Pseudo Interactive, the studio behind the Full Auto series and last-gen title Cel Damage, has closed its doors.
Cars going extremely fast and stuff blowing up. How could they go wrong? No matter how much we sing the praises of artistic, emotive masterpieces like ICO or Okami, nobody can deny that the very foundation on which videogames are built consists of giant boulders like Cars Going Extremely Fast and Stuff Blowing Up. Combine the two, and surely entertainment just happens?
Admittedly, it didn't happen last time. The first Full Auto was an Xbox 360 exclusive, and the series' defection to the PS3 probably won't provoke a flood of tears and fevered breast-beating among 360 owners. It was a good, if somewhat obvious, idea - combine the mechanics of Burnout with the time-rewinding of Prince of Persia, and top it all off by giving the cars guns to increase the carnage.
Unfortunately, the whole turned out to be somewhat less than the sum of its parts. The driving handled poorly and compared badly to Burnout, the time-rewinding made everything vastly too easy and stripped the game of any challenge, the guns were utterly unsatisfying and fiddly to control, and ultimately didn't add anything to the game. Combined with crap framerates - albeit rather pretty graphics - the end result was a game whose good ideas were drowned in a sea of weak design.
Sony has another pair of downloadables hoping to drive interest in the PS3 Store today, with a demo of Full Auto 2: Battlelines and a downloadable version of PSone title Destruction Derby due to appear. Wasn't it clever how we used the word "drive"? We're real pros.
Having previously pledged both Sonic the Hedgehog and Full Auto 2: Battlelines to the PlayStation 3's US launch, now it turns out SEGA won't be there with either.
Sonic has already been set back until December, and now it looks like Full Auto 2 is suffering the same fate, with a spokesperson telling IGN that it's "targeting an early December ship date".
Full Auto 2 - the sequel to a fairly mediocre Xbox 360 original - is also due out on PlayStation Portable, as announced on Friday.
It turns out that PS3 launch title Full Auto 2: Battlelines isn't exclusive to Sony's next-gen console after all. Shock! Horror! But quieten down, Sony folk, because they're just doing a PSP version as well.
Sonic the Hedgehog and Full Auto 2: Battlelines will be PlayStation 3 launch titles, according to SEGA of America's Scott Steinberg.
Steinberg, SoA's veepee of marketing, also revealed that Virtua Fighter 5 would ship in March 2007.
Speaking in an interview with US website GameDaily, he said SEGA's Wii titles would adopt a similar strategy. Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz will be there at launch, while Sonic Wild Fire (working title) is due next March.
The vehicular combat of Pseudo Interactive's Full Auto is to return this E3 - but to PlayStation 3 rather than Xbox 360.