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Damnation fully playable in co-op, says Blue Omega

Tuesday, 18 March 2008 12:38 GMT By Patrick Garratt

damnation2.jpg

Blue Omega-developed Damnation – the “shooter gone vertical” to be published by Codemasters this winter – will feature buddy-buddy action from beginning to end.

“The single-player campaign is fully playable in two-player co-op,” chief designer Jacob Minkoff told videogaming247, adding, “After just one multiplayer match, trust me – you’ll see what makes it different, and I think you’ll love it. I know we do.”

The steampunk action title – described by Minkoff as a “hardcore shooter” – adds co-op to what sounds like sprawling cityscapes, over which up and down matters just as much as across. Sounds a bit like Crackdown fused with Assassin’s Creed. With loads of vehicles.

“You’ll start out a level standing on the top of a tall cliff and looking far into the distance where you’ll see a sprawling cityscape, dominated by a huge tower that is miles away,” explained Minkoff. “Your goal is to get to the top of that tower and defeat the boss enemy atop it but, to get there, you’re going to have to make your way through the city, climbing across rooftops, ducking inside buildings, descending into sewers, etc – until you can finally climb your way up to the top of that tower.

“Then, you’ll be able to look back at the city and see all the places you’ve been to and fought in. Rather than making a hallway shooter that consists of tiny alleys, warehouses, and office buildings, we’ve made an epic, expansive, varied would for the player to explore.”

Colour us interested. Read all of Jacob’s answers to our questions after the link. Damnation releases for PC, PS3 and 360 in the fourth quarter.

Videogaming247: You say in the PR that levels can be up to three hours long. That sounds like a hell of a lot. What’s the save system like? And how many levels are there in total?

Jacob Minkoff: What we really want to get across about our levels is that they’re of a scale that you’ve never seen before in a hardcore shooter. Our goal from the very beginning was to allow the player to see their objectives in the distance from the start of the level and then work their way towards them in an intuitive and immersive manner. When we say three hours – what we mean is that you’ll start out a level standing on the top of a tall cliff and looking far into the distance where you’ll see a sprawling cityscape, dominated by a huge tower that is miles away. Your goal is to get to the top of that tower and defeat the boss enemy atop it but, to get there, you’re going to have to make your way through the city, climbing across rooftops, ducking inside buildings, descending into sewers, etc – until you can finally climb your way up to the top of that tower. Then, you’ll be able to look back at the city and see all the places you’ve been to and fought in. Rather than making a hallway shooter that consists of tiny alleys, warehouses, and office buildings, we’ve made an epic, expansive, varied would for the player to explore.

Don’t worry about the save system – it’s very generous. Our goal is to make a fun and challenging experience, but never to be frustrating. As for the levels, there are four major ones and two smaller ones, representing very unique and varied environments. Each of the worlds is then subdivided into as many as four very different thematic locations that have very disparate, yet complimentary visual stylings. That way, the player won’t get tired of the game’s look – it’ll keep changing as they progress through the world. We felt that regular visual changes were very important for communicating the feeling of an epic quest. Whether you look at Star Wars or Lord of the Rings – “epic” means visiting many different locations that each look strikingly different from one another.

Is co-op play included in the game? All the screens feature a man and a woman.

The single-player campaign is fully playable in 2-player co-op.

On the “vertical” element. Firstly, what was the thinking behind going up and down instead of across, and what control design issues are you facing because of that choice?

We feel that opening up the vertical space of the playfield provides us with tons of unique and exciting gameplay options to explore. There are two major reasons we’ve taken the shooter vertical:

  1. Risk vs. Reward – In Damnation it’s all about risk versus reward. The player will constantly have to ask themselves things like, “Do I stay where I am and use my machine gun, or do I try to climb up to that rocket launcher that I can see on a rooftop above me? If I stay here, I’m behind cover and safe, but my weapon is comparatively weak. If I run out there, I’m exposed while I climb onto the roof, but I get a much better weapon AND I’ll have a fantastic sniping spot to rain down death from above.” Basically, you can choose to try to make it to high ground – which will make you much more powerful tactically, or you can choose to try to stop others from getting that tactical advantage. It’s a really fast-paced dynamic that makes our multiplayer, in particular, really exciting.
  2. Intuitive Navigation – Instead of searching for keycards or pulling switches, finding your way through Damnation’s levels is all about being resourceful. You’ll need to look around, examine your environment, and figure out how you’re going to get to your goal. Remember those huge levels? Well, if your objective is to get to the huge tower that you can see in the distance, you’ll be able to look up and see it looming above the rooftops. You’ll need to figure out how you’re going to get to those rooftops and climb your way up there. Where Half-Life 2 uses physics as its primary puzzle-solving mechanic, we use climbing.

