December has arrived. The cold temperatures and decorative lights are loved by many and dreaded by some. Whether you prefer those hot summer days or cozy winter nights, the year is coming to an end. As we are counting down the final few days of 2018, allow me to grab some of your time for heartfelt holidays wishes: PayneReactor wishes you and your loved ones a merry Christmas and a happy new year! 2018 has come and gone. It was a crazy exciting year with some of the biggest videogame releases and exciting reveals. Let us reminiscence by walking through a selection of 10 of the most interesting happenings we covered. It was a great year to be a Remedy fan.
Our year started rather bleak by a reporting of another delay for Red Dead Redemption 2. While originally slated for a release in the fall of 2017, the western themed videogame was pushed back to the Spring of 2018. Not long after the initial push back, the title received another push further down the year to October 2018. Delays are a custom for Rockstar Games titles by now, but those titles usually result in a superb, polished experience. Red Dead Redemption 2 was no exception. The game turned out to become a technical masterpiece and a massive commercial success.
The end of another calendar year also means our most favorite videogames have gotten older. So did Max Payne 3. That title has already been out for six years, can you believe it? The videogame industry and technology is moving forward with a fast pace. For example, Max Payne 3 was the first game that introduces us to a radial selection menu for weapons and equipment. A technique that has now been commonly integrated in other (Rockstar) videogames. The videogames industry is moving forward with an incredibly fast pace and that often makes us forget about past gems and the impact they had on the industry as a whole. YouTuber Raycevick likes to analyse these games and theorize about how some of them came together or what made them stand out. In his analysis of Max Payne 3, he is extremely accurate in his findings. He goes through goes through topics like the game’s pre-production period as well as changes to gameplay, story and the unique Multiplayer modes it offered.
With multiple game projects on the horizon, the Remedy staff has been rapidly expanding in numbers. In 2018, a vast amount of new talent has joined the company and they are still recruiting. As a result, the Remedy Studio has become too small and so the developer recently moved to a bigger estate. The new offices are HUGE. So huge even a big chunk of the new offices is to remain empty for now.
Perhaps the biggest news for us was the reveal of Control, Remedy’s new upcoming videogame. Control was officially revealed at Sony Interactive Entertainment’s E3 2018 press conference. Development apparently began before the release of Remedy’s previous videogame, Quantum Break. Instead of focusing on creating a large and complex story, the game’s writers are putting more emphasis on gameplay; creating a game world and universe that is rich enough for players to create their own stories with a high value of replayability. Control managed to grab everyone’s attention by its mysterious vibe and shifting architecture. In the following months, Remedy would slowly start to share more details about the game upholding their promise: to maintain a deeper, more open connection (and discussion) with its fans.
Attending Gamescom is something that I have been doing for years now. This year was another personal highlight though. It was a great honor when Remedy invited us over for a hands-off demo of Control. In an elaborate article I wrote upon my return, I shared my experiences about that session with you. Control was played live (no pre-recorded footage) and right in front of me, with the opportunity to ask a devleoper questions as we progressed further in the game. The Gamescom demo even contained some new tidbits of information as well as an entire section that was not shown to the public before: The Astral Plane.
Another Remedy surprise was Vanguard. An entirely new and interesting project aimed to challenge conventions. Another goal is to prototype and ship new types of ongoing live multiplayer game experiences. A business model that has become very profitable in today’s industry. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the announcement was that the Vanguard development team will develop their games using the Unreal 4 engine, rather than Remedy’s own in-house Northlight Engine.
After years of silence around the franchise, Remedy managed to surprise everyone with this news. Alan Wake, the 2010 cult-hit video game we all came to know and love, is being adapted to the small screen. The series is in development in close relationship with the game’s writer, Sam Lake, who will act as an executive producer on the show. Peter Calloway (Legion) signed on as show-runner and writer. Production on the series will soon continue after a short break.
In the days that followed Gamescom, various details about Control continued to surface. Many fans were excited to learn James McCaffrey would star in Control as well as Matthew Poretta, two Remedy veterans. Those two legends as well as Courtney Hope and Sam Lake all appeared in a panel session during New York Comic Con. Curious to know what all went down during that particular panel? We’ve since published a recap that will help you catch up to speed. Remedy later posted the entire panel on Youtube for your viewing pleasure.
Next to Max Payne 3, its predecessor Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne also added another year. The game has now turned fifteen years old. A good reason to party, and so we did. Both Remedy and the community celebrated the occasion. Various fan sites teamed up for an exclusive giveaway sponsored by Remedy. Each site, including ours, contained a hint that helped in answering a riddle. Fans of the game guessed it pretty quick: The Funhouse level, an experience many of you vividly remember to this day.
To further underline the fact Remedy has become more and more open towards the community, the developer of Control has proven yesterday they also master the art of live-streaming. In their first effort, Remedy dedicated the live-stream towards the return of Alan Wake on digital stores as well as Halloween. Present during the stream were Vida Stracevic (Associate Community Manager) dressed up as Odin Anderson – one member of the Old Gods of Asgard – Sam Lake and Illkka Villi, who is the face of Alan Wake.
Well now, wasn’t it a lovely year? Remedy sure managed to keep us on the edges of our seats. We wouldn’t be here without them. And we wouldn’t be here without you either. It’s through your continues support and kind messages we keep on trucking. Thank you for sticking with us for another year. Thank you very much. We hope to see you again in 2019. There’s still a lot to talk and report about: Control is still slated for release somewhere in 2019 and with the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 we also expect some news from Rockstar Games in the new year. In short: Interesting new developments surrounding our favorite development studios! Oh, and my favorite partner in crime, Rachel from The Sudden Stop. You deserve a medal. I’m ending this text with a special thank you to you. Your kindness will never be matched.