As part of an in-depth Gamasutra interview
, Army Of Two
military consultant Woodie Mister has been discussing the issue of realism versus entertainment when creating the private military contractor-based Electronic Arts title.
Mister, who describes himself as a former Navy SEAL who then moved into the security firm business working with kidnapping and ransom problems, and then as a military contractor in the Middle East, has also previously consulted on the Splinter Cell
In particular, an extract from the full interview discusses some of the issues that Mister sees in balancing elements of reality and entertainment elements in the EA Montreal-developed next-gen console title, which is now due in early 2008:
"Once again, we're back to "entertaining." You know, do you want a couple of guys that have just human-looking faces, or do you want a couple of guys that are running around blasting people, one guy's got a skull mask, and the other guy looks like he's got flames on the side? I mean, that's cool. And to sell the game, the game's got to be cool. And this game's definitely got those elements.
Now realistically? You know, if you're over in the desert, in 120 degree heat, do you want a ballistic mask on your face that's not really going to withstand a shot from an AK-47 round? A 7-6-2 by 39 round, with a steel penetrator that's going to go through a ballistic face shield? Unless it's got a metal plate in it. They're not made of ceramic, so yeah, realistically? It's not normal.
But then again, you're not going to wear a big riot face mask that you've seen police do -- that have a big giant, thick shield on the front of it? I mean, you're going to have to have a big-ass neck to carry that thing around. Like a bison.
So those are unrealistic pieces, so why add 'em? I mean, let's make those guys look daunting, and cool. You've got commando teams all over the world, that wear balaclavas, and wear face masks when they do missions, and they go, and they look scary, and they hit.
There's a purpose for that. They're supposed to dominate that room; they're supposed to go in there and scare the living crap out of you. And it adds a whole level of domineering to, to it. And that's what they do. They do it very well."
The full Gamasutra feature
on Army Of Two
includes further in-depth discussions with Mister, talking about his involvement with the game and his philosophy towards touchy issues like politics and violence in games. This is followed by a conversation with Reid Schneider, the game's producer at EA Montreal, which talks inspiration, technology, and collaboration with other EA studios.