GR: Which members of G-unit will you team up with and what are their different strengths and weaknesses?
JW: Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks, and DJ Whoo Kid all feature in the game. We decided quite early on in development to have AI and characteristic parity between the different members of G-Unit. There’s always that danger that if you build different strengths and weaknesses into your in-game characters players can feel like they’ve made a bad choice if they find a specific section more challenging than they’re comfortable with. That wouldn’t have been appropriate for this title.
GR: Did 50 have much involvement with the game’s development? Or is that being left to the professionals?
JW: One of the great things about working with 50 Cent is that he is involved, he cares about what you do with his brand and his people, and in return makes sure you get support as and when he and his team can spare the time. The man’s a professional and I respect that. He met with our LA team on a couple of occasions, looked at the game, gave feedback and made some requests - he also allowed us to take a wealth of reference photographs to build their in-game equivalents, and worked like a Trojan in the recording studio.
GR: What is a “Brutal Counterkill System” and why is it awesome?
JW: These are the game’s martial moves, if you like the street combat. With 50 Cent you have this super-physical guy - he’s built like a boxer - and so having him take everyone down exclusively with rocket launchers and machine guns felt a little cheap. We really wanted 50 to get up-close and personal with the enemies and this system allowed us to do this. There are 15 different moves, 5 that you start the game with and another 10 that you buy from the in-game shop. Each move was choreographed by an ex-special forces martial arts expert and as such are the real-deal: Muay-Thai, Silat, MMA, street combat attacks.
If you get close enough to an enemy unit all you have to do is press a controller button to initiate the move, and then the same button between 3 and 6 times to continue the move when you see the on-screen radial indicator. If you pull the move off the enemy is taken-down immediately - if you fail, you get knocked back giving the enemy the advantage. More than anything this system is about the feel - it’s tactile and feels really rewarding to use. You’ll love it.