984 Studios is a game-making studio that has made several commercially successful games. Their hit games have been praised by most critics, but the studios are not perfect: some game projects failed due to low inspiration. The studios have also tried their hands at a TV show: Warrior Chronicles is having its eighth season written up as of the time of the article's writing.
History and Games Made
In 2009, when SPARTAN-984 was working on Super Smash Bros. Smash Wars with RaidenX, he realised that it would be impossible for him to do the job alone. He formed a studio of game designers and called it "984 Studios." The studios helped with Smash Wars, but eventually left the project somewhat to work on their own games.
A little game called Battlefield: Warzones was the first official 984 Studios game release: it included the weapons from the first Bad Company. Over time, with DLC weapons packs, special holiday events, rank systems, backwards map conversions from other games, and the like, Warzones is 984 Studios' best game yet: even with Bad Company 2 out, Warzones is still being played. The game is the Gran Turismo of the gun world: it carries close to 900 guns from several popular game franchises including Halo and Killzone, but most of the guns are from real life. With the attachment system's debut, the game has reached large amounts of popularity. The game scored approx. 9/10 from reviewers, one of which who said, "Despite having the exact same weapons as Bad Company, Warzones is fresh enough to be a great game." The game co-worked with DICE and EA, and has so far stayed out of what PTOM has called "Project Ten Dollar". Even when other games have been developed and released, a dedicated team works on making Warzones better.
984 Studios then released a bit of a less-successful game. Called Fallout 3 Universe, it was a free (besides purchase price) MMOFPS, where any weapon from Fallout 3 could be used as long as the bottlecaps to buy weapons and ammo (awarded for actions during the match, kills, winning matches, looting, etc.) were in steady supply, and they were. Each of the game packs added different weapons and were also free. The game got 6/10, with one reviewer saying, "F3U isn't the best of games. It's Fallout 3, in a multiplayer deathmatch format which doesn't suit the franchise. However, despite the twistedness of Fallout 3 Universe, it's still a nice game if you just have an untold itch to frag someone, and you have to love how the Fat Man is more like a railgun in this game."
984 Studios eventually went to work on a destruction-derby companion to Smash Wars, Super Smash Bros. Twisted Metal. The game was supposed to let you use every character in their own mini-campaign. However, as it turns out, the game was just too ambitious, and eventually the project ground to a halt. Despite the fans of SSB signing a petition, eventually the new Twisted Metal game was cancelled, with 984 saying, "The reason for cancellation is because there wasn't enough inspiration. Some characters were clones, and the game would have not been fun if it was released."
Shortly afterwards, they debuted Counter-Strike: Operation Stopping Power, which was a remix of Counter-Strike with a dedicated single-player campaign and better multiplayer. It also added more weapons and the weapons from Counter-Strike Online, which went great for fans of CS. The game scored a 7/10, with the same reviewer commenting, "It seems 984 Studios may have hit a small speedbump when it released Fallout 3 Universe, and working with Valve to produce OSP is bringing them out of it. The new weapons feel like the icing on the cake with remastered environments. The single-player campaign gives leverage that has not yet been seen in Counter-Strike. If you're a CS player or not, get this game. The triumphs outweigh the flaws."
Eventually, 984 Studios helped Raiden yet again with the development of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (Extended Edition), an extended variant of TFU, which included a better ending for Starkiller and compatibility with the Ultimate Sith pack. However, the ending of the game was eventually rendered non-canon as Starkiller somehow ends up surviving the original first game's events for The Force Unleashed 2.
Their next game was Gran Turismo: Blacklist Edition, a crossover between Gran Turismo PSP and the classic Need For Speed: Most Wanted, including several new cars, a Porsche dealership for the first time, and new modes. The game was rated more as an expansion pack, and got 9/10, with the few complaints being about the police, the complexity of the upgrade system, and the inability of most pro gamers to get past Heat Level 7.
Their next game was BioShock Future, an attempt to look at Rapture as a space station instead of an underwater utopia. The game was more of a BioShock total conversion mod, with the dialogue and other parts staying the same. However, BioShock 2's Big Daddy was incorporated in the form of a large mech that the hero could pilot. BSF has gotten no rating being a mod.
Their best game so far was Need for Speed: The Grand Finale. After suffering through a NFS Shift car-filled beta, the game was released, equipped with hundreds of cars, most customizable. The game is the first of two 984 Studios games to receive a 10/10, with a reviewer stating, "The Grand Finale makes us take a look at Bishop as if he were an actual human being instead of an embodiment of the player. Though the undercover cop part, and Cross becoming bloodthirsty, AND Champ the Master killing people borders on camp, the rest of the game is not, and it has a surprising degree of fun: if you're on Easy, races are a piece of cake. If you're on Expert, you need nerves of steel and iron reflexes. This game is almost completely perfect, and deserves its 10/10 ranking."
Shortly after the hidden Paradise cars mode was discovered, SOCOM: US Navy Seals: Welcome to Paradise was released, a three-way combo of 984 Studios, Zipper Interactive, and Criterion working together to deliver a functioning game incorporating GTA-style driving and third-person shooting. The game received a 9/10, stating "The combination of SOCOM and Burnout is impossible, and the plot is incoherent sometimes. But the cars are colorful, and the guns are not in short supply, making this SOCOM/Burnout racer/shooter an instant classic."
Eventually, Final Fantasy XIII: Crystal Reverbations was released. Square Enix helped with some parts of the storyline, while 984 Studios attempted to figure out a way to put their own unique cast of characters in and interact with the l'Cie. The game got a 7/10, stating, "This game is more like an expansion pack to FF13, and while the squad of newcomers is kind of shoehorned in, the game is great, and the unique roles usable by the four Paradigms in this game make it all the better that you're shooting around this time."
Iron Man: Wrecking Crew is the lowest-rated game from 984 Studios, managing to earn a 60% rating. The game follows Wrecking Crew, a third Iron Man character, as he flies around and destroys things. The reviewer states, "In Wrecking Crew it's fun to destroy things. The plot is bat-shit crazy, but Wrecking Crew's upgrades provide good combat opportunties. If only they mapped the controls better..."
LEGO Minifigures has earned an 8/10, having no plot but instead inserting 14 different minifigures from different unverses into places where they have to solve puzzles and kill enemies. The downloadable game is, as one reviewer puts it, "LEGO taken back to the starting point: jokes are well-thought out, upgrades come quick but not too fast, and the characters are quirky and unique in their own ways. Though it's make for kids, LEGO Minifigures deserves an 8/10 ranking."
Shortly afterwards, Final Fantasy XIII: Fatal Revelation was released, continuing the insane story started in Crystal Reverbations. The game has also scored a perfect 10/10 ranking. "The Earth being destroyed? Perfect. Sanctum returning? Better. Huge explosions, lots of heavily customizable guns, and gargantuan amounts of enemies to cut down ensure that Fatal Revelation keeps going. Even better: the prequel to the Fantabula Nova Crystallis installation is coming as the first of three Care Packages. This game will keep on shooting... and shooting... and shooting."
Soon to be finished...