InterviewsThe Agency: Senior Game Designer Kevin O'Hara Looks ForwardInterviews - RSS 2.0
While the game does take place in the real world, though, they have no particular political axe to grind or message to deliver. This is a light game, a diversion, and it's supposed to be fun, not a depressing crash course in the intricacies of geopolitics. This commitment is demonstrated by their choice of traditional Cold War settings, rather than the timelier Middle East, despite their contemporary setting. They're cognizant of the fact that The Agency needs to be about the player's secret online identity.
To date, one big public relations element of the game is what they call "The Agency Moments". These are big pre-rendered set-piece action sequences that come towards the climax of missions. Some are simply non-interactive animations that incorporate player characters, a cherry on the top of the mission. Others require God of War-style button matching sequences that influence the success of whatever crazy explosion they have the characters causing.
Some skeptics have questioned the feature's relevance as a selling point. It's neat, no one will deny, but really, how much fun can someone have with something that is only minimally interactive and rare?
"I think it's a show piece," O'Hara said. It adds to the game, but is not the core of the game itself.
Like every game studio, the crew also faces the decision of where to draw the line on content and maturity. Ultimately, the ESRB needs to make a decision on their game, which as Take-Two has shown everyone, can be a rather important moment for any game. SOE Seattle believes that anything done in a James Bond movie is fair game. There's drinking. There's smoking. There's gambling. There's violence. There's leather clad women with lots of cleavage. Will that earn them an "M" rating? It might, O'Hara conceded, but it's also all very comic book-like. He suspects they'll likely earn a "T for Teen" or, maybe, a light "M."
Work continues on The Agency for the PlayStation 3 and PC. As per usual, we know only that it will be ready what it's ready.