Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Last Christmas when I bought Wii game systems for both of my children's families, I was sorely tempted to buy one for myself. I really like the idea of using your own body's motion as an intuitive game interface. I was surprised, though, when I visited a Gamespot shop with my grandson that when I asked about which Wii titles actually used the motion control feature of the game console, I was told relatively few titles actually did, with the exception of Wii Sports and Wii Fit. But now, game developer High-Voltage looks like its going to step up to the plate and introduce an action title, Gladiator A.D. , that will take full advantage of the new Wii MotionPlus firmware. The game title will also feature an original soundtrack by composer Jeff Beal, the musical talent behind the unique soundtrack for HBO's miniseries, "Rome".
"Our goal is to make the controls intuitive while providing depth to the game mechanics. Customizable weapons, armor and moves give the player a lot of choices of the arsenal to bring into battle. There are quicker, lighter moves that are difficult to block or dodge and slower, heavier moves that will do more damage. A well-timed parry will briefly stun your opponent. There are brutality moves that the player can earn by increasing crowd favor, which plays a big role in a player's victory or defeat, " explained High-Voltage CEO Kerry Ganofsky.
"Gladiator takes an over-the-should approach to bring the player right into the action. With the Wii-remotes representing the right and left hand, the player can accurately control his attacks, blocks, and dodges. The player has three directional attack; left slice, right slash, and overhead chop. As well as a slower, but devastating power attack for each direction. On the defense, the player can choose to dodge, parry, or block attacks. Holding block will soak a percentage of the incoming damage, but moving your shield or secondary weapon using the analog stick (while blocking) will allow the player to make perfect blocks, which soaks all damage, and causes his opponent to react, allowing for a retaliatory strike. We incorporate slow down of the larger power attacks, similar to the movie 300, to allow players a cinematic attempt to perfect block these attacks, " adds High-Voltage Chief Creative Officer Eric Nofsinger.
"The controls use Wii motions with the Wii remote and nunchuck to initiate an attack. There are six basic attacks: Left, right or overhead, both light and heavy. The player can also block or dodge in any direction, " says Ganofsky.
"The Wii MotionPlus will be used to add variance to the attacks to break up what could possibly be seen as mechanical attacks. For example, depending on the orientation of the player's wrist when a left slice is initiated, the gladiator will attack his opponents right side from one of three angles, making it slightly more difficult to perfect block player's using the Wii MotionPlus. We are also looking into other applications for optional game-play with this peripheral. " - More: Wii.IGN.com
You can listen to a couple of music clips from the game soundtrack here. They certainly bear the stamp of Jeff Beal. I could imagine listening to "The Pit" as an alternative soundtrack to the scene where Pullo fights for his life in that squalid Republican-era arena, shouting "Thirteenth! The Thirteenth!".
High-Voltage executives estimate the title will be released in the 1st quarter of 2010.