Atari announced last month that it is "rebooting" Alone in the Dark and Haunted House. Both games are very old—Haunted House came out in 1982, while Alone in the Dark is from '92—and so obviously a good bit of work is going to be required to make them relevant to modern gamers. Even so, it sounds like other games in Atari's extensive catalog will be given similar overhauls in the future.
Atari has gone horror crazy. The publisher is rebooting two of its classic horror properties, with both scheduled to release before the end of the year. Teaser trailers for both Alone in the Dark: Illumination and Haunted House were shown at PAX Prime at the weekend, along with a wealth of new information.
Horror games are in the midst of a bit of a renaissance, thanks to titles like Outlast, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, The Evil Within, Alien: Isolation and countless more. So it's no surprise Atari has announced reboots for two horror properties in the form of Alone in the Dark: Illumination and Haunted House.
Atari has revealed the long-awaited return of RollerCoaster Tycoon to the PC as RollerCoaster Tycoon World. The publisher said the new game will bring a number of enhancements to the series that weren't possible in previous editions, including cooperative theme park management for up to four players.
Blocky multiplayer shooter Minimum was announced this time last year, and now it's been re-announced under new development and publishing teams. The reason for this is that original developers TimeGate (infamous for co-developing the execrable Aliens: Colonial Marines) filed for bankruptcy shortly after the game's announcement, leaving it stranded in a sort of cubey limbo. Now it's back, and it's heading for Steam Early Access, under former Prey 2 developers Human Head.
A new Rollercoaster Tycoon is coming to mobile and PC. This may or may not be a good thing. I've got my concerns, largely based on the type of games Atari are interested in (as revealed in a recent revenue report). But, as unappealing as the mobile version's trailer looked, we don't yet know any solid details about the PC release.
Now, Atari have at least confirmed that mobile and PC versions will be distinctly different. "We can't share that much, but [PC] will definitely be a completely different game," Anthony Chien, Atari's senior director of marketing, said in an interview with Digital Spy.
RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile was announced recently, and - judging from its chilling reveal trailer - will be the sort of game that sincerely wants you to "HYPE YOUR PARK". I know, I'm sad too. Fortunately, there's hope, and it comes in the form of an Atari tweet. Alongside their promotion of the upcoming phone/tablet/
phablet version is news that a new "PC experience" is also in production.
When most of us think of the Witcher series, we see an intelligent, original story that throws your moral beliefs into question. There’s still good and evil in The Witcher’s world, but they’re not painted in the traditional black and white we’ve seen before. Games would be worse off if The Witcher hadn’t grown to be the staple of video game storytelling that it has. The scary thing is, The Witcher almost died from the start.
Reinstall invites you to join us in revisiting classics of PC gaming days gone by. This week, Jon constructs some fine vomit comets and manages the mess in RollerCoaster Tycoon 3.
I am one very contented hour into Box Office, the fourth career-based scenario in RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, and my park rating is falling. I can see no immediate reason why until I zoom into a corner I’ve been neglecting for a while and see that it’s slick with vomit.
The Rotor I’ve placed there is obviously a bit too exciting for the ‘peeps’, as the game calls its park patrons, and many have lost their lunch. I locate and pick up one of my janitors, then drop him nearby where he dutifully starts to mop up, sending my park rating off in the right direction again. It’s this simple type of tinkering and troubleshooting that makes a construction and management sim like RCT3 such a satisfying alternative to games that are twitch-based or time-critical. So the peeps have had to wade through some puke for a little while; no biggie.
If Baldur's Gate had an undercurrent of politics and intrigue, it's nothing compared to the behind-the-scenes twists in the development of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. It was removed from sale for "contractual issues" at the request of a "publishing partner", later revealed to be Atari. Development of a planned patch was also postponed, and the possibility of an enhanced Baldur's Gate 2 slipping further into the shadows. Of Amn.
Now, it's back on sale, with its celebratory developers saying the outstanding issues are resolved, and news of upcoming releases will arrive soon.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt brings several new and interesting features beyond its beautifully bleak landscape. A thread on the World of Players RPG community (via OXM) collects the highlights of a pair of previews from German magazines PC Games and Gamestar, including the addition of Fallout-style location-based damage and a staggering number of quests.
