In December 360Monster was invited as part of the Microsoft Xbox Community Network (XCN) to submit a selection of questions, which would be answered in a Q&A session with Olivier Dauba, Content Producer at Ubisoft. We put this to our community via our forum and in return we received some pressing questions from our members. The most interesting and inventive questions were selected and submitted towards the Q&A interview.
What follows an in-depth Q&A exclusive to XCN members with Olivier.
What type of achievements will there be, and what do you think Achievements add to the GRAW experience?
Achievements will reward both progression in the game, as well as specific challenges. We tried to reward various style of play, both trigger happy highly skilled shooters or more tactical players who like to recon everything going in. Player will be aware of its progress in gaining the achievements
Will the graphics in the multiplayer part of the game be as good as the single player in GRAW 2? This was not the case in the previous title.
We’ve devoted a huge amount of engineering resources to stepping up the graphics in GRAW 2 multiplayer. The biggest upgrade by far is a switch to more advanced lighting effects, including a dynamic lighting and shadowing system. We’ve also revamped the special effects so you’ll see the shimmer of heat from explosions and burning buildings, wind and helicopters effecting smoke and foliage, advanced bullet impact effects, distance blur …the ‘works’.
Will it be possible to superimpose my face onto characters, like in Rainbow Six Vegas?
We won’t be supporting face mapping, but we’ve piled on the character customization options, including female characters and more FFW gear. Fans of other Clancy games might even recognize a few new headgear choices 😉
How does the multiplayer experience differ from GRAW?
First off, we’ve listened to a lot of fan feedback and worked it into GRAW 2 to really streamline the multiplayer experience. We’re doing things like adding an in-action scoreboard, more detailed weapon statistics, and an entirely new spawn system. One of the coolest individual features we’ve added is the ability for players to medic fallen teammates if they take an incapacitating non-lethal wound. This makes teamwork and tactical, coordinated movement even more important in GRAW 2. Breaking off into 2-3 man squads in a team or co-op match can make sure that if you go down, one of your buddies is around to eliminate the threat and get you back in the action. That’s not to say we’ve gone soft though, don’t expect to get back in the fight after taking a .50 cal round to the chest 🙂 We’ll also be shipping with significantly more content than the original GRAW, in terms of number of maps and the addition of new game types, a slew of new weapons, and more customization options.
What kind of rank system are you building in GRAW2?
We’re building on what we offered in GRAW 1 and improving the stability of ranked games and working to address specific ways some users found to exploit the system. This time around players will not only be able to see their current rank, but keep track of their progress towards their next rank increase.
How did you integrate realism in GRAW2? Do you have military interlocutors for the tactics, the weapons?
Realism & Accuracy have always been key into the Ghost Recon franchise. We’re working this into different levels. The first thing is the collaboration with weapons & gear manufacturers. We work closely with them to make sure we include the latest stuff available. the Ghosts look like the US soldiers will in the next year. The second thing is the work with the Natick, an US organisation that defines what is going to be the Gear & Strategy of the Soldier of the Future.
What is the single biggest difference in game play compared to GRAW and how did community feedback factor into this?
The community was asking for more supports (heavy support, allies…), more precision in their control & more strategies available. The Cross-Com 2,0 is the direct answer to that request : allows to control everything, from planes to allies, allows to pilot directly some of the supports (UAV drone, MULE…) & gives you a more detailed understanding of the battle situation. This is what is going to make GRAW game play refined and improved for more variety and choices.
Will this be the best game on 360 ever graphically? If so how?
GRAW2 will be one of the best in the competition (and this is a tough one!). The main thing is that we are building on the very strong basis of GRAW original engine. So that most of the time is spent into optimizing, adding new effects (Ambient Occlusion, Dynamic Weather…) or creating impressive SFX (see the explosions!). The other point is that we’re not using tech for tech’s sake. For instance, a huge work has been done on post-processing filters that drive emotion, help in game play and increase immersion a lot.
With the success of the online Co-Op when the game first came out, have you considered to make the single player maps and objectives, into online based Co-Op games?
I would love a purely online based version of graw as I find it’s not the same when you have AI team mates.
With GRAW 2 we’ve decided to keep the co-op campaign unique because it allows us to do a number of things that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. We can give players an experience that was designed for co-op game play from the ground up, which is something you can’t do if it has to work for one player just as well as it works for sixteen. Because the co-op missions are designed for a large group of players to fight through together, we’ve added in a lot of opportunities for players to use cooperative tactics to take down separate objectives simultaneously, setup diversions, and ambush enemy troops.
Where have you taken the single player? I felt that in GRAW there could have been more varied environments. Are you going back to the roots of the game and building on what made the game so popular?
GRAW2 is happening on the US/Mexican border, kilometres away from Mexico city. We feel that location is great for the variety of environments (rural zones, deserts, towns…) and the constant feeling you have to be very close & feel very differently than on the other side of the border.
What type of co-op are you adding to this game? It is the sole reason I bought GR: AW and was somewhat let down by the small maps and graphical/control differences from the single player (which looked and played brilliantly)
Beyond graphics improvements I mentioned above, we’re lengthening the co-op campaign and doing some really cool things with the mission objectives themselves. We’ve added what we’re calling ‘conditional objectives’ which are tied to secondary objectives throughout the co-op campaign. In GRAW 1, the co-op missions had secondary objectives that were optional and gave the players a bit more choice in completing a mission. In GRAW 2, we’re expanding on this idea so that secondary objectives become key tactical choices in how a co-op mission will play out.
What new innovative weapons and gadgetry can we expect to be using or see in action in GRAW 2?
Apart from the Cross-Com 2,0, we have plenty of new stuff. The Ghost now have access to the RX4 Storm series : modelled & designed (even the smallest details like the gas valve) from an existing weapon. Seeing the MULE in action will be great too!
Thank you for your time Olivier!