Condemned 2: Bloodshot Q&A

GR: Tell us a little about the forensic tools this time around; are they different from before?

DH: The strongest tool change is the basic ability for the player to use their own powers of observation. The player can walk around and look at the forensic event, even zoom in closer and manipulate some objects found at the scene, and then draw their own conclusions. They will be able to offer their own findings through analysis and by answering questions that Rosa will ask of them.

GR: We've been hearing a lot about Condemned 2's high level of violence. In working with the ESRB, can you tell us about some of the things that were originally planned but had to be cut?

DH: We are proactively working with the ESRB to make sure we maintain our M Rating and that there are no surprises. We haven't had to take anything out because of the ESRB. We are continuing to evaluate all ideas to ensure that the Condemned 2: Bloodshot experience is as rich as its predecessor.

GR: How linear will the story be this time? Will your decisions in conversation and investigation affect its direction and outcome?

DH: Because of our strong attention to artistic detail and desire to provide a strong, rewarding story, Condemned 2: Bloodshot will still be linear - but less so than with Condemned: Criminal Origins. There are stronger opportunities for cross-exploration in some of the levels. We're also providing secondary and bonus objectives in nearly all levels that will provide a greater desire for full exploration and hopefully provide a less linear feeling. Most of the investigation and combat outcomes will have an effect on the player achieving a rating for that level and will be associated to the Achievement system.

GR: You guys are really going dark with your main character this time; Ethan's got a drinking problem, a nastier attitude and a new voice actor. What's your response to people who say this is eerily similar to the missteps of Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within? Is Godsmack on the soundtrack?

DH: There was a consensus by some fans of PoP:TWW that it had gotten too dark and "lost some of its charm" from the original. We're a horror-action title so players are expecting us to be as dark, if not darker, with Condemned 2: Bloodshot. Our "charm" is our melee combat and providing a visceral in-your-face combat experience that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Every feature we've brought into Condemned 2: Bloodshot is built off of this core goal. We're also very focused on keeping the player in control and letting the player decide how they want to combat the enemies - so we think this will help greatly with maintaining the core charm of the Condemned series. Also, the development team is nearly all made up of the same individuals who created Condemned: Criminal Origins - and who better to stay true to the original vision than the original team? Regarding Godsmack - that would be a strong step away from our original musical score - so no, not at this time, do we have any plans to bring the music of Godsmack into our game.

GR: In most horror games, the scare factor tends to wear off as players get further into the game. The first Condemned's terrifying final act did an excellent job of avoiding that; without giving too much away, what kinds of steps are you taking to keep the atmosphere tense?

DH: The individual level designers don't arbitrarily add "scare points" through the game as they create the levels. We carefully work out the story and combat encounters throughout the levels and once we approach Alpha, we will do a careful "scare pass" on the game as a whole. We will work together across all disciplines to make sure we have the correct amount of player jump, the right overall suspense and intensity increase and make sure that it all works together through extensive play-testing. We'll then do a final tweak pass to raise it up one more level. Once we have people letting out a little scream, giving a little startled jump andwiping theirsweaty brow as they turn left and right trying to figure out where the next encounter is going to come from, then we'll know we are on the right track.