Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire Prerelease Q&A

Producer Hirofumi Inagaki speaks about the development of the first PS3 Gundam game just a few weeks prior to release of both system and game.

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No console launch is complete without a game featuring giant robots blowing each other up, and Namco Bandai will fill that niche at next month's PlayStation 3 launch with Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire, a graphically imposing new shooter based on everyone's favorite old-school anime series. To get the straight dirt on what will make this new Gundam game different, we went straight to the source: producer Hirofumi Inagaki.

GameSpot: How did you approach developing a Gundam game on the PlayStation 3?

Hirofumi Inagaki: First of all, the sheer volume of content we can put on a Blu-ray Disc is significant. This allowed us to start developing a game that can truly show the scale of battles between gigantic mobile suits.

Due to the size of the mobile suits, we knew that the battlefields in the game had to be broad and expansive. We paid close attention to optimizing the size of the battlefields and environments within them to create a realistic feel of scale. This direction required us to develop a set of features to accommodate long-range combat as well as melee combat. The sniper mode is a good example; it lets you view objects from a far distance in great detail. We were also able to incorporate a highly detailed destruction-physics simulation feature into the core gameplay.

GS: What elements not seen in previous Gundam games did you think the hardware could make possible?

HI: My answer to the first question covers this topic to a degree. For Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire, we are trying to incorporate positive features that were used in earlier Gundam games while introducing brand-new features. For example, the sniper mode has been inspired by a similar feature that existed in a title released on the Dreamcast. The feature was received very positively by many gamers, and we decided to reinvent it in this game. On the other hand, the location-specific damage feature that works against both the enemy's and your own mobile suit is a new feature. In addition, the realistic physics simulation that exists in the game is also a new feature that was made possible by the hardware.

The only thing scarier than a giant robot is a giant robot with a big sword.
The only thing scarier than a giant robot is a giant robot with a big sword.

GS: How are you taking advantage of the PS3 controller's tilt functionality?

HI: Although we have deferred an introduction of the tilt functionality in this title, we would like to use this in a [way] that is suitable for intuitive controlling such as sniper mode in the future.

GS: Can you explain how the story mode is going to work? Will there be branching paths? How will you gain access to new mobile suits?

HI: Of course, the game is based on the One Year War and there will be more than 30 missions to complete for each side of your choice. However, there won't be an extensive storyline to follow in the game. We are focusing more on a chronological sequence of war rather than the character-driven storyline of the original animation series.

Players will have a choice to either join the Earth Federation Forces or the Principality of Zeon Forces to conduct given operations. Players will start their careers as a mobile suit platoon leader and rise through the ranks. They'll begin as a lower-ranked commander with limited responsibilities, but as they gain rank, their sphere of command will increase and the tools available to complete their missions will also increase.

Upon completing the missions, players will be rewarded with points. With the points, players will be able to claim cutting-edge weaponry, more experienced pilots, and a wide variety of mobile suits (including a brand-new mobile suit that has been exclusively created for this game) as they make their way through the war.

Please note that players will not simply be unlocking new mobile suits. On top of unlocking more mobile suits, players will be able to customize them extensively. They will be able to customize their weapons, their abilities, looks, and so forth.

GS: What elements have you included for hardcore Gundam fans?

HI: Here will be several mobile suits appearing that have never shown up in video games in the past. You will be able to unlock a brand-new mobile suit that will have a first-time appearance in a Gundam game. We will release more information about the mobile suit in detail as we get closer to our release date. More over, I believe the realistic visuals of the mobile suits will excite not only the hardcore fans but also any mecha-loving fans out there.

GS: How are you incorporating the squad mechanics into the experience?

HI: Players are promoted in the ranks by successfully accomplishing missions. They'll get promoted through military achievements (perform well on missions). A higher rank opens up higher-priority missions and allows players to expand their ability to give commands to their platoon and allies in general. A variety of commands will be at their disposal, from very basic commands such as advance or halt, but also sophisticated ones such as flanking your enemy. In addition, the higher the rank, the more powerful mobile suits are available and the more elite pilots will join their platoon.

Of course, all the classic Gundam designs are here, and they're using more polygons than ever.
Of course, all the classic Gundam designs are here, and they're using more polygons than ever.

GS: What resolution are you running in?

HI: It's running in 720p [at] 30 frames per second.

GS: What's been the biggest challenge in working in HD?

HI: Developing everything that exists in the game, in realistic detail, required a tremendous amount of time and effort from our development team. Everything that exists in the game will have great detail, and we had to put an extra amount of effort to make it look as realistic as possible.

GS: Crossfire is receiving positive buzz from the US media. Are you surprised at this reception?

HI: The Gundam franchise has been popular due to the introduction of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing series in North America. However, the overall popularity for the franchise has decreased. In Japan, the popularity of the Gundam brand is comparable to that of Star Wars in North America. Characters from the franchise are easily recognized by almost everyone in Japan. This time, we are very pleased that the Gundam franchise has been receiving recognition through the video game title for the PlayStation 3, not the animated TV series. Please support us since all of the staff are working hard to seek simultaneous release in both Japan and North America!

GS: Thanks for your time.

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Avatar image for ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

This interview was nothing but a bunch of lies. The game Can barely run at 10 frames a second, let alone 30 (despite looking like crap). And there are no squad tactics whatsoever. What a damn liar this developer is. He should cave been banned from making ps3 games after this trainwreck of a game.

