Predator Concrete Jungle

Recently I had the chance to ask Dave Stalker, Executive Producer, VU Games about the coming action adventure game Predator: Concrete Jungle. Dave and the good folks at Vivendi were very gracious and took the time out from their hectic schedules for this exclusive interview courtesy of [url][/url] for
• GVK: What is the setting and back story for the game? •
Ø DS: In the 1930s, a Predator comes to New Way City to hunt the biggest and baddest prey it can find…and what it finds is a mob boss called Bruno Borgia. Through savagery and cunning, Bruno has become the dominant gangster in New Way and it is this that marks him as the Predator’s top target. Something goes wrong however (I won’t go into what, the player will find out as they go through the game) and the Predator winds up exiled for a century. After this, the Predator elders bring it back to New Way where it must redeem itself and correct its earlier mistake.
Ø So the game is set in two different time periods in the same city, 100 years apart. The main part of the game takes place in the 2030s and then there are missions that flash you back to the 1930s where the player will pick up certain bits of storyline and learn about how what happened in the past creates what happens in the future.
• GVK: What weapons will be available to players? •
Ø DS: The player will have access to the signature Predator arsenal, including: Plasmacaster, Spear Gun, Smart Disk and Combistick but players familiar with those from their earlier AvP incarnations will find some differences in them as we’ve updated all of them for this game, taking into account the differences in available technology and the specific requirements of a third person game as opposed to a first person game. There are also new weapons that players will be seeing for the first time such as a maul which is a one-handed sword/club style weapon. Also, there are gadgets available such as proximity mines (of various types) and the Predator’s vocal mimicry abilities. Players can combine both of these to lure prey into traps.
• GVK: What are some of the mission types that players will undertake? Ø
Ø DS: There are tutorial missions where the player learns the moves and systems of how the game works and what the Predator can do, there are navigation missions which require the player to find their way to certain locations in the world using the Predator’s physical abilities, there are stealth missions, following missions, destruction missions, infiltration missions, elimination missions, and so on… • GVK: What graphic engine is the game using as the screenshots look amazing, Follow up, what new details will this engine allow you to do to help set players into the world of the Predator and separate the game from others in the genre? Ø DS: The game engine is a proprietary cross-platform system built and continually refined by the developer (Eurocom) over many titles. It’s a very robust and mature system that handles most of a game’s needs right from the get-go but, as new games come along, each demands slightly different features…which are then incorporated into the engine and made available for future projects.
• GVK: How hard was it to connect the events of the game into the established genre of the film series? •
Ø DS: It wasn’t really that hard. In fact, that’s one of my favorite parts of the process…trying to work out how to connect elements of our games with elements that have featured in one or other of the movies. It always leads to some really creative thought…and some pretty interesting discussions! With the previous AvP games, these discussions were all based on already existing material whereas, this time around, we were also very conscious that the AvP movie was in production and we wanted to make sure that we didn’t contradict anything that happened in that.
• GVK: The movies have shown the Predators to be very brutal as well as stealthy, what rating do you expect the game to have and is trophy collecting a part of the game? Ø
Ø DS: Although it’s not displayed in the most gruesome way it could be, the game certainly involves ripping skulls right out of people as well as some other quintessential Predator savagery…so I’m going to take a wild stab and say that we’re *very* likely to get a “mature” style rating. Exactly what it gets will be dependent on the various regional territories but I think you’ll have to be at least 17 to be able to buy it.
• GVK: I have heard the game will have a large city landscape and weather system. Will the vision and stealth modes of the Predator be affected by the weather? Ø
Ø DS: Water definitely inhibits the Predator’s ability to cloak so yes, the weather does have an effect on stealth modes. Vision modes aren’t impaired by the weather but, for example, Thermal mode may let you see prey you couldn’t otherwise see through fog or rain.
• GVK: Designing a game based on a popular character and film series must have some large obstacles. What have been the biggest obstacles and what are some of your proudest parts of the game? •
Ø DS: Well, as you know, I’m no stranger to the Predator universe so a lot of issues that might have come up are things that we had already dealt with before. Having said that, there are things that we’ve done before that we’re doing a little differently here, either because we’re just trying to do them better or because the game required a slightly different approach because of its own unique properties. I guess you could say that taking the Predator experience from first to third person was an obstacle and that making THAT happen is one of my proudest parts of the game. However what I really dig is hearing from people who play the game when they find something that feels just right to them…something that feels just like it should for the Predator (especially if it’s something we had to come up with because it didn’t exist before). That’s where you feel that you’re actually contributing to the mythology…
• GVK: What sort of moves will players be able to do, and will the alien nature of the Predator allow unique moves that players have not seen in gaming? •
Ø DS: The Predator is a physically formidable creature, capable of launching its massive frame higher and further than anything an unmodified human being can. This is a key component of the game as the Predator will need to move through the urban jungle, leaping to and from rooftops to stalk its prey in secret. Players will really get to play the Predator as they never have before and they will have the advantage of being able to see all of the cool moves the Predator can pull off by virtue of the third person point-of-view. The combat system allows the player to mix and match heavy, light and ranged weaponry attacks at any time and also allows them to perform even more devastating combo moves if they can master the techniques required. Don’t think that first person is completely gone either. We still allow the Predator to target in first person (nothing beats the satisfaction of zooming in on a target and sniping them from long range!). The Predator’s bestial agility also allows him to cling to certain surfaces, crawling up, down and around almost as adeptly as a certain other extraterrestrial species that Predator fans will also be familiar with!
• GVK: Do the missions take place mainly at night and indoors? Ø
Ø KS: There’s a variety of times and locations for the missions. They take place all through the day, outside, inside, everywhere.
• GVK: Since the Predator is so strong, how have you handled play balancing to keep the Predator dominant but not invincible? •
Ø KS: Yes, the Predator is strong…and fast. The Predator also has access to an amazing range of weapons for both long and short-range combat….BUT it is still up to the player to effectively make use of all of that is available or the Predator won’t even make it through the first level! The Predator is super-strong but not invulnerable to harm…especially when dealing with multiple enemies. Additionally, the opposition the Predator faces in the 2030s is much stronger than that of the 1930s. The weapons that the enemies have access too are far more powerful and advanced (thanks, in no small part, to the Predator’s mistake.
• GVK: Will the Predator be able to attack random people in the city and go on hunting missions apart from the games goals •
Ø DS: The player has the ability to attack and kill anyone at any time in the game but there may be strategic reasons to avoid this. For example: announcing your presence by decloaking and killing someone out in broad daylight on a busy street may have ramifications such as increased police (or other enemy) presence, possibly even causing the arrival of a special anti-Predator task force.