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Sunset Overdrive Interview: Insomniac Games Talks Xbox One Exclusivity, Mature Themes, and More

Posted on Friday, August 8 @ 05:00:00 Eastern by Alex_Osborn



GR: What compelled you to partner with Microsoft to make an exclusive for Xbox One after having worked with Sony for so many years on franchises like SpyroRatchet & Clank, and Resistance?

Ted Price, Founder and CEO: 

We have a long history and great relationship with Sony and we will continue to work closely with them moving forward.  However when Microsoft announced the Xbox One we felt that what Microsoft was offering in terms of the platform feature set and Xbox Live presence was a great match for Sunset Overdrive. For example, our multiplayer mode in the game called Chaos Squad supports eight players traversing a giant open world together to take on randomized missions. This is not a simple feature to create. Yet Microsoft’s muscle on the platform and Xbox Live fronts has been invaluable in helping us create a unique multiplayer experience. Furthermore the overall partnership has been seamless, and we’ve been extremely happy with the level of support and commitment we’ve received for Sunset Overdrive

And just to remind readers – we’re still an independent developer. Why do I mention that? First, a lot of people assume that we’re part of some larger organization; that’s never been the case. Second, one of the benefits of operating as an independent studio and creating and owning one’s IP is that you can develop for the platforms that make the most sense for the game.



GR: Many have drawn comparisons to InFamous: Second Son, saying Sunset Overdrive is essentially Xbox One’s answer to the Sucker Punch-developed PS4 exclusive. Is that an apt comparison? What makes your game different from the rest of the action platformers out there?

Drew Murray, Game Director:

The comparison is flattering, as we have a longstanding friendship with Sucker Punch and are fans of the InFamous series. But I think beyond some surface similarities, Sunset Overdrive is its own unique experience. Movement through Sunset City is connected to the city itself – you’re grinding along handrails and telephone wires, bouncing off of cars and awnings, wall-running along skyscrapers, gliding across canals and rivers – and is inspired by anime movies and comic books as much as games like Tony Hawk, Jet Grind Radio, Prince of Persia, and our own Ratchet & Clank.

We also have a very strong emphasis on combat and gunplay and have created a large arsenal of the crazy weapons that can only come from Insomniac. The marriage of acrobatic capabilities and wild gunplay as you move through a colorful city full of mutants, along with our tone, sense of humor, and interest in "fun" over "realism" makes Sunset Overdrive stand on its own.

GR: How has it been developing your first "next-gen" game? What challenges have come your way in developing for new hardware? What benefits has this new technology provided?

Murray: 

It’s been great. The brand new hardware for Xbox One has a lot to offer and it’s an exciting time for the industry. We’re doing so many things that we’ve never done as a studio before – our first open-world game, our first character customization system – and it’s exciting to be able to push the technology so hard for our first outing in those realms. 

Developing Sunset Overdrive for Xbox One allows us to take advantage of next-generation processing power, which enables the intense, high velocity gameplay and massive open world experience. A great example of this is how we used the cloud and dedicated servers for Sunset Overdrive to enable fast, reliable matchmaking for Chaos Squad, our epic eight-player open-world co-op experience, by loading the entire city on the server.

Sunset Overdrive launches on October 28th, exclusively for Xbox One. Let us know in the comments if you'll be picking up Insomniac's latest on day one.

Related Games:   Sunset Overdrive
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