You can never have too many action games, and with Wanted: Dead, 110 Industries is promising one that should quench some of that thirst. Made by a team that’s comprised of former Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive developers, Wanted: Dead, based on what’s been shown of it so far, is setting up an experience that combines stylish hack-and-slash gameplay and blistering third person shooting. Curious as we are to learn more about the game, we recently sent over a few of our questions to the folks behind it. Below, you can read our interview with 110 Industries founder and creative director Sergei Kolobashkin.
"Ninja Gaiden is one of the best action games ever made and this particular crew are the guys that made it a thing. In that respect, you should expect to see a lot of Ninja Gaiden DNA in terms of the depth, richness and satisfaction you will get from the game’s combat."
Your development team boasts plenty of talent that’s had a lot of experience with action games. What lessons are you taking from something like Ninja Gaiden or Dead or Alive into Wanted: Dead?
110 Industries is a new company and we tend to learn from the best and we love working with the best. When it came to my knowledge that this team was available, I made sure we were in conversation on making Wanted: Dead happen. Ninja Gaiden is one of the best action games ever made and this particular crew are the guys that made it a thing. In that respect, you should expect to see a lot of Ninja Gaiden DNA in terms of the depth, richness and satisfaction you will get from the game’s combat.
Dead or Alive is a different beast since it’s a fighting game with a lot of character to it and Wanted: Dead obviously lives in a different genre, but it’s not like we’re not trying to incorporate certain mechanics that will make our upcoming game fresh and exciting.
There were glimpses of dismemberment in the combat that’s been shown so far. Is that going to be an important gameplay mechanic in Wanted: Dead?
We’re pouring a lot of style into combat. It’s very important for us to give the players the satisfaction of cutting a challenging enemy into pieces. The team is pushing hard to have a wide variety of finishing moves that will please the insatiable appetite for blood. I’m not sure if I would call it an important mechanic but it sure looks awesome on screen and it’s certainly important in terms of the style and feel we want to create.
With Wanted: Dead’s futuristic Hong Kong setting and its story involving synthetics and cyborgs, there’s a lot of potential for interesting storytelling. How much of an emphasis does the game place on this area?
Wanted: Dead is very heavy on story. We populated our fictional Hong Kong with a wide variety of eccentric characters that includes NPCs, bosses and teammates. The game’s story is inspired by the cyberpunk anime shows from the late 80s and the early 90s – things like Cyber City Oedo 808 and Dominion Tank Police. This game is a love letter to the fans of the genre, and, boy, did we goof around while working on it.
The gameplay we’ve seen of Wanted: Dead so far has shown third person shooting and hack-and-slash melee combat- what sort of a balance does the game strike between the two. Can players focus on both equally, or is one emphasized more than the other?
We believe that the game is well-balanced when it comes to switching between the weapons. The players will find themselves constantly juggling between the sword, the sidearm and a variety of rifles, shotguns and SMGs. Whoever tries to play this game as a third-person shooter or as a slasher exclusively will get his ass kicked Ninja Gaiden style. I think having that variety and building the game in such a way that you are required to use all the tools available to you makes it a much richer and interesting experience.
"Wanted: Dead is not a short game by any means but we made sure that it never drags through the story or combat. I’d say that it will take a few committed evening sessions to beat if you’re not rushing. "
Roughly how long will an average playthrough of Wanted: Dead be?
Wanted: Dead is not a short game by any means but we made sure that it never drags through the story or combat. I’d say that it will take a few committed evening sessions to beat if you’re not rushing.
Will Wanted: Dead be a purely single player experience, or will it offer online and multiplayer content as well?
Wanted: Dead is a single-player experience and we’re currently not exploring multiplayer for this game.
Wanted: Dead is currently announced for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S- what was behind the decision to skip previous-gen consoles?
Working with the power of the new consoles is obviously a big appeal in terms of making Wanted: Dead as slick and good-looking as we can, so aiming for more powerful systems was a no-brainer in terms of the first step. However, I wouldn’t rule out previous-gen consoles entirely yet. We are currently evaluating the market space and we’re still thinking about porting the game to the past generation.
Given that you have now worked on all the current gen consoles, I hope you don’t mind answering some questions about their hardware. Since the reveal of the PS5 and Xbox Series’ specs, a lot of comparisons have been made between the GPU speeds of the two consoles, with the PS5 at 10.28 TFLOPS and the Xbox Series X at 12 TFLOPS. How much of an impact on development do you think that difference will have?
We strongly believe that both platforms give a lot in terms of performance. There are both incredible systems that offer plenty of power in terms of what we want to achieve. It’s our job to make sure that Wanted: Dead shines on both.
The PS5 features an incredibly fast SSD with 5.5GB/s raw bandwidth. How can developers take advantage of this, and how does this compare to the Xbox Series X’s 2.4GB/s raw bandwidth?
Although each platform is unique and has its own specs, Wanted: Dead will be a joy to play on each respected device.
Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X boast Zen 2 CPUs, but there is a difference in the processors of both consoles. The Xbox Series X features 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.8GHz, whereas the PS5 features 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz. Your thoughts on this difference?
My generation grew up knowing that Genesis does what Nintendon’t but it’s not the numbers that made us fall in love with the games that inspired our careers in this industry. I can only reiterate what I said earlier in that while each platform is unique and has its own strengths, they are both very powerful systems that will allow us to achieve what we want with Wanted: Dead. It’s our responsibility to deliver with the power those systems give us.
"Wanted: Dead is a single-player experience and we’re currently not exploring multiplayer for this game."
The Xbox Series S features lesser hardware compared to Xbox Series and Microsoft is pushing it as a 1440p/60 FPS console. Do you think it will be able to hold up for the more graphically intensive games as this generation progresses?
Microsoft is an incredible company. When people like Ed Fries, Seamus Blackley, Kevin Bachus, Ted Hase and Otto Berkes tackled the beast that will later be known as the Xbox, in the late 90s, they couldn’t have imagined that Microsoft could pivot from the Office publisher to a gaming powerhouse. Xbox is a platform of choice for millions of players worldwide and I’m sure that Microsoft will not disappoint.
Super Resolution is coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. How do you think this will help game developers?
It’s just more tools to make our games look and feel better. How can we say “no” to this?
What frame rate and resolution will the game target on the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S?
We’re not ready to disclose this just yet. We hope that the audience will be pleasantly surprised with the game they will find on store shelves later this year.
What are your thoughts on the Steam Deck? Do you have plans for any specific optimizations for the device?
We are currently looking into the opportunities Steam Deck gives us. It’s definitely an incredible platform to work with and I think everyone in the industry has been really impressed with what Valve has managed to achieve with the Deck in getting games running at such high-quality on a handheld device. We believe that it will revolutionize the handheld market, so it’s a really exciting piece of tech and a fascinating development for the industry as a whole.
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