Almost a year after Wanted, starring Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy, was released at cinemas, developer GRIN's third-person shooter game, Wanted: Weapons of Fate, is ready for release. GameSpot AU recently caught up with Universal Interactive producer Nick Torchia to chat about developing a bullet-curving mechanic that works, introducing a new femme fatale to the plot, and using characters from the film in the game.
GameSpot AU: Can you talk us through the evolution of the bullet-curving mechanic?
Nick Torchia: The bullet mechanic was something we knew we were going to have to spend a considerable amount of time on since not only was it core to the essence of the film and the franchise, but there has never been anything like it before in video games. It is not like we were just iterating on a jump mechanic--this was something totally fresh and new.
So, the developer, GRIN, worked hard in early prototypes to capture the feeling of the curved bullets from the movie, without making it too complex for ordinary players. They went through several stages of prototyping and testing to make sure the mechanic is fun yet simple to use. From the earliest method of supersimplicity, they added layers of complexity to create what we have today--an intuitive mechanic that is easy to pick up but one that definitely takes practice to become really good at.
GS AU: You've mentioned that players will be playing as more than just Cross and Gibson in the game. What other characters will be playable, and where do they fit into the story?
NT: We have a large supporting cast of playable characters to choose from. I think we have somewhere in the vicinity of 10 that you unlock while you play the game. We also have one very special female character that will be sure to blow you away.
GS AU: What role will Arana play in the story of Wanted?
NT: Arana plays the part of the female assassin that is after Wesley, and they have a little thing going on between them. The character is very similar to the Fox character in the movie; we took a lot of inspiration from the tension between those characters in the film and continued it with Arana. Since Wanted: Weapons of Fate takes place after the film, we've been calling it Wanted 1.5 internally. It made sense to create a new interest for Wesley in 1.5.
GS AU: Wanted was originally a comic, before being adapted to the big screen. What influences have you taken from the comic and included in the game?
NT: The biggest influence from the comic we borrowed was the suit that Wesley wears. He didn't have the suit in the movie, so we wanted to make the comic-book fans happy and included it in the game. We felt it was important to have, and he looks really badass!
GS AU: Why did you decide to leave multiplayer out of the equation in Wanted?
NT: Quite simple--the game doesn't need it. I'm really not sure what the fascination is with adding multiplayer to every single game, and if a game doesn't have it, suddenly it sucks. Look at all of the multiplayer games out there and there are only a handful of them that people actually play: Call of Duty, Gears of War, Halo, or Left 4 Dead. That is basically it, and look at other past successful and highly rated games that didn't have it--BioShock, Metroid Prime, and Assassin's Creed.
GS AU: Seeing as there's no multiplayer in Wanted, what incentives have you included to keep people playing the game?
NT: We have some cool modes of play to unlock and hidden unlockable items. We have about 80 of them, so have fun trying to find them all.
GS AU: We understand that Gibson shares a likeness with James McAvoy from the film. Will he be providing voice talent for the game? Also, what other celebrity talent have you got in the game?
NT: We have his likeness, but we used the actor Jimmy Simpson to voice him and he does a wonderful job at that. He has his tone and dry attitude down perfectly. We also have Terrence Stamp returning from the film as well as Paz Vega voicing Arana.
GS AU: Now that the demo has been out for a few weeks, what sort of feedback are you getting and will you be taking any of it onboard?
NT: Players seem to really like the cover aspect of the game, and curving bullets is fun for them. It is tough to gauge, though--since this is a movie-based game, we will have haters right off the bat, but we know that we made an amazing game that stands on its own as a really fun game, with or without the film backing it up.
GS AU: Nick Torchia, thanks for your time.