Sitrep: Lest We Forget: THQ’s Invaluable Contributions to the World of the Shooter

Sitrep: THQ

By on November 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm

THQ have been falling to bits for a while now. It’s hard to pin down exactly when it started, but I noticed whispers of their decline around the time Homefront came out and, er, didn’t do very well at all. One game-bomb can’t sink a veteran cruiser this big, but then Red Faction: Armageddon spectacularly failed to hit the mark for many a gamer (why, I still don’t know. I love this game) and it seemed more or less official: The good ship THQ was in trouble. Trouble that persists and appears increasingly dire, as this week’s news will attest.

If it all comes to a calamitous end, that’s a hopelessly weeping shame. Not just for the men and women who work there, but for gaming as a whole. A shadow of their former self they might be circa right now, but when I think back and think hard (it hurts), I realise that THQ have put out a tone of games that rendered an absolute if frequently unsung service to the endless and gratifying pursuit of blowing things up. One of my gateway drugs to the fifth generation of gaming’s firefights was a THQ title. The original Red Faction, in fact. Prior to discovering the beauty of railguns that could see through walls argh, I’d gotten pretty down on gaming and had committed myself to becoming a tethered swimming champion.

The day I sent an Ultor war machine plummeting through the crude hole in a rock bridge I’d just made with the rocket I’d let fly with no expectations of awesome devastation on that kind of level was the day I rediscovered The Precious. Red Faction II copped a critical beating and while it did stray from Parker’s epic Martian misadventure in a narrative sense, goddamn it, that’s Jason Statham flying me places.

True, those were ten years ago. Okay, seven years ago: The Punisher. I don’t read the comics, but I played this game. Oh baby did I play this game. At that point I’d never experienced a shooter that made me feel physically ill in a profoundly great way, and this was it. The vague monotone censoring fuzzed over the reprehensible (and glorious) violence of the environmental kills did little to prevent scar tissue forming over whatever lobe is the one that used to be responsible for crying me to sleep. You think The Darkness II took brutality to another level? This did it first.

Still, 2005. Groan, come on. What’ve THQ done for me lately? S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, for one. Hot dang if that game wasn’t a flawed masterpiece of spiritually Falloutish glory. Fumbling in the subterranean dark with Metro 2033 was the logical next step for most, and I get uncomfortable and kind of itchy just thinking about it. I can’t recall another game that gives me a rash quite like this one. Maybe Haze, but for an entirely different reason. Man, that thing can get fu-

Hey, I’m neglecting Saints Row: The Third and that simply will not do. Any game that can legitimately turn people away in significant droves from Grand Theft Auto’s cult of personality is doing something right, in an extremely wrong way. You can’t leave, THQ. I won’t let you. I’m like the ship out of Event Horizon and you are my Laurence Fishburne.

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12 comments (Leave your own)

Doesn’t even count the games Relic have made, though they do stick to the same couple of IPs, they make good games!


Yeah… THQ isn’t allowed to fail. Not until I get Homeworld 3 at the very least!


does this mean COH2 cold not come out?


Nobody ever gives any love to Full Spectrum Warrior, one of my fav games of all time.


does this mean COH2 cold not come out?

CoH2 and Metro: LL are both slated for March 2013 release so they have to hold on 4 months.

Dawn of War and its spawn (including CoH) are some of the finest real time tactical games I’ve played since Starcraft.

Hopefully they can hold on seeing as christmas sales will go up and hopefully allow CoH 2 to come out which should be a great commercial success for those sick of starcraft.


Really bummed about this. THQ make some really good stuff.


Don’t worry about HW3, the IP will just be moving to another owner. Lets hope they can do something great with it.


Red Faction.
Best game. Brings back good memories.

Just got Saints Row 3 in the last steam sale: goddamn awesome game. Start to finish, loved every hilarious second of it.


Damn, they’ve provided some excellent entertainment over the years.

Saints Row 3, COH, red faction, metro and stalker, I spent a lot of time on them.


THQ make some great games… but they never seem to really cement their games in greatness that would elevate them to that top tier that we find Blizzard, Valve or Epic.


Nobody ever gives any love to Full Spectrum Warrior, one of my fav games of all time.

Fantastic and free!


Lois and Clarke was the name of the ship from Event Horizon.

And the problem with the latter two Red Factions games is they had ALL the ingredients to be AMAZING titles but ended up falling so flat, so often. I honestly do not understand how they could do that so consistently.


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