Avalanche Studios' Just Cause is coming to a PC and console near you this September, and SPOnG was fortunate enough to blag some quality question time with the developer's founder and creative director Christofer Sundberg.
So, do you wanna know the full skinny on hot polygonal babes? Novelty outdoor whoring? It's all for a just cause, and Sundberg's a busy man, so are we - let's get on with it…
SPOnG: Is there some sort of cheeky double meaning to the game's title? The story holds some very political subject matter.
Christofer Sundberg (CS): Governments for ages have called all invasions, military operations and occupations a 'just cause' and that's where the name comes from. As San Esperito is a huge threat to the security of the free world with WMDs and drugs, someone needs to put their foot down.
What are the characteristics of each faction in Just Cause, and what benefits do they have that you can use to your advantage?
CS: Government: They control the military and the cops. They don't work to your advantage, only to stop you in any way they can.
The Guerillas: As you liberate their leader José Caramicas you become a part of their struggle for a free San Esperito. By working with the guerillas you are not only helping them, you are also helping yourself and your cause by gaining access to more safe-houses, vehicles and weapons.
Rioja Cartel: The Riojas are not connected with the government and therefore not as powerful as the Montano Cartel. By infiltrating the Riojas and becoming an ally with Edmundo Retinaldo you can start playing the two drug cartels out against each other. You need to watch your step though as you are drawn closer to Immaculada Palmira, Edmundo's lover and the cartel's brain and muscle.
Montano Cartel: The Montanos are in bed with the government and therefore a huge threat. They do have access to great vehicles though, which can be hijacked with some careful moves.
[b]The ability to spark internal gang warfare sounds great for carnage.
How will players be able to pull off tactics like this? What kind of actions will trigger such situations?[/b]
CS: The world is divided into provinces and by helping the guerilla taking control over these provinces you help them spread the revolution across the world. As the world is more in the hands of the guerilla, you will notice chaos breaking out.
What kind of side-quests or added features will be available should the player wish to break free from the action and explore a little more?
CS: There are plenty of things going on apart from the story-missions. There are hundreds of side missions that will give you various awards. You can also liberate settlements (provinces) and become a big cheese within the guerilla and even the Rioja Cartel. That'll give you access to all kinds of massive firepower and nice vehicles. The world is also filled with something we call interest points, meaning that there is something to find and something that you might find useful. Exploration will add to the Just Cause experience and [is] something we really encourage.
How interactive is the scenery and characters? Will there be many NPCs to approach in the game outside of the different faction groups?
CS: The scenery is your playground and we've made sure to make it challenging enough to find excellent places to perform insane stunts. The people of San Esperito pretty much mind their own lives and Rico has no real reason to start chatting with them. They do provide a nice motor pool though, and will complain to the cops if you start causing problems for them.
How does the Avalanche Engine you've developed help eliminate loading times, and what kind of processes does it do differently to other game engines?
CS: It prevents loading times by using a proprietary technology that combines procedural algorithms with data streaming. This is not done in any other game engine.