Do you have cutscenes, or is this
like banter as chatter, while they're running around?
RS: There is some of that in the cutscenes, but really more of it is the banter when they're going from place to place, or -- if they stop, and you're not doing anything, they'll start talking to each other. So, cool things like that are what sell our characters. If you think about any movie or TV show you like, it's really about the dialog. It's what's so important; the dialog is what makes people real, make characters real. So, we began to explore, really, what co-op was. Dialog was so pivotal to that. To really make the dialog funny, and entertaining, and serious when it needed to be. That's key for Army of Two.
How serious would you say the game is in tone?
RS: It's funny. It has a really serious
backdrop, around terrorism, and 9/11, and the role of Private Military
Corporations in modern warfare, but the moment to moment experience
is really -- there's a lot of funny bits in it, there's a lot of things
that are like: "Wow, did those guys really just say that?"
Well, that's kind of how real life is.
RS: Exactly! But that's, that's the kind of thing that -- I don't want to detract from any other video games, because I think what they've done in Gears of War is really fantastic. Or Metal Gear, or -- you know, sometimes, what I'm seeing, and what the team is seeing, is sometimes [other games are] so serious that you almost can't -- you take it less seriously. Because you're like: "Yeah, it's, you know, this is so serious." So these guys actually joke with each other.
What's the setting for the conflict in this game?
RS: So it starts out in the origin of the Somalian conflict, back in '94. And what you see is, that's where the game opens up, and you see these two guys come together, and you see them begin to fight together. And then, what we do is we flash forward into 9/11.
When you say "into 9/11," you mean in time, not in location.
RS: No, no, we flash forward in time,
and then the game picks up, right after the events of 9/11.
And where is that? The conflict...
RS: So, the game takes place in Afghanistan.
And then it moves into -- you have to capture an aircraft carrier that's
been hijacked; you have a level that takes place inside the United States,
Miami; you have a level that takes place in the outskirts of China.
So we, we send the player all over the world. The player's all over
the world to experience these things. And Iraq as well.
That's really what these PMC contractors do. They don't generally stay in one place too long. They'll get sent on a contract here, then they'll go to Iraq, then they'll go to the outskirts of China, then they end up inside the U.S. -- they're on a security detail. That's one of the things we wanted to convey in Army of Two.
Was that developed, like, by the scenario direction, or was that for player variety? How did you come about that idea?
RS: Well we knew that we wanted to have variety. I think it's more, as a gamer, it's cool to be able to go and see different things, and to play in different theaters of combat. So, for us it was important to send the player to all areas of the world. So, we also, from an artistic perspective, you have such different art direction. If you think that the caves are prisons in Afghanistan, and then you send someone to, say, Miami, after...
I'll give you an example: The level that takes place inside Miami, is after what is supposed to seem like the events of Katrina. So you've got this flooded compound, and you have to make your way through that. And you're in a hovercraft, and you have to get from place to place. Having different kinds of areas like that allows really unique art direction.