Shadows of the Damned Interview (PS3)

Along with our hands on preview, Strategy Informer was privileged enough to talk to Goichi Suda, one of the masterminds behind Shadows of the Damned as well as visionary within the industry. A man of few words, we asked him about the game and what it meant to him:

Strategy Informer: What is the purpose of Shadows of the Damned? Is it to tell Garcia's story, is it to push the very visceral art style that the game has, etc... ?

Goichi Suda: It's definitely to offer the experience of hell.

Strategy Informer: And what influenced this particular vision of Hell?

Goichi Suda: We wanted to complete something completely different, so not like the Western vision of hell, not even like the Eastern vision of hell either. Just something completely different. The Hell we were thinking off, it's not just scary - it has life and social networks... daily life. We wanted to offer this sense of society in hell.

Strategy Informer: Even though your vision of hell is culture-specific, is there a particular audience you're aiming at here? I mean your main character is an Hispanic White-male.

Goichi Suda: Well we're tied with EA so obviously the main target was America and Western Europe, so we didn't really think about implementing a particular hook for Asian audience. Wasn't really our goal.

Strategy Informer: This game is obviously very mature, it's gotten an 18 rating here in the UK... are you worried about the mainstream media who may not understand or mistreat the game? Videogames are becoming a new punchbag of sorts after all...

Goichi Suda: Nope. Not a all. It's entertainment after all, and I don't think it's right to be scared of ratings all the time when you're trying to create something and express yourself. But then again, it IS a rating so if you need to make an adjustment, sure. But at the beginning you don't want to think about it too much.
Strategy Informer: I know this is a collaboration between you and Mikami, however you yourself are known for putting certain 'trademarks' into your games - the use of the number 51, games within games, etc... are any of these going to make it into Shdaows?

Goichi Suda: *laughs* Well no '51' in this game, but of course you can definitely see some uniqueness, even in the boss battles and the character of the boss in the playable demo - he has harmonicas in his mouth, and even though he doesn't talk, every time he breaths there's music.

Strategy Informer: How has it been working with Mikami-san on this project?

Goichi Suda: Well it's been really exciting. Of course we've worked together on Killer7, so we knew what it was going to be like and we had a distinctive role for each other. I could ask a question and Mikami-san instantly knew what I was expecting. I think it was really interesting and exciting to pitch to EA from the beginning, and to travel with Mikami-san and work from the beginning. It gave us both a great experience and I think it's one of the reasons how he is now working with Bethesda.

It really feels like we've experienced things together on this project throughout development- much like Garcia and Johnson oh the journey, it feels like a journey with Mikami-san.

Strategy Informer: What bit of the game are you most proud of?

Goichi Suda: Johnson the character - his personality and the abilities that he offers. It's really characteristic of the entire game.


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