66% on Saints Row: The Third during this week's Midweek Madness*!

Years after taking Stilwater for their own, the Third Street Saints have evolved from street gang to household brand name, with Saints sneakers, Saints energy drinks and Johnny Gat bobble head dolls all available at a store near you.

The Saints are kings of Stilwater, but their celebrity status has not gone unnoticed. The Syndicate, a legendary criminal fraternity with pawns in play all over the globe, has turned its eye on the Saints and demands tribute. Refusing to kneel to the Syndicate, you take the fight to Steelport, a once-proud metropolis reduced to a struggling city of sin under Syndicate control.

*Offer ends Thursday at 4PM Pacific Time

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alec Meer)

Definitely better than a red catsuit, no?

This kinda seems to be happening a bit too soon – don’t open world games take years and years and years to make? – but I suppose Volition wouldn’t want to sit on their hands after their recent dice with death. And heck, this is probably Saints Row: The Third with bits on (EDIT – oh, yeah, I forgot, it is one-time SR3 DLC expanded into a full game. That makes sense), but when those bits include making the player a superhero I’m not complaining. Offering godlike, reality-bending powers is an entirely logical outcome for a series which started life snipping at GTA’s unconcerned heels then increasingly (d)evolved into out and out AAAARGH WOOOO YEAH WHATEVS ANYTHING EVERYTHING LOOK AT MEEEE POO BUM WILLY HAHAHAHAAHHA happy-madness.

Part IV goes further still, and is somehow out in August. Take a look below. (more…)


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