Have you tried to emphasize the emotional impact of having to kill people?
Absolutely, yeah, absolutely. There's a moment in the game early on where you realize your squad sort of questions the fact that you are fighting US versus US soldiers. You come across these guys and they're like, you shoot at them because they shoot at you. The natural response is to defend yourself and shoot at them. But then straight after this combat sequence is finished your squad are like "What—what the hell's going on? These are US guys, why are they attacking us?"
Our story really is, as much as it's Walker's journey, it's about how war and the impact of these decisions that you're making and the impact of killing all these people and—who is right, who is good and who is bad ultimately in this situation? The story and the way it's set up is obviously Konrad's guys have gone off the map, and they're operating outside of the command of the US Army, but you're sent in to kind of rescue them. That's set up. And then all of a sudden you're killing them. But you're defending yourself.
And we play with how this sort of stresses the relationship between the squad. And then it culminates quite nicely again toward the end as things start retching up a bit more and you uncover more of the story and we do really play with that Heart of Darkness.
Does that make it more immersive?
I hope so. Yeah, I certainly hope so. I think it's a little bit more intriguing because it's a little bit unique. And I think the one thing that we point toward when we talk about Spec Ops in terms of the narrative experience and the experience on the whole is the war movies that inspired us to make this game. And I think things like obvious references such as Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket and Platoon, they kind of did, in the late 70s early 80s, for war movies—they kind of changed war movies from being John Wayne, good guys versus bad guys, very clear, black and white (literally black and white), these are the good guys, these are the bad guys, good guys win, great.
And then you started seeing like this whole wave of movies coming out which were "Hey, this war, and this is how this war affects these people." And then you also look at the big recent movies, Hurt Locker and things like that. The reasons why we like these movies is just it's telling a story about the individuals and the impact that war is having on them. And that's what we hope we can sort of take some sort of—even just make people move in that direction a little bit in games, then we would be really, really happy with ourselves.
I think we'd be very pleased that we managed to achieve just to make people think about it a little bit more, rather than like, "Hey, I'm the good guy, and clearly the other guys are the bad guys." We want people to stop and think a little bit more. And who knows, you know, we all know that war impacts people very, very much in very, very different ways. But I think that there's often quite a disconnect between gamers that play games very regularly, in terms of their interpretation of "Isn't war great?" It's very, very emotionless in a lot of games in terms of, like, you're just like "Hey, this is great. Let's kill all the baddies."