COMBAT MECHANICS, BOSS FIGHTS AND FIRST-PERSON COMBAT Q&A with Philippe Arsenault, Game Designer, Beenox
1. You have been a game designer for many years. How did you specialize on combat design? Aside from being a designer, I am also a martial artist, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work on the combat system for Shattered Dimensions.
2. Boss fights are a huge part of super hero games. How did you try to break the mold in designing boss fights for Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions? This time around it is not only about beating the boss at the end of a level. Bosses in Shattered Dimensions are omipresent throughout the whole gameplay experience. For example, Hobgoblin goes around flying in the city, blowing stuff up as he is being chased by the Public Eye Patrol. However, the police of the future are also after Spider-Man 2099, who has been labeled a renegade. This whole setup calls for some interesting three-way fight situations.
3. Speaking of first-person combat, what do you think that mode brings to the gameplay experience? First-person combat brings the action to an up-close and personal level, as Spider-Man will need to fight some of the most powerful villains face to face. While it certainly adds a lot to the tension and thrill of the fights, it also acts as a reward for the player to enjoy when the time comes to deliver the last blow.
4. Could you tell us a little more about the different combat mechanics? Are they different from one universe to the other? (2099, Amazing and Noir) While they share the same set of moves, each Spider-Man gets his own fighting style, which generates a different animation and feeling when it comes to combat across all four dimensions. Amazing Spider-Man can create various weapon shapes out of spider web and use them in battle. Spider-Man 2099 makes use of his claws and talons in a very acrobatic fashion. Noir’s stealth abilities are complemented by a more traditional, street-fighting style.
5. Spidey encounters several enemies. Are the combat mechanics specific to each enemy as well?
Spider-Man will encounter human enemies as well as various kinds of creatures and robots. Humans are the most versatile opponents, as they come in various sizes and can be equipped with different kinds of weapons. The player will need to adapt his strategy accordingly. For example, Spider-Man can use web shots to blind range-weapon-equipped enemies and disarm them. He can also use his web to quickly approach heavier enemies when their guard is down.
Spider-Man 2099 has a special Accelerated Vision power that slows down time. He can use it, for example, to direct missiles back to their sender.
In Noir, there will be some situations where you are discovered and forced to fight. Spider-Man Noir will also encounter villains of differing sizes and abilities and must use his unique fighting style to overcome his opponents.