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More Randomness from the Internet (M.R.I.) Aaron achieves a personal victory with his recent review of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, owes up to liking the zombie invasion, gives up on Prototype, and attempts to get some detail on Thief 4....



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M.R.I. #11

SNIKT! Zombies! Exclusives! Thief 4!


Wolverine Equals Win

After writing my recent review of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I realized that I made absolutely no reference to the fact it’s a “movie license” video game; considered by some as the pariah of the video game industry. (Video games based on movies, not Wolverine.)  I mentioned that Wolverine is based on Hugh Jackman’s likeness and that he voices the character, but that was it.  No mention of the movie.  This is in contrast to years gone by when I would have shoe-horned some sentence or paragraph into the review making reference to the movie or TV or book tie-in.


It’s a minor personal victory – and it took 10 years – but I’ll take it.


Upon Zombies

Zombies have officially been driven into the ground (shot in the head first, so they can’t come back).left 4 dead


Over the last three or four years, zombies have climbed the ladder to become the bloom lighting or at least the Nazis of this current cycle of games.  And I don’t view that as a bad thing.  I look back on the number of games I’ve played in the last few



months then extended that look back a couple years and there are zombies all over the place. (Hey, game companies; we weren’t fooled when you started calling them “infected.”)


Dead Rising, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Call of Duty: World at War, Resident Evil 5, Metal Gear Solid 4, Plants vs. Zombies, Left 4 Dead, Dead Space and Halo (which kind of count), Stubbs the Zombie, Onechanbara,


House of the Dead, and Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles – these are A-list games off the top of my head (on a Monday morning, to boot) that I can recall without consulting some kind of online list.


As over-used as zombies are, I still find myself drawn to these games because zombies so often represent fun, plus, they have very often been expunged of any kind of humanity making killing them easy and morally responsible.  I have absolutely no compunction about killing the undead and that’s probably why I find zombie games inherently fun.  (Stubbs the Zombie turning the tables slightly; that game was just funny.)


prototype logo


Upon Exclusives

I plan to expand on this particular point in a future, stand-alone feature, but I’ll put it in a nutshell here: Getting an “exclusive” review is made all the more frustrating when PR never emails back.  I'll probably be reviewing Prototype like every other shlub: at launch.


thief 4 logo


Thief 4: Release 2010? 2011?

I recently spoke with Eidos Montreal General Manager Stéphane D’Astous just after his visit to Vancouver’s GDC event.  I think the purpose of his visit was pretty obvious in light of the official announcement of Thief 4: he was looking to attract people to Montréal to work on Thief 4.


Details were hard to pry out of Stéphane but here’s what I learned in brief.


There are 20 people currently on the team but that number is expected to swell to 60+ as the project gets underway.  Thief 4 has been in the “doodle on a napkin” stage for the last 5 – 6 months, and only received the greenlight to proceed a few weeks before I talked to Stéphane (May 14/09).  With those facts in mind, I realized that anything else Stéphane said had to be taken in this light and knew that “facts” would be impossible.  He wouldn’t even confirm that Theif’s protagonist, Garett would return.


Stéphane said the team had played through the first three Thief titles because they wanted to analyze what those games got right, what they might be able to refine, and what new ideas could be implemented while respecting the original games.  Currently there’s no one on the team that worked on previous Thief titles, but this could change as new hiring takes place.  They’re also paying attention to the official Thief 4 forums – they want to listen to the fans from the outset.


No release date was mentioned (my guess: 2011) and Stéphane wouldn’t even confirm platforms though he did say 360, PS3, and PC were the logical route, all things considered.  Hopefully, there will be more revealed about Thief 4 when E3 rolls around next month.


And in case you want to work in Montréal – the poutine and beer is excellent – check Eidos Montréal’s career page.


- Aaron Simmer

(May 26, 2009)


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