Golden Axe: Beast Raiders it was like this ugly that just wasn’t supposed to hit the stores. This is the opinion expressed by one of the developers of the game, Ben Golus, commenting on an old Penny Arcade cartoon dedicated to the latest Golden Axe.
In the cartoon Tycho Brahe and Gabe wonder why Golden Ax: Beast Raiders has not been classified as a game for adults, but only as “Mature”, therefore suitable for people aged 13 and over. In response, Golus wrote, “Coming from someone who worked on Beast Rider, it should have been rated N for None.”
Golus then explained his statement at length, first saying that the average score of 45 that appears on Metacritic for the Xbox 360 version is too generous, then recounting some of the numerous problems encountered during development.
Golus: “Really, this game has had one of the most absurd development paths that I have ever experienced directly or heard of. In three years of production at least seven people have had the title of “lead designer”. There have been many unusable motion capture sessions. And there was a lot of dope.”
Il tale Golus, at this point, becomes more compelling: “A lead designer was fired for assaulting another employee, punching him as soon as he left the office. He punched him so hard that he knocked him out and sent him to the emergency room. They also fired the employee being beaten because actually everyone in the office wanted to punch him.”
Then the developer starts talking about Beast Rider and his people design issues and hilarious solutions to try to solve them: “The game was so difficult for the last year that the QA team couldn’t pass the tutorial. They had to use cheats to become invincible and teleports between checkpoints to progress. The lead designer at the time thought it was still too easy and made it even harder.”
“The game also became playable to non-masochists because the company leadership went behind the back of the lead designer and had some employees lower the difficulty, adding color flashes for attacks. The game came out with these changes instead of the original version. lead designer.”
“Secretly, they had moved the lead designer and his crew to a separate branch of the repository, while everyone else was working on the gold candidate version. That way they didn’t know their changes weren’t being used.”
“I was the employee who added the flashes. I wasn’t officially working on Golden Ax at the time, although I had worked on it as an outside contractor at various stages throughout development. So I was asked to covertly modify it. My desk he was literally across the office from the lead designer.”
Golus then explained how the Penny Arcade cartoon was probably a reference to one of the first films, in which there are practically naked women and how the management wasted a lot of money on motion capture, sending people who didn’t have the faintest idea to make it what he was doing since there was no lead animator and the lead designer had been kicked out. The result was that millions of euros were wasted on unusable animations, with management ordering them to be used anyway to try and save face, so much so that the animators had to use them for the individual opening frames of each game animation.