VideoGamer.com: You've got campaigns played as the USA and the Japanese, but where's our British campaign? Maybe Battlestations 3?
JG: The British Empire is present in Battlestations: Pacific, however only in some missions. As the two major opponents were the US and Japan in the Pacific, for this game we wanted to add Japan as a playable side.
VideoGamer.com: Although a solid looking game, the original Battlestations didn't wow with its graphics. What can gamers expect this time?
JG: Battlestations: Midway was planned for PS2 and Xbox. Later in the development we switched to X360. That's why Midway wasn't outstanding in graphics quality. We started developing Pacific right from the beginning as an X360 game, so improving the visuals has been a major goal for us. We have always wanted a diverse environment, so we have made it. You can get into night missions and storms for example: the dark ocean is lit only by gunfire and lightning, the waves are rougher when there is a strong wind, while the rain pouring really gives the feeling of a stormy, night battle.
We have overhauled our ocean as well. It looks really nice now: shells deform it and the ripples look incredible. And the water is really transparent, you can see the seabed containing wrecks in the shallow water, you can see the ocean-flora and you can even spot submarines if they are on periscope depth. Generally speaking the ocean and the underwater no longer feel like separated layers.
It's not just the underwater landscape that has been upgraded, but the terrain over sea level, too. You will see beautiful vistas, many trees around, big landmasses, lots of interesting details. Military bases, airfields, big ports, cities, bridges, trains, and a lot more things are out there to be discovered.
And there is a lot more life in these details! The sun will blind you when you look into it, and the clouds now really feel thick and have volume. You can fly through them, have dogfights in them and they can even hide the enemy. Not only does it enhance the multiplayer plane versus plane experience, but also visually we are getting a higher realism level. View distance has also been increased. Generally, you will see almost photo-realistic environments in Battlestations: Pacific.
VideoGamer.com: Being very crude and over simplifying what the game is, you could say Battlestations is like Battlefield but without on-foot combat. Were you tempted to mix the boats and planes with infantry? Would it even be possible?
JG: You are right, Battlestations resembles Battlefield, but our focus is on a higher level. Battlefield is an action game where you are even able to control vehicles. Battlestations is an action-strategy game; it's not the same genre. Our focus is on fleet vs. fleet battles. And we have infantry. You will use landing forces to capture islands, and you will use paratroopers, too. You will see them fighting on the beach. This is the way of including infantry in a Battlestations way. If later we would use controllable infantry, we would add them in battalions or company. A single bomb-packed plane can turn the tide of a battle, but in a battle of thousands the heroism of a single infantryman wouldn't change anything.
VideoGamer.com: It seems that multiplayer, especially in war games where camaraderie is part of the experience, is a vital part of every next-gen game. What's new in Pacific?
JG: Our multiplayer is not just an upgraded version of the multiplayer in Midway. We have really tried to put much more emphasis on multiplayer. We have had a lot of great ideas to evolve the original multiplayer experience. We wanted to give hours of amusement for different types of players, so we selected our top five evolutionary ideas, and have developed them, and this is how Competitive, Duel, Escort and Siege modes were born. Our ultimate multiplayer mode is the Island Capture mode. It has also been evolved from the original Midway multiplayer, but now it resembles traditional RTS games: you can get new units during the battle through the support manager; there are islands with bases, airports, defences to fight for and conquer. This is the mode where we could really show the depth of the island hopping battles of the Pacific.
VideoGamer.com: Do you see the multiplayer having the kind of legs as a title like CoD4? Are there rewards for long-term play?
JG: Even Midway has got a strong community, and there are many players still playing multiplayer battles on a daily basis. In Pacific multiplayer has been revised so we have over 100 different scenarios, which means a lot of replayability. We also have a rank system, and multiplayer achievements to give the players a lot of things to play for long time, if the sheer fun of playing with or against other people is not enough a reward for someone.
VideoGamer.com: Pacific is coming to PC and Xbox 360, as did the original. We have to ask: where's the PS3 version?
JG: Battlestations: Pacific has been developed for Xbox 360 and PC there are currently no plans for a PS3 version
VideoGamer.com: Finally, when is the game out and can we expect a demo?
JG: Release date news is coming soon and yes there are plans for a demo.
VideoGamer.com: Thanks for your time Janos.
Battlestations: Pacific is due for release on PC and Xbox 360 in spring 2009.