Interview

Nick Torchia on Wanted: Weapons of Fate

More than just another shameful film tie-in?

Grin and Warner's Wanted: Weapons of Fate is being released now in the United States, and while the movie had its critics the new game is actually looking rather interesting. We grilled producer Nick Torchia about this next-generation action romp.

In creating this new Wanted game, have you adhered to both the graphic novel and the movie? Which has proved more influential?

This game is based more off the Universal Blockbuster film, but it still has some nice tethers to the comic book. Most noticeable of these tethers is the suit. We have a slight variation on the suit from the comic book to make it more akin to the game world.

The movie was more influential because it laid a nice groundwork for us; the bullet mechanic was there, the characters and set pieces were established - so we just went to town with that. In addition, given that our storyline begins right where the movie ends, the film helps to set the stage for the action in the game.

How challenging has it been introducing bullet-bending as a gameplay facet?

Very challenging because it is so new and never has been done before. We had to take a good amount of time making it feel fun and accessible. We went through an exorbitant amount of prototypes and iterations to find just the right balance in the mechanic to make it fun and intuitive.

How do you add depth to the combat-focussed game play?

In many ways. One example is our melee element, which was tuned and innovated so that the player has an easier out if enemies get too close to you. In some third-person games, if an enemy gets too close to you, the player has to back up and the entire scene becomes incredibly complicated. You know, get off cover, run backwards, switch guns, aim and fire; then move back to your original position. We wanted to make combat in Wanted feel more natural and in the flow with how a real, badass assassin would act, so you can quickly melee enemies when your are close, and even do some from behind cover (by stabbing over the top). It's really natural and fun and has an "in the flow" feel like the chainsaw attacks do in Gears of War.

What touches have helped you bring the world of Wanted to life?

I think the whole attitude of the movie and the comic books help make this game bubble to the top. GRIN, with the help of the creative team from the film, really nailed that. The dialogue is funny and the VO acting is solid, not stupid or over the top. For example, the easy mode for the game is called PUSSY. You tell me a game that has done that before.

Indeed, how do you blend story into the game, and do you add in any fan-bating extras on this front?

The story is told through traditional cut-scenes but we do some interesting things with flash backs that allows us to go back to a time where you can play as Cross, Wesley's father. So that allows us to take the player to new locations that were not shown in the film.

Do you look at the stiff competition you face in the third-person action genre?

Of course, everyday we do. Great games such as Gears of War, Max Payne and Stranglehold played a very inspirational part of making this game. I am a strong believer that in order to make a successful game, you have to play as many games as possible so you know what is out there.

We think we do enough things in Wanted differently and innovate in key areas - with our curving bullets, chaining cover system and Assassin Time - that we really stand out from the pack as a great game. And by that I mean a great game that is not reliant upon the source movie, but enhanced by it.

Is AI important in a game of this kind?

Yes, because the enemies need to react to the bullet curving. If they don't adapt, the game could get boring real fast but I feel we do a solid job on the enemy AI. We throw some nice wrinkles at the player with the enemy AI and force you into some interesting situations.

Which famous characters will we be meeting in the game?

You will come across Perkwarsky in the game, he is played by Terrence Stamp who played Zod in Superman 2. He plays a very important part of the game and its storyline.

Will you offer up any post-launch DLC?

We have not decided that as of yet, but would be great to have kill order missions but that decision is not up to me.

Lastly, what element of the new Wanted game pleases you the most?

I think the overall package. The gameplay, visuals, sound, VO acting and story are done very well. The way the game captures the look, feel and attitude of the film is really incredible. It is a nice package that I think will make gamers happy once they play it.

Thanks for your time.

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