As part of an in-depth new Gamasutra interview
, EA Montreal's Chris Ferriera has been discussing the studio's Army Of Two
and its themes, comparing its military contractor-themed setting to classic horror movie Invasion Of The Body Snatchers in terms of covert messaging on real-world issues.
In the interview, Ferriera explains that, after deciding to theme the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 title around private military contractors
, he discovered:
"It’s actually kind of crazy to see just how funds change hands, and the fact that right now you watch the news and they say “Army Rangers." And [the Navy] can’t get SEALs and they’re having these big recruiting drives, and they’re upping everyone’s salary -- because, say, a guy who was a SEAL was making 1200 bucks a week working for the US government.
As soon as he’s done with his tour of duty, or say he never got his tour of duty -- he’s trained to kill, these guys are trained killers, and they never get their war. So now they’re told “we’ll pay you 300, 800, 1200 dollars a day or a week to go do mission abroad, and you can bring your own gear, you don’t have to report to anyone. It’s just you and your boy doing your mission.” And they’re going to eat it up, and they’re going to do it because the money’s there."
When asked whether the militaristic sheen on the title may discourage people from looking further into any messages being conveyed in it, Ferriera admitted:
"People like guns. Americans love guns. The world likes violence. It’s human nature. People enjoy war, they enjoy this stuff. It’s creepy when you look at it... a singing game [compared to a] shooter, what the sales numbers are, it’s actually kind of scary in just the amount of violence. But what we’re doing is... we’re going to try to bring this to light subtly."
"I look at it like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. That movie came out back when, and people were like “oh, it’s a horror movie.” And some people took it at face value -- “oh, it's a horror movie... I’m afraid of body snatchers!” But other people realized that the underlying message was McCarthyism, and what was going on in America at the time.
We’re hoping that someone who plays the game a lot and who really follows the story, and doesn’t just skip through it and pays attention, that we can spark them to say “you know what, I’m going to look into this.” That’s all. “I’m going to gain interest in this, and find out what’s really going on here. What am I doing?” In the game you’re doing all kind of crazy stuff for this company. You’re sent on all these different missions, and then you find out what’s wrong with this deniability and what’s wrong with everything in general."
The full interview with Ferriera
is now viewable on Gamasutra, including much more detail on the title's other major themes, particularly Army Of Two
's new take on the co-operative game mechanic.