Faith and a .45 had us at hello, literally. Call us shallow, but any developer who releases concept art featuring a freckled, redheaded woman armed to her teeth has already done enough to pique our interest.
Fortunately, the recently released teaser trailer looked promising, combining a nice looking take on Depression-era America with excessive carnage.
Even more interesting was the promise from developer Deadline Game to take stories, settings and characters within the game to a whole new level.
Wanting to know more, we dropped Game Director Søren Lundgaard (known as Slu) a line and asked a few questions about the game.
The Great Depression is a dark and sombre setting. What drew you to this era?
Slu: Several things pointed us in this direction. At Deadline Games, we have always strived to create original settings, but it must still have that feeling of familiarity to it. Then we had our initial inspiration from the amirican roadmovie and that made us look at the Midwest.
But we also knew we had to create a dark setting to get the right ambience for the story, so all this led us naturally to the time of The Great Depression. And when we started to dig into the history we got quite excited. Our take on the time period is a bit exaggerated, but still with inspiration from what happened back then.
How far removed will Faith and a .45 be in terms of tone from Total Overdose?
Slu: Pretty far actually. This game is a lot more mature in its underlying themes. It's a story about how two characters, Luke and Ruby, change from mere Outlaws to real Heroes. It's also a story about Luke and Ruby's relationship and about a power-mongering oilman's desire to free the nation from the claws of democracy.
With such themes going on we found it necessary to take a more serious tone, but this does not mean it's deprived of humour. It's just gonna be more dark and ironic.
Comparisons to Bonnie and Clyde were immediately made. What makes Luke and Ruby special and what was the appeal of creating them?
Slu: Bonnie & Clyde have been a great inspiration for creating Luke and Ruby. I see Bonnie and Clyde as a kind of self-proclaimed vigilantes of the 30's. If you dig into their history, they were probably for most people at that time viewed as simple criminals, but the current myth today is a lot more colourful and depicts them more as heroes of an era.
It's the myth part which got us to create Luke and Ruby as they are. Two young people in love who only needs Faith and .45 to survive. Having two main characters who are in love is something I find quite different with this game compared to everything else (ICO is one of the exceptions).
But it's also two characters with the will and ability to act and stand up against anything. So that's when it became obvious that they had to develop from outlaws to real in heroes in this story.
What exactly do you mean by 'road movie storytelling' and how is this evident in the game?
Slu: The road movie storytelling tradition is stories which take place while travelling from location to location. With a simple goal in mind, the main characters set course and never look back. Road movies are also about characters and how they change and develop or find themselves.
And in a road movie you stay with the main characters all the time. So this has all helped us set direction for how to tell the story in the game. And it's actually close to what the most successful linear games, like Half Life 2, has done before. We are just taking it a step further.