Q: Tell us about the cop chasing mechanic – how does it work and when does it kick in?
Steve Szakal: On foot and vehicle, cop presence increases and decreases according to the player’s heat level. Every time a player commits a crime, their heat level increases, which is represented by shields on the in-game display. At moderate heat levels you’ll start seeing cop patrol vehicles on the streets. And committing a crime in their sightlines or crashing into them will begin a chase. How long they’ll pursue the player is dependant upon the heat level. While the cops are in pursuit, if the player continues to commit crimes, like running over pedestrians, the cops will become more relentless. The cop’s goal during the chase is to stop your vehicle through ramming tactics and at higher heat levels they’ll open fire at the player’s vehicle.
Q: Any tips on fleeing the scene unnoticed, or at the very least, alive?
SS: If there are multiple cops in pursuit then one of the best things the player can do is head for their safehouse. Once the player enters their safehouse, cops will stop pursuing and it will decrease the player’s heat by a significant amount. But sometimes they’ll be waiting outside, so be careful on the way out.
Q: What type of research went into cop chases in the 40s and 50s?
SS: The research involved visualizing how cop chases functioned in movies and games, both new and old, and from there we focused on creating the police behaviors that gave a visceral and intense experience.
Q: How long will the chases last? Will they chase you into different neighborhoods?
SS: If the player is being pursued and enters a new neighborhood, the cops might stop chasing because the player’s heat level in the new neighborhood might be significantly lower. This gives the player another option of escaping the cops, but once the player re-enters the neighborhood they just left, their heat levels will still be high and the cops will be waiting.
Q: If you know the cops will be chasing you following a bank robbery, what getaway car would you recommend?
SS: I personally like the pickup truck because its one of the most stable vehicles in the game and it can take a beating. When cops try to ram the truck it won’t get banged around nearly as much as some of the other vehicles.
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