A game that not only promotes the idea of co-operative play, but practically lives and dies by this mantra? Army of Two
could well be the first game to implement this in a game that is looking more impressive as time goes on.
As you've no doubt gathered already, when EA invited SPOnG to speak to the lead designer, Chris Ferriera, about his brainchild, we went along. One thing?s for certain, Chris is passionate about the game. Read on to find out just how passionate.
Thank you for joining us here. First of all, could you introduce yourself for our readers and tell us what inspired you to get involved in the games industry?
My name is Chris Ferriera, I?m the lead designer on Army of Two
by EA Montreal. I?ve been doing games for almost 10 years now, and at first I didn?t think I could get into this industry when I did ? I thought it was a Japanese-only thing. My whole life I?ve played games, whether it was Warhammer or pencil and paper RPGs, but the thing is? I never played them so much as I ?ran? them. I always wanted to run the game, tell the story and tell people where to go? and you know I was game designing [as a kid], and changing rules that didn?t work and all that stuff, not realising that what I was doing could be a part of my future. I enjoyed doing it ? my first title was Batman Vengeance
and working on systems stuff. I love designing systems and rules and finding loopholes and all that.
How long have you been working for EA now then?
I?ve been working at EA for the past five years; I did all the Lord of the Rings
movie-based games, then The Godfather
, and now I?m doing Army of Two
You've mentioned that the story behind Army of Two
is all about PMC?s (private military contractors) and the many political messages from within and the dangers of what happens to mercenaries. Would you say that?s a message that?s appropriate in today?s society and do you guys want to address this in story scenes or during mission objectives?
Well, the thing is, it?s a ?real world? game with current ?real world? locations today. Our characters are more hyper-realistic with all the armour and masks but a typical PMC is like, the guy with the beard, sunglasses, baseball cap, a jersey and a bulletproof camouflage vest over it. You can find pictures of them on the internet - it?s actually pretty crazy. As far as the political stuff goes, it?s something I can read in the paper or watch it on the news? it?s no different than that. It?s actually what?s really happening and we?re just putting it to the forefront so you can experience it.
Our levels, story? everything we do comes back to that nature of 'this is what a Privatised Military is, and this is why it?s wrong and what can happen'. To show you some examples of this as you go through the story, later on our guys actually become patsies for the desires of the head of a corporation. The two characters work for the Security and Strategy Corporation, which is an emulation of real world contractors who do different things for various clients. And these guys can be pretty rough, you know one minute they can say, ?Hey, we need you to protect this guy?s wife, she?s a real high-up political person?, and then a week later: ?We need you to kill her? ? basically because another client has paid more money to take her out instead.
We play with that in the story line, and we try and hit on the moral issues that the two main characters have to deal with as they go through their day just to earn a dollar, and how that can screw them over in the end.
So it?s more of a battle between morality and the highest bidder then?
It is in the story sense. I mean the player pretty much goes through the motions and will find out things as they occur and towards the end of the story things change dramatically. But yeah, you?re actually making moral decisions as you go through and are forced upon these characters, and with each of the personalities of the characters and the customisations of the masks and whatnot, you feel somewhat more attached to them too.