2k-boston posts

Review: BioShock 2

My second entry into the world of Rapture is greeted rather mutedly. The box is black, with numerous white handprints forming the silhouette of a butterfly or moth. I've always been a sucker for minimalist design, so I crack open the box to delve into all of the extras that make the collector's edition 40 dollars more. I immediately notice a vinyl sleeve with the words "I Am Rapture, Rapture Is Me" on the cover. It blocks my vision to the other treats inside, but this is the whole reason I bought the collector's edition. A vinyl game soundtrack is almost unheard of, with the Machinarium soundtrack and now BioShock's soundtrack being notable exceptions.

So what is Irrational Games' next title?

This past week Irrational Games returned to its original name and as a result its head Ken Levine has been giving a few interviews to various web sites. He also chatted with Game Informer magazine in its latest print issue and Shacknews reports that in that chat Levine still refuses to talk about their next game, saying, "I can't say yes or no to any particular thing, but I can say this: Don't believe everything you read." That's likely a reference to various rumors that the studio might be working on an X-Com remake.

So when will we learn about their first game? Our sister site Joystiq got Levine to say the announcement will happen "sometime after PAX (East) and GDC." That sounds awfully like an E3 2010 reveal to us.

Irrational reveals canceled zombie game Division 9

As part of the Irrational Games relaunch, they also launched the first episode of their official podcast called Irrational Behavior. The first episode talks about ideas for games that died and during the podcast Irrational team members revealed plans for a zombie tactical shooter that ultimately was never made.

The game was called Division 9 and was first pitched in the early 2000s to the now defunct Vivendi Games as a possible new direction for the SWAT series (Irrational had developed the fourth game in the series from the publisher). The game was prototyped as a kind of shooter with some strategic elements. While Vivendi passed on the game, Irrational head man Ken Levine said they actually sold Division 9 to an unnamed publisher. However, for reasons that were not entirely made clear in the podcast, the game was canceled. Irrational went on to be bought by Take Two Interactive and of course made the original BioShock. The web site plans to reveal assets from Division 9 on January 22.

By the way, the podcast is definitely NSFW so listen with headphones. Perhaps while playing Darksiders or Line Rider if that floats your boat.

Irrational Games officially returns; relaunches web site

As promised last week, 2K Boston is now officially no more as the development team behind System Shock 2, Freedom Force and the first BioShock game has gone back to using its original moniker of Irrational Games. The revived brand also has a new web site with looks back at the company's games as well as the first installment of a podcast called Irrational Behavior. Let's just say you won't be hearing anything about helicopter games or Casey Johnson in this podcast.

Irrational Games head man Ken Levine has posted up an intro to the revamp saying that the site will be all about "secrets". There will be revelations about past Irrational Games that got cut or didn't work. And what about Irrational's next game? Levine states, "And yes, we will tell you about the game we're working on right now. Just not today."

2K Boston going back to Irrational Games brand

When BioShock shipped to stores in 2007, the game's developer Irrational Games got a name change to 2K Boston. We and a lot of other folks were not happy that one of the best game development studios in the industry was having its identity superseded by a generic publisher-imposed brand. Now Game Informer has revealed that 2K Boston will soon be no more as the studio will revert back to its Irrational Games brand.

The studio's official web site currently has a countdown clock that will expire on Monday. Once that happens, the name change will become official. The site will also have a number of new community features and insights into the studio's previous games like System Shock 2, the Freedom Force series and of course BioShock. However, there doesn't appear to be any plans to reveal Irrational's next project.

X-Com revival rumors resurface

We've been down this road before and it looks like we are going that way once again. Rumors of a revival of the classic X-Com turn-based strategy PC game series have been popping up on the Internet tubes for years. This week the new rumors center on 2K Games' developer Firaxis working on a new version of the original game.

This new rumor comes from the Twitter page of the anonymously updated and trademark-obsessed web site Superannuation. The statement also revives the rumor that there's a first person shooter X-Com game that's also in the works. 2K Boston has been named as the developer for that title for quite some time and it's head man Ken Levine hasn't exactly denied that possibility. Indeed 2K Boston's sister developer 2K Australia has apparently worked at one time on such a project as Superannuation has found a (since removed) resume from a former developer at that studio that mentions such an X-Com game. We just wish 2K Games would spare us more time to speculate and come clean; the suspense is killing us.

Ken Levine reveals his top 10 all time favorite games

While Ken Levine is still working on his top secret next project at 2K Boston following the release of the original BioShock over two years ago, he's apparently got some time to reveal his top 10 favorite games of all time to IndustryGamers. As one might expect, Levine's picks include several PC exclusives.

Among the games picked are Master of Magic ("It's Civilization with dragons. And spell making. And giant armies of Dwarves and stuff. Why is there no sequel? Is there no God?"), Baldur's Gate 2 ("I play it for the combats") and Company of Heroes ("The RTS that reminded me I could still love RTS."). And his number one pick is not much of a shock but still funny to read. You can check out the entire list at IndustryGamers right now.

BioShock finally coming to the Mac in October

While PC gamers are anxiously awaiting the release of BioShock 2 in early February, Mac owners will finally be able to play the original game in the first person shooter series in a native format. Feral Interactive has announced that the Mac version of BioShock will be released in October.

Yes, that does mean it took over two years for the Mac gaming audience to get a native version of 2K Boston's FPS masterpiece of gameplay and art design. The Mac version is currently available for pre-order at Feral Interactive's web site for $49.95. System requirements for the game can be found after the jump:

Bioshock movie back on track with possible new director

Several months ago, it seems like the planned movie adaptation of BioShock was in danger as its movie studio Universal put the film on hold due to budget issues. Now Variety is reporting that things are back on track as a new director is now in talks to helm the movie version of 2K Boston's 2007 first person shooter.

According to the article, the new possible director is Juan Carlos Fresnadillo who scored a solid critical and box office hit with the 2007 zombie movie sequel 28 Weeks Later. Originally Gore Verbinski, of the Pirates of the Caribbean serie, was to direct but he will still be a producer of the BioShock film. BioShock's game publisher Take Two Interactive still has to approve Fresnadillo as the new director. Filming is now expected to be held overseas in order to cut the budget but there's still no word on when that might happen.

More proof of shooter game for 2K Boston's next project

Earlier this year a job listed for 2K Boston stated they were looking for someone to work on a multiplayer first person shooter project. This week new evidence emerged that the development team behind the original BioShock is working on some kind of shooter game for their next project.

The company's job page shows three listings, all of whom state that 2K Boston (and its head man Ken Levine) are hiring to work on "an unannounced shooter". Levine has already said in previous interviews that their next game will have "a scope and ambition in mind which is more ambitious than anything we've ever done."

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