John Woo's Hong Kong action movies almost created an genre in itself in the 1980s and 1990s and have influenced how other action moves, TV shows and even video games are made. Now Midway is working directly with Woo himself on Stranglehold, their upcoming PS3-Xbox 360-Wii title that aims to bring Woo's trademark action to gamers. FiringSquad got a chance to chat with the game's producer Alex Offerman to find out more about their plans for Stranglehold.
FiringSquad: Now that Stranglehold is getting closer to its release later this year are you proud of what the development team has been putting into the game so far?
Alex Offerman: Definitely! Stranglehold is 100% still†in line with our original vision of the game. It's an action/shooter that truly encapsulates the authentic†cinematic John Woo experience, allowing players to engage in intense gun battles, while flowing seamlessly through environments and taking down enemies in a creative and stylistic way.
FiringSquad:How has it been working with John Woo and Chou Yun-Fat on a game continuation of Hard Boiled?
Alex Offerman: John Woo has been amazing to work with! He has contributed a lot of animation and cinema direction, and has been extremely involved in the writing of the story. Since we are trying to recreate his cinematic vision in the game, so we regularly meet with him to review the latest version of Stranglehold and get his feedback, which is always very insightful. Itís really a pleasure and an honor to work with such an influential action film director.
Working with Chow Yun Fat you realize how extremely helpful and gracious he is. Early on he actually agreed to having a crew fly out to Hong Kong where he lives and do a full body 3D scan of him, but while they were there, Chow Yun Fat also allowed us to take a series of impromptu pictures showing off his different kind of facial poses so that when we do the cinematics in the game, not only will we have his voice acting for Tequila, but we will be able to match the character in game exactly to the way Chow Yun Fatís facial expression in real life would be for each emotion.
FiringSquad: How hard was it to make a game that was both inspired by Hard Boiled yet still held up as a good gameplay experience?
Alex Offerman: Itís been a challenge but I wouldnít say that it has been difficult, in large part because weíve had John Woo there to help and guide in matching his cinematic style and vision, both in the gameís cinematic sequences and during gameplay. As far as good gameplay experience Stranglehold allows for the Hard Boiled story to be told in new and different ways. Most other mediums are fairly static and non-interactive, while video games can be very dynamic and usually require a lot of interaction on the playerís part to advance the story.