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Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway Interview

Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway Interview

BM: Brian Martel - Executive Vice President of Gearbox Software
CCC: Cheat Code Central

CCC: Another unique thing about Hell's Highway is the way that health is handled. Why did you guys decide to stay away from the med kits and/or regeneration that are frequently used in first-person shooters?

BM: You know, it is something we've had all along; in the previous games it is there. We just made something that was under-the-hood visible to player. We did sort-of have a health thing where you could get nicked in the past. So the two things that it did was bring that stuff forward so the player could see it and understand it, but then it got rid of that other health component so that bullets when they really do hit you, they're deadly. You're not really taking nicks anymore like you probably would before. It is just a great way of telling the player that where you are is bad. If you think about it as a player, what you are seeing on your screen is like you're looking through that big circle they have over their head. Of course you can turn that off and be really immersed, but that is the idea. When your screen is red, you are being suppressed; it is really just an extension of that.

CCC: Characters and storyline have always played a large roll in the Brothers in Arms series. Is the storyline going to be linear or will things change depending on what you do? Specifically, if certain characters under your command die, will it affect the story and/or gameplay?

BM: No, we call this the impossible problem when it comes to storytelling. If you're going to have a character that is around through the whole of the story, you can't have them die. The other part of that is we can't spend the time and money it would take to create characters that could fill out your whole ten to fifteen hour gameplay experience having you kill people due to your inexperience. We just couldn't craft that many people. So for us it is important that these guys make it all the way through. We do have to make gamey solutions to these problems - gamey solutions being like they will come back at checkpoints and things like that. We wanted to keep these guys around, so if they are dead back at the first encounter, what good is that?

Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway Interview

CCC: Is there any downloadable content planned for Hell's Highway?

BM: I'll just say that we'd like to. I don't know what the full plan on that is, but we've been thinking about it for a long time.

CCC: The game looks beautiful; what resolution can we expect from the finished product?

BM: It should be full resolution 1080 at a minimum of thirty frames per second, and if I'm wrong, it'll be at least at 720.

CCC: Everyone has been talking about the deal between Gearbox and Double Fusion, so I have to ask: are there going to be in game ads in Hell's Highway?

BM: You know, honestly, I don't know how we're using that. I know the things should all be applicable to the era. We're not having billboards for anything that shouldn't be there. Phillips was there, and that is a great example of how something that's appropriate was there. That is the cross thing between us wanting to be historically accurate because it is the Phillips factory and it is obviously a current day company. But I think it is really something that is going to happen more in future games, again where it is appropriate.

Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway Interview

CCC: I know it is far too early to talk about any possible sequels but have you guys given any thoughts to taking the Brothers in Arms series outside of the World War II setting?

BM: I don't know where we're going to take Baker and/or any other characters. I think we've talked about it a little bit because it would be cool. I think Afghanistan is a pretty clear setting that is really interesting, but I don't think that will be an actual thing. It is hard with the modern day thing without creating something new. If it's something that is a real historical situation, then I think it feels a lot more true. I think Call of Duty 4 is a great game, but we're not probably going to make up that kind of fictional situation. Never say never, but it just doesn't seem necessarily appropriate. I think there is going be a natural progression if we're going to finish out the Baker story. I think there could be something else in the future, but we'll see.

By Adam Brown
CCC Freelance Journalist

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