Halo started it all for console first person shooters as we know them, and until Call of Duty 4 came along, it was pretty much unopposed. One failed attempt to take the crown was the original Killzone, which received a poor response from gamers everywhere. Killzone 2 launched on the PlayStation 3 earlier this year in February and has gone up against the juggernauts of the FPS genre. We here at TheGamerAccess.com were hungry for more information on Killzone 2 and the future plans of Guerrilla Games so they were nice enough to answer many of our questions.
I would first like to introduce you to the amazing people at Guerrilla Games who took time out of their busy schedules to answer our questions:
Mathijs de Jonge – Game Director
Eric Boltjes – Lead Online Designer
Steven ter Heide – Senior Producer
Now let’s get to the interview shall we?
TheGamerAccess.com: What is it like being a Sony first party studio and what other developers have you worked with?
Mathijs de Jonge: It’s great to be a first party Sony studio. The balance between creative freedom and support from their side to develop our games is spot on and works well for both of us.
TheGamerAccess.com: What media has influenced the development of the Killzone franchise?
Mathijs de Jonge: Blockbuster action and war movies mostly.
TheGamerAccess.com: What ever happened to Hakha and Lugar from the original Killzone?
Steven ter Heide: Both are around and well I believe. They were interesting characters for sure, however for Killzone 2 we wanted to introduce some new characters that brought different elements to the story.
TheGamerAccess.com: How much did you learn about the PS3 that will make future projects easier?
Mathijs de Jonge: A lot. We now have a very strong and solid engine. And equally important, our in-house tools have been further improved as well which allows our staff to worry less about how (technical) to implement something rather then what (creative) to implement.
TheGamerAccess.com: Did you have a goal for Killzone 2 and were those goals met?
Mathijs de Jonge: Yes I feel that we’ve met our goals to a large degree. Everybody has seen our 2005 trailer in which we first communicated our vision for the game. Translating this video into a playable experience with the same level of graphical detail and intensity was a challenging task, but I feel that we managed to pull this off successfully. The first time that I personally felt assured that we had something unique was during a press event in Santa Monica where I played in front of the journalists through the 2nd level. Although I had played that level many times already it still managed to suck me in and I felt a real rush that not many other games have ever managed to do.
TheGamerAccess.com: Are you happy with the current sales totals and weekly sales totals of Killzone 2?
Steven ter Heide: It’s very satisfying to see the title doing well. It’s especially great to be playing your own game online with so many other people out there. Sales figures of course are a big focus and we are happy with consumer response to the game. Most important for us though is listening to the feedback, positive or negative to help us improve the product that we make.
TheGamerAccess.com: Did Guerrilla Games see any other game or game developer/publisher as competition with the release of Killzone2?
Steven ter Heide: We were very happy with the strategic placement of our release window. Traditionally a lot of titles are released during the Christmas period, so coming out in February gave us some time to polish as well as release without that many titles around.
TheGamerAccess.com: Have and will you guys ever consider making a sequel/prequel where the player sees the war from the eyes of the Helghast?
Mathijs de Jonge: It’s certainly an interesting idea but again right now we are still in full online and DLC support for Killzone 2.
TheGamerAccess.com: Do you guys plan on developing another title for this generation? Killzone 3?
Steven ter Heide: PlayStation 3 has a very long life ahead still, and we’re certainly not done developing for this platform. We still see enough opportunities to get better and pushing the platform even further.
TheGamerAccess.com: Do you have anymore DLC planned, other than map packs, for Killzone 2?
Eric Boltjes: Actually we have been releasing DLC already. Our DLC will remain focused around Map Packs, although that doesn’t mean we’re not introducing new features. Map Pack #2 – Flash & Thunder – introduced a new Nuke mechanic to spice things up. You’ll see us building on this premise in the future.
TheGamerAccess.com: Will you guys ever add a “true” party system to Killzone 2’s multiplayer?
Eric Boltjes: No, unfortunately due to the way KZ2 is setup right now, we are unable to put such a feature in.
TheGamerAccess.com: Will we ever see different online modes such as hardcore, no respawn, or even games that have rounds instead of the full warzone?
Eric Boltjes: We are currently investigating if we can put in such features in the future but no promises yet.
TheGamerAccess.com: Will there ever be dedicated rooms that will not allow players to tweak any changes, leaving the online experience to be played how you guys feel they should be, such as medleys, warzones, deathmatch-only, and other modes? Because as it stands now, it’s hard to find a room that a player hasn’t allowed all elements of the game to stay in. For example, a lot of games now exclude the assault class entirely.
Eric Boltjes: Part of Killzone 2’s focus points was to allow players to create their own customized games as much as possible and to a large extent I think we have succeeded. However, we are always looking at the way the community is responding to our designs and will take this type of feedback into consideration for future projects and possibly DLC. I cannot tell you specifics right now though .
TheGamerAccess.com: Do you guys plan to follow suit after other Sony first party studios by developing a new complementary IP like Naughty Dog or Insomniac have done with Uncharted and the Jack series or Resistance and Ratchet series?
Steven ter Heide: We cannot comment on future projects.
TheGamerAccess.com: Are there any studios you are looking to collaborate with?
Mathijs de Jonge: Other than the Sony studios we’re already working with, not really.
TheGamerAccess.com: What future games from other developers are you looking forward to?
Mathijs de Jonge: The one title that I’m really looking forward to is The Last Guardian from Team Ico. That game looks really inspiring and refreshing.