Interviews// Haze's Screen Writer, Rob Yescombe

Posted 23 Apr 2008 09:26 by
Games: Haze
SPOnG: Veering away for a second, what do you think to Manhunt 2 being allowed to go on sale and all the controversy surrounding violent games?

Rob Yescombe: Fine. Why not? It's this bizarre idea... For instance ? Cliff Richard. This is something that cracks me up. Cliff Richard was once deemed to be spawn of the devil. His music was gonna make people into monsters. Rock 'n' roll was gonna destroy the world, and now it's the same with games. 'Oh my God, games are gonna destroy the world!' Of course they're not! It's the same as anything else. It's not gonna make us into monsters. People were bashing each other's heads open as cavemen. At least now we're streaming it into something online instead.

I have no objection to Manhunt, and from what I've heard the censored version's in fact pretty tame anyway.

It's kind of an odd thing. It's one of the underlying themes of Haze, which is that I find it weirder and weirder as I get older that I pay the bills helping to make stuff in which you shoot people in the face. Whilst like any normal person I detest real violence, I love virtual violence. That dichotomy is a very strange place to find yourself as an adult.

So, yeah, playing a game like Manhunt, there's a part of me that thinks, 'God, this is a little weird'. I worry about what this could do to somebody else, but the fact is it doesn't do anything. It doesn't do anything to me, it doesn't do anything to anybody else.

SPOnG: There's been some criticism buzzing around that Haze doesn't look all that great. Obviously there's loads going on in terms of gameplay mechanics. Was there a decision at any point to focus one way rather than the other?

Rob Yescombe: How do you think it looks? What do you think it looks worse than?

SPOnG: It looks good. Not as good as, say, Uncharted or MotorStorm.

Rob Yescombe: That's the thing, though, it's kind of odd. Someone the other day who I met ? someone not in the industry, a regular gamer ? said 'Grand Theft Auto doesn't look that good'... are you mad?

Because it's not, 'how does it compare to Crysis', it's, 'how does it compare to itself'. There are concessions you have to make in order to make something. Of course we don't look as good as MotorStorm, because we're not a straight line where it has loading times in between. I mean, we're talking about a 12 hour streaming experience. That is fucking massive, it's enormous. And, personally, I think we look absolutely great. But we don't look as good as Crysis, because it's a totally different game, totally different hardware. Inevitably, we're going to look A instead of A+, because there's more going on in the game. The more we give you, that's the concession you make. Same with Grand Theft Auto.

SPOnG: Has anything about the use of nectar surprised you? Any of that much sought after emergent gameplay?

Shane Carpenter
Shane Carpenter
Rob Yescombe: There are things that people have learned to do ? how to use things tactically ? that we didn't even think about. Like, with the nectar grenades, when they go off, they've ended up becoming almost like a mobile cover system. The rebels can run through it, but the Mantel guys don't want to risk running through it. So you can almost set up a perimeter with those, and likewise with playing dead, you can end up with these really great ambush situations, where you've got three guys who are playing dead together, and they've set up a bunch of mines nearby. So, standing up makes the Mantel guys run in a certain direction...

You've got people using these things in a clever, team-based, dynamic kind of way.
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Games: Haze

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