WP: Who has the honor to speak with us? State your name, rank, and occupation!
I'm Ulf Andersson, and I'm the game director of Wanted.
WP: How difficult was it to try and adapt Wanted to a game? Obviously there's the shooting aspect, but there are a whole number of different elements in the movie — driving, action. What did you focus on for the game?
UA: First of all, the whole idea of a game came about when we read the script. We got pitched to do the game and read the script, and when you look at that, you understand that this is going to convert into a pretty good game. It wasn't really a struggle to convert it. It wasn't really a conversion process so much as the reason why we really did it. It really lent itself to it, but since the game is based on action, cover, and the whole shooting aspect, every feature or everything that we could draw from the movie was, of course, good — curving the bullets, bullet time, using a knife, stuff like that. We tried to incorporate all of those aspects rather than focusing on too many different things, like driving.
WP: The game acts as both a prequel and a sequel to the movie. How did you integrate the two stories?
UA: The game basically starts out after the movie, and you get to play Wesley. You will have some flashbacks, looking back and playing as your father. It gives some backstory and gives some more information to sort of complete the movie story.
WP: We saw the Chicago Fraternity. Are there any other levels or areas from the movie that reappear in the game?
UA: Yeah, you've got the loom room and the areas around that, which you sort of run through in the movie, but after the movie, in those cases — after ... or before, actually. So you get to see them before Wesley goes through them in the movie, or after Wesley has plowed through them and killed all the dudes in the movie. So they're either destroyed or not destroyed. We do a lot of different locations from the movie, but at the same time, we tried to do new environments instead of just doing the movie stuff because we wanted to have something new in the game but also something that really expanded on the gameplay.
WP: Since you're fighting other Fraternity members, do you ever have to worry about your enemies curving bullets at you?
UA: Not really. (laughs) Not in this game. No curving enemies in this game ... that I can say. But they do use bullets, for example, that you have to shoot out in slow motion. They do use quite advanced knife attacks and stuff like that. They're still assassins; it's just that some game mechanics are best left to the player and not to your enemies. But maybe in the future because after this project, we'll know more about how players play it, and we can figure out new mechanics, and maybe if we do a sequel, then we can expand on that some more.
WP: Speaking of slow motion, are those activated by the player, or are those sequences automatic?
UA: They're actually both. We have these sequences that are basically more focused on the gunning than moving around, and those go in and out of slow motion. You can also trigger slow-motion sequences from cover if you have charged up the right amount of assassin time, which is basically Max Payne, but we f***in' love Max Payne. It's great.
WP: I know you guys are working on Bionic Commando. Was it a change going from a retractable arm to a curving bullet?
UA: I work on several projects at the same time. I always do that, so for me, as a director, I'm able to switch between them. It's been in parallel development, so it's not like we switched to Wanted lately; it's actually been going side by side during the production cycle. It's very interesting because you can use ideas that may spawn when you're thinking of Bionic Commando and move them over to Wanted, and vice versa. At the same time, you can't share features because that would suck, but it's cool to be in different segments because you get to play around with different ideas, and it sort of opens up your mind. If you only work on one game, it feels like you can easily go into a rut and focus too much on one thing. It's nice to be able to jump between projects.
WP: Is there anything about the game that we haven't talked about that you wanted to add?
UA: It's great. Play it. Go see the movie, for f***'s sake. It was cool.
WP: Did you like the movie?
UA: Yeah, I did. I liked the script already, but then I was skeptical at one point and once I saw it, I was really, really impressed, especially by the visuals. Excellent visual composition.
WP: So you read the script. Did you get to work with Angelina Jolie at all?
UA: (laughs) No. It would have been great, though, I guess, or maybe not because then you can't focus on working. But we were on the set and got to meet all the actors, so that was pretty fun. We didn't spend any real time with her because there's no real point in doing that. I'll try to get that into my contract if we do any other projects with Universal. Angelina as my personal assistant — if I can pay the price.
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