The World is Not Enough Q&A
We sat down with PlayStation TWINE Producer Joel Wade to get the inside scoop on EA's latest Bond game.
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EA's second Bond-based video game is The World Is Not Enough - a game that ditches the over-the-shoulder 3rd person perspective of the last Bond game and returns to the first-person shooter roots of the Bond series. We recently got a chance to sit down with the game's Producer, Joel Wade, to get a better picture of what to expect from the PlayStation TWINE. Here's what we asked him:
GameSpot: What do you think best differentiates the experience of the PlayStation version of the game from the other versions?
Joel Wade: Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, so we try to customize each version to push the most out of the platform it's on. One of the great PlayStation strengths is our ability to pack as many high-res textures into the game as we can fit on a CD. For example, because we don't have to worry about storing everything on a cartridge, we can use enormous textures and load more from the CD as we need to. As a result, our game characters, like Bond and Christmas Jones, and our environments are dead-on because we can afford to lavish them with huge textures.
GameSpot: The last first-person shooter for the PlayStation - Medal of Honor - had some trouble with pop-up and the sniping didn't let you see any further into the distance. How will TWINE PS be different?
Wade: Black Ops [the developer] have really outdone themselves with their new rendering engine - they've managed to achieve pretty incredible draw distances without having the frame rate suffer at all. We're definitely pushing the limits of the hardware, and it's already looking gorgeous. Pop-up, whether using the sniper mode or not, will be extremely limited.
GameSpot: What's your favorite aspect of the game so far?
Wade: That's definitely a tough question - we're at that point in development where things are really starting to gel and come together nicely, so you usually get a new cool feature every week. If I had to pick a personal favorite, it's seeing the new character animations for explosions becoming implemented. We motion captured every single animation - more than 300 - and were fortunate enough to get Keanu Reeve's stunt double from The Matrix for our session. The moves he pulled off were simply incredible, and our animation system is able to replay them very faithfully.
GameSpot: What's been the biggest hurdle in development?
Wade: Our technology is already really solid, and though I risk cursing the project by saying this, we haven't had any nightmare hurdles - yet. Our biggest challenge is going to be tuning each level perfectly. It takes an amazing amount of time and energy to balance the game play just right, but we're making great progress.
GameSpot: What's your favorite Bond film and Bond? Also, of all the different Bonds, who do you think would win in a bar fight?
Wade: I've always had a soft spot for For Your Eyes Only with Roger Moore. It was the first Bond film I ever saw and it really hooked me. To this day I still lust for the white Lotus Esprit with its Q-lab car alarm. The bar fight question is almost academic, isn't it? I can't imagine any other outcome than Sean Connery wiping the floor with all his successors.
GameSpot: How, exactly, did you decide on what weapons and gadgets would be featured in the game?
Wade: Needless to say, we had a lot of fun. We wanted to incorporate the best gadgets from the movie The World is Not Enough like the X ray glasses and wristwatch grappling hook - besides being really cool, they're also key to the plot of the movie. We were also able to have a blast inventing new gadgets like the Q-lab rocket launcher conveniently disguised as a harmless video camera. Taking down saw-blade helicopters with a guided missile has never been more fun!
GameSpot: What elements from other console-based first-person shooters did you want to incorporate into your game?
Wade: There are a lot of first-person shooters out there, but only a few that are great. For me, the difference is in the quality of the enemy AI. There's been a slow evolution from dumb adversaries that simply move directly towards you while firing to much more complicated behaviors. We're working very hard to make sure we're on the forefront with features like enemy-to-enemy communication, running for cover, and drawing secondary weapons. Little details make the characters come alive and make the game feel that much more realistic and intense.
GameSpot: How are you planning on giving players a complete Bond experience - not only the untouchable action Bond but also the suave, sophisticated, debonair Bond?
Wade: We're planning on delivering everything that makes Bond such an incredible character- the exotic locations, the gadgets, and of course the women. Using Bond for a pure shoot-em-up would definitely be a waste, so we've made sure to incorporate stealth and espionage objectives that reward you for using your wits, not just your weapons. As an added bonus, we're using all the best sequences from The World Is Not Enough to tie our missions together. All the great stunts from the movie are also in the game!
At this point, TWINE looks as if it may overcome the disappointment of EA's last Bond game and bring back the excellent first-person gameplay the Bond license is so renown for. Make sure to check out our full preview for all the details.
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