Interview with Peter Wyse, senior producer of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
Obviously this is a movie adaptation - how closely does the game follow the events of the recent movie?
We worked in direct collaboration with the filmmakers on this product to extend the fiction of film. I would say that the game is split 50/50 between levels that were directly inspired by the movie and levels that extend the fiction of Terminator 3.
For example, the movie references a series of events that transpires in the future such as the capture of the Terminator and the death of John Connor. The game actually allows the player to play out these events on the battlefields of the future. And remember that scene in the movie where the Terminator blows up all of the police cars? That level is in the game, too.
So what does the game offer that marks it out from other shooters?
You play as the Terminator! For the first time in a first-person shooter it makes sense how I can take thousands of bullets and keep coming. I'm a Terminator - that's what I'm designed to do.
And I'm not just any generic Terminator model, I'm Arnold. Also, not only do we play out some levels as the good Terminator, protecting life, but we also get to play as the bad Terminator, hunting down humans in the future.
What are some of the new features you're most excited about, weapons, visual effects, AI, that kind of thing?
The game features over 20 different weapons, some of which were created by Skynet to destroy the humans and some of which were created by TechCom to battle the machines. And there's the present day weapon arsenal that was left behind by Sarah Connor.
We have also created three classes of new T-900 terminators, new Future Killer Flyers, Rovers and Tanks all of which have unique attacks and none of them know any fear.
As well as shooting, we're told there's hand to hand fighting, too - did you have problems making this work satisfactorily from a first-person perspective?
Actually, the fight mode takes place in third-person view. We wanted to show off what these machines do to each other!
Since a big part of the Terminator universe is the dramatic one-on-one battles that take place between Terminators, we could not pass up the opportunity to make this a mode of gameplay.
We have five massive fights planned for the game. In these fights it is not uncommon to see the TX throw the Terminator clear across the room, destroying what gets in his path.
Will there be a command that lets you make typically dead-pan Arnie-style quips after taking out a bad guy?
The only requirement is that you terminate your opponent. Then you will hear some of the classic lines. We have quite a variety of Terminator dialogue spread throughout the game.
What about multiplayer?
The game is single-player only. We wanted to tune the gameplay to be the most satisfying single-player experience possible. Besides, why would you want to play as anyone other than the Terminator?
Are there secrets to be discovered, hidden areas, bonuses, and so on?
Definitely, there are hidden weapons and continues in every level. We have also embedded some classic Atari games into the Terminator 3 universe. Try to see if you can find the arcade machine in the future that still lets you play Missile Command. Centipede is also embedded in the game. The only hint that I will give you is that you can find it in the present.
What will make players come back to the game once they've completed it?
The game will be full of extras. The Atari tradition of unprecedented cooperation with the filmmakers continues in this game. In fact, they shot a scene exclusively for the videogame. It is a scene that gives details of the Terminator.
We will also have behind the scenes footage, a "Making of" video, 15 minutes of brand new Terminator CG animation, 15 minutes of T3 movie footage and artwork used in the creation of the film including storyboards and concept sketches.
Anything else we've missed that we should know?
Our collaboration with the filmmakers went so well that they used one of our T-900s in the movie.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is released on PS2, Xbox and GBA on November 28.