PSU recently got the chance to talk with Square Enix producer Junichi Ehara, and Platinum Games Directors Takahisa Sugiyama and Kenji Saito about the coming The Fall of Babylonand discuss battles, what players can expect and why Platinum games works with Square Enix on this project.
Interview with Junichi Ehara, Takahisa Sugiyama & Kenji Saito about Babylon’s Fall
PSU: This seems to be an unusual genre for Platinum Games to get into. Was there a major source of inspiration for trying these kinds of looting games?
sugiyama: Square Enix wanted to make a hack-and-slash game with NieR-esque action, and PlatinumGames seized the opportunity.
PlatinumGames also had strong ambitions to create a title that could be used as a live service game, as a service format and a gaming experience for the future, so those ambitions were aligned.
PSU: In the game you collect a lot of different types of armor pretty quickly, and for some people the appearance of your character is very important. Is there a glamor based system to change the outfits and if so, will it be easily accessible from the get-go?
sugiyama: Once you get a cosmetic item, you can immediately change your appearance, and you can do this from the beginning of the game. Of course, we plan to expand the lineup as the service progresses.
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PSU: We’ve seen the tower’s location a few times now in trailers and from the closed betas that ran recently do you have any teases for locations we can visit outside the tower or is that the main focus of the game level design ?
sugiyama: In general, our attitude is: because this adventure is mainly focused on the tower as a base. However, as development progresses into the future, I can’t say for sure that we don’t plan to significantly change the setting of the adventure.
I can’t tell yet how that would happen, but we’re keeping our eyes on different approaches.
PSU: Each level felt like they had some sort of random layout, do the levels change when you load up the missions like different placements for chests and other collectibles to reward exploring the mission instead of just rushing through it?
sugiyama: We wanted to provide a gameplay experience that makes it as easy as possible for players to accompany each other as they move, so we didn’t design the game to have major side roads.
But as you mentioned, there are little chests and fun things to do on the side we call “hidden pockets.” We’ve added as much playfulness as possible, in a way that doesn’t hinder the progress of the overall party.
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PSU: Do the missions scale based on players? The game is an online co-op title for 4 people, but if someone disconnects, or something happened that forces him to leave earlier.
Will it scale dynamically based on the number of new players or will it still be designed for the 4 players? There is also a way to invite other players when someone has left the game to replace them, either by taking a quick look or by inviting friends into the game after the person has left the game.
Saito: Quests can be played with 1-4 people. If someone’s connection drops for some reason during a quest, the difficulty of the next enemy that appears will be scaled according to the number of players in the game. Quests cannot be merged halfway through.
PSU: What kind of content will be at the endgame launch and do you have any plans for future endgame content to continue supporting this title?
sugiyama: Yes, we already have plans for next year or so. In the near future we have plans for new and ambitious content, such as what is included in the roadmap for Season 1.
Each season we will be releasing content and dropping information, so look forward to more news after that!
PSU: The game has a crafting system, although we don’t know many details about it at the moment. Will the endgame content drop items that can be used to craft high-level weapons and armor or will it mostly be used for lower-level gear?
You can make and collect the necessary materials relatively early, halfway through the story. Obtaining more recipes allows you to craft more things, and the lineup moves up to Legendary level items, so even core users will definitely find it worth using.
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PSU: In the closed beta, the main hub city store appeared to scale based on your current gear score, but would still only sell basic gear, meaning even though it had stats, it really wasn’t worth buying a of the items because they had no properties.
Will they sell rare or higher equipment in the full release as standard stock or in a rotation?
sugiyama: Yes, the full game allows you to get higher gear than in the closed beta test (CBT). However, the main way to get gear is through quest drops, so I think the main use of the store will be to support gameplay from the beginning to the middle of the game.
PSU: This is a bit of a personal question, as someone who plays Final Fantasy XIV I remember reading that armor *was used with permission in the game from the low dungeons in XIV.
With this in mind, are there any plans for a future crossover event featuring the critically acclaimed MMO Final Fantasy XIV?
Ehara: We don’t have any plans, but we’d love to discuss the possibilities if we get a lot of feedback from our community!
PSU: When the game launches I know the servers will be region-locked, but will it be possible to enable region-free online in the future? I have many friends who live in North America and I would like to play this game with them.
Ehara: Given its characteristics as an action game, we want it to be played in an environment that keeps communication delays to an absolute minimum. Therefore, if there are significant improvements in communication technology or environments, we may consider doing so.
thanks to Junichi Ehara, Takahisa Sugiyamaand Kenji Saito for taking the time to talk to us.