BioShock 2 Embargo til April?

Considering that BioShock 2 is expected to come out this fall, there has been a distinct lack of information since its announcement. A teaser trailer is all we have been given, telling us very little beyond some thematic hints. An inquiry to Community Manager Elizabeth Tobey as to when we were likely to be getting more information was met with a cheery lack of comment.

Petter Hegevall, a contributor at Swedish gaming site Gamereactor has reportedly seen BioShock 2 in action, but is not saying a word til April. It is reasonable to assume then that the information embargo will last until April, barring any exclusives.

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Indiana Jones and the Stuff of Kings

One of the more disappointing title announcements in my recent memory came when LucasArts finally revealed Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings to the public – amidst heated rumours of the game having been altogether scrapped:

The fact that it still remains perfectly unclear whether the next-gen version of the game is still in production or not probably contributed to the relatively chilling response to the title (Some of us are already losing hope, while some remain stern!), and with the recent lay-offs at the company, even a more successful announcement would probably have been proved to be too little, too late.

Admittedly, the title is slated for release on the current mainstream platforms (Wii, Nintendo DS, Playstation2, and the PSP), but I can’t help but compare the screenshots, in gentlemanly fashion, to an earlier game in a similar vein

The prerendered trailer makes the announcement that much sourer because of the fact that we can all still remember our euphoric response to LucasArts’ then-revolutionary application of the Endorphin/Euphoria physics engine, and the smashing 2006 E3 footage for the game.

Oh, and the “Fate of Atlantis” unlockable is Wii only.

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Telltale Takes Marketing Turn, Offers Free Swag Again

I’ll be a tattletale and let you know that Telltale is at it once again, furiously handing out free copies of their products. This time around you get to choose, too, between Sam and Max: Ice Station Santa and Strong Bad Episode 4: Dangeresque 3.

The catch? Sign up to the mailing list. For once your multi-account e-mail hell is good for something, since I know you are already registered, ha!

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Dystopia and Eternal Silence Steamworked

Hot off the Steamworks oven, Dystopia and Eternal Silence, two grade A Half-Life 2 modifications.

Dystopia is a cyberpunk-themed, team- and class-based modification that has its techno-augmented players combating and completing various objectives both in and out of cyberspace. To jack yourself up to cyberspace, hop to steam://install/17580

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Eternal Silence is a large-scale science fiction space combat modification that focuses on dogfights between smaller ships and assaults on larger motherships that result in human-sized FPS shoot-outs on decks and hangars. To get your flight on, consider steam://install/17550ngm_nebular13

Obviously, both projects stand out in the current modification landscape, not only because of their sci-fi –based setting and extremely polished look and feel, but also because both teams pride in dual-layered (cyberspace/real world and space/decks, respectively) game design, and as an indirect result have also somewhat struggled to find an audience large enough to sustain the core game mechanics to their fullest.

Both teams have also suffered some severe setbacks down the line – Eternal Silence being released with less-than-stellar (no pun intended) net code and a backlash after an IGF “Best Multiplayer Mod” nomiation in 2007 and Dystopia failing to meet its over-hyped expectations in its demo version. Let us hope both games will finally find their well-deserved player base thru Steamworks!

Check out a gallery for both games after the jump and stay tuned for more discussion on the positives and negatives of the Steamworks platform for modifications.

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Cryostasis/Hydrophobia Battle Boils Down

In a puerile attempt to whip up a hot cool antagonistic parallel, Slowdown observes the release of Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason draws near: The game, to be released on February 13 in the EU and North America, has been hyped as probably having “more PhysX effects than any other project coming … before it”

Hydrophobia-Cryostasis
Hydrophobia-Cryostasis

According to Alec Tractenberg of 1C Publishing, the game’s protagonist – meteorologist Alex Nestarov – will go face to face with “zombie monsters”, “dynamic fractally generated frost” and “hydrodynamics”. 

Hydrophobia, on the other hand, remains elusive: Although the game is still slated for an undefined March ‘09 release, it remains to be seen whether Blade Interactive can actually bring the game out in time; there has been no new footage or news since a short E3 2008 teaser trailer. Now, the question remains – which of the two aqua-tastic titles titillates your taste buds more?

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