Remember that free-to-play, London-set multiplayer shooter that Blink/Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory developers Splash Damage have been making for the past few years? What was it called...Dirty Bomb or something? No, Extraction, that's it, it's definitely called Extraction now. Well it's just been re/unnamed to Dirty Bomb - for real this time, they pinkie-swore and everything. Whatever it's called, ExDirty Bombtraction is still somehow in beta, and be signed up for over here.
In Arkham Origins we join Batman in his angsty teenage years. He’s not the stoic, Kevin Conroy-voiced Batman of Asylum and City, who calmly asks criminals to turn themselves in before he beats them up, but a hot-headed, teeth-baring vigilante who punches first and asks questions later. It’s an interesting twist on the Arkham formula, but only in terms of story. Despite the change of tone and time period, this is a disappointingly timid retread of Rocksteady’s games.
It’s Christmas Eve, and skull-faced mobster Black Mask has given the caped crusader an early present in the form of a $50,000,000 bounty on his head. Eight assassins have been hired to claim the prize, including A-listers Bane, Deathstroke and Killer Croc, and a parade of low-rent DC villains including Firefly and Electrocutioner. We also see Batman’s first encounter with a youthful Joker, and other cameos that I won’t spoil. Rest assured, you’re never short of people to punch or be punched by.
It might be a little tough to recall the exact nature of Extraction, seeing how it's one of the blandest game titles around, but I'll help you out a bit. The game used to be called Dirty Bomb, and it still is Splash Damage's London-set free-to-play FPS. Whatever it's called, it's now entered closed beta - you can sign up for shooty funtimes right here.
You may remember Dirty Bomb from late last year, when I told you all that, "hey, look! Dirty Bomb is the name of a game!" Well now it isn't. What is the name of a game is "Extraction". In fact, it's the name of the same game. Splash Damage have rebranded their first person shooter, announcing its new, arguably blander moniker alongside a partnership with free to play publisher Nexon.
I can't imagine many of the players who glided, swooped and pounced through the previous Arkham games stopped to imagine what it would be like to control one of the many anonymous, psychotic thugs. But, as this new trailer reveals, Batman: Arkham Origins plans to deliver on the experience anyway - with an asymmetrical "3v3v2" multiplayer, developed by Splash Damage. Players will fill the rosters of the Joker and Bane's gangs, hunting down a third two-man team comprised of Batman and Robin.
Check back later to read Evan's impressions of this newly announced multiplayer mode.
Splash Damage's online FPS Dirty Bomb has started letting selected members of the public jump in to its London-based maps. Honestly, players are being allowed to run around unfinished versions of games earlier and earlier. Soon you'll be able to start shooting up wireframe walls with no skybox.
We've previously seen the mean, derelict streets of Dirty Bomb's London. Now we get a taste of what Splash Damage wants us to do on them. Turns out it's kill each other. Who would have thought?
Splash Damage, the creators of Brink and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, have just released a teaser video for Dirty Bomb, a multiplayer first-person shooter that's "made for PC".
Brink and Enemy Territory developers Splash Damage have updated their website with the image you see above, featuring a mysterious logo and two - count them, two! - instances of the numbers eleven and twenty nine. Based on the fact that we use full stops and colons to separate days from months and hours from minutes respectively, the only logical interpretation is that something important is going to happen at twenty nine minutes past eleven on the eleventh day of the twenty-ninth month. But what could it be? And, perhaps more importantly: what year?
The parkour driven multiplayer shooter, Brink will be free to play through Steam this weekend to celebrate the addition of Clan and Tournament support. That'll let you create and keep track of clans on the Brink site. From there you'll be able to challenge other clans and battle for position on the global clan ladder. The clan hub will also let clan members set up tournaments with custom rulesets, and keep track of each battle online.
Brink never quite got off the ground when it launched back in May, though it showed plenty of promise, with characterful avatars, spectacular settings, varied classes and some destructive gadgets. Find out more in our Brink review. It'll go free at 10AM PST, in about an hour, giving everyone the opportunity to find out how Brink plays six months on. If you like it, Brink will be on sale at 75% off for the duration of the free trial.
UPDATE THE SECOND - It seems all this fuss has been over nothing, with Splash Damage's Paul Wedgewood tweeting:
"We're not working with Disney. We're not building a pop culture IP. We're only using BRINK tech for BRINK updates atm."
UPDATE - Both Eurogamer and Kotaku are speculating this could be a Marvel comics game, based on the sentence "a company widely believed to have given up on the console publishing business", which could well be Disney, who own the Marvel brand. The timing also fits with the '50 years' quote, as the Marvel we know first took off in 1961 with the creation of the Fantastic Four.
