Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat just recently seen a release on consoles, marking the retail debut for the franchise while bundling in a ton of content for gamers to sink their teeth into. Carlos Giffoni, the Creative Director from 345 Games recently participated in an interview with yours truly to go over the developmental process behind bringing the popular television show to controllers nationwide.
Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat features both Deadliest Warrior: The Game and its follow-up, Deadliest Warrior: Legends. What were the differences in the development cycles for each title?
Deadliest Warrior: The Game was first, so it’s development cycle was longer as we had to come with every system and game-play feature from scratch and there was a lot of experimentation involved. When we created Legends, we had a clear vision of what the game was going to be and what we needed to improve in the fighting engine. Based on the first game and fan feedback, it was a shorter development cycle with more time to polish and improve everything: character models and animations, making the interface visually more appealing and even adding a new game within the game with Generals mode, opening up match options, increasing the number of environments, and even introducing new game mechanics.
For Ancient Combat we wanted to bring the ultimate Deadliest Warrior package to fans, so it was more about adding unique features and content and making each game work with their downloadable versions, but there are lot of details that come with making a retail title, so development time ended up being as much as doing a small game. I think the time and care we put into making both games and Ancient Combat comes across in how polished the game experience and the extras included are. I don’ think there has even been a compilation retail title with so many different extras on it, this is the ultimate Deadliest Warrior game package.
Did any experts get involved in the process? If so, what was that like?
Yes absolutely, we had all the data from the different tests done on the show on weapons and armor which we incorporated into the game. Additionally, all the motion capture for the warriors was done by the same experts recreating the attacks in the show. We also had the show look at the games every step of the way to make sure we weren’t missing any important details with the warriors and the way they fight in the game.
It was really awesome to have all that data as a base to create the game instead of just estimating values and to have access to the experts to keep us in check, pre-production and design was much smoother than usual thanks to this.
Ancient Combat also has quite a few extras. Just what can fans expect to see?
For Ancient Combat we wanted to bring the ultimate Deadliest Warrior package to fans, so beside the full games, which are fully compatible with the digital versions, we added a new Graveyard environment which looks amazing, 30 new weapons, and 6 episodes form the show featuring the warriors in the game. All for $29.99, we really think that is amazing value for what you are getting.
Tell us about the roster and weaponry. Who is in, and what kind of tools of destruction do they have in their arsenal?
In Deadliest Warrior The Game we have the Ninja, Spartan, Viking, Centurion, Knight, Pirate, Apache, Samurai, Rajput, Zande, and Shaolin Monk.
In Deadliest Warrior Legends we have Alexander The Great, Attila, Shaka Zulu, Joan of Arc, Vlad the Impaler, William Wallace, Sun Tzu, Genghis Khan, Hernan Cortes, and Hannibal.
There are over 100 weapons in the game so I am not going to list them all but these are some of my favorites:
William Wallace’s Claymore, The Apache’s Horse Jaw Tomahawk’s, The Samurai’s Nodachi, The Viking’s Great Axe, Vlad the Impaler’s Military Fork, Ghengis Khan’s Mongol Mace.
When it comes to the in-game mechanics, what goes into making these battles authentic?
The spacing and strategy that has to go into each battle, along with the armor and weapons, are the main things that makes each battle authentic. Let’s say you are playing a lighter character with no armor or shield (a ninja for example) then is all about moving in and out and attacking quickly, dodging attacks and responding with quick combo’s. When you have a heavy armor character with a shield (Alexander, or a Knight) is all about closing the distance with your enemy, taking a few hits in the process but dealing major damage with your blows. Choosing different weapons and armor changes thing significantly as well, for example I could go with the lighter armor for the knight and use one of the longer range weapons to create a more agile, longer reaching version of him by sacrificing some of his defense. This is just one basic example, as the different weapons and armor combinations completely open up the possibilities for each warrior.
Deadliest Warrior is all about realistic fighting, so injuries, one hit death blows, bleeding, stamina, these all play a major factor in how you play the game, for there is no other modern fighting game like it.
Is any of the combat inspired by other fighting titles of the past, or was the aim to be as original as possible?
We wanted to make something unique but one game that we looked at a bit for inspiration was Bushido Blade, just the aspect of injuries and that feeling that one well-placed strike changing the balance of the game.
Fans of fighting games can be very picky. How do you appeal to such a diverse audience?
I am a huge fan of fighting games myself and what I do not enjoy is when a game is simply a clone of another game. In Deadliest Warrior you have a game that is completely different to anything out there, it will give fighting game fans a new experience and a new way of fight. Add to that the fact that these are real warrior’s and the armor and weapons are based on real research data, this is the most awesome way for a fighting game fan to take one of these warriors in their own hands and decide who the deadliest is!
For our readers who have yet to play Legends, explain the very unique Generals mode, and how it ties into the television show.
Almost all the characters in the Legends game were known for successfully commanding armies in battle, so we wanted to get that aspect of these legendary warriors in the game. Generals is a strategic game where you are trying to take over every territory in a map with your troops, with the twists that certain locations in the map are strongholds where you have to battle the other armies general in a one on one battle using our fighting engine in order to claim the stronghold.
We use the battle simulator from the show to determine the outcomes of the battles, using the x-factors to determine how things like terrain, training, and the general’s strategic abilities would play in a real battle and factor in the results. The simulation engine on the latest season of the show was created by Pipeworks as well and is based on the engine for the game, so both game and show are connected in a major way.
Name two Warriors from any other video game series who you would personally like to see go at it, and who would claim victory at the end of the bloody battle.
I would love to see Scorpio vs Akuma, two former humans that are now basically demons battling it out to the death. I think Akuma will edge Scorpio slightly, there is just something about him that screams pure evil power that I think would end up overwhelming Scorpio at the end.
Finally, what is the main reason everyone should pick up Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat when it released on April 17th?
If you have ever wondered who would win in a fight to the death between any of the warriors, if you are simply interested in the warriors themselves as a history buff, or if you are a fighting game fan that is looking for a unique game experience, this is a game you are going to enjoy.
Add to that all the extras and the episodes from the show, at just $29.99, this is the ultimate gaming for anyone interested in Deadliest Warrior.