Following yesterday's news that studios like DICE and Visceral would be working on new Star Wars games under EA's new exclusive deal with Disney, we've been wondering just what those games might look like. A cinematic shooter of nonstop action set in the parched, gritty landscape of Tatooine, maybe? Or how about the series reinterpreted as a survival horror? Apparently, one very real possibility was an open-world Star Wars game, as revealed today in an exchange by former Just Cause developers from Avalanche.
Details have surfaced of Just Cause 2 developer Avalanche's upcoming projects. Kotaku's Superannuation spotted the LinkedIn profile of Avalanche head Christofer Sundberg that hint at a follow up to Rico's ridiculous island adventure.
It appears under the title "Unannounced Sandbox Action Game," and is due to published by Square Enix. The description reads: "New installment in a very well-known game series. The game is being developed at Avalanche Studios New York studio and is scheduled for completion in June 2015 for next generation console platforms."
Did you watch the Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod videos showing a thousand players piling into Panau island, surfing planes into the sea, crashing helicopters into buildings and making a huge awesome mess? Well, you might want to give that a watch and then contemplate what it'd be to be one of those rioting testers, and then rejoice, for a big public beta is going live in one day, 20 hours and 20 minutes.
The public beta was announced on Reddit, and points testers towards the JC2-MP site which should host the client closer to the start of the test. The beta will last two days and start at 8am GMT / 10am CET / 1am PDT / 4am EDT on Saturday. You'll need a copy of Just Cause 2 to run it, of course. Watch this trailer for a taste of what's to come.
Wait, have we woken up several of years in the future? The little Windows clock in the corner says no, and yet Fusible report that Square Enix have registered a number of international domain names for Just Cause 4. Just Cause 3 isn't out yet.
Perhaps they've decided to forgo the third game, like a band just skipping the difficult second album, though it's more likely that this is a routine bit of IP protection from Square. Avalanche have been quiet about a follow up to the wonderfully silly Just Cause 2. This, at least, is a sign that the Just Cause series is still on the radar. Perhaps we'll hear more when E3 rolls around in a few weeks.
This article was originally published in PC Gamer UK 223.
A while after I finished Just Cause 2 I couldn't really remember why I liked it so much, or why I stopped playing once I'd completed it. And it might have stayed dormant on my Steam account forever, but someone released a Superman mod for it.
When you'd normally activate your parachute, you just zoom through the air unaided. It's breath-taking. Deeply daft - a little man with silly hair ducking and diving in front of the craggy mountains as they zoom by - but breath-taking all the same. Everyone must try this. Not to any particular end, just to floop around for half an hour. Swoop under bridges. Track highways. Hug snow-caps, then air-ski down their slopes. Skim the glinting waters between mainlaind Panau and its satellite islands. Do, basically, all the things you'd do instead of saving people if you actually were Superman.
Renegade Ops just received a new campaign map called Coldstrike, and another slice of DLC that adds two new charactes. Coldstrike adds three new story missions in which you drive into new snowy locations and explode them until there is nothing left to be exploded. Expect hordes of new enemies, including low flying attack drones and "monstrous Golems." It's available now on Steam for £2.99 / $4.99.
The Reinforcement Pack is a separate download that adds two new heroes, Blazemo and Crystal. Crystal's special ability throws up a huge defensive bubble that can protect allies huddled beneath it. Blazemo prefers to use his special weapon, The Incinerator, to destroy everything in an all-consuming spiral of flame. That's also on Steam for £1.79 / $2.99. The new characters will have to work hard to beat the antlion attacks off their silent co-worker, Gordon Freeman.
Get a peek at the new DLC packs in the screenshots below. The snowy ones are from Coldstrike, the rest show the two new vehicles.
I’ve left a wake of devastation in my path, caused more explosions than there have been in the history of mankind, and driven over cliffs at ludicrous speeds. But between all the mindless, wanton destruction, twin-stick shooter Renegade Ops is reminding my brain of something it can’t quite put its synaptic finger on. Exotic setting. Isometric viewpoint. Crazy amounts of explosions. Stupid, stupid plot. It’s coming to me slowly. Something about 1993. “I know,” screams my brain. “This is just like Jungle Strike, but with cars instead of helicopters!”
Within seconds of that thought, Renegade Ops thrillingly chucks me an armed-to-the-teeth chopper, and for a few minutes it’s not just like Jungle Strike, it is Jungle Strike, and I fly off to obliterate a humongous warship. For those of you who are too young to remember the ’90s (lucky buggers), Jungle Strike gave you a ludicrous chopper to deal death to hundreds of thick terrorists in a florally unkempt setting.
So now we know that Gordon Freeman will return in Renegade Ops. We can't say exactly why, but we can show you what he'll look like. See three new screenshots of Gordon's buggy in action below, along with some new artwork in which Gordon has a bit of a glare, perhaps a bit irate at how long it's taking for Episode 3 to come out.
Gordon Freeman will be a playable character in the PC version of Renegade Ops. The top down blaster will let us play as the Half Life hero and drive around in the Half Life 2 buggy, firing off rockets, taking out tanks with mounted machine guns and unleashing swarms of Antlions to quickly wipe out dozens of enemies at a time.
Renegade Ops is the latest from Just Cause and Just Cause 2 developers, Avalanche studios. A far cry from the sprawling, open world action of their previous titles, Renegade Ops will be a more traditional co-op shooter, with a very, very strange Gordon Freeman shaped twist.
“Working with Steam and the Half-Life team makes this game extra special.” said Sega's director of digital, John Clark. “Gordon Freeman is a deeply-established character in the gaming world and we are proud to have him included in Renegade Ops.”
Renegade Ops is out on Steam on October 14, and will cost $15.00 / £9.99 / €12.99 / AUD$ 20.00. Catch the first screenshot of Gordon in his buggy below, with more to follow on the site shortly. The One Free Man is back!
11.3 million people died colliding with objects or the ground in Just Cause 2. If you map them all in a spatial area to scale with the Just Cause 2 world map, then you get the video above, a beautiful and strangely poignant ghostly landscape made up of the terminus points of millions of players.
It goes to show two things. Firstly, it's easy to underestimate the amount of falling out of things onto things that happens in Just Cause 2. Secondly, hardly any players seem to have explored the spaces between the world's major roads and settlements, suggesting that vast swathes of Just Cause 2's massive world went relatively untrodden. There's even a cloud of death hanging miles above the ground. How did so many people die of collisions all the way up there?
Avalanche Studios have announced that their next title will be a top down vehicular combat game built in the same engine used to create Just Cause 2. Eurogamer say that it will be getting a digital only release, and will support up to four players in online co-op. You'll play as a unit of commandos sent behind enemy lines to blow up a mad terrorist called inferno. It sounds as though the story will take a back seat to the going-fast-and-exploding-everything action. Collectible vehicle weapons and upgrades will power the vehicle weapons which include gatling guns and magnetic shock waves. The game's set for release this Autumn.
Better PC games and a better relationship with hackers are the key to fighting piracy, according to Christofer Sundberg, the boss of Just Cause creators, Avalanche. Sundberg believes that common anti-piracy measures like DRM "punishes the people who have actually paid for the game," and says that hiring hackers is a good way to discover new talent, admitting that "50 percent of the people that work for me come from a hacker background."