Could we see an Avengers game based on Brink? Would it resemble the awesome looking cancelled Avengers FPS from THQ (video above)? We can only hope.
Original post follows.
Hiding in the corner of an Industry Gamers article is a hint at Brink developer Splash Damage's next project. Apparently the studio has "at least one unannounced project for a major entertainment brand", which will be based on the Brink engine. Exactly which brand it is is still a secret, but the article claims it is: "One of the biggest American pop culture brands of the last 50 years."
Speculation at the ready people! What could it be? What 50 year old pop culture license could lend itself to Brink's technology?
Coinciding with both QuakeCon 2011 and the release of Brink's first DLC, Steam has started a free weekend for Splash Damage's parkour shooter. Spotted by Eurogamer, the offer has already started, and continues until Sunday evening, giving players a chance to experience the multiplayer shooter free of charge. The new Agents of Change DLC is included as well, which gives players a broader range of abilities, attachments and costumes, as well as two new maps to try out.
Brink: Agents of Change DLC is now available to download for free on Steam. The new pack, which will cost $9.99 after the initial 14-day free period, adds shiny new bits to almost every section of Splash Damage's shooter.
The biggest update included in the free-for-now DLC are the two new maps. Founder's Tower takes place in the epicenter of the beleaguered Ark, and finally lets players inside the actual spire itself. Labs, meanwhile, has players fighting over an old research and development laboratory, which is submerged deep beneath the ocean.
Why look, if it isn't that handsome young shooter from Splash Damage, making a stealthy re-appearance on our UK Steam feeds. Where have you been all this time, Brink? We asked around to try and find out why you vanished, but to no avail. Whatever happened, whether it be a publisher spat, or something to do with the change in Steam terms of service that saw Crysis 2 withdrawn, it's all in the past now. Let's get together and go shoot some men in the face, preferably while sliding along the floor like a greasy-arsed badger.
RPS noticed the shooter lounging around on Steam as though it had never been away. It's reappeared just in time, as the new DLC is set to arrive sometime this month. When that hits, the game will go free for two weeks to celebrate. The game's currently 25% off at £22.49.
We've just got the details of Brink's first (free) DLC, Agents of Change. It seems like the war for the Ark is going to be shaken up a little: "Secrets, lies and double agents. Nothing and no-one is who they seem as the Resistance and Security factions deal with the arrival of a mysterious ship from the outside world."
Blimey, that's different. Agents of Change is slated for June. Click more for the details.
Steam brings news that a new Brink patch landed last night. The update should clear up many of the lag and performance issues many players have encountered. According to the patch notes, the server browser is now easier to use, ambient occlusion won't kill your frame rate and alt-tabbing won't explode your game. You'll find all the latest updates listed below.
It took about eight hours before Brink finally clicked for me. I'd levelled up, grabbed caltrops as a special secondary power and disguised myself as an enemy. Free-running, I was leaping from boxes to banisters and jumping off walls, doing so just for the pleasure of the movement, and heading to my objective: stop the Resistance stealing hydraulic fluid.
I was playing on the Security side, Operative class - hacker, disguiser, all-round jerk. Players tend not to spy-check in Brink, so when I arrived at the hydraulic fluid store cupboard, the Resistance didn't take any notice. Tee-hee! They were being pinned back by the rest of my team and focusing their attentions on the amassing forces. At least four of them were crammed in there. Their Engineer had dropped a turret inside. It was a stupid place to put it: it wasn't covering the entrance, but was pointing at his own team.
Brink isn't a bare-bones console port, but it's not the most accommodating of PC games either, lacking in Field Of Vision settings and lots of the options we love to tweak. Brink Config 1.4 lets you to fiddle with lots of settings you couldn't previously. Lovely.
Click more for the full list of features and to download Brink Config.
Here's a dose of mad Brink parkour skills, via Splash Damage writer and designer Ed Stern's Twitter feed. The freerunner defies gravity to complete the assault course in just 18 seconds. Impressive, no? The runner admits it's not quite perfect, but says that "17s will be unbeatable," which is a challenge if ever I heard one.
Brink was due to get a UK release on Steam today, but its product page has mysteriously disappeared from the store.
Users who try and access the game's official Steam page are informed that "This item is currently unavailable in your region." Search for "Brink" and you get by the past few trailers but no download page.
According to posts on the Steam forums, most players who activated their copies soon after the 1am release this morning have been able to play. Lots of UK users, including those who pre-loaded or bought a retail copy, can't boot it up either.
We've contacted Splash Damage and Bethesda for comment and will update as soon as we get some information. Lucky US gamers have been shooting each other up since Tuesday.