Vivendi-Universal Games has added British studio Swordfish Studios to its roster of internal developers, with the Cold Winter developer becoming the company's third acquisition so far this year.
Publisher Vivendi-Universal Games may be seeking to continue its spate of recent developer acquisitions with the purchase of British studio Swordfish, which recently finished work on PS2 title Cold Winter for the firm.
When Cold Winter producer Ian Stephens told us a few months back that the Swordfish-developed first person shooter is "for the European audience... it's a pat on the back for you guys," it struck me as a slightly odd, self-deprecating thing to admit, as if maybe we'd somehow get it more because it's got Tom Baker's menacing, booming, leathery voice narrating the cut-scenes or something. While, yes, Baker's nostalgic tones could pin us to the spot if he was the speaking clock announcer, there's nothing particularly uniquely British or European about Cold Winter. It's a polished, competent, traditional first-person shooter with the usual web of evil conspiracy to unravel, entire armies of minions to execute, exhausting amounts of stuff to blow up and some purdy physics to play around with. Things we're all abundantly familiar with.
At the start of the game it doesn't look good for MI6 agent Andrew Sterling, as he gets thrown into a Chinese political prison for spying. With the British Government apparently happy to delete his files from the system and wash their hands of him ("as dead as they come, funeral honours, the lot") he's forced to rely on friends in high places - or more accurately unhinged friends with their own agendas. Rescued by the lithe-limbed Kim - fellow secret agent - and subsequently hired by dour Scotsman Danny for his 'private security' firm, you're set off on a series of dangerous assignments to ultimately save the world from some nutter intent on giving the biggest firework display in history with his collection of nuclear weapons.
Brilliant Brit-crafted first-person shooters (or, to use an unrubbish non-hyphenated expression I didn't just make up: first-person shooters made in Britain [what exactly is the point of using abbreviations if you then waste ten times as much space explaining them? -Ed] [I dunno. You're the editor, why don't you just edit them out or something? -Tom])... nope, lost my train of thought.
"Anti Social, Anti Normal, Anti Bond, Anti Hero...It's a bitter, cold winter."