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Haze's Yescombe Talks Political, Violence Script Subtexts

As part of an in-depth interview with Rob Yescombe, the UK-based Free Radical scriptwriter has been discussing the political overtones for his firm's $20 million-budgeted PS3 exclusive, Haze, also suggesting the title's plot includes "commentary on
As part of an in-depth interview with Rob Yescombe, the UK-based Free Radical scriptwriter has been discussing the political overtones for his firm's $20 million-budgeted Ubisoft PS3 exclusive, Haze, also suggesting the title's plot includes "commentary on violence in video games" in its subtext. In the interview, which asks Yescombe about the recent history of games with political elements in Midway's BlackSite: Area 51 and in EA's Army Of Two openly discussed on Gamasutra, the writer explains it as follows: "Haze... is a commentary on games themselves. In a game, you obey your orders without exception. That's what you do. And as a soldier, you obey your orders. There's no exception, and that's what you do. There are definitely parallels that can be drawn." Yesombe continues: "But more than that, it's a commentary on violence in video games. As a [futuristic private military operator] Mantel guy, it makes sense that you play it like a game, because you're absolved from responsibility. It's weird that our entertainment is founded on shooting people in the face! The truth is that I enjoy it as much as anyone else, but I find myself weird for liking it so much. That's less than a big political statement; it's much more about, 'What are we, as people who are entertained by this?'" Continuing by discussing some of the heavier political topics tossed around earlier in the development of the title, which is being made by the creators of the Timesplitters series, Yescombe notes: "Right back at the very beginning, the template for it was Apocalypse Now, but in the end, we became too overt and just too controversial to approach the marketplace. It's a 20-odd million dollar production, and it's a very risky thing to try and push it down that avenue too far. That stuff is still in there for the people who want to find it, but at the same time, the most important thing about Haze -- and this is the most important thing about any game! -- it doesn't matter how interesting your political commentary or story is. If a game isn't fun to play, you've wasted your time." The full interview with Yescombe is now available on Gamasutra, and discusses the formation of the scenario for the game, which is currently planned exclusively for the PlayStation 3, how the writing and development affected one another, and more.

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