Last week I was lucky enough to be able to attend not one, but two of EA’s awesome Community Days. The first you’ve probably already read my article for (Dead Space) but the second one we were warned to be very hush hush about… under threat of having EA’s Ninja Assassins pay us a visit in the night.
But now the cat’s out of the bag! Last Thursday right after Dead Space we flew up to Black Box Studios (Need For Speed, Skate) in Vancouver to check out their newest title- Need For Speed Undercover. It was quite the interesting day, because besides me and a guy from Ain’t It Cool News (the very awesome “Monki”) it was mostly attended by operators of hardcore Need For Speed fansites. (Yes, they exist!) But the reason they invited two movie sites was soon apparent… they’re trying something very different with this game.
NFS is going Hollywood. The upcoming story-intensive game will have you playing as a wheelman, an undercover cop who infiltrates a car thievery ring to take the crime syndicate down from the inside. The game will star singer-songwriter/actress Christina Milian (one of the stars of Chud guilty pleasure Torque) and Maggie Q (MI:3, Live Free or Die Hard) amongst a larger cast. These full motion videos are being directed by Joseph Hodges, who’s most famous for being the production designer for 24.
The thing that’s immediately apparent is how they’re trying to really make this a Hollywood production. No green screen nonsense here- it’s real actors, real locations, and real cars. We saw a speech by the actor who portays the character you play as which gave a real good sense of the grittiness they’re going for. It was apparently all improv, and very good at that. They’re even making sure the videos have the same look and feel of the game. Course, it’s way too early to tell how the game and videos will work together, but rest assured that besides this they’re doing some other very interesting things with the series (finally!)
I can’t tell you the full details about what we saw that day until the 20th, so check back next Wednesday for more details! As for now, check out this teaser trailer which hit the web on http://www.whichroadtotake.com– eagle eyed web surfers found it hidden among other video clips on the page.