Vehicles look to play a major part in the game. Can you tell us a bit about the various types and how they affect play?

Over the course of the game, the player will get to drive and interact with different types of vehicles – from super-fast motorcycles and ATVs to massive mobile artillery that can take out whole buildings with a single shell. Most of the driving sections are focused on speed and covering lots of ground since Damnation sets the player on an epic journey that crosses an entire continent. The driving sections are like car chases in action films – put the pedal to the metal and go! Plough through enemies, avoid rockets and falling debris, do death-defying jumps over huge ravines, etc. Sometimes the vehicles will even be required in order to solve puzzles – allowing the player to reach area that they couldn’t on foot.

Finally, you say Damnation’s going to be “evolving the shooter genre” but surely it’s going to have to be very special to stand out in such a saturated sector. What’s your major hook?

The funny thing is, we’ve been told that we have “too many” new and innovative features. Damnation has a deep, immersive story set in a retro-technological world that’s different from the sorts of settings players are used to seeing in shooters. It has enormous, beautifully detailed levels that push the Unreal Engine 3 to its limit and let players intuitively and immersively explore levels on a scale never seen before in a hardcore shooter. But, if I had to pick one feature that really sets it apart – Damnation’s fast-paced vertically-focused combat is what people will really experience when they sit down and play it. After just one multiplayer match, trust me – you’ll see what makes it different, and I think you’ll love it. I know we do.

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    Fortnite’s second closed Alpha test will go live this afternoon, according to the official website. Those currently participating will have until April 14 to test the online aspects for 12 hours per day (noon -12am EDT). All progress from the previous Alpha test will be wiped, and other changes are listed in the patch notes. […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Jaws of Hakkon out now on PC, Xbox One

    As promised yesterday, the single-player DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Jaws of Hakkon, is now available on PC and Xbox One. It will run you or £11.99 or your regional equivalent. The new content expands the land of Thedas with mountainous regions and forests, and it is full of “vicious enemies.” Players will also be […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer shows Ascendance gameplay

    Activision has released a new gamepay trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to support the Ascendance DLC which releases next week. Ascendance, will release first on Xbox consoles March 31 and includes the next chapter of the Exo Zombies Saga, Infected, along with four new multiplayer maps: Perplex, Site 244, Climate and Chop Shop. […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight will be a digital only release on PC – report

    It appears Batman: Arkham Knight will not see a physical release on PC, according to ShopTo. The retailer was told by its buyer the Rocksteady game will only be released on PC in digital form. ShopTo is currently double checking the information. If accurate, it is unknown if this will be case in North America […]

  • Bloodborne patch focusing on load times, performance optimizations in the works

    A patch for Bloodborne which will address load times is in the works, Sony has said The load times were one of the issues noted in Digital Foundry’s report on the From Software title. Sony told Eurogamer the patch would also explore other issues as well. “The development team is currently exploring another patch for […]

  • Gearbox would “love” to have entire Borderlands collection on current-gen

    An Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version of the original Borderlands game is something Gearbox Software is interested in, according to studio boss Randy Pitchford. Speaking in the latest Major Nelson podcast, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said should Borderlands: The Handsome Collection prove successful, 2K Games might consider a current-gen version. “The fact that The […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood artwork shows the catacombs, dock, more

    Over the weekend we posted Wolfenstein: The Old Blood artwork along with news of a retail release in Europe. Today, we have better quality images of said artwork to share with you. Enjoy. The standalone prequel will be released digitally on May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in North America, and digitally on […]

  • Slender: The Arrival terrorizes PS4 and Xbox One this week

    In case you forgot, what with Bloodborne out today and other high profile releases of late, Slender: The Arrival is out today on PlayStation 4 in North America. The scary game will arrive on Xbox One tomorrow, March 25, and in Europe on PS4. Slender: The Arrival is an expansion on the original Slender game […]

  • World of Warcraft’s WoW Token rollout slated after launch of patch 6.1.2

    Blizzard has announced it will start rollout its WoW Token option in the weeks following the launch of patch 6.1.2 on March 24. WoW Token allows players to exchange in-game gold for game time and vice versa. Blizzard will release WoW Token first in realms serving North America, Oceania, and Latin America and will expand […]

