How many times are you gonna have to f@#*in' do this? I played Tomb Raider to the point where I wanted to shove the controller through the goddamn television. It's the most annoying s#!+ ever. It's like, "Are you f@#*ing kidding me? Did people play this game?" If people played the game, they'd be like, "Stop. We need to change this." It's like, how do you change that mechanic to something that feels engaging, that doesn't block up the visual nature of the screen, especially when you're doing games in high-def with these great resolutions and it looks really vibrant and beautiful?...
[Another thing we were inspired to change] is that when a guy gets really close to you in a third-person shooter [he's really hard to hit]… It's like, "He's two feet f@#*in' away from me! If I had a gun, I'd shoot him right in the head!" Shooting when you're in third-person up close is a frustration factor. That's why we added the close-quarter combat button.
People say, "You really don't have as many animations for close-quarter combat." It's not about the variety of animations. It's about taking something that's frustrating and making it really fast and really simple. It's a quick kill that does what it's supposed to do: It takes away the pain of trying to shoot an up-close target in third-person.
Something else we did was to ask, "Where are our save points in the level? Do we have enough of them? Are they too frustrating?" We played the game, over and over and over again…
Now, there are some places where the game is really hard, particularly in the last level or two. And that's done on purpose, because by that point, you should be very good at the game. We have a very nice, smooth ramp. The game is almost incredibly easy at the beginning, because we want the player to get a sense of accomplishment and feel good about it and learn the controls… We want you to devour the first half of this game in half the time it would take you to go through the first half of a normal game. You're in it, you feel it, you get a sense of accomplishment, and follow the story.
The story unfolds around you, and the story we're telling is interesting. It's not the - we're still not at the point of where we're telling really super-successful stories in games, but the story we have in this game is better than most, and we want you to experience this story. We want you to get through the story. We have enough hidden achievements, unlockables, Trophies, skins, comic-book stuff, and [information about] how we did motion capture, that we have lots of replayability.
CCC: Any comments on the current console wars? What was it like developing for both the PS3 and 360, and what do you think of the Wii?
PW: If I had my choice, I'd always rather develop on one console or another. There's strengths and weaknesses. I was a huge 360 fan, and now I have a PS3 as well. I think the PS3 does so many things amazingly well. It's a powerful system with a lot of depth that's going to be around; it could last another ten years. I think the system is so incredibly strong, and really awesome to develop for. Although, I think that probably in the beginning it was harder than the 360, it's about evening out now. I think we'll see the PS3 catching up a bit. That system is such a f@#*ing monster; it's really f@#*in' cool. I can't wait to make two or three or four more games for the PS3. I think it's got that kind of legs left. Most of my online play still happens on 360 with my friends, so I like both the next-generation consoles a great deal.
In terms of the Wii, I think it's about having the right product. I think a lot of times what happens is that people do games that they make for other systems and then they just do a rushed, half-assed port for the Wii. I think when games come out that are Wii exclusives, those are going to be games that function on the gesture-based system. Those are going to be better, because they've had care. It takes six additional months to do a game for the Wii where you really get the gesture system right. Now, you don't have the same graphical power. It's more for a real mass-market younger, or really older, consumer. The Wii is perfect for the tweeners and to be put in the old-folks homes. But I don't see how the diehard, hardcore gamers are going to jump on the Wii. Eventually, the gesture system, for me, becomes frustrating. You have to do it over and over again; it loses its fun factor. I'd much rather have the 360 with that awesome f@#*ing cool controller, or the PS3. Thank God for the f@#*in' DualShock , because that was like a return to controller greatness. I'd much rather play next generation games with that controller, rather than the masturbatory Wii controller.