A few months Sega introduced the world to ChromeHOUNDS their new squad based mech game for the Xbox 360 as certain people here at GamingNexus were immediately entranced by the game (OK, maybe it was just me) and we’ve been running weekly screenshots for the game since it was announced. Playing the game at E3 convinved me that that the game not only looked good but it played well. When the opportunity to interview Justin Lambros, the producer of the game we leapt at the chance to learn more about the game.
GamingNexus: Can you describe the plot behind the game? What were the inspirations behind the game? Justin Lambros:
The story of Chromehounds takes place in an alternate reality near future where the Cold War ended in a terrible conflict that ravaged the world. The focus of this game takes place in three fictionalized countries in Eastern Europe, each one has a superpower backing it, and this is the front of the latest combat. War is waged now with mechanized war machines called HOUNDs, it's like a new era of trench warfare with limited communications and tremendous ground-based firepower. There is definitely inspiration from the first two World Wars in this game, as you see it both visually and with the characters you meet in the story mode.GamingNexus: What approach did you take to designing the Hounds? From the screenshots in the game the Hounds look very functional, why did you decide to go this route? Do the different factions in the game have different looking Hounds or will they all be slight variations on a theme?Justin Lambros:
The team at From Software decided to take a new direction with the style of the HOUNDs in this game. They are distinctive and quite different from their previous mech games. Part of it comes from the inspiration of the story and the reference back to the ground combat vehicles of the first two World Wars. And the three countries created for this game, Tarakia, Morksoj, and Sal Kar each have their own unique style of HOUND, which will help players decide which country they want to align themselves with when joining a squad online. GamingNexus: Is the game multiplayer only or will there be a single player component? Justin Lambros:
There is a huge single-player mode in Chromehounds that features 44 story-based missions. These missions serve a double purpose.First they introduce players to the fictional world of the game as they meet characters from each of the different lands and begin to understand the current conflict. Additionally, the missions serve as an extensive tutorial for the online mode teaching players each of the six unique role types of the HOUNDs, and allowing them to explore the immense customization featured in the game. It also gives players a leg up on the competition online as you can transfer the parts you've unlocked in the single-player to the online modes.GamingNexus: What makes Chromehounds different than the other Mech games that have come before it? What makes Chromehounds different that the multitude of giant fighting robot games that have come before it? Justin Lambros:
There are three things that really make Chromehounds a unique game in the mech genre. First is the unsurpassed level of customization featured in the game. There are literally millions of different types of HOUNDs to build in the game, and the hardcore will really get into that. Secondly, the robust online modes really push the genre forward, particulary the Neroimus War mode. This is a persistent battlefield that features additional stat-tracking and other community building elements in the game thanks to a server housed at the development studio via Xbox LSP (Live Server Proxy). Lastly, the unique role of the Tactics Commander and the reliance on communication and strategy in the combat will really make squads work together to be successful.GamingNexus: There are six types of vehicles in the game (Scout, Soldier, Sniper, Defender, Heavy Gunner and Tactics Commander), can you describe the different roles each one plays?Justin Lambros:
Many of these roles are what you'd expect in a squad-based game. Scouts are quick and lightly armored with lighter weapons. They are great for securing communication towers and doing reconnaissance on the enemy. Soliders are evenly balanced HOUNDs that feature a mix of high powered weaponry, armor, and mobility. These are the main frontline combatants. Snipers can be a variety of things (fast or slow, heavily or lightly armored, etc.), but they will all feature ultra-high powered rifles to fire at the enemy from a long distance. Defenders are the most heavily armored and slowest moving of the HOUND types, they generally defend a base, communications tower, or Tactics Commander. Heavy Gunners feature the largest howitzers, rocket launchers and other destructive weapons, and, like the Defenders, usually move slower. But once they get into the conflict they are definitely the enforcers. Saving the best for last, the Tactics Commander is the brains of the squad, featuring a high tech radar array which allows them to see the entire battlefield including enemy movements - as long as their squadmates can secure communication towers. Tactic Commanders can be armed to fight, but generally stay out of the frontline as they are the most important part to successful team strategy.
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