Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City will be with us in just over a week now and with the chance to play through the location of Resi 2 as the thoroughly evil Umbrella Security Service, as well as some great multiplayer and co-op and versus options, we managed to grab a quick word with Slant Six lead producer Peter Doidge-Harrison to talk about the game.
In the course of a splendid interview he gives us the low down on taking a whole new direction for the Resi series, what it was like working with Capcom Japan's Resi Evil team and meeting and even exceeding fans' high expectations. It's a long read, but a good one, so let's get straight down to business.
You've previously worked on a few squad-based titles - how did your involvement with RE: ORC happen?
Capcom was approaching a number of developers regarding this game back in the summer of 2010. They were looking for an established and reliable development studio with a background in third person shooters, and Slant Six fit the bill. Capcom R&D liked our design direction and ideas so we started down the path of forging our relationship with the team at Capcom Japan and in the US.
Our studio also consistently aspires to push the boundaries with new technology and this aligns perfectly with the intentions of RE: ORC. It all happened fairly quickly as our timeline to get the game out was really short. There wasn't much time to ramp up, but we worked really hard over that summer to provide a prototype demo which got us approved in the fall to start working on the main game, just over 15 months ago.
Has your previous experience with the SOCOM series fed into this particular title or have you started from scratch? It has a very different feel to most Resi games.
Almost all our technology is brand new, and the design leadership team is new to the studio too, so there are a lot of new ideas and tech behind the game. Having said that, of course our experience with third person squad shooters has helped with our direction and getting the game together so fast.
Capcom has always been clear that they wanted a third-person action shooter with a very western feel, and that we should differentiate it from the previous titles in the series. It's been an interesting challenge to try to bring the two sides together - new action-oriented gameplay in a storied and classic franchise.
Has it been difficult to balance single and multiplayer co-op components and offer a great experience to both kind of players?
Yes - this has actually been one of the most challenging components of building the game. We've had to do a lot of custom scripting work in each mission to make the two types of gameplay work through the same levels.