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Thread: Monolith Productions - Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

  1. #1
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand

    Monolith Productions - Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

    Seriously, this is Lith's latest project?! A DotA clone with a coat of Lord of the Rings paint?! Fuck you, Warner. Talk about being the reincarnation of the "old EA".



    *Cue Jason Moyer saying that Lith hasn't made a good game since 2003.*

  2. #2
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: someplace better than this
    You realize that game companies have to pay bills, right?

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Honestly... that looks kinda fun. And I'm not even a fan of action-rpgs or LOTR. And I do like the targeting system with the blue reticles on the ground.

  4. #4
    Who needs NOLF3 when you can get another shitty MOBA.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Mar 1999
    Location: I can't find myself
    Quote Originally Posted by EvaUnit02 View Post
    *Cue Jason Moyer saying that Lith hasn't made a good game since 2003.*
    2005, really. All downhill after F.E.A.R.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: columbus,oh
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Moyer View Post
    Who needs NOLF3 when you can get another shitty MOBA.
    haha.

    But seriously, they really need to get crackin' on NOLF3 if they knew what was good for them.

  7. #7
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Fafhrd View Post
    2005, really. All downhill after F.E.A.R.
    Condemned, which was good, also came out in 2005. But looking at their track record, it's always been a bit spotty. A bunch of mediocre games mixed with an occasional great one(Blood, Shogo, NOLF). I'm guessing since Gotham City Impostors didn't work out too good, WB has them making a safe game for now. Hopefully they'll get to make something more out there again if Guardians sells well.

    Did anyone else play Sanity btw? That was a weird one. Ice-T starred in it, as a psychic future cop. I never got very far in it.

  8. #8
    Pretty much everything you need to know about early Monolith games:

    http://www.oldmanmurray.com/longreviews/751.html

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: columbus,oh
    Cate Archer became an instant (PC) game icon. How could they not reviver her? If the concern is with her appeal on consoles, I am sure that (imaginative) developers can make a new hit for the consoles and PC. It's worked for other franchises that never die.

  10. #10
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Too Much Coffee View Post
    It's worked for other franchises that never die.
    No one lives forever.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: columbus,oh
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    No one lives forever.
    haha.

    But apparently, some do. Like Lara Croft, Master Chief, Mario, etc, etc

    Cate has only lived for 2 games. By comparison, her life hardly started.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: Procrastination, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Moyer View Post
    Pretty much everything you need to know about early Monolith games:

    http://www.oldmanmurray.com/longreviews/751.html
    "Jason Hall could invent a photo of Jennifer Love Hewitt's tits that converts dirt into hundred dollar bills, and it still wouldn't make up for the Blood 2 mission pack"

    Ahh why aren't they still here to keep games honest? Although they didn't really, did they. At least they heaped abuse on them for our entertainment.

    People like Fear a bit I guess, but NOLF 1&2 were kind of anomalous in the Monolith catologue. I wonder who was behind them happening really, and where they ended up?

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Muzman View Post
    People like Fear a bit I guess, but NOLF 1&2 were kind of anomalous in the Monolith catologue. I wonder who was behind them happening really, and where they ended up?
    Good question. I'm very interested in answers as well since NOLF 1 is my fav fps.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    Condemned was probably the last half-decent game to come out of Monolith. (I can't speak for FEAR 2 or Gotham City Imposters, since I haven't played them yet.)

    Even then, I didn't find Condemned all that great. It was extremely linear (to the point where it would actually create obstructions behind you as you progressed, to herd you along and prevent backtracking). The use of forensic tools was dumbed down from what they originally had planned. The ending was terrible. But, the melee combat system and a few genuine moments of horror almost made up for all that.

    FEAR was overrated, in my opinion. The only thing it had going for it, was the fact that the slow-mo combat and the weapons worked very well. Other than that, it was derivative (rip-off of The Ring, and Max Payne's bullet-time) and the level design was lazy (endless offices and utility room corridors).

    Since Warner took them over, they've been on a steady decline. Which I hardly find surprising. It's EA syndrome, all over again. Large Hollywood studio or game publisher buys developer, slowly turns them into a sausage factory churning out mostly formulaic pap, if not enough games sell they shut the studio down. Quantity over quality. Whether a game is actually good isn't as important as whether it sells a lot of copies. If a game happens to turn out well (Arkham City, Asylum from Rocksteady) that's swell and all, but what about those all-important numbers.

