We recently caught up Activision's Robert Conkey and Platinum Games' Eiro Shirahama to discuss the half-shell hero antics of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan.
"In terms of universe Platinum pulled from a lot of places, but really referenced the original Eastman and Laird comics as well as the original tv show, the IDW comic series and some of the more recent Nick 3D versions of the TV show as well," explains Activision producer Robert Conkey. "So it took all the stuff they really liked and put them all in one place and added their own unique Platinum Games spin on it."
"It's a great opportunity to show we can do more than just crazy... We can do crazy stuff, but not always necessarily have it be violent," says game designer Eiro Shirahama. "In fact, in this game a lot of effort has been put into the humour of the game."
The game is level based, but instead of linear levels the player gets to play in a fairly open sandbox environment with a variation of missions to complete.
"The stages are designed in an interesting way in that they have randomised events, there's a large pool of events that could possibly occur," says Conkey. "As you start the stage they're going to be relatively easy, and you don't exactly what they're going to be so every time you play through it's going to be different, but as you succeed, they get increasingly more difficult up until the boss battle."
"One of the key goals for the game was to make the player feel like they are the Turtles, they're running around the city stopping crazy stuff or stopping crimes from happening, whatever it may be," says Shirahama. "In the more traditional format that they had where you go somewhere, you fight some guys and you move forward you couldn't really do that. We want you to be able to freely be able to run around New York."
Platinum Games who did a stellar job bringing Transformers back to its original form with Transformers: Devastation are using a different approach when tackling this property born in the 1980s.
"We looked through all of TMNT history, like 30 years of it and we felt that the original TV show and around that era did a really great job of expressing the fact that they're turtles, yes, but they are also teenagers and they kind of act like teenagers, and their also ninjas and that's just awesome," says Shirahama. "And they have a lot of humour injected into a lot of different moments and it works really well. We love that. But if you just go with that, it was from a while ago. It may not quite hold up visually. So we also took inspiration sepcifically from Mateus Santolouco... We took some of the elements of the original stuff and mixed it with his modern, cool art and used those two as inspiration and then came up with our own take on it."
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan is due out on May 27 for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
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