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Interviews

The Shield

Interview: Point of View under interrogation and squeezed for details on the videogame adaptation

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Kraig Horigan: The game is mostly a linear progression, with The Barn acting as a central hub. There are, however, different endings depending on how you choose to play the game.

We're told to expect impressive representation of police tactics in the game - can you elaborate on this?

Kraig Horigan: At its heart, The Shield is a police game. We designed The Shield to reflect TV police action balanced against the idea that a cop, good or bad, cannot shoot his way through every challenge. You play as Vic Mackey and have at your disposal all the game mechanics you would need to execute Vic's unique brand of justice. Perform typical above board police activities: chase criminals, handcuff suspects and investigate crime scenes.

In addition, you can do things Vic's way: intimidate witnesses, coerce suspects and plant weapons on bad guys. Remember, Vic is not above the law. You must decide when it is appropriate to cross the line and keep the heat off of Vic, typically away from the eyesight of witnesses. Along the way collect contraband that can be turned in as evidence to lower Vic's heat or stashed away as part of the Strike Team's "retirement fund." You can also brawl with uncooperative suspects and engage in fire fights with gang bangers.

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What's the 'Heat' level all about?

Kraig Horigan: The Heat Meter determines the amount of attention Vic receives during his unorthodox method of "crime fighting". When the Heat Meter is full, all eyes are on Vic and he's busted using questionable interrogation techniques... it's game over for Vic (and the player). If the Heat Meter begins to raise the player can always turn in contraband to the Evidence Locker or arrest criminals to lower Vic's Heat.

And can you tell us more about what the Intimidation and Adrenaline gauges do in the game?

Kraig Horigan: The Intimidation meter determines a suspect's willingness to cooperate. As the meter falls, the more Vic forces the suspect to submit. Typically, this also corresponds to the ease with which Vic can handcuff a perp. The handcuffing mini-game is more difficult if the suspect's Intimidation meter indicates non-compliance.

The Adrenaline meter fills as Vic engages enemies. Taking and dealing damage will fill the meter, allowing Vic to enter Adrenaline mode. When Adrenaline mode is triggered (this is automatic whenever Vic nears death), time slows down and Vic can react faster and sustain more damage. Adrenaline mode is meant to give Vic a chance to cheat death and take out/hide from enemies. The Adrenaline meter starts emptying when Vic enters Adrenaline mode, so he only has a finite amount of time to make his stand.

What surprises are in store for fans of the TV show?

Kraig Horigan: If we told you, then there would be no surprise!

Having now worked on The Shield, are you keen to work on other licenses? Or maybe a The Shield 2?

Kraig Horigan: There currently are no plans for a sequel, but we would love to do one. Are you buying?

Finally, are you the good cop or the bad cop?

Kraig Horigan: That's up to you.

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