Pick 5: Remembering THQ's Best
Just in case you don't know, the video game publisher THQ has gone bankrupt recently and has auctioned all their studios and franchises to the highest bidder. It's sad to see a great publisher go out like this, but the game industry is still a business. To pay tribute to the now bankrupt publisher, here are a couple of great games that came out of the company.
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II
There were tons of Warhammer 40k games, but the one title that really stood out from the rest was Dawn of War II. A game that I've played for hours online thanks to it's addicting gameplay. It didn't have base building, but has a squad system that makes each unit crucial for your success. It can get intense even in the campaign and I considered it one of my personal favorite RTS games. In a span of two years after it's release in 2009, it earned two expansions. The developer, Relic Entertainment, was bought by SEGA during the THQ auction.
Ha! I started playing Metro 2033 last weekend and was able to finish it before writing this, and I can now say that from start to finish - It's a great game. It has a lot of interesting mechanics behind this fairly new franchise, and together with an appealing post-apocalyptic setting, I just can't wait for Metro: Last Light. Thankfully the property was purchase and is now under the Koch Media banner A.K.A Deep Silver (Dead Island). Development for the sequel is still underway, but no other details were given after the sale.
Saint's Row: The Third
I'd like to call this as THQ's Grand Theft Auto with a sense of humor. I wasn't too keen on previous Saint's Row titles, but the third was so over the top that It kept me entertained for hours. The story was so ridiculous that I was eager to start the next mission. It's even a great coop game that also scratches that sandbox itch. The developers, Volition Games, was also bought by Koch Media and they even bought the property rights to the Saint's Row franchise.
Red Faction: Armageddon
Also developed by Volition, Red Faction: Armageddon is the fourth Red Faction game and retained the unique feature of destructible environments. They took it a bit farther in Armageddon by not only giving players the ability to destroy everything around you, but also the ability to rebuild. Still set in Mars, Armageddon is a more linear affair compared to the open world Red Faction before it. With the ability to destroy and rebuilt, packed with the addicting magnet gun, Armageddon was a great sequel to move the Red Faction series forward. Sadly, the Red Faction series was not picked up during the THQ auction sale. Volition was saved but so far no publisher has no interest of owning this franchise.
Darksiders 1 and 2
Darksiders, developed by Vigil Games, is a rare gem. An action adventure series that tried to be different. In the first game, they added so many elements to the gameplay, bringing a lot of variety to the game. It also incorporated the hardly used lock-on system mostly used in The Legend of Zelda games. It was considered one of the best new IP's to come out of 2010, and that's saying a lot considering that this is the first ever game for the developers. Sequel came and they continue to bring something new to the table by adding a leveling system and loot system on top of everything else. During the THQ auction sale, the Darksiders property and Vigil Games did not receive a single bid, destroying any possibility of having a third Darksiders game. Hopefully, a company would see the potential in the Darksiders series (Platinum Games is considering it) but so far no dice.
R.I.P THQ. If you'd like to read more about the bankruptcy case, you can check out this Forbes article. And if you want to see the final results of the THQ auction sale, have a look at Kotaku's article.