Last February, developer Pseudo Interactive and publisher Sega released Full Auto for the X360, a car combat title that got some mixed reviews. In a bit of a surprising movie, Pseudo and Sega decided to charge ahead with a full fledged sequel, Full Auto 2: Battlelines, that will be an exclusive launch title for Sony's PS3 console this fall. FiringSquad got more details on Full Auto 2 from Sega producer Mike Gallo:
FiringSquad: First, was Pseudo and Sega pleased with how the original Full Auto for the X360 turned out and how it was received from gamers and critics?
Mike Gallo: We’ve received a lot of great feedback on game, but like any game there are always things that you wanted to get in that didn’t make it. We felt like it was a great first step in establishing a franchise, and we’re confident that fans will be happy with what we’re doing with Full Auto 2: Battlelines.
FiringSquad: When the time game to make the sequel, what were the development team's main goals?
Mike Gallo: Maintaining and adding on to that core element of fun gameplay was the main goal. One of our biggest pushes is to make the destruction in the game matter to the players. It looks really cool, but what if it looks cool and it has a spectacular gameplay payoff?
Being able to ram into or shoot out support pillars and collapse a train station is good fun, but it’s even more fun when you can collapse it and squash the car behind you that was just about to shoot a missile up your tailpipe. Getting kills is just one of the things that the player can do – collapsing a structure might also reveal a new section of the track / arena that you can explore, or it could give you access to a powerup.
FiringSquad: Why was the decision made to make Full Auto 2 a PS3 exclusive title?
Mike Gallo: We’ve always wanted the Full Auto franchise to live on every possible platform. It’s a great opportunity for us to make it a launch title on the PS3, so that’s what really drove the decision.
FiringSquad: Some of the comments for the first Full Auto game were that the vehicles felt "floaty" in their driving physics. Is this issue being addressed in Full Auto 2?
Mike Gallo: In short – absolutely. We’ve spent a lot of time working on the car driving models for Full Auto 2, and we think that everyone will be pleased with the results. We had two goals – make the cars more fun to drive, and make the cars feel unique. These were especially important given the addition of the new race modes and in particular the arena combat modes.
FiringSquad: What new tracks and environments will be seen in the sequel?
Mike Gallo: We have 13 new race / combat areas for the game (7 tracks, 6 arenas), as well as a new visual style for each of the environments. Since we’re within a city, we refer to them as districts, and each one of them looks unique, and has their own attributes and dangers. For example, in the new Financial district, there are huge high rise buildings, and tons of glass and steel that can be destroyed. The shipping / industrial areas are far grittier, and will have shipping containers, giant pipes, and even a ship that can be used as a weapon.
FiringSquad: What new vehicles and weapons will be used in the game?
Mike Gallo: There are 6 new vehicles in the game and we have over 20 weapons that the player can choose from. The biggest difference in the weapons is the ability for the player to be able to equip the car as they’d like – there are no set weapon load outs. There are still some restrictions of course depending on the car class, and the size of the weapons – but those all add to the different strategies that players can use in races or arenas. Do you want a fast car with long ranged weapons like the titan missile or do you want something a little more personal like a shotgun and a big ol’ truck? We’ve also added the concept of powerups to the arenas. These are items like unlimited boost, unlimited ammo, as well as the new super weapon mortar power ups. We’ll talk about those super weapons more later, but they pack a huge punch, and they are extremely limited in ammo.
FiringSquad: What racing modes will be used in Full Auto 2?
Mike Gallo: There are a few modes that we won’t be talking about until closer to launch, but we will have circuit races, point to point races, as well as team races. In addition, the new Cat & Mouse mode pits you in a team race where certain cars on each team have specific objectives for the race – and you’re trying to prevent the other team from reaching those objectives before you do.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about plans for online multiplayer in the game?
Mike Gallo: The addition of arenas really expands the multiplayer experience. There are still all of the race modes mentioned above, but in addition there is a deathmatch style mode, as well as team deathmatch. Finally, one of the new modes that we’re excited about is currently called Base Assault, and requires the teams to not only take out enemy cars, but you’re ultimately trying to destroy the other teams’ home base.
FiringSquad: How will the original's destructible environments and vehicles be improved upon for Full Auto 2?
Mike Gallo: As mentioned above, we really grabbed on to the concept of destruction matters. The environments were cool, and seeing them blow up was great fun. The next step for that interaction is to make it have an effect on the race. Blocking paths, causing kills, revealing short cuts and powerups. All of those elements are included as part of destruction matters, and they will be prominent in both the single player game as well as multiplayer. ]
FiringSquad: What other gameplay features will the sequel have that you consider to be important?
Mike Gallo: We’ve covered most of it in the previous questions – the new game modes, new vehicles, new weapons, the addition of arenas – those are all big additions to the franchise. The power ups are another new feature that really make the arenas stand out from the circuit races and other modes.
FiringSquad: How will the sequel improve upon the original's already impressive graphical features?
Mike Gallo: The visual effects in the game have been pumped up in every way – better smoke and fire, more detail when you crash into things (glass, wood, etc), and the biggest thing is increasing the amount and types of damage that the cars can take. We wanted players to really be able to feel the collisions, especially with other vehicles. The cars can really be deformed – we’ve crushed cars like an accordion! It’s a great feeling to literally run over a smaller car when you’re driving something heavier and they don’t see you coming. The cars also take more damage like paint scrapes and scorching from fires – and it all looks really great on the PS3. There are a few other visual touches as well – camera shakes, increased sense of speed, HDR lighting to name a few.
FiringSquad: What is the current status of the game's progress and when will it be released?
Mike Gallo: We are currently approaching ALPHA, which means that all of the features in the game are complete, and we’re adding the visual and gameplay polish to the game as well as fixing major bugs and getting ready for the final push. Full Auto 2: Battlelines is a PS3 launch game, so you can expect to see it out there with the PS3 on 11/17.
FiringSquad: Finally, are there any plans for downloadable content to be supported after Full Auto 2's release?
Mike Gallo: This is a feature that we’ll be discussing later for Full Auto 2. Stay tuned