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Highlander

"You'll really get to feel the massive difference between being a human and being an immortal"

Highlander television series mastermind David Abramowitz and the game's producer Ed Wolfe talk about bringing the franchise to Xbox 360...

So, we have an all-new hero - Owen Macleod. why not bring back the films' Connor, or the tv series' Duncan?

DA: The problem is one of time, really. Connor and Duncan are both pretty young for Immortals and we wanted to set the game in time periods earlier than they existed in: Pompeii, before and during the volcanic eruption, feudal Japan, and the Highlands of Scotland in the 12th century.

Varied. so how do the new locations affect gameplay?

EW: Each one has its own set of enemies and Immortals. The fighting styles of the enemies change in each place so you'll constantly have to adapt and improve your fighting technique. You can use the experience you earn to choose what Quickening technique and fighting combos to learn or improve as well.

Tell us a bit about the combat...

EW: Well, Owen's immortality has enabled us to introduce some cool gameplay features - if an enemy impales you with his sword, you can pull it out and use it to behead him with! Being immortal means you can use your body to conduct electricity without problem too, or freefall off high buildings, which opens up great gameplay opportunities.

In terms of dangers to the player, every time the player gets hit he becomes more fatigued. If your fatigue bar fills up entirely then at this point you're just too tired to continue fighting and are at risk of being beheaded. There are other risks - there are a number of traps within the game that can lead you to being beheaded if you're not careful.

DA: It's not all fight, fight, fight, though! There is some human interaction too. The game is filled with passion and betrayal.

Sounds good. What about big swords?

EW: The Twin Gladius is great for quick jabs but doesn't deal out the damage the Katana does. The Katana is a light samurai sword capable of devastating blows. The Claymore is Owen's weapon of choice in the times of the Viking raids. It's a large sword that's very effective at taking out enemies - but can be difficult to wield due to its size.

So, how does the quickening fit in?

EW: Owen comes across several Immortals that he'll need to defeat. Whenever he does so, he gains their power and knowledge - known as the Quickening. One of these techniques is called Channelling the Source and is the ability to control lightning to defeat your enemies. Each Immortal he beheads will make him stronger with new powers.

Will we really get to feel immortal?

EW: Definitely. We aim to have Immortality events which show the difference between being an Immortal and being human. An Immortal isn't scared of leaping from a window hundreds of feet in the air to a nearby roof, over a helicopter that's firing at him. We want you to experience it.

There's no Kurgan. so who do we fight?

DA: The Kurgan won't be making an appearance and neither will Amanda. I won't reveal too much about the bad guy... other than the fact he's called The Kraken. He's a formidable adversary - a complex being driven by his own passions and demons.

Let's talk about the tech side of things. You're using Unreal 3 - how has it been?

EW: Great. One of the good things about using the engine is that we have had to worry less about the technical elements of getting an engine up and running - so we've been able to dedicate more time to making the game just a whole lot of fun to play.

Are You nervous about the fans?

DA: Not really. I think it's a great marriage of concept and game. I'm very proud of it and truly believe that it ranks up there with the best of Highlander.

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