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Bodycount: 'Bulletstorm and Brink were our acid test'

Codemasters talks up the third of "the three Bs"

It's official: The third of "the three Bs" strategically shoots its way through shops walls on August 30 in North America, followed by September 2 in Europe.

The shooter we're talking about, in case you clicked by accident, is Codemaster's Bodycount, and the other two "three Bs" are Bulletstorm, and Brink - completing a trio of shooters that Codemasters game director Andy Wilson claims were chucked in the same basket simply because they're "not Call of Duty".

"They're all very bright and vibrant and not Call of Duty. I think that in itself is enough for people to go, 'ok, that type of FPS'," he explained in our interview.

Zoom

"But they're so different. Brink is a co-op, multiplayer-focused game with a lot of technical complexity. Bulletstorm is... about inventive ways of killing people. Bodycount is just about an amazing gun experience and what it feels like to fire the weapon in a shred-able environment."

Just before E3 this month we sat down with the Bodycount chief to discuss his explosive shooter, its console-pushing technology and just how he's going to make it stick out in a Call of Duty world.

It seems like you've been in development for quite a while now...

Yeah. Well we've been going for just over two years. We started in March 2009. At E3 last year we made a bit of a song and dance about the project - we felt like we were ready to show more but it was still really at the technical demo stage. The point after that really was that we hadn't really built very much 'game' so there wasn't much else to show that was different at that point, just that one level.

We'd worked on a lot of those core game mechanics and got those nailed early, but in terms of actually showing them in different environments it was going to take a while longer. We came back at Christmas and we did a sort of teaser of the game's baddie, the Target, and we showed another level that we authored up.

In the background really we've just been building the thing, and now we're at the point where we've just come through alpha, we've got pretty much everything built and we've got a lot more to choose from. We've kind of kept our powder dry and we're now we're going to be quite loud for a couple of months until the game actually comes out.

The E3 2011 demo's the first time we've really seen the narrative side of the game. Is that something that was always there or did you come up with a plotline later?

Zoom

Actually the narrative's been like that for quite a while. The high level narrative in terms of the Network versus the Target - that's existed for about 18 months or so. We had a decision point quite early on in the project where we had to decide if it was going to be a kind of realistic, harrowing shooter or if we were going to fantasise it more. The choice was fairly obvious at that point and we went with this fairly fantasised narrative. That's where that was all born.

It's not been in the game as a whole until quite recently, because obviously we had to get a script writer in, go through several months of feedback, find our cast, do our VO recording, chop it all up, edit it about, find some bits aren't quite working, push other bits in... and then you actually get that full end-to-end thing. So it's all come in quite recently but it's been ongoing for the best part of two years.

How much do you want to emphasise the narrative in an arcade-style shooter like Bodycount?

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