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initiald411

sure it looks good but i'm so sick of them making the game with the super old gundams give me something like wing or the one where all the nations battle on a world that is some what like earth

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Elite_Jounin

I had my doubts about this game and i'm a Gudam fan but now I think i will look forward to buying it! And i'm parying that they have newer suits then the ones in the screenshots because i like the newer style gundams better! :D

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sinarius

man thats so kool. i knew this was gonna be a good game but you can command your allies thats just making the game even better. i just hope the story line is gonna be able to entertain todays hard working gamers lol

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iziz05

yet another game with amazing pre-rendered ''gameplay'' vids but actual crap in-game graphics and gameplay.

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The_Warhammer

Well this gundam game should be better than other's beside there a gundam that didn't appear anywhere else and custiomizating of your mobile suit should be sweet. But if this is gonna be a next-gen game there should be blowing up parts, piercings bullets and ,slashing etc...

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haze_blaze

This is one of the few PS3 games that I'm not really looking forward to. The gameplay doesn't really seem 'fast-paced' enough. I'll probably rent it though.

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pickledlinux

Looks clunky, slow and copied. Buy a Dreamcast and buy Virtual On 2 and the joystick arcade acessory to go with it. You'd be much happier.

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AnimeMasters

I want real mechanics, I want my leg to be blown off and affect me, I want to see bullets realistically penetrate armor, I want to see Mobile Suits damage eachother and have an effect on the pilots, I WANT THE GUNDAM ANIME = GAME FOR ONE GADDAMN TIME.

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TintedChimes

Don't be clunky, please don't be clunky.

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SimmySamSam

they said that it is kind of a lumbering movment controll but the jet pack helped a lot. I'll rent it see what happens...

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snakes2solid

I have high hopes for this one!!.. Gundam kicks butt!!...

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gkenny12

Will there every be a Next Gen Gundum Wing game with Wing 0 and Hedo Huey

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xxgundamboyxx

yah! This game look tight! hope it turn out well.

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MegaManX9101

lol... 30fps...? judging from the only gameplay video we have here, the slim 30 that they are providing isnt very steady at all either... XD

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EPaul

I Hope there is space battles

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guardianlegend7

I played this at the Gamespot After Hours event. It was TERRIBLE. The frame rate was extremely low, the graphics sucked, and the gameplay was just clunky and boring. I have a Gundam SEED (Earth vs ZAFT) game for my PS2 which was far better than this game. Still, it was a "work in progress", but considering how close the game is supposed to be to release date.... I don't know how it could possibly be improved much.

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Cloud987

ZOE3 is confirmed in development-and it wil OWN this Gundam game-rental at best..

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ultimate_zero

This game is looking alright, I'm gonna have to play it before i buy it.

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Megaman4025

this is going to be the best game ever

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tekmet

Although the concept is nice, some MS and their weapons just look retarded :|

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animation_imp

going to be clunky Only giant robot game I liked so far was Zone of the Enders And this seems not at all up to par...

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RahKayne

we'll see, I preorder this game, but looking at some other games I might cancel and get something else.

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TintedChimes

Please let it be fast and not clunky and boring like Chromehounds.

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bob_dartagnan

I have high hopes for this game! Finally a Gundam game that I want to play!

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Magical_Guy

There not even using tilt, plus there's no rumble. :(

Avatar image for Gundam_Fan
Gundam_Fan

I can't wait! It's not just weak customizations... but "Extensive"!

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rindusuke

Gundam, I love. This game, I can't wait.

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FoxmanZEO

Gah, you developers! Let me sink my teeth into some more 60 framers! I feel the need, the need to actually see shots and object move across the screen... as opposed to just appearing mid-way betwix attacker and meat.

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fireblazer236

Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation vs. Zeon Best rated Gundam game so far with a 7.4/10 I think this game just might break the 7.0's and make it into the 8.0's Hopefully

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Lord_Satorious

Owlbear_34, you don't understand Japanese fandom if you think Wing will ever get a next-gen game. With all these newer Gundam series, they're fads. They come out, they're popular for a while, they get their share of merchandise, and they go away when the next big thing arrives. The original Gundam is the roots of the whole franchise. It has the largest, oldest and most dedicated fanbase. Regardless of how popular the new Gundam series is, the 'base' is pandered to. Wing isn't even new, it's a decade old, it's been forgotten about already. Only it's signature mobile suit, the Wing Zero, gets any play in games at all. Much like Star Wars, there's Episode I-III merchandise, but there's also Episode IV-VI merchandise, and I bet the Episode IV-VI has a good share of the market, if not most of it since it's been a year and a half since Episode III was released. If you want to see Wing, look for it in compilation games like SD Gundam, Super Robot Wars and Another Century's Episode.

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DarkArgonanth

Next gen graphics...? lol...

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kevo14

Go Gundam!

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TheChronoMaster

@Owlbear Somebody doesn't want to admit that Gundam>Wing. Well okay, neither do I, seeing as I'm mostly a Wing fan, but still...The series itself is the orgin of both the Gundam series and the "Real Robot" genre. If it's the Star Wars of Japan, Wing is probably the Star Wars EU. Get what I'm saying?

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shadowhattori

This looks like it is gonna be a good one. At last a Gundam game to really look forward to.

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Dasc00

Aweseome.....but they better not make it suck like every other gundam game ever made. MAKE A GOOD ONE FOR ONCE GOD DAMMIT.

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nestea_king

Damn ******* straight I'll support you! Looking like a good job so far!

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peon123

what about multiplayer?

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Owlbear_34

How many cheesey 70's gundam games can they make without making a single Gindam Wing game?! Worthless!

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Charlie2688

Its looking pretty sweet :D!

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volumesoxxs

looks fishy to me....

Avatar image for deactivated-5b748e03d6b98

Seems good, but I'm not sure.

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fireblazer236

I just hope it's good.

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yugiwill1

sweet hope it sells good athough it will be annoying buying the PS3 on its first month