Ghost Recon 3 E3 Interview
Interview : Christian Allen
GR2 Game Designer, Red Storm Entertainment
Location : E3 2005
Interviewer : DS, GhostRecon.net
Firstly, I'll start by saying that Christian seemed very much more at ease than he was twelve months ago, and much more enthusiastic to talk about GR.
I could tell that he was genuinely excited and pleased with GR3 for the XBox 360. Either that, or the fact that because his Mrs was on the 'Lockdown' stand next door, he would have a cheaper mobile phone bill next month.
In fact, the whole atmosphere at the Ubi stand was very positive indeed. Staff, both RSE and Ubisoft [including the French] were friendly, warm and accommodating. Not only were my questions answered, but if they didn't know the answer, then I was quickly introduced to someone who did. Ubi have had a great year since E3 '04, and maybe this has put the whole company on a high.
The GR3 stand was very simple. Two rows of benches were placed in a small room with open sides.
In front and high up, was a large plasma TV, and immediately to the rear of the benches, was a large clear panel with another plasma TV mounted high, which allowed even the bypasser to see the game.
For the duration of E3, RSE staff took turns to talk visitors and the press through the game, and answer questions.
These presentations were shared by the presenter Lee Reherman, from G4TV, the dedicated games channel in the US based in Los Angeles.
Unlike GR2 for the XBox at last year's E3, there was no hands on gameplay. We were shown a rolling demo of gameplay and Full Motion Video.
I have to say, that the FMV is probably the best I've ever seen. It's absolutely beautiful and I'm surprised Ubi don't pursue this, and turn it into a full blown animated series for television.
Anyway, without further ado, here's how the interview went, and despite the fact he is actually working on the GR3 MP aspect, he, along with everyone I talked to, knows about the development of the PC version. It would seem that Ubi/RSE have some good inter-development communication in place.
Christian being a good sport and holding up two GhostRecon.net cards
Please note this is not a verbatim interview as DS had neither a dictaphone or shorthand skills.
What part of the new graphics engine impresses you the most?
The lighting. It will have the biggest visual impact on the game. The shadows and the lighting work very well together. It's really dynamic and will separate it from GR and GR3, visually at least.
What in particular do you think enhances the gameplay more than anything else?
Two things; Team communication, and hand signals. We've reintroduced ROE's [Rules Of Engagement], allowing your team to be have an offensive or defensive stance and waypoints can be set in MP. Basically, communication will play an even bigger part in the game.
What are you personally most pleased with about GR3?
The server modes. There's around 330 of them, making it wide open now, for MP, which will give the players much more choice in tailoring their games.
Is the PC version being developed now?
Will the PC version be a (gulp) port?
No, it is being developed totally separately, but the same sound aspects from the Xbox 360 are being used in the PC version.
Who is actually developing it?
A foreign developer.
NOTE: I was later informed that a Swedish developer called Grin are developing GR3 for the PC.
Are RSE involved in any way?
Yes. We are involved with the authenticity and the direction of the game, and to make sure that there is continuity with the franchise.
Other than shiny graphics, what features make this game appealing to tactical shooter fans?
Future weapons and intel. Players will have the ability to launch drones, which will automatically update their maps with perishable intelligence. This, plus future war weapons and technology should get the player thinking.
While I can handle new weapons and new uniforms, what if anything, will make GR3 for PC a non linear, thinking mans games like the original?
Simple, it's all about finding your enemy and killing them.
Will we be restricted to a team of four, or will we be able to interact ie. control physically, more than one?
I don't know about the PC version, but on the 360 you'll control a team of four, but only play as the one character, like in GR2.
Will there be a stealth aspect, or will it be just straight forward combat?
Stealth will be an essential part on all the platforms, as running around will get you killed!
Will we have the cluttered HUD and coloured silhouettes that we see in the 360 version?
HUD's are as yet not final.
Will the PC be stuck with the FPWV? If it is kept as an option, will the player have a setting to override a server's setting, so that this view can't be forced upon the player in MP?
I bet 'WhiteKnight' (of Ghostrecon.net) asked that question didn't he?
Errrrrrr....yes.....I think so.....it certainly does sound like a question he'd ask
View options have not been finalized yet.
Will we see development footage on the making of GR3 PC as we do on the console?
I'm sure you will.
GR1 is still a great game. Will GR3 have the same appeal?
Yes I believe it will and it will have all the aspects of tension, and the thought needed to successfully complete missions.
Why do you think the original GR is still being purchased and played today, four years after it was released?
Because it's a solid game and nothing has matched it today so far.
Shortly after the interview, he came running over to me laughing and said "Oh!......by the way.........tracers aren't final!!!"
Thanks very much to Christian and his colleagues in answering our questions. Hopefully, that's reassured some of us!