"People may ask if this is really going to be the last Witcher game. Yes, it is," said CD Projekt Red head Adam Badowski when The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt stepped forth earlier this week. But in a Eurogamer Poland report, CD Projekt Red CEO Adam Kicinski clarifies that Badowski's only meant the end of Geralt's saga, leaving the possibility open for future Witcher games in the franchise.
In a press release spotted by Ars Technica yesterday, Atari Interactive announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to "separate from the structural financial encumbrances of their French parent holding company, Atari S.A. (formerly Infogrames S.A.) and secure independent capital for future growth, primarily in the areas of digital and mobile games." The most recent PC title published by Atari was Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. It also handled most of the Dungeons & Dragons products in recent years, as well as the North American editions of the Witcher franchise.
Despite it seeming like Overhaul's Baldur's Gate overhaul would remain tied to the developer's Beamdog distribution service, the game has now gathered its party and ventured forth to Steam. Top news, right? Well, as it turns out, the Steam release may not be the most enhanced edition of the Enhanced Edition.
According to tweets by Trent Oster, BG:EE's Creative Director, "Atari did the integration for [Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition] on Steam, so it is a very basic setup. We were not involved."
According to Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart, Baldur's Gate 3 was on the table in a serious way not too long ago. In an interview with Kotaku, he revealed that Atari, owners of the rights to Dungeons & Dragons-based games, were interested in the project and had even given the verbal thumbs-up on a Mass Effect-sized budget.
Overhaul Games' revisit to Faerun in Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition took a knockback spell to its planned September launch from the inn it's resting in, but in a tweet sent yesterday, Creative Director Trent Oster said Overhaul expects a November 28 release for all platforms. "We're busting our butts to make the PC version awesome, and it is, so we're hopeful," he wrote in a separate tweet. "But there is no column for hope in a spreadsheet. I'd rather fill that column with awesome reality."
While everyone’s going doo-lally about Star Wars, another licensed sci-fi MMO based on a loved franchise is feeling sadly neglected, like an old dog who’s just had to give up his favourite basket because of a new puppy. Star Trek Online was a bit of a failure on release, but it seems that Cryptic still has faith in the MMO, and the “seasons” (read: updates) have added new content and addressed player’s issues.
The latest “season”, numbered five, has been detailed on the official STO blog, and adds the Borg Invasion of Defera (which we inevitably read as DEFRA), Federation and Klingon Academies, as well as a brand new event calendar. Gameplay improvements include a “Duty Officers” minigame (we bet they get shot a lot), the ability to Transwarp to episodes, and a Dilithium Economy.
The new “season” is available now for current subscribers, and will be released for all when the game goes free-to-play on January 17 2012. Hit the jump to see the full list of new and improved content and gameplay.
This quest kicks off with your intrepid hero fleeing from what would, in any other Diablo-style hack ’n’ slasher, be an opportunity for an epic boss battle. Instead, your character very nearly wets his chainmail undergarments and teleports into an opening area chock-full of same-y foes and snooze-worthy fetch quests. It’s an incredibly apt analogy: whenever excitement and intrigue come calling, Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale tucks its tail and runs in the opposite direction.
The Witcher 2 is a game that shoots for the sun while its rivals are still lining up their sights on the moon. It's an AAA RPG with an indie soul, and a charged, exciting adventure you can really sink your teeth into, admire, and for the most part, love. From the raw technical wizardry of the engine, to tent walls rippling in the breeze and villagers running for cover when it rains, it's a game built with burning, red-raw passion and exactly one goal. To be the best RPG ever, whatever it takes.
Ultimately, it falls short of that, but not without giving it a damn good go. Over its 20-30 hours of almost relentlessly superb moments, Witcher 2 raises almost every bar it can get its hands on. It's let down by only two things: an undercooked combat system, and a story resolution that it actually hurts to watch. The rest is simply amazing, from the beautiful writing to the gorgeous visuals, meaningful choices, and a world that feels like a real place that exists beyond the game's limitations.
Atari's yearly financial report shows that they are parting ways with Cryptic, the studio behind Star Trek Online, Champions Online and the upcoming Neverwinter MMO. The official reasons given for the split include Atari's intentions to release "fewer but more profitable" titles and expand into "casual online and mobile games," but it more likely has something to do with the reported $25 million Cryptic have lost Atari in the last couple of years.