Q&A: World's Scariest Police Chases

The producers of WSPC talk about the current development on the PlayStation game, and we bring you the first screenshots of the reworked PS version.

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As GameSpot reported on Friday, Fox Interactive's World's Scariest Police Chases is now being developed exclusively for the PlayStation console. The game's developer, Scandanavian-based Unique Development Studios, has made significant changes to the title, and it will now be released primarily as a mission-based racing games, as opposed to the story-based racer that was originally planned. The game has also changed visually, as represented in the first screenshots of the revamped PS version, shown herein. However, the game still takes place in the fictional city of Ashland, with what the producers call "hostile traffic" impeding the player's progress. Additionally, WSPC for the PlayStation will borrow sparingly from the television show in its presentation, with the show's host, John Bunnell, providing the narrative. GameSpot recently spoke with the producers of Fox Interactive's World's Scariest Police Chases John Melchior and Tim Ramage - our entire Q&A follows.

GameSpot: What type of game is Worlds Scariest Police Chases for the PlayStation? How has the game changed from the original version that was planned earlier this year?

Fox Interactive: We had the opportunity to put out a challenge to the developer Unique Development Studios of Sweden, who is doing the PlayStation version. We put a challenge to them to redesign the game for a specific type of market. The original PlayStation game, which we presented at E3, was a story-based game. We threw the idea out to UDS, and, actually, UDS had been excited to do a design based on more of a mission-based series of races and chase missions. We both put our heads together and came out with a new design, which suits the PlayStation audience. What we have now is essentially a game that is pretty true to the flavor of the show - it features John Bunnell doing commentary to lead into each mission, and he does the summary at the end of each mission, whether you fail or succeed. We also focused primarily on the chase elements, with variations in the missions. So, it's not just a matter of driving along and chasing perpetrators every mission. We tried to add some different challenges so that you're not only chasing a stolen car or a drunk driver, but also escorting an ambulance through heavy and uncooperative traffic. We also have a bomber mission in there, à la a certain movie you may know about, where the player has to go from point to point to point to disable bombs within a certain amount of time. We also tried to expand it so that we have a good 20 or so missions that are fun, that are playable, and that people are going to want to come back and play again.

GS: Will all the missions be city based? And will they include things such as pedestrians and traffic, as you have mentioned?

FI: I don't know if you remember, but at E3, the original premise took place in a fictional city titled Ashland. We had this huge city on the PC that looked pretty good, and we wanted to continue using the elements of that city, which were already in place. The challenge on the PlayStation was to incorporate most of that city and still get the frame rates to run well. So, we shaved down the city so that it would fit within the confines of the game. Essentially, the game will still take place within the city of Ashland. Ashland will have different districts such as Chinatown, a downtown, an airport, an industrial section, the docks, and a harbor district by the beach. We have added some variety to the city so that it doesn't always look the same and allows the user to have a different experience when playing each mission.

GS: Other than the narration from Bunnell, which you mentioned, is there anything else in the game's presentation that borrows from the TV show?

FI: Yeah, we will have a helicopter cam, which will come into play through the replay mode. We are still toying with some additional "Easter eggs," so to speak, that we may feature using the helicopter cam, but the cam will definitely appear in the replay mode. We have also taken sound effects from the show. So, the presentation will be there in spirit. John Bunnell will obviously be the focal point, but we are also trying to bring the flavor of the show to the game.

GS: What about a combat aspect? Is that still in the game?

FI: Combat is still in the game. It has a cooperative mode as well, and it allows you and a friend to play together - one person driving, one person shooting. Essentially, for each mission, the type of challenge you have will determine what weapons you get and whether you would be penalized for using them. In other words, in place will be a ranking system, where the goal of the user is to achieve a certain rank - like, for example, a captain rank. Part of that will depend on how many shots you fire and how accurately and efficiently those shots are fired. The variety of weapons will differ, from a handgun to a rocket launcher. There are a couple of missions that require a rocket launcher, notably a tank mission, where you have to essentially stop a tank.

GS: Will you be able to select vehicles for missions, or are they assigned to you? What types of vehicles are in the game?

FI: There are two different modes of play, the patrol mode and the mission mode. The patrol mode allows access to a number of selectable cars, and in the mission mode, what you drive is basically dictated to you. But your vehicles will range from a police cruiser and a four-wheel-drive police car to a few different undercover cars and a pizza truck.

GS: Is the deathmatch mode still in the game?

FI: No, the game is strictly single-player. In the interest of time and quality, it was felt that a multiplayer mode wasn't the best route to get the best game. Specially since it's now for the PlayStation only, we felt that we could focus more on the single-player and cooperative stuff, rather than the deathmatch kind of thing. Those were things that we were focusing on for the PC and possibly Dreamcast.

GS: When will the game be released?

FI: We are looking at a spring release - I would say April.

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