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The Amazing Spider-man Developer Interview
Post by Naren @ 02:14pm 08/06/12 | Comments
Ahead of the E3 Expo, AusGamers caught an early demonstration of Activision's The Amazing Spider-mam -- the upcoming videogame that will accompany the upcoming feature-film reboot of the same name -- and chat with Dominique (Dee) Brown, the Studio Head of Quebecios developer Beenox.

AusGamers: How closely does the game link or connect to the movie?

Dee Brown: Of course, well The Amazing Spider-man is actually, obviously based on the movie, but we’ve set the story after the events of the movie. That is something that was really important for us. Right from the start we met with Sony and Marvel and we really wanted to have a lot of creative freedom with the title because some things are very good in the movie but could be done in a different way in a video game.

By setting the story after the events of the movie it allowed us to offer to video gamers a perspective of what could happen after the movie, but also it opened the possibilities of introducing a lot of new Marvel villains and a lot of new characters and story twists that were not in the original movie. So I think that’s going to be a very interesting mix for players.

AusGamers: If we consider other licensed games, there are a few strong ones, the Batman Arkham series is a good example and we’re now seeing Transformers coming out with pretty strong licensed games, what have you guys done to rival that or meet those standards that are being set by those guys?

Dee: I think that you have to innovate, that’s one thing that is absolutely important. I mean, the first time, when we did Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions, we kind of wanted to enter with a bang, so we brought a version of Spider-Man to the video game world like Spider-Man 2099, like Spider-Man Noire, that had never been seen before, so that was a pretty bold move that paid off really well.

That is something we wanted to do again with The Amazing Spider-man, so we are going to offer to the gamers out there something that will really feel fresh at all levels. I mean, even the way that the camera... we treat the camera the way that we have -- the camera system is brand new for the game -- the way web swinging is implemented, and finally the web rush.

I think the way that this new feature called the web rush gives you an impressive level of control over Spider-man is something that is going to be seen as a true innovation for Spider-man, and that’s something that only Spider-man can do.

AusGamers: Speaking of the other games, did any of that cross over into this or is it completely separate, a new game?

Dee: Well there’s some things from Spider-Man Noire that definitely made their wayin . When we did Spider-Man Noire in Shattered Dimensions, we didn’t know how people would react to that because we were not only bringing in this kind of a new darker character, but we were also giving him a stealth take-down -- the ability to do stealth take-downs -- and we didn’t know if people would react well to that. Were they really happy about it? And then it turned out that people really liked it.

Then we thought about how could we integrate some stealth elements into this game. So you’re going to see that in The Amazing Spider-man. You’re going to have... in both indoor levels and outdoor, you always have the option to either play in a very aggressive more typical way, or you can use a more stealthy approach to any situation. So you may want to decide to jump right in or you might want to zip yourself on a corner, wait for the right time, and then do a web cocoon on the guy and throw him on the ceiling, something like that. This certainly translates well to The Amazing Spider-man

AusGamers: What sort of actual combat mechanics will we see? I had a look at the gameplay and it actually looked quite interesting.

Dee: It’s very cool and it’s very unique. We’ve implemented this system that’s kind of a choreography. If you want to, you can move seamlessly from one enemy to the other. You can also use your web shooters: we have mechanical web shooters that you can actually upgrade and do all sorts of cool things. And when you build your combo streaks as you progress in the combat, and strike enemies without getting hit, you’re able to perform at some points what we call signature moves.

So if you have the right timing, you’re going to have a small window to press a button and just immediately take the guy out with your webs -- that’s going to be contextually based on your environment. So sometime you’re going to web him on the floor, another time you’re going to throw him on the ceiling and web him there and another time on the wall -- it’s all going to be based on, and change depending on your environment.

So that’s just one of the many things, you’re also able to do. I was talking about the stealth earlier, you’re also able -- at any time -- to use the web-retreat button to immediately web away on a corner -- web-zip yourself on a corner. So people will start looking for you and wondering where you are and then they might point out their torch light towards you. But you can actually -- just by pressing the web-retreat button -- you can cycle through different safe spots in the room and then you can web-rush back in or you can use environmental props to throw at the heads of your enemies and continue the combat there.

So there’s a lot of options and a very different and unique combat dynamic that you’ve not seen in previous games.

AusGamers: What about the world? It looked pretty open when I saw the some of the gameplay, is that what we can expect?

Dee: Yeah, absolutely, Manhattan is where you get this free roaming experience. We’re opening it to you, but Manhattan actually progresses with the story. Obviously more side-missions unlock as you move on in the story, but we’re giving you some unique stuff like an apartment that you can visit if you want to.

We’re giving you a camera so you can take photos of stuff and there are missions that involve your camera, such as uncovering a conspiracy with a reporter. But you can also take photos of whatever you want and store them in your digital album -- we’re giving you a digital album which is cool.

We’re also... for the first time ever Marvel has allowed us to put full comic book issues in the game. So you’re gong to see comic book pages flying in the city or lying on the floor, you’re going to see that is actually ridiculously addictive and you’ll want to collect them all.

And as you collect a certain number you unlock full issues. So for example Amazing Fantasy number 15, the first appearance of Spidey is in there. And we’ve implemented a comic book reader, but not in a cheap way; it’s actually a very cool comic book reader that fits your TV, and you can move from one pane to the next really well. That’s just a small sample.

AusGamers: Last question: you mentioned there’s an Aussie working with you, what was his role in the game?

Dee: That Heath, Heath Smith. He’s actually our... the guy responsible for all the combat design. The game designer in charge of combat, and he has done a terrific job. He and his team; all the programmers and everybody that worked on the combat system that you will experience in the game.