The Suffering: Ties That Bind goes gold

Midway's horrific romp through Baltimore's slums and prisons is on schedule to ship September 26.

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Though gamers may be rejoicing at news out of Midway Games, the cyber-citizens of Baltimore most certainly are not. The Chicago-based publisher today announced that development of The Suffering: Ties That Bind is complete, and the master is off for duplication. The game will be available on September 26 for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and PC.

Ties That Bind is the sequel to 2004's The Suffering, which saw hero Torque running wild through Abbot State penitentiary, where he was on death row for the murder of his family, a crime he can't remember committing. His situation takes an ever-so-slight turn for the better when his death sentence is interrupted--by demonic monsters attacking the prison and slaughtering inmates.

In Ties That Bind, Torque is out of the island prison and on the mean streets of Baltimore. While his legal demons may be behind him, the creepy physical ones are not. Tons of them have followed him to the city, where they are causing mayhem in the impoverished slums and spooky prisons of Baltimore.

The game combines both first- and third-person action, with plenty of destructive weapons to help Torque take out the hellish creatures. And like in the original game, Torque can turn his body into a weapon by morphing into one of several creatures.

The game features not only three endings, but also three beginnings. The endings are obviously determined by Torque's actions in Ties That Bind, and if gamers played and defeated The Suffering, they'll be treated to a tailored intro in Ties That Bind based on their actions in the original (provided their saved-game file still exists).

The Suffering series has caught the eye of Hollywood. Oscar nominees Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile) and Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under) will lend their voices to characters in Ties That Bind. Earlier this month, MTV Films acquired the rights to make a movie based on the series. No release date has yet been announced for the film.

The game was developed by Surreal Software, which also created Drakan: The Ancients' Gates and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The Seattle game studio is currently working on an unannounced next-generation game.

The Suffering: Ties That Bind is rated M for Mature and will retail for $49.99 for the Xbox and PS2 and $29.99 for the PC.

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