It was a sad day when the THQ flag was lowered for the last time. Not that we didn't see it coming, but there was a time when THQ was a solid mid-tier publisher with some well-regarded studios under its banner. And while those glory days can never be brought back, the THQ name can—and, it seems, will be.
I recently strapped on my bulkiest, most improbable armour in order to again attempt the vast campaigns of the Dawns of War 2. The reason being that I wanted to play them in co-op, and, with Games for Windows Live potentially shutting down in July, wasn't sure if that was a thing I'd be able to do. It looks like I can rest easy on my seemingly unending Tyranid defence, as Relic have announced that Dawn of War, Dawn of War 2, and both games' various expansions will all be transitioned over to Steamworks. In doing so, the Warhammer 40K series can dodge whatever ill fate is in store for GameSpy and GfW Live.
Darksiders lives, but what that means for the series is anything but clear, according to the action RPG's creative director Joe Madureira. In a followup post on Facebook today, Madureira writes that his comment yesterday about how the Darksiders series "is not dead" doesn't mean its future has been secured.
This weekend, you've the chance to sample two entirely separate threads on the PC gaming quilt. There's the gruelling, harsh, harrowing struggle of war in Company of Heroes 2; or the super-powerful, super-power-ballad-full, comedy hijinks of Saints Row IV. Fun and frolics or fear and frostbite? Either way, both games are free to trial until Sunday, and are accompanied by discounts that will last until Monday.
Way, way back in the summer of 2012, Enter the Dominatrix was destined to be a standalone piece of DLC for Saints Row the Third, hopefully lifting THQ out of its debtors' clutches. However, THQ decided to have Volition scrap Enter the Dominatrix and use the ideas like super powers and alien invasions to make what we know today as Saints Row IV. Now, we can finally see what Volition truly had up its sleeves those 12 long months ago.
Space Marine, the ultra-violent close-combat exploration of the grisly Warhammer 40K universe, was a good game that didn't get enough attention. Still, had THQ not completely imploded at the end of 2012, Space Marine’s protagonist Captain Titus was planned to have been at the center of two more games. The game’s director, Raphael van Lierop, is now part of the team that successfully Kickstarted The Long Dark, and he claims to have had big plans for Titus.
Many publishers swarmed in on THQ’s trove of established licenses earlier this year, but Nordic Games arguably got one of the biggest takes by buying both the Darksiders and Red Faction franchises. However, it’ll probably be a while before we see anything new from those franchises, considering Nordic bought the licenses just this April. So what do you do with a stack of licenses and nothing new to show? Put them on sale.
Good news, Metro fans! According to Deep Silver CEO Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, more Metro games are planned beyond this year’s Metro: Last Light. Speaking to Joystiq at Gamescom last week, Kundratitz refused to officially announce a Last Light sequel, but emphasized that the franchise would have more entries eventually.
Reinstall invites you to join us in revisiting classics of PC gaming days gone by. This week, Chris returns to the haunted, irradiated wastes of Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl.
It’s one thing to feel an overwhelming sense of dread while crouching in the darkened sub-basement of an abandoned lab at the stroke of midnight. It’s quite another to feel just as uneasy in the middle of an empty field with the sun directly overhead.
Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl certainly has its share of jump- scares and oh-shit monster moments, but what makes the game so memorable is that the neck-tightening tension never evaporates, even in broad daylight, far from claustrophobic chambers full of mutants. The sense of dread is like white noise: pervasive and constant. It begins with the sombre tones of the menu music and doesn’t end until long after the quit to desktop.
Technically THQ has been dead for a while now - existing as a husk-like reanimation of debt and creditors. But like the zomibified, shambling remnants of anything you once loved, seeing it finally put down is never easy. That's what finally happened yesterday, after a US court approved THQ's liquidation plan, thus ending the former publishers bankruptcy case.
Sega have decided to give the corpse of THQ a sound poke with their legal stick. They're suing the bankrupt publisher for $941,710.93 (roughly £632,000), over Steam pre-orders of Company of Heroes 2. That's the amount Sega claim Valve paid to THQ between its pre-order launch and January 24th, 2013, when Relic and their RTS IP were bought by their new owner. The $940k is one thing, but the 93 cents? That's just vindictive.
THQ’s dissolution was a sad thing. I had hoped the company of Red Faction and Metro 2033 would avoid financial ruin, but alas, it was not meant to be. Publishers like Deep Silver picked up the Saints Row and Metro franchises, but where did everything else go? Well, it went to little-known company called Nordic Games.
In the rush to place dibs on THQ's former properties, Freespace must have been kicked into some dusty corner of the office. Surely that's the only reason it was so neglected, with the space combat sim's IP rights finally being sold to Interplay for a meagre $7,500. That's according to a court document, filed on June 4th, and unearthed by Polygon.
Former THQ president Jason Rubin, who joined the struggling company in 2012, has submitted a story to GamesIndustry International detailing adversities faced by Ukrainian developer 4A Games while developing Metro: Last Light, painting the team as underdogs who struggled against dreadful working conditions, a low budget, and unrealistic expectations.
What does a game that's as all out crazy as Saints Row 4 do when it's in danger of being out-sillified by recent releases like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon? This: the latest trailer for Volition's madcap open-world sequel. It goes all out with dubstep, super-powers, and a President that - at a guess - has never once cared about an opinion poll.
UPDATE: Wait there's more, some in-game footage from PAX showing super speed super jumping, super punching and the like. See both videos below.
4A have posted the last of their Metro: Last Light survival guides, this time focusing on the tools you'll need to thrive in the post-apocalyptic hellscape they've created. There are gas masks, letting you breathe the suffocating toxic air of the surface; weapons, with which to defend against mutants and bandits; and a lighter, used to... er, burn down cobwebs. Bothering spiders doesn't sound like the most pressing survival tactic, but I guess everyone needs a hobby.
After nearly seven years of being bombed and battered, Company of Heroes' online infrastructure is in need of a break. Servers located at the game's old hosting company - the now Ubisoft-owned Quazal - are due to be shut down on May 7th. Is this the end of the war? Not quite. Replacement Steamworks servers have already been parachuted in, giving fans the chance to migrate over before the original host's honourable discharge.
A low profile Swedish publisher has snapped up most of what remained of THQ's IP portfolio overnight, including the Darksiders and Red Faction IPs. Auctioned off in lots, Nordic Games can now lay claim to The Biggest Loser and Jeopardy franchises (hooray?), as well as MX vs ATV, Worms, Juiced, Destroy All Humans!, Titan Quest and much more.
Borderlands developer Gearbox Software has just announced its acquisition of the Homeworld franchise. In the wake of THQ's bankruptcy, the cult classic space RTS was one of the last few licenses up for grabs when most of the publisher's former assets were auctioned off back in January. Gearbox's Chief Creative Officer, Brian Martel, reportedly "personally spearheaded the acquisition."
It's been over two years since we hot-dropped onto the battlefields of the 41st Millennium in Dawn of War II: Retribution, and the sale of Relic to Sega has left the series' future a mystery. While Relic's in-house property, Company of Heroes, changed hands along with them, there has been no official word on whether or not Warhammer owners Games Workshop will continue to license the franchise to the RTS developer. Speaking to Eurogamer recently, Relic's Quinn Duffy gave us hope for a third entry in the franchise, saying there is "a strong possibility we'll all be working together again on Dawn of War."