Godzilla Unleashed


posted 7/10/2007 by The GN Staff
other articles by The GN Staff
One Page Platforms: Wii
Godzilla, the name brings up all kinds of fond memories for a lot of people, even if those memories are tainted by the monstrosity created by Roland Emmerich and Matthew Broderick in 1998.  What other series features guys blowing up minature cities in giant rubber costumes, weird singing little people, and some of the worst dubbing ever?  Godzilla is also one of the few movie franchises that has actually made the transition to the gaming world without too much pain.  Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters wasn't the best game out there but it was still a lot of fun to play.  Recently we had the chance to talk to the creative director for the upcoming Godzilla Unleashed game about what new things we can expect from the upcoming fighting game.

Can you introduce yourself and talk about your role on the game?  How long have you been in the industry and how did you come to work on the game industry?
My name is Mark Crowe, and I’m the Creative Director. I’m a 24-year veteran of the games industry, having authored or directed over 30 titles. As half of the legendary Two Guys from Andromeda design team, I was responsible for co-creating Sierra’s classic Space Quest. I’ve also co-designed Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee, Godzilla: Save the Earth and Godzilla: Unleashed. My interests and hobbies include: drawing/painting, the great outdoors, sci-fi movies & games, toy collecting, hanging with the family units and, of course, dreaming-up new game ideas.

The game features 23 monsters, 4 of which have been revealed on the official site. Can you provide a few details on how the various monsters for both Earth Defense and the Aliens are revealed in the game, and how many will be playable from the start?
The game will feature TOHO’s “A” list of monsters, some updated from the more recent movies and a few surprises we can’t reveal yet. But you can be assured that all the favorites are back and we’re even including two brand new monsters that had heavy fan involvement in their development. Atari will be releasing more information about monsters and their specifics very soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

What plot details can you share with us?  Is this plot going to be your typical fighting game where you progress through a linear set of foes or are you doing something different?  Does the game take place strictly on Earth or not?
The plot for Godzilla: Unleashed doesn’t play out like your typical fighting game; it mainly depends on the character you choose to play as and their alignment and motivations. One constant that affects the story is the existence of giant alien crystals growing out of the earth. These crystals have brought about cataclysmic changes to the planet, and your monster’s faction determines how you will approach dealing with these crystals. Monsters are grouped into 4 factions: Earth Defenders, Mecha, Aliens, and Malefic Mutations- each with their own perspective and motivations within the over arcing storyline. The story path changes based on which faction you choose to represent. So depending on the choices, your story path will change with different encounters, team-ups and Graphic Novel story sequences.

You got to create two entirely new monsters for the game, how did you come up with the designs for the monster? Where there any parameters that you had to work within or were you given free reign?  Can you talk about some of the designs that got left on the cutting room floor?
First of all, it was a real thrill and an honor to have been granted permission by TOHO to create 2 original monsters for the game. But we knew these new monsters had to look like they fit within the same TOHO universe. We wanted them to be original and wickedly cool, but still look like they were cut from the same cloth as the existing monsters. One of the new monsters (Krystalak) was created specifically to serve as one of the main villains in the game’s story. We iterated through many designs with TOHO before settling on something we were all happy with.  The second original monster would be chosen from 4 design concepts by fans in an online promotion. Obsidius became the hands-down favorite among gamers and hard-core Godzilla fans who took part in the online voting.
We submitted about 20 original monster concepts to the publisher, who then narrowed it down to their final 4 before presenting them to TOHO for approval. With their blessing, we presented the final 4 monster concepts to the public and allowed the fans to choose which one of the new monsters to be included in the game.
Do you have a favorite monster?  What kind of fighting styles can we expect to see in the game?
Everyone on the Godzilla team has their favorite monster. In fact, we each have adopted a monster to be its advocate through the play-testing and debugging phase. For instance, I’m responsible for the care and feeding of Kiryu to insure he grows up big and strong and able to kick Kaiju hiney.
I think the fighting style can only be described as feral monster brawling. The new, animation layering techniques we’re using allow players to experiment and develop their own unique fighting styles by combining different actions such as jumping+puching+kicking to create a seemingly endless variety of attack options. Being able to leap towards or away from an opponent while firing your beam weapons is very cool.  

The Wii is all about the control scheme. As a fighting game, how will the controls work to tie the player into the game?  Will you be making use of the Wii remote speaker? If so, how?
The game will be played using both the Wii remote and the nunchuk attachment.  Players will have 5 primary actions – Charge weapons, Punch, Kick, Rush, and Fierce Attack.  The Wii remote will handle attacks, and the nunchuk will control movement, jumping, and so forth.  Because of this new controller scheme, monsters can now execute any or all of their primary actions independently – which means that you can charge while jumping in the air – fire your weapon during attacks, and move freely at all times.  This totally blows the “canned” animation system of past fighting games out of the water. For example, Godzilla can be walking in one direction, attacking with his claws in another, firing his weapon in a third direction, and swinging his tail at a rear target all at the same time.  We’re focused on putting the maximum amount of control into the player’s hands at all times.  Even beyond the controls, we’re structuring the story and the fighting mechanics to keep players engaged from start to finish.
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