It's just a few short weeks until Platinum Games' stylish shooter Vanquish hits store shelves, but to tide you over until then we've got an interview with the game's producer, Atsushi Inaba. As well as talking about Vanquish, we discuss a possible Bayonetta sequel, the commercial failure of MadWorld and the future of the studio.
Q: Vanquish is due for release pretty soon now, does the finished game match the vision you had at the start of the project?
Atsushi Inaba: Initially, we thought there would be more action moments. The main point of Vanquish is to combine shooting and action into one game, so the balance between action and shooting we thought would be more action orientated. As we went along, we realised that some of the action game elements would break the essential rules of the shooting genre, so we decided to scrap them. But still, the initial idea of making a shooting 'slash' action game - we are satisfied with what we have now.
Q: It's a shooter, it's got a cover system - it's far more western in style than something like Bayonetta. To what extent have you looked at titles like Uncharted or Gears for inspiration?
AI: Gears of War is definitely a great game, and there are many great games in the shooter genre, but it's not like we were particularly influenced by these titles. Again, we just had this idea to create a shooting game, and obviously we've played a lot of shooting games. So maybe some of that came through in the product, but we didn't really make a conscious effort to recreate one game or another.
Q: It is far more western in feel, though. Are you worried this might alienate Japanese players at all? Are you worried they might not be as in tune with it as they were with Bayonetta?
AI: It's definitely true that not many Japanese people are familiar with the shooting genre, they have no exposure to that sort of game - it's not like they hate it, they just don't know it and haven't heard of these games. We think there's definitely a chance that once they pick up a good shooting game, then they will love it and keep playing it. Hopefully, as a Japanese game created by a Japanese studio, this game will have more appeal in Japan. If those people are introduced to this genre and keep playing other great games, we'll be happy and honoured.
Q: I've mentioned Bayonetta a few times now. How much of the Bayonetta philosophy has been adopted in Vanquish?
AI: These two projects started from completely separate and different ideas, so we didn't try to insert certain elements of it in Vanquish. But at one point in development, Bayonetta finished, and we reallocated those people to the Vanquish project. So a lot of the action elements in this game were created by the developers who worked on Bayonetta. So, in that sense, you might find some elements that are similar to Bayonetta.
Q: Online retailer Play.com is offering a deal where you get Bayonetta for free with Vanquish. It's clear that you guys want the game out there - for as many people to experience it as possible. Is it a series you're looking to go forward with from here?
AI: Obviously there's no concrete plans we can talk about yet, but our basic stance is, that as long as there are users who love the IP and the game, and as long as there's demand, we'd be happy to keep creating games based on that IP.
Q: Vanquish has a fantastic depth of field, with rockets flying past your head and shrapnel flying all over the place. It's a very visceral experience. Was 3D technology ever considered for the title?
AI: That's definitely an interesting idea, it'll probably look amazing in 3D. Since this game is already pretty hectic and tiring and tense gaming experience, but if you had to wear the glasses and watch the 3D screen for hours, it might be a bit too much.