Jun Takeuchi is a busy man. "Mr Resident Evil" hadn't even finished producing the fifth instalment in everyone's favourite zombie franchise when he announced Lost Planet 2 in an Xbox Live special, promising to trump Extreme Condition in pretty much every way.
The shooter sequel has four-way co-op and some of the stupidest bosses seen in games, and has moved the action from icy cold to the desert and jungle heat. It's even got a cameo by Dom and Marcus from Gears of War. If it just had dancing ladies, it'd have it all.
Mr Takeuchi was kind enough to talk to us about how big bosses can be (spoiler: infinitely), how the game's Campaign was originally intended to be a single-player experience and how the idea of a "a complete game" is an "illusion"
Interview by Patrick Garratt.
VG247: The last trailer you showed was pretty much the most monumental thing ever created. Are you confident the same level of pace and excitement can be maintained throughout play?
Jun Takeuchi: Absolutely! However, the game includes a lot more content that we couldn’t show in the trailer – you would be surprised with the depth of the content that would be more than exciting action.
Can you explain how important V-Suit customization is to the overall experience?
Jun Takeuchi: You can take weapons off of a VS or put other weapons onto a VS, and VSs can be transformed or merged with other VSes, but I wouldn’t say that is customisation because it might disappoint people.
Since LP2 is a shooter game, we didn’t want to complicate the gameplay with RPG type of customisations. Saying that, putting huge weapon on your VS can be considered quite important!
Bosses. Yours are big. Is there such a thing as "too big"? Would you have been able to create such big bosses without features afforded by current gen hardware?
Jun Takeuchi: Whilst creating huge bosses for this title, we realised that boss-size doesn’t really create many restrictions in the gameplay. Therefore, in my opinion, a “too-big” boss doesn’t exist; the important point is how to accommodate that boss in the gameplay.
You have a definite eye for spectacle, reminiscent of God of War III. Did you take any cues from the game?
Jun Takeuchi: Thanks. I don’t take cues from any particular game. But experiencing different types of media is very important to me. Therefore, not only I play the games, but also watch films, have a look at anime and manga, I’m also interested in architecture and nature too.
These days, we all have access to a very convenient tool in the Internet, and you can check out many images by searching through - but you can’t beat physically experiencing them.
You have been the head of both the original and the sequel. Does the second game allow you to complete the ideas laid out in LP1?
Jun Takeuchi: I think we have completed the ideas that we couldn’t incorporate in the original game with LP2. However, now we realise that we have more new ideas. I think “a complete game” is an illusion.
Finally, how has the inclusion of four-player co-op impacted LP2's design? Why did you feel the need to go down this route?
Jun Takeuchi: The number one item for the players’ wish list was co-op play. So I discussed the possibility of incorporating it with the team, and came up with a new gameplay style.
As a result, the Campaign mode, which started as a straight forward single-play, has changed into the different gameplay that would evolve by the players. And I think this was a part of evolution that LP2 has achieved too.
Lost Planet 2 releases on May 11 for PS3, 360 and PC.