Sony's Femme Fatale: Heavenly Sword Q&A
Ninja Theory's Nina Kristensen tells us about Andy Serkis's part in Heavenly Sword and the future of the game at SCE.
Even among those who have little love for Sony there's no denying that the PlayStation 3 is a powerful piece of hardware. But, like a sports car with no roads to drive on, the system can't show what it's capable of because right now it's lacking a steady stream of high-quality games, something executives, critics and gamers themselves have cottoned on to.
The good news is that the games are coming. Over the next few months those who have brave enough to wade in early into the PS3 pool will be offered new experiences from some of the biggest developers out there. One of these games is Heavenly Sword.
Set in a war-torn world and laced with expectations, Heavenly Sword tells the story of Nariko, a hot-blooded redhead with an undying sense of duty and the sword skills to match. When a marauding king named Bohan attacks her people and kidnaps her father, Nariko steps up to save her old man and the clan in the process.
For four years, British development house Ninja Theory has been working on the game and along the way the team has worked with the best special effects studios around, brought in Hollywood talent, and developed new technology to help it take the story from drawing board to the D-pad.
To find out more about the making of Heavenly Sword and get an idea of what we can expect when the game comes out later this month, we spent a morning with Nina Kristensen, co-founder & Chief Development Ninja at Ninja Theory.
Following is a transcript of our chat:
Kikizo: Could you tell us a bit more about your role on Heavenly Sword and in the company in general.
Kristensen: I'm one of the co-founders of the company, so I look after the business side of the things. On the game side of things, I'm the Chief Technical Ninja, which means I look after production, predominantly, but I've got a really great head of production, and he takes care of most of it, so I'm able to stand off and give my input at that level.
Kikizo: Do you see Heavenly Sword becoming a franchise for Sony rather than a one-off?
Kristensen: We certainly hope Heavenly Sword will become a franchise. At Ninja Theory, when we actually designed the game in the first place, we wrote it as a trilogy. So we'd very much hope to continue on with that.
Kikizo: How long has the game been in development?
Kristensen: For four years. It's really big. It's a very big one for us.
Kikizo: Tecmo's Ninja Gaiden came about about a year into the development of Heavenly Sword. Do you think there are any similarities between the two?
Kristensen: You know what, I think Heavenly Sword is very distinct. Certainly there are lots of games in a similar type of genre, similar kind of space, but here you're going to get a very different experience. With Heavenly Sword, the big things are the very big story that pulls you through, the big character arcs, big revolutions at the end and so forth.
The style of combat as well, I think, makes a big difference. It's elegant. You can actually do some pretty brutal things in the game. You can break people's necks and stuff like that. But it's done almost as a ballet. It's choreographed so that everything looks elegant and beautiful. I think the feeling that any player will walk away with from the game is quite distinct from anything else that's out there.