Aliens vs Predator: Extinction Interview
|We recently had a sit down with Dave Stalker, Fox Interactive Producer, about their upcoming release, Aliens vs Predator: Extinction.
|05.02.05 - 7:53 pm
XG: What is the story behind Aliens vs Predator: Extinction?
DS: Well it's kind of like "Out of Africa" meets "Pretty Woman" except with giant slobbering Aliens and heavily tooled-up Marines and ass-kicking Predators taking each other on in a deadly dance that we like to call: Extinction!
Yutani-being the ubiquitous thoughtless and voraciously greedy corporation that they are-have found a planet rich in minerals that they are looking to terraform and then stripmine before moving onto the next one, leaving it just another dirtball floating in space. Almost as an afterthought, they label the place LV-742.
However, before the process gets significantly under way an unexpected discovery is made. There are Aliens here not just the namby-pamby space cows that wander the planet leaving turds bigger than a man's head either. REAL Aliens, the ones with teeth!
After the discovery of the dormant Alien Hive, all hell breaks loose and the Marines have to wade in and try and control the Aliens. As if there wasn't enough going on, it turns out that this planet is also heavily favored by our old extraterrestrial dreadlocked hunter pals, the Predators. For centuries the Aliens on this planet have kept the Predators up to their necks in thrill-a-minute huntin fun and now you wanna add humans to the mix? It's starting to look like a party!
XG: Since this game will be brought to multiple consoles, what features will be improved or unique about the Xbox version?
DS: The game is on PS2 and Xbox, while the game is the same on both platforms, the Xbox allows for a bit more graphical goodness with 4x anti-aliasing, 24-bit textures and faster overall performance.
XG: What is the exact or estimated release date for AvP:E?
DS: We're getting into the final stages now and it should be on the shelves in late summer/early fall.
XG: How is this new AvP game expected to fare considering it is the only one of the series to be in the Real Time Strategy category?
DS: Only RTS in the AvP series? It's just about the only RTS-style game on next-gen consoles at all! We like to see this as an advantage! These kind of games are great fun and have managed to garner a huge audience on the PC. The Aliens and Predator universe can easily inhabit more than one genre, there's no reason it should be pigeon-holed as one particular thing.
XG: To what extent will this game be integrated into Xbox Live?
DS: This puppy is all about single player, the challenge of bringing even a single player RTS to console is big enough without having to go down the road of broadband. Plus we've gotta have somewhere to go with the next game.
XG: How will the multiplayer be dealt with on consoles? Split screen? System Link? Maximum number of players?
DS: This puppy is all about single player, the challenge of bring-? Wait, didn't I just say this?
XG: Since RTS genres of games are usually for PC how will AvP:E's gameplay be adapted for consoles.
DS: The gameplay is more streamlined than PC RTS games. Not only did we have to make the game work within what we felt were the constraints of the license but we had to take into account that there may be a number of players who had never played this type of game before, given that we were coming out on consoles. The guys at Zono designed a lot of the gameplay right from the start based on what the controller could do rather than hanging onto some idea about how to make the game work with a mouse and keyboard. Fortunately the PS2 and Xbox controllers have mostly analogous configurations and capabilities so once everything worked on one, it easily mapped to the other as well.
The game is really more about tactical action than some of the new generation RTSs that are out there on PC. We decided to keep everything balanced so there are no buildings or factories or anything like that which would just immediately ring false when applied to the Aliens or the Predators. It's all about the units that you make and how you use them to overpower your foes.
XG: What different races can you play as, and what makes each one unique.
DS: Anyone who's seen Aliens or Predator knows what's cool about these guys and why we should be doing tons of games featuring them! These are some of the coolest, nastiest, scariest beasties in entertainment history! And to anyone who doesn't know, go watch Alien, Aliens and Predator and then come back to me and we'll talk!
XG: What are some examples of upgrades and weapons and how are they assigned to each of your characters.
DS: All of the units on all three sides are pretty much treated as specialists, each with their own special weapon or ability. In the case of the Marines this means you get things like the Medic, Infantry, Synthetic, Smartgunner, ExoSuit, etc... In the case of the Predators you get a kind of gladiator effect with each Predator specializing in one of the many weapons that the player in the FPS games might get. So we have a guy who's only got Wristblades, another who's all about the CombiStick, another who's got the SmartDisc, etc... The Aliens are a little bit funkier as there method of reproduction involves hosts but we still managed to effectively create different units with different specialized abilities and features without having to completely distort the license and start having MonkeyAliens and HummingBirdAliens and rubbish like that! You'll see goodies like the Warrior, Runner, PredAlien, etc... There's ten different units for each species, each very distinctive and specialized and I've only just scratched the surface in those I've mentioned above.