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The guys at Blitz give TVG the lowdown on their forthcoming next-gen horror...
Blitz Games have been around a good few years and the two central figures that run and own the company, the Oliver Twins, are also veterans of the early 8 bit days - innovating and creating new games and stretching each genre of game they work on. Games with zombies, blood and gore are always top of the hit list for videogamers and of late it appears that this could be a genre that will be top of the hit list for publishers and gamers alike for 2005/6. Getting the perfect mix of action and intrigue, giving a slightly new spin has been a lot harder for developers and only a few gore games hit the spot.
Within Possesson you play the zombie remains of a traveller who was kidnapped by the population of an American town. Apparently, some nasty critters did experiments on you, and turned you into the un-dead zombie master called â??The Enslaverâ??. What follows is a story of revenge as you discover that you can turn anybody into a zombie who you can then control. Blitz aims to have players control the zombies in two ways. Youâ??ll either be able to control a multiple of zombies as you can in RTS titles, or you will be able to â??possessâ?? one your minions and control it in first-person perspective. If your zombie gets attacked and perhaps decapitated, then the body will pick up the head and carry it along with rest of it. If your legs are taken away, then all youâ??ll get is a worms eye view of the world.
Already those that have seen the early snippets from the game have been impressed and so it seems are a group of publishers and we expect any day now to hear official news that it has been signed up! Eager to find out more Derek dela Fuente spoke with Blitz Games.
TVG: How did the idea for Possession come about?
We always encourage our staff to come up with original ideas and present them to our internal 'green light' meetings and this started life that way. Itâ??s often hard to convince the risk-averse publishers that itâ??s worth backing something truly original but we thought we had a good chance with this one. Everyone has a secret passion for the sick and the twisted, so we wanted to make a game where you got to explore these darker avenues of gameplay rather than making a more traditional game where you hide from the nasty things... We're all passionate gamers here and we could see that this was something really unique that could be really big.
TVG: What can you tell us about the storyline for the game?
Itâ??s highly inspired from all those classic zombie movies but this time youâ??re the master of all zombies â?“ The Enslaver â?“ and your only aim is to get out there and possess all the humans. The Enslaver was once human himself and as the game progresses youâ??ll learn more about his background and what makes him want to destroy everything now.
TVG: As a zombie, what abilities do you have in the game?
You can do anything that you would expect a reanimated corpse to do â?“ run around and chase your dinner before tearing it to pieces or infecting it to join up alongside you. You will have a range of attacks and context sensitive actions and youâ??ll be able to control individual zombies of your choice or control the whole horde on mass.
Each human you infect will also retain some of its abilities and characteristics when it becomes a zombie so a possessed cop will have a gun and body armour, even if he doesnâ??t always know what to do with it. Also as you get more powerful so does your human opposition so the scope for possessing and controlling more powerful people increases.
TVG: How is combat handled in Possession?
A combination of combo attacks and context sensitive moves will provide the player with a wealth of different combat opportunities but the over-riding theme will be carnage at all costs! Zombies are vicious brutes so limbs will get ripped off and heads will roll. Weaponry like guns and rocket launchers might get taken on board when you possess some of the good guys but zombies ainâ??t too bright, so youâ??ll see some amusing effects like the zombies randomly spraying bullets rather than carefully sniping at the humans.
TVG: What sort of locations and settings will Possession have?
Possession will take place in a fictional modern American city so youâ??ll see a range of locations that will allow for large numbers of potential victims. This game will see an enormous number of characters on screen so locations like college campuses, shopping malls, sports centres and cinemas will give us the excuse to include plenty of unsuspecting humans to be possessed.
TVG: What sorts of â??enemiesâ?? will the player have to face in the game?
Thereâ??ll be the kind of variety of people that youâ??d expect in a vibrant city so expect to encounter everything from college jocks and gangland thugs through to military heroes and civilian vigilantes â?“ everyoneâ??s fair game!
TVG: What other unique gameplay elements will Possession have?
We have a great control system that is 'pick up and play' easy on a console but also allows for detailed control of large groups of zombies. We are also building in plenty of story so this wonâ??t be your standard arena style shooter. Itâ??ll have more structure and purpose to it than that and, most importantly, itâ??ll have spectacular set pieces thatâ??ll blow you away!
One other cool feature is that youâ??ll be able to possess an individual zombie of your choice so that you can take him into battle without risking The Enslaverâ??s life. This will be a very cool mode and will allow you to view the environments from some pretty unique perspectives. For instance, if you inhabit a zombie whoâ??s got a broken neck then youâ??ll view your surroundings at a slight wobbly angle. Alternatively, if you take control of a zombie with no legs then youâ??ll see the game from ground level as he drags himself across the floor with his hands.
TVG: What can you tell us about the game's graphics engine?
I could say itâ??s 'state of the art' but you'd expect me to say nothing less. We've got technology that will allow for many, many zombies and humans swarming the streets. You can maim and decapitate them when and where you fancy and they will all accurately reflect the damage thatâ??s been inflicted. As each zombie gets more and more degraded and mutilated his look will change â?“ heâ??ll limp, drip blood, slump to one side and more, all depending on how heâ??s damaged.
Environmental destruction will also be high on the agenda. We want to turn a mild-mannered American city into a virtual warzone of destruction and youâ??ll be able to see the streets degrade as the battle goes on. Weâ??ve already developed and proved a lot of the technology weâ??ll need to do this in a way thatâ??s never been seen before.
TVG: What platforms are you developing Possession for?
Itâ??s definitely a high end concept and will be a next generation game â?“ weâ??re currently working towards Xbox 2 and PS3 and high-end PC version.
TVG: What is the current status of the game's progress and when will it be released?
Over the last nine months or so weâ??ve been concentrating on getting the core gameplay elements right and working out how it will all hang together. Weâ??ve now got a strong and detailed design in place and have done some extensive technology tests with our in-house developed engine, and the results are already looking awesome. Weâ??ve made some bold claims about what the game will include but at Blitz weâ??ve always prided ourselves on delivering what we promise so trust us â?“ if weâ??ve said itâ??ll be in there then weâ??ve already got it working!
As for release date, that all depends on who we sign it to (and weâ??ve got several high-profile publishers champing at the bit for it already) but weâ??re currently looking at an early 2007 release.
TVG: Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Possession?
It's going to finally give the player the power to do what they want to in a horror game. Itâ??s going to be bloody amazing â?“ very bloody!
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