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The Shadow of Zorro Preview
publisher: Cryo Interactive
developer: In Utero
genre: Action Adventure
PII-400, 64MB RAM, 8MB 3D accelerator
|ESRB rating: n/a
release date: Jul 02, 02 (released)
|» All About The Shadow of Zorro on ActionTrip|
The character of Zorro was initially created in 1919 and it soon became one of the most popular heroes of this century. As most of you probably suspect, this game is all about the sword fighting. But, do not worry because there will be more to gameplay than just that. For instance, the player can use a more sneaky approach and attack the enemy while tiptoeing behind his back.
Zorro will travel to various locations throughout the game, solving puzzles, completing all sorts of tasks, and, as you'd expect from a romantic hero, he'll be caught up in many exciting adventures of mystery and seduction. The French-based developer, In Utero and Cryo are working on this particular title. Guillaume Eluerd (the game Scriptwriter) and Julie Salzmann (Marketing Manager) were kind enough to take the time and answer a few questions regarding the game's development status. Enjoy!
Action Trip: Will the plot and its unfolding throughout the game be based on the movie or the series in any way?
In Utero: The first thing we've done with the plot was to get an overall view of the kind of stories there were in the series and in the several movies made. We concluded that the plot had to be built around the series, simply because they offered more possibilities in terms of gameplay. In fact, each level was built as one episode, with a plot linking them to one another, but we thought it would be nice if the player had the feeling to have completed one episode at the end of each level. The thing we added that maybe has never figured in Zorro, is magic, things like ancient Indian demons...
AT: Sword-fighting is crucial to the player's survival. What other weapons will help him throughout gameplay?
IU: Zorro has a gun, which he uses in first-person to snipe the guards. He also has soporific and tow bombs. As you can see, Zorro has quite an arsenal with him, but he never kills anyone. Basically, all the weapons are meant to stun the NPCs, not to kill them. Zorro doesn't die either, by the way. When you lose, Zorro goes to jail. Oh, and another thing, Zorro can stun a guard with his hand. Provided he was able to sneak behind the guard first.
AT: It's nice to know that you mean to enhance the gameplay a bit, with the good 'ol sneaking-stealthily-behind-your-opponent tactic. What other moves can Zorro perform?
IU: Zorro has all the basic movements specific for this type of games. He can run, walk, jump, hang himself to parts of the sets, climb ladders, and so on... He also has some "sneaking movements" such as leaning behind the corner to see what's going on - that makes the game even more gripping.
AT: During his adventures, Zorro will be doing a lot of spying and rescuing. What other tasks await him?
IU: Fighting of course and sometimes that will be a task in itself. He will also have to collect items, solve a few puzzles...
AT: Can you name some locations and environments he will find himself in?
IU: Well, let's see...You got military barracks, a monastery, ancient Aztec temples and caves, and of course the De La Vega's hacienda. Each location has various unique features and is enriched with a lot of details...
AT: The in-game model of Zorro features an animation system that allows convincing character movement. The cape is one of the things that makes his whole appearance more genuine. Describe more features of this particular animation system.
IU: Most of Zorro's movements were motion captured as well as all of his combat moves (and the same goes for the foes). We soon realized that this animation technique was necessary, since there was to be a lot of them in the game and we wanted to have realistic sword fights, as well as a realistic Zorro. So, I guess the reason why Zorro appears so genuine is partly due to his motion captured moves. But the shadow has also a lot to do with that. Shadow was to be a strong element of the game simply because we couldn't imagine the character without a shadow, especially when it's titled "The Shadow of Zorro" J To us, the fact that Zorro had a shadow was as important as the cape, or the mask.
AT: What engine does the game utilize? Name some of its most important characteristics.
IU: We used a "new" engine, Phoenix 3D, which, indeed, was developed especially for our former games. It was made by 4X Technologies, a French expert in Middleware. It is a multiplatform engine, especially strong at displaying huge amount of textures, and capable of handling spectacular particle and lightning effects.
AT: Is there a multiplayer feature planned for Zorro?
IU: There was, at the very beginning of the project. We thought about a 2-players mode featuring sword fighting... but it appeared to us that we had enough materials with this to make a game in itself, so we soon dropped it to focus on the game. But it will probably exist for Zorro 2. We have enough material to make a sequel but we haven't made any definite decision yet.
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