    Since I make mods for Tron 2.0, I've been following Monolith fairly closely over the years. I fear they're likely going to be shut down, soon. Their output has slowed to a crawl. The Jupiter EX engine they developed and still use, lags far behind the competition these days. They're also sharing the same offices with Snowblind Studios, rather than having their own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Muzman View Post
    NOLF 1&2 were kind of anomalous in the Monolith catologue. I wonder who was behind them happening really, and where they ended up?
    I believe Craig Hubbard was the main person driving the development of NOLF 1 and 2, and apparently he's still at Monolith.

    A good source of information on all things Monolith is the Blood Wiki. They have a page with bios and history of staff and the company.

  15. #15
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: someplace better than this
    FEAR 2 is fantastic. I will fight anyone who doesn't like it. Like, with fists and lawn chairs and whatnot.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by dethtoll View Post
    FEAR 2 is fantastic. I will fight anyone who doesn't like it. Like, with fists and lawn chairs and whatnot.
    I liked the ending, albeit in a "man that's f'd" sort of way.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    Just as a FYI: Yup, I was right. Craig Hubbard was the lead designer on NOLF (and NOLF 2 as well, to the best of my knowledge). There's a postmortem from him over at Gamasutra, talking about his work on the first NOLF.

    Unfortunately, it seems no postmortem was written for NOLF 2. There was a NOLF 2 postmortem, but for some reason it's not on the Gamasutra site. I was only able to find it in .PDF form. (Your browser may bitch about the site's security certificate being insecure.)

    Hubbard doesn't really go into it, but NOLF started off as a kind of mediocre James Bond rip-off. The protagonist character of this early version of NOLF was male, not female. It wasn't even called NOLF. (But I forget what the name was.)

    Then, Austin Powers came along. The team decided to spoof that instead, and changed the character from male to female. Somehow, in the process, the game transformed into the classic we know today.
    Last edited by redrain85; 3rd Sep 2012 at 19:45. Reason: typo, added NOLF 2 postmortem info

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: Procrastination, Australia
    One way or another they took the smart route and didn't make a Powers inspired game, but instead made a pretty faithful 60s spy show game (albeit trading on the popularity of Austin Powers I guess).

    Hubbard took his foot off the creative gas a bit over the years I s'pose. NOLF was never wildly successful I don't think. I guess there's no real reason for them to think going all out like that would be likely to pay off.
    It's probably a good Kickstarter candidate actually: one of those things publishers' need for exponential profits could never get behind, but go direct to the public and there's probably a lot of interest.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Mar 1999
    Location: I can't find myself
    I dunno, the way the mainstream gaming press is starting to turn against CoD and it's imitators the FPS scene is going to need to course correct in another year or so. Bringing NOLF back with a shiny coat of paint would be a good step in that direction.

  20. #20
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Do Warner even have the rights to NOLF? Last I heard, Activision/Vivendi was still sitting on it.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2007
    Location: Finland
    Making MOBAs is nowhere near a "safe game" to make. The market is already saturated with Dota2, LoL and HoN, where the last is already dying. Sure, the audience for them are growing due to the first of the two and will probably bump up considerably as soon as Dota2 comes out of Beta. Still, I can't see why a single player would switch from those games to a half-arsed LOTR-themed one, unless it radically alters the genre and that's what Blizzard SC2 Dota is doing.

  22. #22
    I dunno what Sierra's involvement was with NOLF, exactly, but the games were published by Fox Interactive. Sierra wasn't credited as a co-publisher until the GOTY edition came out. I suspect Sierra/Vivendi was more involved in distribution than in funding the game.

    Edit: Also, I think NOLF was influenced by a lot of the same things as Austin Powers, rather than being influenced by Austin Powers itself. It reminds me of stuff like Get Smart or the original Casino Royale more than the AP movies.
    Last edited by Jason Moyer; 4th Sep 2012 at 09:16.

  23. #23
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Moyer View Post
    I dunno what Sierra's involvement was with NOLF, exactly, but the games were published by Fox Interactive. Sierra wasn't credited as a co-publisher until the GOTY edition came out. I suspect Sierra/Vivendi was more involved in distribution than in funding the game.
    Sierra/Vivendi bought Fox Interactive.

  24. #24
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by dethtoll View Post
    FEAR 2 is fantastic. I will fight anyone who doesn't like it. Like, with fists and lawn chairs and whatnot.
    "Fantastic"? Really? I thought it was alright. Good gameplay, forgettable story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuuso View Post
    Making MOBAs is nowhere near a "safe game" to make.
    Ah, I must confess I'm not too familiar with the genre, having never played any of those games. But they seem to be popular, which is why I called it "safe". Maybe not then.

  25. #25
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: someplace better than this
    HANDBAGS AT DAWN, HENKE, LET'S DO THIS

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