The end of an era.
In the third and final instalment of my tribute to game developer Bizarre Creations, I look at the last few of their games that have made their way into my gaming library. The final four certainly provided a mixture of styles and genres, continuing BC’s penchant to innovate and produce top quality games. They were looking unstoppable…until they were acquired by Activision, and the wheels came of as does everything the ’Vision touches. But enough of dwelling on the bad, lets focus on the good.
Project Gotham Racing 4: The last major release in this venerable franchise. PGR 4 continued to deliver where its predecessors had, this time they made motorcycles and weather conditions the central improvements to the series. It was a pretty cool feeling to be racing through the streets of Quebec City with slush and snow all around. PGR 4 also continued the Geometry Wars tradition, this time with a one-off game mode called ‘Waves’. It was a nice diversion and a fitting addition to the Geometry Wars legend. PGR 4, like PGR 3, did not have the staying power of PGR 2. I think that the city variety of these games did not match that of PGR 2, and the other racers of the world began to catch up with the boys at BC. They did have one more racer in the tank as you will see later in this post.
The Club: Bizarre once again shows that they are not a one dimensional developer by adding the ever-popular genre of shooting people to their repertoire. What I loved bout The Club as it really was a marriage of their popular Kudos-based racing games as well as a quality third-person shooter. What made it so unique also made it a risky proposition for gamers as BC was really treading on unfamiliar territory. The Club can still be found today for bargain prices, a great game to take a chance on for a very different shooter experience.
Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2: Just when you think that Bizarre could no longer improve on the formula they do it not only once, but several times within one package, and also include multiplayer! RE2 greatest addition is including the ultimate score chasing ability as the game will show your friends score who is next ahead of you on the leaderboard, that way you always have something to shoot for. The sad thing is with BC’s closure, we may never see another Geometry Wars game. While racing games come and go, Geometry Wars is a unique experience that I do not think has ever been duplicated. The king of the twin-stick shooters!
Blur: Like The Club before it, Blur brings the BC racing expertise of its PGR series of games, and drops it into the Kart-combat genre to create one of the fastest and most fun hybrid racers in gaming. Great racing, power-ups, and 20-player multiplayer races, Blur allowed Bizarre to go out with a bang. Unfortunately, Activision’s lack of faith and promotion in this product did not allow it to flourish like it could have. Instead it wound up slowly drifting into obscurity. Even I was a late convert to Blur as it fell of of my radar. I really enjoyed my time with Blur, the best car combat game I ever played!
And so that brings us to the end. Bizarre Creations closed its doors this very day. But we are left with their great games and the memories they have produced. So pour one out on the rumble-strips for the great developers from the UK…and I hope I do not have to do another one of these tributes again! The last goodbye comes from BC themselves…