Red Steel 2 Interview

Creative director Jason VandenBerghe talks Project Natal, Sony’s wand, mature gaming on the Wii and cutting the grass in Zelda.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, February 22, 2010

But I don’t think we really took… Of course we played all those games, you never really know what you pull from, but in terms of direct homages or references, it really has more to do with mowing the lawn in Zelda, that grass-cutting mechanic. It’s a weird reference, right, but I got a kick out of that! They filled the world with crap to break, it’s a lot of fun.

VGD: Your game has a great arcade sensibility.

VandenBerghe: Yeah, I wanted that kind of sensibility. I wanted it to feel a little over the top, still believable – there are still bad guys, they’re still human beings, right, bad human beings that deserve what they’re getting, but still believable people.

If you can't beat them... get behind them and impale them up the bottom.

If you can't beat them... get behind them and impale them up the bottom.

VGD: How do you feel about the franchise right now? Can we expect another sequel?

VandenBerghe: I would love to do it. Right now I’m in love with the hero, I’m in love with the setting, but I have my fingerprints all over it, so I’m not very objective about it. I need the fans to tell me how good is it really, what’s the value, what works and what doesn’t, and we’ll take a look at that after the game has had some time in the market to simmer.

If Ubisoft decides that they want to extend the franchise, I would love to do it, but it’s tough to know right now. It seems extendable to me, it seems like there’s a lot of potential, but it’s just a question of ‘is there an audience out there, how excited are people about the game, how well is it received’.

VGD: Is this the sort of game that would only work on the Wii?

VandenBerghe: No, I think it could work fantastically with the Sony wand. With this kind of game you need a thumbstick, that’s the only real constraint. For walking around at least, I haven’t seen a solution. Microsoft may come forward and show me something I haven’t seen before, which makes me understand how you can play a first-person action game like this that requires this intense finesse and accuracy in your motion, and not have a controller in your hand of some kind.

But I think we need to have a thumbstick. I think this is probably a more natural fit for the Sony side of things right now, but I don’t think Microsoft is showing all of its cards right now either. And that’s not an insider release – I don’t know. I just don’t buy it. There’s more coming, there has to be more. And you know what, I would love to play these games.

I would also, for the record, love to play an on-rails first-person swordfighting game with Natal. Love to! House of the Dead with a sword? Sounds fantastic to me.

New sword techniques are learned in training grounds as you progress.

New sword techniques are learned in training grounds as you progress.

VGD: Natal seems to have divided third party developers. There are some who are already quite committed to it, but others are reluctant to take the plunge till the technology proves itself in the market.

VandenBerghe: Yeah, and I think I’m happily in both camps. I’m a realist. It really bugs a lot of people I think. I think game designers are supposed to talk about things that are impossible, and are supposed to share grandiose visions that never come true, and I’m not down with that. I don’t like that.

I’m a realist and I prefer to be able to follow through on the promises and hopes and make it actually happen. It’s hard, and it means that now and then you have to say ‘I don’t really see it’. And again I’m not writing it off – there are a lot of really smart people at Microsoft, and I’m sure they’ve got answers to these problems, but I just haven’t seen them. So I’m looking forward to the big reveal.

VGD: I think we all are! Thanks for chatting with us, Jason.

Red Steel 2 is due out in North America on 23rd March, Australia on 25th March, and Europe on 26th March. We think it looks hot. So should you.

One Response to “Red Steel 2 Interview”

  1. I’ve heard that even if its title is “Red Steel 2″, it is not actually a direct sequel. The game has its own new hero, Wild West universe and story. I would probably wait for more reviews when it’s released on March before purchasing. :)


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