Burnout developer Criterion is working on a new original game at EA, although it’s a bit of a change of pace for the arcade racing specialist. The job listings point towards an action-adventure game with a heavy focus on melee combat.
I breathed a bit of a weary sigh when I found this out, the dream of a new Burnout fading ever further into obscurity. Let’s hope Evolution’s upcoming Onrush can scratch that particular itch.
Anyway, back to the task at hand, and this will presumably be the first game Criterion Games has developed since Need for Speed: Rivals in 2013 that’s actually all its own doing. By all accounts, EA was pretty forceful about Criterion making the ill-fated Battlefield Hardline, before the studio lent a helping hand for Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR and Star Wars Battlefront II. I’d imagine it’s welcoming a change of pace.
The job listings include one for an environment artist with “experience in open world game production” and “experience developing for VR” is preferable. It doesn’t clue us in much on what the game will be but we start to get a better picture with the lead combat designer role, who will be tasked with developing melee combat for an action adventure game that focuses on “physics and physicality” in games. Brutal, crunching combat sounds like the order of the day here. They’re also after a concept art director, although the position gives nothing away.
Whatever the case, Criterion is confident that it’s working on its “most ambitious projects to date”, including additional work on Star Wars Battlefront II and being let loose on its own brand new IP. It’s rare that EA loosens the leash enough to allow a developer to create a new IP so we’ll be certainly be keeping an eye on this one. It does sound as if it’s early days for this project though, so don’t expect to see or hear anything more for a while yet.
What would you like to see Criterion try its hand at next? Would you like to see some vehicular elements to play to its strengths?