  • The Evil Within: The Consequence dated for April, teaser video released

    Part 2 of Juli Kidman’s adventure in The Evil Within will arrive next month with the release of The Consequence. Above is a brief teaser showing some of the “madness” Kidman will encounter. The Consequence will arrive on Tuesday, April 21 on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. European PlayStation players will […]

  • Bloodborne sometimes “struggles to run at a smooth frame-rate” per performance analysis

    Bloodborne has been analyzed by Digital Foundry and according to the report, even with a 30fps cap the game sometimes “struggles to run at a smooth frame-rate.” The game’s day-one 2.69GB update 1.01 is “essential” as it contains improvements to game performance and stability and the frame-rate tests run by Digital Foundry were in single-player […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection reviews round-up

    Borderlands: The Handsome Collection reviews are out in the wild so we decided to catch a few of them for you. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is out today on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The collection packages Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel along with each game’s DLC content on one disc. Better graphics and […]

  • Evolve, Forza Horizon 2, WWE 2K15 are this week’s Deals with Gold

    Evolve, Forza 2 Horizon and WWE 2K15 are just some of the games which are part of this week’s Xbox Deals with Gold. You can also pick up the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Pro Edition for 20% off as well as the standard edition for 33% off. For the Xbox 360 crowd, there’s also […]

  • Xbox 360 2015 Spring Value bundles now available starting at $250

    Microsoft is offering a discount on three Xbox 360 bundles with prices starting at $250. The Xbox 360 2015 Spring Value bundles feature various content such as a Kinect, 500GB console bundle and one month of Xbox Live Gold. Xbox 360 500GB Spring Value Bundle: comes with Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare download and Fable […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege beta sign ups now open

    Ubisoft is letting everyone register for the upcoming Rainbow Six Siege closed beta. Rainbow Six Siege is due for a closed beta sometime this year. Ubisoft has opened registration to everyone. All you need to do is enter your preferred platform and log in using your Uplay account. You will be entered into a waiting […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Exo Zombies map Infection is creepy

    The upcoming chapter in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies mode is called ‘Infection’ and Activision has been slowly revealing bits and pieces about it. A few teasers have been dropping ahead of Ascendance launch this month. The teasers are about the second episode in the Exo Zombie story, Infection. First off, the map. […]

  • This is the Bloodborne press kit in all its glory

    Bloodborne is a gorgeous game so it’s only fitting that the press kit it came in is a reflection of that. The pictures capture the many amazing bits of the Bloodborne press kit. A press kit is what’s usually sent to the reviewers alongside the review copy. They’re usually very ornate and almost all of […]

  • This Hearthstone turn is taking over 40 hours and you can watch it happen

    A very smart Hearthstone player has rigged his game to make one turn take over 40 hours, and it has been going for over 22 already. Hearthstone player Mamytwink set up a game against his friend to try and achieve the record for the longest turn in Hearthstone ever. Basically, Mamytwink set the game up […]

  • The Witcher 3: Geralt’s beard grows over time, but not Gandalf-long

    The beard of The Witcher 3 protagonist Geralt will grow over time, but you can trim it if you choose to. As part of a recently published impressions piece by German magazine Gamestar (translated by NeoGAF), The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developers revealed that Geralt’s beard will in fact grow over time. Not content with […]

  • Sony mistakenly abandons Bloodborne trademark in the US

    The administration side of Sony Computer Entertainment has not been in the best of shapes recently. Sony has abandoned four game trademarks yesterday, one of which is for Bloodborne. The trademarks were all registered with US Patent and Trademark Office. All of the games trademarks pertain to unreleased games and Sony would’ve had to either […]

  • Payday 2 will be supported until 2017

    Payday 2 developer has announced that it will continue to support the game for the next two years. Payday 2 developer Overkill has revealed today that it’s planning to support the game until 2017. What this means is that more free content as well as paid DLC are in the works for release later. Payday […]

  • These are the top Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare weapons, according to the developer

    Based on their overall kill-to-death ratio, what are the best guns in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare? Developer Sledgehammer reveals the top 5. Sledgehammer’s Michael Condrey has revealed on Twitter the top 5 weapons in Advanced Warfare based on their overall kill-to-death ratio. Here’s the list: ARX-160 – Hole Puncher Ameli – Heavy HBRa3 – […]

  • H1Z1 has sold more than 1 million copies

    H1Z1 has already sold over 1 million copies on Steam. H1Z1 may still be in Early Access on Steam, but it has already sold more than 1 million copies. Daybreak president John Smedley announced on Twitter earlier. H1Z1 launched in January and instantly became a hit. The game has consistently been on Steam’s top 10 […]