"In some ways I've always been a little bit of a nomad."
When Monkey Island and The Cave creator Ron Gilbert announced his departure from Double Fine last night it surprised a lot of people. After all, Double Fine is a fan-favourite company where he got to work with his long time buddy and colleague Tim Schafer. So why leave?
Don't call it a comeback. Ron Gilbert may be best known for his series of brilliant point-and-click adventures for LucasArts in the late '80s and early '90s, but the presence of item-led puzzles in The Cave doesn't automatically mean a return to his roots.
There are genetic traces of Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island in this spelunking adventure, which sees Gilbert reunited (sort of) with his former protégé Tim Schafer at Schafer's studio Double Fine. Vending machines serve grog instead of cola, but Gilbert is wise enough not to lean too heavily on past glories. Instead, he's taken the basics of the point-and-click genre and come up with a twist on the formula that makes it a better fit for today's gamer.
Most noticeably, there's no pointing or clicking. This is as much co-operative platform game as single-player puzzler, and the structure and pace have been updated accordingly. You now have three playable characters, chosen from a rogue's gallery of seven. A scientist, a time traveller, a pair of eerie twins, a hillbilly - it's an eclectic bunch. Descending into the depths of a sentient, self-aware cave system, you'll need to make use of each character's unique skill as well as some of your own brain power to plumb the depths and emerge from the other side.
The New Year's Far Cryathlon, Ron Gilbert on Disney and the latest on Aliens.
Happy 2013, Eurogamers! We hope you have have at least one resolution still on the go. Outside Xbox began the year with the Far Cryathlon: not a feature reverse-engineered from a punny name, but a grand new tradition of excellence and personal betterment. In it, we undertake a trio of Far Cry 3 events to test our mettle as electronic sportspersons. The first event is the prestigious Hang Glider Crash Challenge:
Upcoming Double Fine adventure The Cave sees genre veteran Ron Gilbert return to his roots. Gilbert's latest creation - an exploration of a sentient cavern filled with puzzle-based traps and outlandish solutions - will be immediately familiar to fans of earlier projects Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island.
Publisher SEGA also bringing playable Aliens: Colonial Marines, The Cave and Hell Yeah!
Those of you who came along to Rezzed this July were privileged to check out a small glimpse of Rome 2, The Creative Assembly's newest instalment in the all-conquering conquer-'em-up Total War series. If you're coming to the Eurogamer Expo, however, you'll witness the first public demonstration of playable code in an exclusive Creative Assembly developer session.
"I think caves are just interesting," says Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert.
"They're kind of this source of beauty on one level and I think there's a prehistoric part of our brain that triggers them as a place of safety. They were our homes for hundreds and thousands of years. There's something intrinsic about a cave that I think everybody likes on some level."
"Do you like exploring caves in real life?" I ask.