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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!


Interview With 'Die Hard Vendetta' (NGC) Producer

by Rainier on Nov. 13, 2002 @ 3:45 a.m. PST

Take on the role of John McClane, probably the unluckiest cop in motion picture history - in this brand new adventure created specifically for GameCube. McClane is back working the streets of LA but his past just won't leave him alone, and with John where there's trouble, you know that some insurance firms are going to go bankrupt before this all gets resolved. Die Hard: Vendetta is a first person shooter (FPS) where tactics and stealth are as important as having a big gun and being a quick shot. With unprecedented character interaction, superbly rich environments and some amazing in-game cinematics, this game will explode Die Hard into the 21st Century. We sat down with Vendetta producer Tim Hall, put a gun to his head and whispered, "Welcome to the party, pal!"

Q : Who has the honor to talk to use? State your name, rank and serial number!

TH : Tim Hall, Associate Producer, Die Hard Vendetta

Q : What graphics engine did you use? Is it a ported engine from the Pc, N64 or totally original?

TH : We are using a proprietary engine from Bits called TWED.

Q : Tell us a bit more about the initial N64 attempt, cancelled and now finally appearing on the Gamecube. Was the game totally rebuild from scratch or did you take over some older ideas and content?

TH : Some of the older ideas were kept but since we were going up the Gamecube we obviously upgraded everything in them to make use of the hardware. So some of the old ideas are still present but redone to take full advantage of the Gamecubes hardware.

Q : What sort of multiplayer will there be? Will it be limited to the console only or are you planning online capabilities as well?

TH : There will be no multiplayer for the GameCube version. We really wanted to focus on making everything as great as we could make it and realistically we wouldn’t have had time to make multiplayer as good as we wanted to.

Q : Can you elaborate on this advanced AI? Many games before this have stated that they have the most advanced AI. How are you planning to make this AI stand out?

TH : Not only does the AI run and take cover but if you are taking someone hostage they will evaluate how useful that person is. If it’s not a leader they’re going to go through him to get to you. Also if you decide to dispense of the hostage before placing them under arrest all bets are off and they’re going for the weapons they just dropped. And if you’re feeling that you’re not able to make that shot on a mercenary holding a hostage you can always look for something in the environment to distract them and clear the target.

Q : How far are you into development of Die Hard: Vendetta?

TH : We are rounding the final corner and Vendetta will be available this Christmas.

Q : Besides Sgt Powell reprising his role, are you planning to bring back the voice actors from Nakatomi to Vendetta? Or will they be totally new?

TH : We have new characters in Vendetta. This game is taking place in present day LA so John will have to deal with a whole new bunch of mercenaries.

Q : Are you planning to implement the unique features that we have seen in Nakatomi (PC version of Die Hard)? Such as the breathing, brain, and heart monitors?

TH : No we have no breathing, brain or heart monitors here. What we have instead is the ability to grab, or take hostage, enemies throughout the game. We also have added a very deep stealth element to the game. Not to say that you can’t still go in guns blazing but there are several ways around each situation.

Q : How many levels will there be? Are they mainly indoor, outdoor or mixed settings?

TH : We have 11 chapters all with up to 4 sublevels in each one and a training level. They vary between outdoors and indoors and will take you from downtown LA to my personal favorite the Tuna Factory.

Q : How many types of weapon are planning to implement? Will you limit the number of weapons John McClain can carry at once?

TH : We have a wide variety of weapons available including the ability to hold some of them in a dual mode. So if you have two 9 mm handguns, or semi automatic machine guns, you can hold one in each hand to double your firepower. John will be able to carry as many weapons as he can carry and what a FPS be without things like a flamethrower, rocket launcher, grenades and so on.

Q : Will there be any sort of useable vehicles? Will the player have any sort of cooperation of team members? What is the role of his daughter or is that just part of the “story”?

TH : John’s license was suspended after an undisclosed incident.

The player will have a little from Al in one of the levels but mostly you’re solo.

Lucy is all grown up now and wouldn’t you know it that her first day on the job as an LA cop has gone wrong. Lucy accidentally stumbles onto an art heist in progress and gets taken prisoner. Now if you’re John McClane you’re not going to leave your little girl in the hands of mercenaries are you?

Q : How large will each board be? Will it be limited to a few streets or can you just wander around?

TH : Each level is quite large and you could wander around if you wanted to. Of course not too many people wander around the streets of LA while gun battles are erupting.

Q : Are you planning to implement “bullet time” to be used as assistant or is purely for the cut scenes?

TH : The Bullet Time is used in the game itself as an indicator that you have cleared out a section of the level you are in. The Bullet Cam comes into play when you make an exception shot; so good you want to see it nice and slow.

Q : Can you explain more on the hero mode?

TH : Basically you earn hero points by being a good cop. So saving people gives you hero points that you can use when things get a little hot. So lets say you have cleared out all but the final room in the prison. How are you going to plow through the execution chamber and all the rioting prisoners without killing the warden? Hero time allows you to slow down the action so you can run in and get the upper hand.

Q : “Stealth Game play Use enemy hostages in order to save others and take out enemies” How are you planning to allow John to capture enemies? And will they be totally cooperating or will they give you up when the chance arises? Will you be able to use them as a human shield as well?

TH : John can capture enemies as long as he has one hand free and is not detected. You can take almost any enemy hostage but if you want the others to surrender you had better capture their leader. If you run up and capture thug #1 well let’s just say they won’t hesitate killing the both of you.

Q : Do you have control over which weapons they can carry?

TH : No.

Q : Which characters from the original Die Hard are there besides McClane and Powell? Will there be “Boss” type characters at the end of levels?

TH : We have some great new bosses this time around. I don’t want to give them all away but lets just say that they’re big, ugly and have a fondness for explosives.

18. Will the surrounding environment be destructible, such as shooting and blowing holes through the walls, doors etc?

TH : There are lots of things in the environment that you can certainly shoot up and some of them can be quite helpful. You can also use the objects in the environments to distract mercenaries who are holding civilians hostage.

Q : Will there be puzzles to solve or will it be just a straight through shooter?

TH : Where’s the fun in just shooting. John will have objectives for each mission, some are easy and some are not. There is a fair amount of puzzle solving to be done.

Q : Are we going to see to see anymore original stories from the Die Hard universe in the near future?

TH : I don’t think that John McClane is ever going to get a day off.

Q : Any last words? A punch line to make people REALLY go out and buy this game?

TH : Yippie-kay-yay motherfucker says it all. And yes the whole uncut line is in the game.

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