The name Rogue Warrior
might not, at this point, be too big a blip on your radar – but that's not because it doesn't deserve to be. The game, set to be published by Bethesda, first emerged a few years back before vanishing into deep cover.
The reason for that is, as Peter Hines (Bethesda's VP of marketing and PR) told myself and other members of the games press down in London last week, the publisher wasn't too happy with it. Rather than put out a product it was unhappy with, however, Bethesda opted to move the project from its developer, Zombie Studios, to the capable hands of UK-based Rebellion.
The main points you need to know about Rogue Warrior
run as follows: 1) It's a character-driven shooter starring real life Navy SEAL and terrifying hard man Richard 'Demo Dick' Marcinko. 2) Gameplay is split between all-out assault and stealthy infiltration. 3) It's set in the glorious '80s, as Demo Dick does dastardly things to the Russian equivalent of the Star Wars (Strategic Defense Initiative
) programme. 4) It's not Rogue Trooper
That's the Cliff Notes version, though. For more, check out my preview
Following a demo, I sat down with the Rebellion senior producer, Sean Griffiths, to find out more...
Can you tell us how Rebellion came to be working on Rogue Warrior? It wasn't with you guys originally, was it?
The history of the project is more Bethesda stuff, so you need to ask them about that. Obviously, Rebellion has the project now – developing the game for completion this year, so Q4. It's using Rebellion's proprietary engine, which is called Azura. It's going to be available on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
Could you tell us exactly what Dick's involvement is? Did you consult with him at the start? Does he sign off on stuff...?
Sean Griffiths: Richard Marcinko
is pretty involved in the process, he's very much in contact with Bethesda a lot of the time. He doesn't live very far from the Rocksville offices and he tends to pop in quite a bit. They know him pretty well. He's seen the game on a couple of occasions, he's advised us on various kill move methods that he uses. He's a very busy guy, he's a massive personality in the States, he's very successful with his books, a very larger-than-life character. He's a little bit scary when you meet him, a real life soldier. He's done all this stuff. He's killed a lot of people – you just have to be careful what you say...
We were very pleased that he liked the image of himself in the game – it's obviously a younger version of him. It's set in the '80s, when he was most active as a soldier.
So, yeah, he's been an advisor to the project. He's a great guy to meet and to talk to. He's full of stories and a very interesting guy.
Obviously he's seen a lot of action in his time. Why focus on that particular conflict and the '80s? Was that your decision?
I think it was more, where could we put the story that was an interesting time, an interesting place? And that's what we did.
I don't believe Richard Marcinko was actually in North Korea and Russia during that period of time. We very much use his stories as reference. It's kind of fictional, but based on his experiences and the kind of missions he went on during that time.
I think one of his novels was based in North Korea. How closely does it follow that, would you say?
Just reference material. We very much had our own ideas about the kind of story we wanted to put in place.