Renowned game maker David Jaffe talks exclusively to PlayStation.com at E3 2011.
Twisted Metal is a fun, yet somewhat creepy concept. Can you tell us what inspired you to create something so different?
A lot of people talk about Twisted Metal as different or imaginative and part of that comes from the fact that a lot of games these days have become so realistic. Even with something like God of War, so much work goes into presenting and building a world that would be believable in that time and setting. Whereas Twisted throws that out of the window and really embraces this comic book, rock and roll, heavy metal world that is kind of absurd. I think a maniacal clown on the back of a motorcycle that has a flaming chainsaw is cool. In terms of where it came from, it's just sort of who we are; it wasn't a conscious effort to do something different, it's just that we think this stuff is neat and we dig it.
What have you been able to do on PlayStation 3 that you weren't able to in previous Twisted Metal games?
Obviously there's stuff like the size of the levels, the enhanced graphics and better animations because we have more memory. There's a tonne of variety in this game with over 25 levels and more than 17 cars that each have different pros and cons. But really what excites me most is the connection with the fans. Thanks to the Internet we've discovered that we have a lot more fans across the world than we ever imagined and PS3 lets us play together for the first time. While you won't be able to play ranked games across regions, it will be possible for unranked games.
One of the big new additions to the series is aerial combat. Can you talk us through this?
We've always seen Twisted as a fast paced, fighting game. If you get into it, there's a lot of depth, a lot of strategy. So, it's not so much that we have aerial combat, we see it as there's a character now who can fly, just like we have a character who can throw flaming chainsaws. We're really proud of that because it shows how we continue to differentiate our vehicles so that it continues that Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter heritage that we and the hardcore fans know is there.
Are there any surprises in there for long-time fans of the series on PlayStation?
Absolutely, although at the same time we want to bring in new fans while keeping existing players of the series happy. For, us the spirit of Twisted Metal is rock and roll and punk rock and irreverence, and that is as relevant to a brand new player as it is to someone who's been playing for a long time. The old time fans will have some moments which they can link back to the first game in 1995; at the same time it's not meant to be a retrospective experience. The game is for everyone who has that kind of rebelliousness in them.
Are you considering post launch support such as new vehicles, maps or even characters?
Twisted is a prime candidate for all sorts of things. I think it would be cool and we've had some really interesting conversations about what we'll do even if we're not quite ready to reveal the details just yet.
Why do you think someone like Sweet Tooth has remained such a popular character amongst PlayStation fans?
I think it's because crazy never gets old. Look at me, I'm not this guy who has supermodels buried in his back yard – I'm a nice, normal, average dude but I have a part of me that loves the dark stuff. I like horror movies, creepy stories, surreal things and I think there are people out there who love that too. So I think Sweet Tooth represents that raw, violent, dark side that everybody has and not all of us are tapped in to. For those of us that are tapped into it, he speaks to those people that love being in that world.
Lastly, Twisted Metal must have turned up some hilarious (or at least humorous) moments during its testing period - anything that stands out in particular for you?
Well, we're still testing, trying hard to get this game tuned, and this is a hard, hard game to tune. I'm sure if you asked the testers they would have some stories to tell, but for me, this is such a big game and we're such a small team that any time a bug comes through I want to jump out of the window. So, even if it was the funniest thing in the world, we're in a place right now where we can't look at it that way.
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