PSU were recently given the chance to talk to Square Enix producer Junichi Ehara, and Platinum Games directors Takahisa Sugiyama and Kenji Saito about the upcoming Babylon’s Fall, and discuss combat, what players can expect, and why Platinum Games is working with Square Enix on this project.
Interview With Junichi Ehara, Takahisa Sugiyama & Kenji Saito On Babylon’s Fall
PSU: This seems to be an unusual genre for Platinum Games to be stepping into, was there a main inspiration for trying this type of looter game?
Sugiyama: Square Enix wanted to make a hack-and-slash game with NieR-like action, and PlatinumGames jumped at the opportunity.
PlatinumGames also had strong aspirations to create a title that could be operated as a live service game, as a service format and gaming experience for the future, so those ambitions aligned with each other.
PSU: The game has you collect many different types of armour pretty fast, and for some people the appearance of your character is very important. Is there a glamour based system to change the outfits and if so will this be easily accessible from the start?
Sugiyama: Once you obtain a cosmetic item, you can change your apperance immediately, and you can do this from the start of the game. Of course, we intend for the lineup to expand as service progresses.
PSU: We have seen the tower location a few times now in trailers and from the closed beta’s that were run recently, do you have any teases for locations that we may visit outside of the tower or is that the main focus of the games level design?
Sugiyama: Generally speaking, our setting for this adventure is mainly focused on the tower as a base. However, as development progresses in the future, I can’t say for certain that we don’t intend to shift the setting of the adventure significantly.
I’m not able to share how that would happen just yet, but we’re keeping a variety of approaches in our sights.
PSU: Each level felt like they had some kind of random layout, do the levels change when you load up the missions such as different placements for chests, and other gatherable materials to help reward exploring the mission rather than just rushing through it?
Sugiyama: We wanted to offer a gameplay experience that makes it as easy as possible for players to accompany each other while moving around, so we didn’t design the game in such a way that there would be major side roads.
However, as you mention, there are little chests as well as fun things to do on the side that we call “hidden pockets.” We’ve included as much playfulness as possible, in a way that doesn’t hinder the progress of the overall party.
PSU: Do the missions scale based on players? The game is a 4 person co-op online title but if someone disconnects, or something has come up that forces them to leave early.
Will it dynamically scale based on the new player count or will it still be designed for the 4 players? Also is there a way to invite other players when someone has left the game to replace them either as just via a quick look or by inviting friends into the game after the person has left.
Saito: Quests can be played with 1-4 people. If someone’s connection cuts out for some reason during a quest, the difficulty level of the next enemy that appears will be scaled according to the number of players in the game. Quests cannot be joined midway through.
PSU: What type of content will be at launch for the end game and do you have any plans for future end game content to continue supporting this title?
Sugiyama: Yes, we already have plans for the next year or so. Coming up in the near future, we have plans for some new and ambitious content, like what’s included on the Season 1 roadmap.
Each season, we’ll be releasing content and dropping information, so please look forward to more news after that!
PSU: The game has a crafting system, though we don’t know many details about it right now. Will the end game content drop items that can be used to craft high level weapons and armour or will it mostly be used for lower level equipment?
You’ll be able to craft and collect necessary materials from relatively early on, midway through the story progression. By obtaining more recipes, you’ll be able to create more things, and the lineup goes up to Legendary level items, so even core users will find it amply worthwhile to use.
PSU: In the closed Beta, the shop in the main hub city seemed to scale based on your current gear score level, but would still only sell basic equipment meaning even though it had stats, it really wasn’t worthwhile to purchase any of the items because they lacked any traits.
Will they be selling rare or higher equipment in the full release as either standard stock or in a rotation?
Sugiyama: Yes, the full game will allow you to obtain higher equipment than in the closed beta test (CBT). However, the main avenue of getting equipment will be through quest drops, so I think the shop’s main use will be to support gameplay from the beginning to midway through the game.
PSU: Now this is kind of a personal question, as someone who plays Final Fantasy XIV, I remember reading that armour was used *with permission, in the game from the low level dungeons in XIV.
With this in mind, any plans for a future crossover event with the critically acclaimed MMO Final Fantasy XIV?
Ehara: We don’t have any plans, but we would like to discuss the possibilities if we receive a lot of feedback from our community about it!
PSU: When the game launches I know the servers will be region locked but in the future will it be possible to make region free online possible? I have a lot of friends who live in North America and I would like to be able to play this game with them.
Ehara: Given its characteristics as an action game, we want it to be played in an environment that keeps communication lags to an absolute minimum. Therefore, if there are significant improvements to communication technology or environments, we may be able to consider doing so.
Thank you to Junichi Ehara, Takahisa Sugiyama, and Kenji Saito for taking the time to speak with us.