Pro-G recently sat down with Patrick Pligersdorffer, the Executive Producer of Loki, the fantasy action-RPG from French developer Cyanide Studios, to talk mythology, faith and slashing hordes of minions with a click of a mouse.
Pro-G: We've seen several different interpretations of the action-RPG recently. How did you approach mixing the various merits of the two genres?
Patrick Pligersdorffer: I would say we have developed more of an action game. There is not too much dialogue and we wanted to make it that way. Of course the RPG elements come with the weapons and spells and experience points and so on.
Pro-G: Hack 'n' slash is traditionally a console-based gameplay mechanic. Tell me about how you applied it to Loki.
PP: In a similar way to Diablo, you use mouse clicks for the hack 'n' slash combat. We wanted the player to feel swarmed by enemies, so there are often many on screen all around the player, meaning a simple control system works best. It is still quite a challenging game though, compared to Titan Quest for example.
Pro-G: Can you explain a little about the juggling of the various mythologies Loki draws on?
PP: Yes. It takes the player through four great mythologies: the Norse, Greek, Aztec and Egyptian worlds. When you start out in a new game, you must choose a character to play the game with, with one available from each world. Once you have completed all the quests in one world you are then free to move through the mythologies of the others as you wish.
Pro-G: So how would choosing one of these four different characters affect your experience of the game?
PP: Well, each of the five characters has different abilities. The Norse is a warrior, the Egyptian much like a wizard, the Aztec like a Shaman, and the Greek like an archer and trapper, so they all offer a different kind of gameplay. Also, depending on which god you choose to follow and dedicate your faith to once you have chosen your character, those four types of character can develop very differently.
Pro-G: What multiplayer modes will be available?
PP: There are co-operative six-player missions, where you must work together to survive enemy attacks, and eight versus eight multiplayer PVP gladiator style battles.
Pro-G: Does the game run on all Vista PCs as well as XP machines?
PP: Yes, absolutely.
Pro-G: How long has Loki been in development?
PP: Two long years. It has been quite an endurance for us.
Pro-G: Do you have a release date yet?
PP: We do. It will ship in late August this year.
Pro-G: Finally then, why should PC gamers be interested in Loki?
PP: Well, it is a really great game! (Laughter). Seriously though, it is a great action-RPG, that has a lot new to offer RPGs, with many, many features and so much you can customise. It has parts from action games, RPGs and MMOs. Also, it is really quick to get into, so for players there is not too much time spent levelling-up through the lower levels. It is a huge game, but you can develop your character fast.
Pro-G: Thanks for your time.