Talking as part of an in-depth Gamasutra interview
published today, Mercenaries 2
creative director Cameron Brown has been explaining why the game is unabashedly a Jerry Bruckheimer-esque 'action movie game', eschewing overdense narrative in favor of 'pick up and play' action.
Mercenaries 2 is Pandemic Studios' first next generation project - and also the company's first game to ship since the Destroy All Humans!
and Star Wars: Battlefront
creator was acquired by Electronic Arts as part of the BioWare/Pandemic acquisition.
In the interview, Brown makes it clear that the title is designed to be accessible and engaging from the get-go, without any of the denser message-based rhetoric that's featured in a number of recent action games, commenting:
"We're very explicit about being an action movie game; we want to put you into a kind of Bruckheimer experience. That kind of summer blockbuster high action, but it's you doing the stunts, and it's you experiencing these huge explosions.
I think, by trying to leverage a little bit of that familiarity -- obviously, we don't want it to feel cliché, or tired -- we try and make it feel like these are fairly iconic characters that you can understand just by looking at them. You're kind of going to get a sense of who these people are, and what they're doing. So that, I think, helps as well.
So it's really a combination of all those things, and then just a lot of iteration -- particularly over the start of the game -- trying to get it so that everyone gets it, everyone's engaged, everyone feels like they're having fun within five minutes picking up the controls, and that kind of thing."
When prompted by the Gamasutra interviewer that '...there's a certain degree to which you have to make sure not to spend too much time on narrative... I think a lot of games make that mistake", Brown adds:
"Yeah, exactly. And I'm not going to name names, but yeah, that's definitely a sin that gets committed often, and I don't think we're going to do that.
We invest a couple minutes in act one into introducing you to who you are, but I don't think anyone is going to feel like they're stuck watching a movie when they want to be playing a game. We get you into the action pretty quick, that's a pretty strong focus for our game."
You can now read the full Gamasutra interview with Brown
, including plenty more detail on the genesis of the game and its influences - including classic and unexpected ones such as Elite
and an early Will Wright title.