Asylum District

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The Asylum District was hinted at in Devblog Week 11. It was described a a criminal-themed action district.

In Devblog Week 12 we got more details including that this new district will involve new game modes as well as preview pictures.

Other Blog post hinted that this districts will be for the new Turf Wars mode and also hints at a new vehicle class.

Some info about Asylum was also released at E3 2011, among others Click here

Biography

Abington Towers, on a headland looking out over the Nantego River was always intended as a place of refuge and sanctuary. Built in the 1870s by Isaiah Abington, enlightened member of a long established San Paro family of wealthy mercantile traders, it was founded on the principles of Utopian Philanthropy that were in vogue at the time among the moneyed classes. The wealth of three continents flowed through the trading hub of San Paro. The city had exploded in size and population in just a few decades. Families like the Abingtons reaped the benefits of this new prosperity, but men like Isaiah Abington were mindful that not everyone was so fortunate.

The rich lived in splendor. The poor lived in squalor, and suffered from a whole gamut of health problems and social maladies. Abington's interest was mental health, and San Paro's poorer districts provided no shortage of subjects for his study. Alcoholism, drug addiction, overcrowding and cultural dislocation among the city's waves of immigrant poor all contributed to fill up the hostels and refuges he established.

Finally, sinking a considerable portion of his share of the family fortune into it, he built Abington Towers. It was to be a fortress of sanity built in the same scale and design principles as the mills and foundries that formed the basis of the Abington fortune. Raw product - the dregs of San Paro; the destitute, the insane, the dangerously violent - entered it at one end, and, over the course of months or even years, passed through a system designed to heal them in mind and body and turn them into useful members of society. They were re-educated, morally, socially, spiritually. They were attended to by physicians and psychiatrists. They were taught rudimentary work skills and, if possible, a useful trade that would find them employment when they re-entered the outside world.

It was patronising and high-minded, born from the era's zeal for improving the lot of the poor and unfortunate, whether they wanted to be improved or not. It was crude and unproven. It was, by the standards of today, brainwashing and enforced social conditioning.

And, generally, it worked. At least for a while.

The Abington fortune vanished in the great financial crashes of the 1920s. With no more funds, the foundation that Isaiah Abington had left behind to ensure the safe running of the asylum after his death was forced to turn it over to the city of San Paro. The progressive and expensive principles on which the place had been funded were abandoned almost overnight by the city authorities, and Abington Towers quickly descended to the level of an institutionalized and publicly-funded snakepit. Patients were routinely abused, mentally and physically, by untrained and uncaring staff who often treated their charges as if they were living exhibits in a zoo or human freakshow. To help pay for the place's upkeep, patients were also put to work on a variety of menial tasks. Abington's vision of a place of humane and progressive psychiatric care had now become both a workhouse and prison.

It took a scandal, and the large-scale loss of life, to finally close the place down. Taking advantage of its location on the banks of the Nantego, the authorities had a wharf constructed there during wartime, to help ease the problems of wartime shipping congestion around the main waterfront area. It was soon kept busy, with ships arriving daily for loading with essential wartime supplies. To help in the loading, an unscrupulous chief warden was all too happy to hire his patients out as makeshift longshoremen, despite their complete unsuitability for the task. The resulting disaster was almost inevitable; the mishandling of volatile munitions that were being loaded aboard a freighter set off a chain of explosions that devastated the wharf and killed dozens of patients. The resulting investigation by the federal authorities uncovered the decades of criminal mismanagement of the place, and quickly brought about its closure, although no federal money was forthcoming to provide the city with a replacement for its largest mental hospital.

Most of the surviving inmate, many of them more damaged than when they entered the place, were dumped back out onto the city streets. many of them were dangerously violent. Just about all of them were severely mentally disturbed and in need of urgent help. Left to join the city's growing army of homeless, they would create problems on the streets that would continue for decades to come.

Abington Towers lay abandoned and derelict. Ironically, some of these former inmate patients, found their way back to it within a few months of its closure. It had been a place of refuge for them before. now it was still a sanctuary or sorts from the violent and unforgiving world of the San Paro streets.

Next to find the place was the kids that formed the vanguard of the city's underground club scene. Turning their backs on the shallow elitist glamour of the clubs in the Needles or down on Shianxi, they first moved into the derelict warehouse of the Waterfront, starting the underground rave clubs there. The scene flourished, but the vanguard started moving out and leaving it behind when criminal gangs like the Blood Roses started moving in and turning the scene into their own royal court. The vanguard moved on, looking for somewhere distinct but remote, far from the cops and the gangs.

They found what they were looking for at Abington. Even though it was built like a fortress, it was too far away from the action to make it a useful base of operations for any of the main street gangs. The SPPD had it on their radar - it had long been a refuge for outcasts and fugitives - but it had been deemed low priority. There were too many other more pressing calls on Departmental resources to ever organize a full sweep of the place's labyrinth of corridors and galleries.

Soon those same spaces were stamped with the marks of its new occupants, and light and music blazed out of the Tower at night. Few outsiders noticed at first, but slowly word got out that something interesting was happening at Abington.

It was a place where you could do your own thing, free of interference from the cops, from the media, from the criminals, from the entrepreneurs and money men. Trends started there and burned themselves out over the course of a single long weekend, gone before the first blog reports of them were ever written.

Half a dozen club parties could be happening at any one time inside its spacious galleries. Headland. Psi-KO. INsanity. Trance/Send. The Snakepit. ECT. Thorazeen. Rephuge. Psycho-Tropic. They came and went faster than anyone could keep track of them. Some of them flourished and moved on, exporting some of the scene happening at the Tower to the underground club night circuit back in the city. They always came back to where they started, though, and every time they did they brought new recruits with them.

Images

Here's a link to some images released at E3 2011 Click Here

Official

Asylum 1

Asylum 2

Asylum 3

Asylum 4

Asylum 5

Asylum 6


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