Lazygamer Interview – Ninja Theory gives us the low-down on Enslaved

5 min read
2

NinjaTheoryInterview.jpg

Enslaved was by far one of the more impressive looking games that we played at E3 this year, it played well and had some very pretty eye-candy to boot.

We had the opportunity to fire off some questions to Ninja Theory, well known for their work on Heavenly Sword, to find out more about their upcoming title Ensalved: Journey to the West.

Find out what inspired the game’s story and setting as well as more about the development team and the reasons for going multi-platform in the full interview, after the jump.

What inspired the setting and story for Enslaved?

About 4 years ago, I read Journey to the West while I was researching the Wuxia genre for Heavenly Sword. It’s an epic, breath-taking fantasy on par with Lord of the Rings. I really like the character set up with Monkey’s master, Tripitaka, being completely vulnerable yet having complete power over him. So this became the basis of ENSLAVED which is only loosely based on this epic novel.

However we didn’t want to do another Wuxia-themed game. I knew that sci-fi was an area a lot of people in the studio were interested in. What if we replace the demons with near-future military machines and the magic with technology? Everyone in the studio dug it so we went full steam ahead on that basis.

As for the setting, we saw a documentary called Life After People showing what would happen to the world if people disappeared. It was amazing how fast nature takes over the cities. And so our Art Directors went with that direction as it totally goes against our preconceptions of what a post-apocalyptic landscape should look like.

How big is the team working on Enslaved?

It started with around 40 people and steadily grew to around 70 at the peak of production.

Your previous title was a Playstation 3 exclusive. What brought about the move to multiple platforms?

We wanted ENSLAVED to be available to you regardless of the platform. Do you remember how frustrating it was to have movies available on Betamax when you had a VHS player? It almost happened again with HD DVD vs Blu-ray. Games creators make great games, not platforms.

EnslavedScreen1.jpg

Many developers say that the Xbox 360 is the easier platform to develop on, would you agree with that statement?

They both have their strengths and weaknesses as platforms. I’d say that may have been true early on, as the tools were far more mature on Xbox 360. I don’t know that it’s true anymore.

Are there any challenges involved when creating a game that now has to use both the Xbox 360 and PS3 controllers, or has the more standardised controller layout removed any of these issues when compared to consoles in the past?

They are both pretty similar. We develop on both simultaneously and it doesn’t matter which one you have in your hands.

Last Updated: August 25, 2010

Pages 1 2

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

Check Also

The ten most embarrassing moments from past E3 press conferences

While the E3 of today is a tightly-tuned beast of rehearsals and scripted moments, the E3s…