Last generation's Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay was a critical success and, apparently generated enough sales to warrant a remake. Then, like so many other games, the project fell victim to streamlining in the wake of the Activision/Blizzard merger and its future became uncertain.
Today, Atari has announced that they will be publishing Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. It's going to be more than just a simple retread with updated visuals, also. An entirely new single-player campaign has been added to the title, along with a multiplayer component.
I missed out on Riddick the first time, despite hearing heavy praise about it, so I'm keeping my eye out for this release. Adding the new campaign is an excellent move, since I'm sure a lot of folks who already played through the original would be hesitant to invest in previously released content from only a few years ago.
A press release follows the jump. And, while you're clicking on things, tell me what you thought of the first release. Does it deserve to have me this interested? Do you plan to purchase it?
LYON, FRANCE – 30 October 2008 – Atari, one of the world’s most recognized video game publishers, today announced that first person shooter The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena is joining its 2009 publishing and distribution line up. In conjunction with Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group, Tigon Studios and acclaimed developer Starbreeze Studios, Atari is bringing the franchise to the new generation of consoles for the first time packed with thrilling new adventures. The highly anticipated title is scheduled for launch on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Windows® PC in spring 2009.
Previously announced as a remake of hit title The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay with added content, Atari can today reveal that The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena contains a brand new full-length campaign. This exciting announcement promises a title which will include the original game re-imagined for a whole new audience, an entirely new chapter in the Riddick saga and, for the first time, intense online multiplayer combat, making The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena a must-have experience for any fan of intense action gaming.
“It’s very exciting to have Assault on Dark Athena as part of Atari’s 2009 publishing line-up,” said Phil Harrison, President of Infogrames Entertainment, the parent company of Atari. “The first game in the series was a landmark in action gaming and the outstanding team at Starbreeze are creating a feature-packed follow-up which will delight fans and new players alike.”
“The Riddick IP offers a rich universe from which to develop no-holds barred games, and we’ve believed that since the days of the Pitch Black film,” said Bill Kispert, Vice President and General Manager, Interactive, Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group. “Assault on Dark Athena extends the franchise fiction; adds to the mythology with new storylines, characters and locations while remaining true to the original material; and gives fans an experience they haven’t seen before. As we introduce this new Riddick chapter, we are also excited to welcome Atari to the Riddick family.”
“We’re thrilled about this remake and expansion of Escape from Butcher Bay." said Ian Stevens, Head of Game Production, Tigon Studios. "Assault on Dark Athena tells a new story in The Chronicles of Riddick, while at the same time sharing our original vision with a larger audience. We’re excited about the coming months and talking more in-depth about new features like the addition of Multiplayer!”
“Working with the Riddick franchise for us is an extraordinary experience,” said Johan Kristiansson, CEO, Starbreeze Studios. “We are deeply enthusiastic about the partnership with Atari that will bring this rich game experience to a new generation of consoles. With this release we've pushed the limits of the Starbreeze engine, delivering an extensive game package designed to thrill gamers worldwide. We can't wait for it to hit the shelves.”
In The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena the player takes the role of Riddick, as played by Vin Diesel, using stealth and action to overcome the merciless crew of the predatory Merc-ship Dark Athena which awaits its prey in the dark reaches of space. Cheating death through a series of spectacular battles and events, Riddick will fight for his life amid a storm of malevolence and horror. The Chronicles of Riddick series of games takes the player deeper into the universe of Universal Pictures' films The Chronicles of Riddick and cult classic Pitch Black, which first introduced Vin Diesel as enigmatic anti-hero Riddick.
Featuring a brand new exhilarating adventure, a high-definition re-imagining of the classic Escape from Butcher Bay campaign and new multiplayer options, The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena will thrill fans when it launches in spring 2009.
About The Chronicles of Riddick
The Chronicles of Riddick was released in 2004 by Universal Pictures, in association with Radar Pictures and One Race Productions, Vin Diesel reprised his star-making Pitch Black role of enigmatic anti-hero Richard B. Riddick in this science fiction action-adventure epic,. The Chronicles of Riddick also starred Colm Feore, Alexa Davalos, Karl Urban, Linus Roache, Thandie Newton and Dame Judi Dench.
In the film’s storyline, Riddick has spent the last five years on the move among the forgotten worlds on the outskirts of the galaxy, eluding mercenaries bent on collecting the price on his head. Now, the fugitive finds himself on planet Helion, home to a progressive multicultural society that has been invaded by the Lord Marshal, a despot who targets humans for subjugation with his army of warriors known as Necromongers.
Exiled to a subterranean prison where extremes of temperature range from arctic nights to volcanic days, Riddick encounters Kyra, the lone survivor from an earlier chapter in his life. His efforts to free himself and Kyra lead him to the Necromonger command ship, where he is pitted against the Lord Marshal in an apocalyptic battle with possibly the fate of all beings-both living and dead-hanging in the balance.
Written and directed by David Twohy, The Chronicles of Riddick was produced by Scott Kroopf and Vin Diesel. Ted Field, George Zakk and David Womark served as executive producers.
About Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group
Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group (UPDPG) is responsible for global digital product development, production, licensing, distribution, and growth strategy for the extensive catalogue of Universal’s properties across new and emerging digital platforms, including mobile, video game consoles, personal computers, and other portable devices. With a worldwide mandate to help shape the digital future of Universal Pictures, the Group has offices in Universal City, California; London, England; and Tokyo, Japan.
Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group is a unit of Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures. Universal Pictures is a division of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi..
About Tigon Studios
Founded by Vin Diesel in 2002, Tigon Studios is a game and film production company that strives to break new ground in interactive entertainment by combining key film components with unique game play, cutting-edge technology and high production values. Tigon Studios focuses on creating entertainment franchises with strong story and character that work fluidly as both games and films, designing and producing properties simultaneously.
About Starbreeze Studios
Based in Uppsala, Sweden, Starbreeze Studios is an award winning developer of bleeding edge technical, artistic, and gameplay experiences. Founded in 1998, the company today employs more than 90 people from all over the world. Assault on Dark Athena will be the 6th game from Starbreeze, after their much anticipated release of "The Darkness" which hit shelves in June of 2007 for both the PLAYSTATION 3 and the Xbox 360.
About Infogrames Entertainment and Atari
The Infogrames group, including Atari, Inc., is a global producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software for all market segments and all interactive game platforms including consoles from Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony Computer Entertainment, advanced smartphones, Personal Computers, web and online. Its games are sold in more than 60 countries through an international distribution network and direct to consumers via www.atari.com.
The Infogrames group’s extensive catalogue of popular games is marketed under the Atari brand and based on original franchises (Alone in the Dark, Test Drive, V-Rally, My Horse & Me, Backyard Sports franchise, Total Annihilation, Outcast etc.), publishing properties (The Witcher, Legendary, Race Pro etc.), international licenses (Dragon Ball Z, Dungeons & Dragons, Jamie Oliver etc.) and classic games covering the entire history of the video game industry (Pong, Missile Command, Asteroids etc).
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