PSU Exclusive Interview: Blacksite: Area 51

  • Posted December 6th, 2007 at 08:50 EDT by

With the impending release of Blacksite: Area 51 for PlayStation 3 just around the corner, PSU took the time to catch up with the games Creative Director, Jim Steifelmaier, to get some latest minute details on the highly anticipated alien blaster.

PSU: Outside of a military facility and American town, what other locations will gamers find while playing Blacksite Area 51?

Steifelmaier: The game takes place in several locations over several years. It starts off years ago in Iraq during the first Gulf War. There you discover some of the conspiracies that eventually take you to the present day small town America. You wander to the small town of Rachel, NV to
uncover more about this mystery. This in turn eventually leads you to the outskirts of the Area 51 base itself, where you do battle in the surrounding airfields before you finally gain access to the actual Area 51 base and to the heart of the conspiracy.

PSU: Tell us a little more about Aeran Pierce. Where does he come from andwhat is his personality like?

Steifelmaier: Pierce grew up in a small farm town. He is the oldest of four boys. His father was a dominant personality, but Pierce never backed down from him, and therefore earned his dad's respect. When he wasn't roughhousing with his younger brothers, he was protecting them from the other neighborhood kids. He played high school football. He attended a New England university in upstate NY. The plan was to major in engineering, but dropped out after majoring in girls. Now he is a career soldier. If he ever left the military, he'd probably start working in law enforcement or construction. Some day he wants to be a husband and (especially) a father.

As for his personality, Pierce follows his gut. He makes up his own mind about what's right and wrong. He's compelled to protect the weak and innocent. It's what makes him a great and trustworthy soldier. He is easy-going when he's got a handle on the situation and he's in charge. When power balance tips, he becomes intense and focused. Pierce is smart but not a rocket scientist. He has more street smarts than book smarts. His beliefs are more important than other people's feelings. He doesn't pull punches with other people, and he expects them to be just as blunt with him. He hates incompetence.

PSU: How destructible will the environments be? Will it only pertain to specific objects or is everything game?

Steifelmaier: We have brought over some of the destructible tech that Midway has from other titles such as Stranglehold. However, because Blacksite was set in the far more open spaces such as the Nevada Desert and the open streets of sleepy town Rachel, we had to limit the number of
destructibles as a trade off. So in doing this, we made sure to really make the destructibles we had pay off. We focused our efforts on the objects you take cover behind, such as the vehicles. Our cars have dozens of destructible pieces on them, including all the headlights, windows, deflatable wheels, destructible engine parts, etc.

PSU: How many weapons are planned for Blacksite and which one would have to be your favorite?

Steifelmaier: Blacksite has nine weapons. One of my favorites is called the Scatter Gun. Imagine if DARPA had access to alien technology and they used it to build a super advanced tactical shotgun. The Scatter Gun has some really interesting gameplay features that separate it from shotguns you often see in games. It fires multiple projectiles that each individually bounce off surfaces. You can hold down the Fire button to load multiple shells, which gives you a more powerful shot that has a tighter spread. When you zoom in, the weapon has a tighter spread too. If you charge up and zoom in, the weapon has an very tight spread so it can actually be extremely effective from medium to long range - this makes the weapon much more versatile than your standard shotgun. The player can also move faster with the Scatter Gun than with most weapons, making this weapon a great overall choice in multiplayer.

PSU: To what extent will you be able to control your squad? And ... (continued on next page)

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