El Matador© Cenega
QNA with Michael Lekovski

We had a chance get some questions answered about the upcoming game El Matador soon to be released by Cenega Publishing. Michael Lekovski - Lead Game Designer had the answers that we were looking for.

- Will there be real-world locations for the main character to traverse?

The Story takes place in South America – Colombia, but it is not exactly said in the game where and when the action takes place.
We have looked at the landscapes in this area, including the cities like Cartagena, Bogota and Medellin and used these to model our playing environments on, in a similar style to the way the cities of Metropolis and Gotham, found in comic books, are based loosely on the cities of New York, Los Angeles and other large American conurbations.

- How is the balance between stealth and action? Can you give examples from El Matador where both would be required?

The entire game has been built from a solid story, worthy of a Hollywood thriller. The action in El Matador is supplement by this engrossing storyline – adding excitement and suspense to the game. The scenarios the player will face will depend strongly on the way the game has been played and therefore will change dramatically according to the actual situations.
Here is an example:
The DEA in a previous mission has gained evidence against a Narcobaron known as “Escorpio”. DEA agents and local police are preparing an attack on Escorpio, however the gangster┬┬┤s influence reaches far. This is why a special operation co-ordinated by the DEA must be undertaken.
The gangster’s base is a luxurious villa on the coast with a view across the sea. The player, together with other DEA agents, is appointed to search and investigate the villa before the attack. The DEA agents have to guard escape roads and locate the target, after that the operation could start.
Until now the main focus of the gameplay has been stealth, moving your people into position, hiding from the enemy, scouting the area. But now the player must get ready for the fight which starts after the gangster realizes that police are closing in on him. Therefore the player has to behave in a different way and try to be quick and quiet at the same time. Sadly one of the policemen is on the pay role of the Narcobaron and warns the gangster.
The gangster knows that he is in danger and tries to escape. His guards are powerful and player has to fight with a number of professional killers with any available guns.

- What sort of specialized items/equipment will be present to aid the main character in his plight?

It depends on the mission. On some missions you will be equipped with only the bear minimum, a bit like the Die Hard films, and other times you will get everything a DEA field agent should have.

- The press release mentions the boss characters' ability to direct their troops - Does this imply that patrol patterns and placement will differ from mission to mission?

If you play one scenario several times, you can spot that the enemy will behave in different ways as described in following example:
The player encounters the enemy and decides to attack. Meanwhile the enemy will protect themselves by setting up a cross fire so their companions can get into a better defense position. At your second attempt you will be much more cautious and stay hidden. The enemy will send out a spy to investigate. This spy will not find anything suspicious, proving that the player is hidden in a good place. Now the enemies will feel more confident to show off, lowering their defenses and opening themselves to a frontal attack with grenades!.
The enemy will react according to the player’s tactics, but their behavior also depends on their position in the hierarchy.

- How will stealth layers/levels be recognized by the player? Will there be a meter or gauge of some kind?

We are looking of adding a “security indicator” which would show how aware the enemy is of your presence. However, the gameplay is not based on this feature. The player will have the option to turn this indicator on or off. The enemy will react to various stimuli – if they see you, or hear you they will come and investigate.

- Are there any plans to port this to any consoles?

The game is being made for the PC format at the moment, but we are looking into the possibility to port it over home video consoles. We would be hoping to get a simultaneous release across all formats if possible.

- How many missions are planned for El Matador?

As mentioned before, the game is heavily story driven, so there are no missions in classical sense. This story; however, will be divided into three chapters offering five different surroundings. In total this gives us 15 missions.

-Will the pervasive "bullet-time" combat enhancer be added, and in what capacity (how will it be interwoven with the game structure/story)?

The title is powered by our in-house engine Typhoon2 which allows us to use different effects. However, we are not looking at building the game around a flashy effect, but around a solid storyline and great gameplay.

- Will all missions be on foot, or will there be a vehicle contingent for some areas? Maybe some helicopter/small engine plane flying?

There will be different means of transport but not all of them will be controlled directly, for instance, during a car chase in the city a bus will be driven by a girl, a companion to the games hero.

- The title of the game loosely translates to "the killing one". Will there be a special focus on the types and diversity of firefight and stealth kills that the player can execute?

Killing itself plays an important role in the game, and is quite realistic (rag dolls, facial animation etc.). However we are trying to avoid brutality, you are playing the good guy and not the villain after all! There is a plenty of different weapons available including knifes and other hand to hand equipment, the player can even push his enemy off rooftops!
By the way, the meaning of the game’s title varies; it can be a killer, fighter or toreador.
It is simply someone who has respect.