FuryAc3 pays tribute to the recently closed Bizarre Creations.
Itâ€™s with a heavy heart and a tear in the eye that I find myself writing this piece as it is a tribute to one of my favourite developers of all time who were forced to close their doors on Friday the 18th of February after 17 years in the industry.
The developer I am talking about is none other than Bizarre Creations who were one of, if not the best games developer in the UK. This has happened because of the short sightedness and greed of Activison who, on the 16th of November, announced that they were looking into finding a new buyer for the Studio. But on the 20th of January they announced that they would be closing the studio after looking for a new buyer was unsuccessful. If itâ€™s not World of Warcraft or Call of Duty then Activison do not care, but thatâ€™s another story for a different time. Now I would just like to look back at some of the games Bizarre Creations made and what they meant to me.
Bizarre Creations was based in Liverpool and was founded in 1994. They quickly became known as specialists in racing games after their smash hit on the Dreamcast Metropolis Street Racer, which would later evolve into the PGR series on the Xbox. But despite being known for specialising in racing games, they also developed a number of different style games, from arcade shooter Geometry Wars to the third-person adventure shooter Fur Fighters. The studio had a vast back catalogue of different styles on a number of platforms including the PS one, Dreamcast, Xbox, DS, 360, PS3 and even the iphone.
So I would like to just take a look back at three of my favourite games from them which are Project Gotham Racing, The Club and Blur. All are on the Xbox 360 and show why Bizarre Creations will be missed.
The first two games I got with my 360 where Call of Duty 2 and Project Gotham Racing 3, and to this date I havenâ€™t really stopped playing it. At the time it was one of the best looking games on the new system plus it was a great arcade racer.
The first page of the manual says â€œLife Begins at 170â€ and with this it all began. Over 75 of the worldâ€™s fastest, most expensive and most desirable cars were at your finger tips to hammer around some of the most famous cities in the world, from London to New York and Moscow to Tokyo. The world was your stage to drive. The game rewarded you for driving with style, or Kudos as it was called, and your single goal in the game was to get as much Kudos as you could to top the leaderboards and have bragging rights over you mates.
PGR3 was a great game and when PGR 4 came out it was a tall order for them to beat. But beat it they did. PGR4 saw you return to the world of racing, but this time round there were 120 cars and also bikes, a first in the series. The bike added a new layer to the gameplay in that cars and bikes could race together. The bikes were great for the cornering parts but the cars had the flat out speed on the straights. This made for thrilling racing that more often than not ended in paint being traded on the last few corners, showing that rubbing is really racing.
On top of the thrill a minute racing, the game also featured a dynamic weather system which would change the way every vehicle in the game handled inÂ sun, rain, sleet and snow. This made for a great challenge. The game also included a little arcade game you may have heard of called Geometry Wars which was so good that it was made into two standalone games and appeared on many different platforms.
After the success of the PGR series, the next game was The Club which was a third person shooter which embodied the PGR mantra of speed and skill. The Club’s story was pretty simple – an organisation recruits the best fighters in the world to fight in an underground bloodsport series and you play as one of 8 gladiators who are fighting to survive. The 8 characters where all larger than life. There was an NYPD cop, a Siberian hunter and even a Hannibal Lecter style character who has been caged from the outside world.
The game’s scoring system was based on your skill for every kill you got. There were a number of ways to achieve this, from the standard head shot to more exotic ways like snap shots and ric-o-slay. These added a great layer of tactics to the game as you found yourself pushed to get the most over the top kill and gain the highest scores.
The game also had an outstanding online mode which featured not only the normal free for all and team death match, but also team fox hunt, a sort of V.I.P style mode, and team skullshots which saw 2 teams racing to locate and shoot the enemies skull before they find yours.
The last game I would like to look back at is Blur, again an arcade style racer but this time with a twist. The twist being that it was a Mario kart style racer but with real world cars.
It followed the PGR mold in that you would find yourself racing in cities around the world in some of the most exotic cars, but you could pick up speed boosts, barges and shunts which can all be used to get the upper hand in the race. Fast fun and frantic, a great pick up and play game.
There you have it, my look back. You can pick up all 3 games I talked about for under Â£15 now from most places and they are all worth a look if you have never played them.
Bizarre Creations will forever be one of my favourite developers and one that I will miss, but I think I will not be alone in saying that. I would like to wish Bizarre Creations staff the best and hope the future holds new opportunities for them. Thank you for giving the gaming world hours of great gaming and fun.
Legends never die!
Below is a video tribute from play3de YouTube channel -