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Interview: Vivisector dissected

Developer Action Forms reveals the gruesome delights of its FPS tale of horror and gene-splicing skulduggery

Action Forms' PC first-person shooter Vivisector: Beast Inside is certainly not the world's first videogame to feature a storyline that echoes HG Wells' tale The Island of Dr. Moreau, but it is perhaps one of the bloodiest. Built on the developer's proprietary AtmosFear engine, the game finds the player battling for his life on an island called Soreo - which is inhabited by a wide array of genetically engineered monsters and other nasties. Whoops.

We recently caught up with Action Forms' PR manager Serge Roar to chat about the game...

First off, can we get a quick overview of Vivisector? Plus, what's the coolest thing about the game?

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Roar: Vivisector is a dynamic, horror-action movie that combines the best components of both genres. You play as Court Robbins, the Navy Seal, as you're trying to investigate the secrets of Soreo Island that is inhabited by weird creatures - hybrids of humans, animals and machines.

Regarding the coolest thing, I would like to mention three points here: prizes for skilful walkthrough; realistic damage system; and fur on monsters. I will come back to the damage system and fur in a little bit. Now I'd like to talk about mastery in more detail.

While playing the game you gain points for successful walkthrough. This can be either the discovery of a safely hidden object, quick destruction of several enemies, fine accuracy or a good trick. What do you like most of all in Hollywood action movies? Shooting and tricks, right? In Vivisector for example, a player that will be able to jump on the head of one enemy and shoot another one, will be definitely rewarded by points and he will be able to use those points to improve character's features or weapons.

Moreover, there is a possibility to record a demo in Vivisector, so that you can show your fights to your [soon-to-be] impressed friends.

Is it all-out action, or are there stealth bits in there too?

Roar: It is all-action only. We basically do not forbid the player to hide from his enemies - it sometimes can work with people too, but you have to take into consideration that modified beasts are able to smell a human anywhere. So we prefer not to try and kill two birds with one stone, combining an action film with a stealth game, and we encourage the active use of the players' arsenal. Our programmers and designers made a wonderful body disintegration model - it would be a shame not to use it, wouldn't it?

Can you give us more details on the storyline and the setting?

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Roar: The action takes place in 1978 on a small island of Soreo. The main character Court Robinson together with a squad of four Navy Seals lands the coast to fulfil a simple task to destroy a drug dealers' base. But everything turns out to be much more complicated. The island is used as a testing ground for creating modified soldiers. Court, as the only survivor out of the whole squad, has to fight for his life if he wants to leave Soreo. His motivation is revenge though, because the members of his squad were his friends and he is going to kill all those responsible for their deaths.

Later on he finds out that there is quite a fierce struggle on the island between several hostile groups. You will have to meet each of them and learn something about both the history of current events and your parents too.

In what ways does Vivisector innovate the genre?

Roar: We are not trying to revolutionise the genre, if that's what you mean. Vivisector is a logical development of ideas of first-person shooters. Our goal is to make a high quality game and we hope fans of action movies will like it.

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