Interviews// Crackdown Producer Phil Wilson

We’re just honoured, flattered, and all together pleased...

Posted 27 Feb 2007 12:10 by
SPOnG: One of the joys of the game is to replay some truly fun moments to share with friends. Is there, or have you thought about adding an option on Xbox Live where players can send each other saved replays or post them on some sort of community option in the game?

PW: There isn?t a way to do this currently, but it?s something that we are always thinking about. It certainly would be a lot of fun and likely that?s why you see people going around the system and posting videos on YouTube.

SPOnG: Some of the design aspects of Crackdown seem inspired, such as superhuman powers. We imagine comic book superheroes were part of the inspiration for the game?

PW: Essentially, there were also a number of movies that influenced our design; Batman for the inimitable Deco/Gothic style of Gotham city, Equilibrium for its austere and foreboding buildings, The Fifth Element for its bold palette? and a Manga movie called Blood ? the Last Vampire for its sumptuous lighting.

As far as our lead Agent goes, not every superhero is tall, dark, handsome and white. In our efforts to make the agents as diverse and complex as possible, we drew our initial inspiration from the popular comic book character, Blade. Before we had made any decisions on the character?s race, Blade was featured heavily in our reference material. He?s a super-hero with a very dark side and the sequences of him jumping from building to building in the first Blade film were key to what we were trying to accomplish with our own characters. We suppose that the streaks on the side of our character?s head at level five are in homage to Blade?s famous hair styling.

SPOnG: Aside from the main storyline ? to take out the various kingpins and their cronies ? will there be any side quests for players to enjoy, or will you let their imagination find something to do?

PW: If you complete the main storyline you won?t even get half the achievements, so the getting all of the achievements themselves is indeed an exercise in ?side quests?. Scattered throughout the world you will also find stunt challenge, racing challenges and rooftop agility challenges. When I hear people say they?ve finished the game, they usually mean they beat all the gang bosses. But, that only gets you a 35-40% of the achievements. If you got a 35 or 40% on your next exam would you be proud of that achievement?

SPOnG: Do you feel that adding a Beta to Halo 3 on the disc undermines the game on some level, knowing that some will buy only to access that feature? Or are you happy that the inclusion will encourage gamers to try new concepts seen in Crackdown?

PW: We of course felt really good about the game we were developing, but we knew there would be some naysayers out there. Aren?t all gamers a bit cynical after all? Anyhow, we also knew that our publisher wouldn?t risk damaging one of their most important properties by tying it to something of suspect quality.

I believe this whole relationship was announced shortly before we released our Xbox Live Marketplace demo, once the demo came out it seems as if the majority of gamers are saying ?Wow, I get this kickass game and I get the Halo 3 beta as a bonus. What a deal!?

We?re just honoured, flattered, and all together pleased the way it?s come together. Certainly we believe and hope that most will buy Crackdown on its own merits, but if someone doesn?t we hope they give Crackdown a spin and come away enjoying it.

SPOnG: It?s been mentioned that Crackdown is intended to be a series, with this release merely the tip of the iceberg with the items and potential for the game. What kinds of things could be planned for downloadable content or even sequels?

PW: For this, Agent, you will have to stay tuned.

SPOnG: Thanks for your time, Phil.


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