In Crossing the line players will fight against evil to save their beloved. Running on the powerful CryEngine and combining a strong story with intriguing gameplay mechanics, Crossing The Line gives different options to the player for approaching a particular situation which makes sure that every playthrough is unique. The game is being developed by Zomboko Entertainment, a small independent development studio that will launch the game on the PS4, Xbox One and PC in 2015.
We spoke to the studios’ founder Artyom Mironov to find out more details about the game.
Rashid Sayed: Most shooters seem to focus on revenge sagas or outright massacres but Crossing the Line seems to be more of a love story. What is the overall tone and atmosphere like?
Artyom Mironov: Yes, you are partly right. “Crossing the line” – it’s a story about a man who wants to save his beloved and uncover the mysterious case. The whole area in a big city, where the terrorist act was committed, cleared of people and cordoned off by the military. All of this, with traveling between two worlds, makes an atmosphere of mystery and mystique; action occurring constantly keeps players in suspense.
Rashid Sayed: What can you tell us about the protagonist?
Artyom Mironov: Not as much as I would like. The main character’s name is Mason – he is a former police officer – a man, who has lost everything: beloved wife, job and his 9-year-old daughter. The case of the terrorist attack was immediately closed, and this fact doesn’t leave the protagonist. A few years after the incident he suffers from strange dreams which completely kills the protagonist’s psyche. He tries to forget about everything and starts to use alcohol but that creates a lot of other problems.
"Transition between worlds won't be possible at any time, but it doesn't mean that players will be strictly limited by the plot. Transition ability will be active after certain player actions and decisions happen during gameplay."
Rashid Sayed: The story features numerous supernatural elements like ghosts and transitioning between the real world and spiritual world. How does the terrorist attack connect to all this?
Artyom Mironov: There is too much associated with this incident so if I said anything it would be a big “spoiler” 🙂 The player will be able to learn in the course of the story and through interaction with a lot of side characters.
Rashid Sayed: What does the ability to move between the land of the living and the land of the dead add to the the gameplay? How does it change things up from the typical shooting mechanics?
Artyom Mironov: It’s possible to combine both of the two worlds to solve some in-game situations. There are several possible options to do it. You can complete them carefully, you can choose the stealth path, or you can choose between two special options, which depends on player actions and indicator of “stability”. You can transit youself into the dead world, where you can quickly deal with enemies (but also where you have a high chance to die) or you can “crash” two worlds into each other and unleash undead creatures. These creatures will hunt for all the living things (including our protagonist).
Transition between worlds won’t be possible at any time, but it doesn’t mean that players will be strictly limited by the plot. Transition ability will be active after certain player actions and decisions happen during gameplay. But don’t overuse this ability – very frequent visits of the dead world could hurt the main character or even kill him.
"We don't have the plans to add a multiplayermode in this game. We are going for a single player experience only."
Rashid Sayed: The game looks to be extremely polished and have photo-realistic visuals. How are you approaching the graphics of the game to create an immersive experience?
Artyom Mironov: We tried to make the environment more believable by adding recognizable things. Something similar to what you can see at the your street or somewhere else. What you can see from the screenshots – it’s an early build, which was developed in a relatively short time. Adding a lot of details environment, people and other things that would reach a livelier picture.
Rashid Sayed: Will Crossing the Line feature any multiplayer or co-op elements and if so, can you tell us more about them?
Artyom Mironov: No. We don’t have the plans to add a multiplayermode in this game. We are going for a single player experience only.
Rashid Sayed: What kind of play-length are you targeting with Crossing the Line and what are your thoughts on first person shooters emphasizing story over multiplayer in today’s multiplayer-driven age?
Artyom Mironov: It would take about 7-8 hours. I like to play in a multiplayer games, it’s definitely enjoyable to play co-op with your friends. It’s great that many developers make online oriented games, but lately they have been focusing games which have survival and zombies. This is something I don’t like.
" I was pleased to see Valve supporting Linux operating system as a gaming platform. Current games that support Linux platform are very small, and therefore we would like to support this platform."
Rashid Sayed: Will the protagonist be armed with any weapons or items? How will he be fighting off against ‘the evil’?
Artyom Mironov: Of course, a standard set of weapons will be available such as handguns, machine guns and rifles. But our hero can’t take with him all weapons at once – we are limiting it to 3 variations at a time. In the world the dead, conventional weapons will not help. To fight the forces of evil you need special weapons.
Rashid Sayed: Crossing the Line was developed using CryEngine. What advantages did the engine offer and how did it best suit the purpose of the game?
Artyom Mironov: Ease of cross platform and quality of render. The editor is really very comfortable to use and the picture quality is just great. Besides, CryEngine also supports Linux.
Rashid Sayed: Given that the game is due in 2015, are there any plans to include a DX12 version? Furthermore, what are your thoughts on DX12, can it make development easier on the PC and Xbox One?
Artyom Mironov: No, adding support for DX12 and its subsequent optimizations can take a considerable amount of time, which is not in our plans.
Rashid Sayed: Crossing The Line is one of the few games that due for the SteamOS. Given that the Valve has been giving out a pretty confused message regarding SteamBox, what prompted you to plan a version of the game for it? Furthermore, is the development of SteamBox similar to the Windows version, given that there are so many different types of SteamBoxes out there?
Artyom Mironov: I was pleased to see Valve supporting Linux operating system as a gaming platform. Current games that support Linux platform are very small, and therefore we would like to support this platform. I think there should be no problems with optimization. In any case, we will be pushing the game on all versions.