Faith and a .45 Debut trailer+preview


Master Poster
Nov 11, 2005

Deadline Games has just released the first trailer for their new IP Faith and a .45


1up Preview:
Previews: Faith and a .45
Exclusive PS3/360 first look -- picture Gears of War as a 1930s love story.
By Matt Leone 01/29/2008
When your company's resume includes a Scandinavian-exclusive puppet adventure game and two shooters best known for their sombreros, it's a big transition to create a serious game along the lines of a 1930s Gears of War. Faith and a .45 is still a third-person shooter, but it moves Deadline Games from its Samba de Amigo-style roots to a title that takes place in the Great Depression.

For the developers, this is all part of a shift to help establish the company as something other than a team that makes fiesta-shooters. "We didn't want to pigeonhole ourselves as a company that only does over-the-top wacky humor games," says director Søren Lundgaard. "What we've always wanted to do is be a company that can make games with good characters, good story, and good storytelling in games." And the result is a game built on three key ideas -- Faith and a .45 is set in the Great Depression, modeled after the Road movie genre, and featuring a Bonnie and Clyde-style pair of characters at the core.

SCREENS: Deadline plans to use a series of dust storms in the environments to vary the game's look and tie into the time period (not pictured). Click the image above to check out all Faith and a .45 screens.

A Two-Player Story

The game's most distinctive feature looks to be the relationship between hero Luke and sidekick/love interest Ruby. In single-player, you take control of Luke with Ruby as the second member of your squad, while in co-op (online or off -- jump in/out at any time) the second player controls Ruby directly. You have light squad control features in the single-player mode along the lines of a Gears of War, but the game does a few things you might not expect if you think of it as a "squad" game.

For one, the two characters will show their affection for each other as you play. We witnessed one scene where Luke had Ruby provide cover fire for him as he ran around to the side to flank an enemy. Once the area was clear, Ruby walked up to Luke and gave him a kiss as a reward for a job well done. This has gameplay ramifications as well -- if you "die" and Ruby stays alive, she will run over to you on the ground and give you a "kiss of life," which brings you back to your feet.

The two characters will also be able to work together to pull off coordinated maneuvers more complex than laying down cover fire and running around to the side. In a separate scene we saw, Luke grabbed a can of gasoline and alley-ooped it into the air, while Ruby pulled out her rifle and detonated it above a group of enemies as a convenient way to clear out an area. Lundgaard promises multiple cooperative moves along these lines, and points out that they were designed with the goal of making the game feel cinematic. For example, when you toss Ruby a sniper rifle and she connects a shot, the camera follows the bullet and zooms in to show the impact, á la the precision aiming feature in Stranglehold.

SCREENS: The main villain in the game, John Mammon, is an oil tycoon who takes advantage of the poverty during the Great Depression and purchases much of the land in the Midwest. Click the image above to check out all Faith and a .45 screens.

The goal on the development side is to use these sorts of interactions to make the player care about Luke and Ruby as characters and their connection in the story. "We have a design rule to make sure that Ruby is really interesting and easy to play with," says Lundgaard. "What we call it is 'To play around with an unscripted A.I. you care for' -- that's the line that we use internally. That means Ruby should be able to take the initiative on her own, not just react or be scripted to exactly what she has to do... That came mostly from playing some of the other co-op games -- say a game like Gears of War, where you have a character with you most of the time, but you don't really depend on him and it's kind of like whenever he goes down, you fight on, and then he wakes up again after the battle is over. There's no real connection."

And though the developers plan to give Luke and Ruby a strong connection, they also are throwing a bit of a wrench with what Lundgaard describes as a "triangle drama" involving one of the main enemies in the game, a Sheriff named Duke who hunts the duo over the course of the game.

Beyond Combat

While Faith and a .45's standard gameplay centers around gunplay, taking cover, and co-op mechanics, the developers are incorporating other aspects to mix up the pace, with everything from on-rails vehicle segments to boss fights designed to add to the game's cinematic approach.

Lundgaard hints that these scenes may not be what we'd expect from hearing "vehicles" and "bosses," since the vechicle scenes will move beyond driving in cars to possibly include plane and boat transport, and the boss scenes will not be one-on-one shoot-outs so much as big battles you come across.

"They won't be boss fights where you fight another human with 2,000 hit points, but more like a fight against a World War I tank or a setup where there are a lot of enemies attacking you... so the feeling of boss fights, but not in an extremely classical Japanese style -- more Call of Duty-style boss fights you could say."

SCREENS: While the screenshots may give off the impression that Faith is a Western, Lundgaard says that in early focus tests players found the game to be "too Western," and Deadline intends to include cars, motorcycles, tanks, flamethrowers, etc. in order to give the game more of a modern feel. Click the image above to check out all Faith and a .45 screens.

Additionally, players will be able to upgrade their weapons by searching the environments, there will be physics puzzles, and Lundgaard is looking into ways to explore Luke and Ruby's relationship through the narrative beyond just presenting players cut-scenes. Whether this will result in dialogue trees or player choices has yet to be determined since the game is still early in development, but the developers are looking at different ideas.

Before We Get Ahead of Ourselves

Since Faith and a .45 currently has no publisher, this is the part of the story where we throw up a caveat that certain aspects of the game will likely change before it makes its way into stores.

We'll have to wait to find out how drastic those changes may be, but Lundgaard feels that the setting, main characters, and cover-based combat are pretty locked in as the core of the game, while aspects like the amount of exploration and the story are things more likely to change.

"The overall story and plot definitely can change because that's something where we really need to find out if people can relate to it and if it works," he says. If all goes well, Deadline hopes to have the game finished for a late 2009/early 2010 release, but that too is something to keep on the "might change" list.

Regardless of what happens in the next two years, we're happy to see the developers put a spin on the idea of what a co-op shooter can be. While pretty much every other game in the genre is as macho as possible (examples, examples, examples), there's a sensitive side here that opens up a lot of possibilities. It's Ico meets Gears of War, if you want to throw a lot of hype behind it, or The Adventures of Cookie & Cream meets GUN if you want to tone things down. Whatever your comparison, we're excited to see a new approach to the genre.