One of the most important parts of any game is the weapons, can you talk about the kind of heat Matt Hazard will be bringing?
Matt only needs his trusty Hazard Pistol to get any job done, but of course there are others. We patterned the weapons after the characters that Matt comes across. Since there was such a diverse batch of enemies, the weapons ended up being pretty diverse as well. Matt can pull some of the more standard fare off of the dead Russian soldiers and Yakuza gangsters that litter the first few levels, like AK-47s and a couple of different pistols. But Matt won’t get access to some of the cooler weapons until later in the game. That’s when you start to pick up the deadly squirt guns carried by the Soak’em Commandos and the plasma weapons that are favored by Space Marines. There’s also a special arcade cabinet sniper rifle turret that Matt can make use of in level 3… awesome.
There's been a lot of talk lately about video games making gamers feel emotions while they play the game, is that really a goal in games or is that just for candy ass game developers?
OK, don’t laugh, but that one part in Gears of War 2 where Dom finds his wife and she’s all starved and decrepit and he has to kill her… I got a little tear. I told a guy at work (Josh, the producer of Dark Sector), and he deleted me from his instant messenger account. What a jerk. I didn’t tell him that my favorite movies are Steel Magnolias and Love Actually. In all seriousness, I think there is definitely room for making the player feel emotion, but that is only for specific types of games. For example, Earth Defense Force 2017, another game we did, was not meant to be a tear jerker. It just would not have been appropriate in such a fast-paced action game. On the other hand, games like the Final Fantasy series are the perfect platform for emotion. Eat Lead doesn’t really go for your heart strings, but we do go straight for your funny bone.
Does Matt Hazard ride alone in this game or will he have backup (i.e. co-op mode)? Any type of multiplayer?
A lot of Matt’s old compadres from his past titles and other Marathon games make an appearance, but the player will have to roll solo. Eat Lead is an exclusively single-player experience.
Are you using your own graphics engine or are you licensing someone else's technology?
This is actually the first title being made with VE2, the second iteration of the Vicious Engine. This is a proprietary engine created and owned by our internal studio, Vicious Cycle. Seeing this game come to life on this engine has been pretty amazing.
We keep hearing rumors of a Duke Nukem Comeback, do you think Matt Hazard will make his return before Duke or not?
Matt is making his comeback in Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard on March 3rd, 2009. So if Duke is going to keep up, he better get in gear.
Anything else we should know about the game that we missed?
Just keep in mind that Matt is making another comeback this summer in a newly announced Matt Hazard downloadable game for the Xbox 360 and PS3.
We'd like to thank Brian for taking the time to answer our questions and to Matt for helping to setup the interview.
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