Eidos Interactive recently announced Battlestations: Pacific, the sequel to the PC and Xbox 360 military simulation. VideoGamer.com caught up with Atilla Soross, senior developer at Eidos Hungary to discuss what's new in the sequel and the possible direction the franchise will take in the future.
VideoGamer.com: Battlestations wasn't the most high profile next-gen release. How well did the game sell and were you happy with how it turned out?
Atilla Soross: We are quite happy with the performance of Battlestations: Midway. On its week of release, Midway made it to #1 in the All Formats UK sales charts and it has gone on to sell really well. I think overall the game succeeded in delivering a unique and innovative experience. Of course, we have also identified a number of areas for improvement that we are now working on addressing for Battlestations: Pacific. We have benefited a lot from the overwhelming feedback of the Battlestations community in shaping the sequel.
VideoGamer.com: You say that it will be possible to join forces with friends online. Does this mean you can play the single-player campaign in co-op or are we talking separate cooperative missions? How many players are supported?
AS: Practically speaking all the multiplayer modes and maps can be played alone or with team-mates against the AI. A maximum of 8 players are supported. The host will have control over the number of players and the size of the map independently of one another. For example, two players can play on a huge map and eight players can play on a smaller map - every combination will offer a different experience. The single-player campaigns do not support co-op play.
VideoGamer.com: It was fair to describe the first Battlestations game as hardcore. Have you made any changes this time around to make it more accessible to gamers?
AS: Improving accessibility has been a key objective for us. The first game had a steep learning curve with limited assistance for the player, and this is something we want to make sure is well balanced in the next game. We have reworked the user interface and players will now be able to carry out commands and control their units through more intuitive and effective mechanisms. We have also laid more emphasis on training players on how to use their units, weapons, and tactics effectively against the enemy in a wide range of scenarios.
VideoGamer.com: Can you offer any further details on the all-new multiplayer game modes?
AS: The multiplayer has been vastly improved over Battlestations: Midway and now it includes a number of new exciting modes, each one offering a completely unique experience. We have action-focused game modes, which offer intense battles with less emphasis on strategic decisions and we also have game modes shifted towards strategy, which require careful planning and tactics and offer various ways of accomplishing your objectives.
VideoGamer.com: Do you have any plans to bring the Battlestations series to PlayStation 3?
AS: Battlestations: Pacific will be released on X360 and PC. We are certainly interested in PS3 as major current-gen platform, but at this point I cannot reveal more about our plans with the brand.
VideoGamer.com: Are there any standout improvements to the game's visuals over the previous game that you can discuss?
AS: We have significantly upscaled the sequel's visuals in all the major areas ranging from much better looking landscapes, destructible ship and plane models, more realistic underwater environments to a number of state-of the-art new effects.
VideoGamer.com: Do the US and Japanese campaigns function independently or will something you carry out in one campaign have consequences in the other?
AS: The US and Japanese campaigns function independently.
VideoGamer.com: With the huge success of Call of Duty 4, do you see yourself taking the Battlestations series into the modern era for future titles?
AS: Needless to say the team has several ideas about the settings of future Battlestations games and the modern era is one of them. However currently we are focusing on realizing the potential in Battlestations Pacific.
VideoGamer.com: So far the series has focused entirely on vehicle-based combat. Can you see a place in the series for players taking control of individual soldiers, more inline with what DICE has done with Battlefield?
AS: We are going to consider all possible options in shaping the brand's vision, but Battlestations is about scale and a great variety of units either under your command or directly controlled by you.
VideoGamer.com: What one feature of Battlestations: Pacific excites you the most?
AS: The new action details in the game - nothing is more fun than shooting rockets from cockpit view with my Corsair! Also the destructible units - shooting down the wings of enemy planes and slowly crippling an enemy battleship is a very pleasing sight.
And finally, the Japanese campaign adds a new twist to the game and a completely new experience: you can change the course of History and fight battles in a "what if" scenario.
VideoGamer.com: Thanks for your time.