Games Informer in their latest have got their mitts on Midway’s Los Angeles Studio Head Scot Lane, whom reveals what will separate TNA Impact from the other grapplers on the market in an exclusive Q&A.
Game Informer: Could you talk a little bit about the TNA league and what you think makes it different from the other wrestling leagues?
Scot Lane: TNA is much more acrobatic than any league I have seen. These guys are true athletes. To me, the Ultimate X matches really set them apart. Basically, there are ropes around 15 feet above the ring with a belt hanging in the middle. The first guy to climb up and get the belt wins, but it is nowhere near as easy as it sounds. I’ve seen these guys fall and land on their back, it looks real painful. You also have to be agile to get up there and get to the belt. It is really worth watching.
GI: We’ve heard that some of the real wrestlers have been consulted for the game. How have they been helpful to the development process?
Lane: We have met with a lot of the wrestlers, but Samoa Joe and AJ Styles have been in on the most meetings. First and foremost, these guys are gamers so they really understand games and they know what the real fan base wants to see in a game. They have contributed in many areas; the nuances between U.S., Japan, Europe, the pacing of the game, moves they think will translate to video games (they have also been in many mocap sessions as have several other TNA Wrestlers), controls, and a lot more. They have been really involved and are awesome to work with!
GI: Are there any aspects specific to the league that you think will translate well into a game?
Lane: Oh Yeah, like I mentioned earlier – the Ultimate X is specific to the league. We’ll also have other TNA match types, a lot of their wrestlers, finishing moves. Our goal is to give the fan base the game they want – TNA Impact Wrestling!
GI: How is TNA going to be different from the other wrestling titles out there?
Lane: Our primary focus is on gameplay and our goal is to have the smoothest, most responsive gameplay in the genre. We are running at 60fps and the game already feels great. We have two of the best combat guys in the business in Mark Turmell and Sal DiVita and these guys love wrestling.
GI: We also know that you have several people in development with an arcade background. Does this mean you are going for a more arcady play style?
Lane: There will be some arcade elements, but we are making a Next-Gen console game. Mark and Sal bring an attention to detail and a focus on “feel” that has remnants of the arcade days with a modern edge. They really focus on moment to moment gameplay and the subtleties of combat. Our team is so excited to get the game in people’s hands.
GI: What do you feel is the most exciting aspect of the gameplay?
Lane: This is a real tough question, because it is difficult to break it down to one aspect. Right now, we are working on reversals, so as of today I would be leaning toward that. It is super cool to get into a reversal battle with your buddy. Overall, we just love the combat feel and responsiveness. It’s also pretty cool pulling off a Canadian Destroyer to finish off a match, blasting someone with a chair, drop kicking someone off a turnbuckle. The list goes on and on.
GI: Crowds are an important part of wrestling; will TNA’s be distinctive in any way?
Lane: Absolutely, we have put a lot of work into our crowd. Our goal is to create an environment (including crowd) that feels like TNA. We are also focusing on making the crowds distinctive when you are in Japan, England or any different arenas. This is one of the things that Joe and AJ where very passionate about.
GI: Character creation is also a long-standing tradition in wrestling games; will TNA have a character creation system? If so, can you talk about it? If not, why?
Lane: We will definitely have character creation. This is another big feature. I can’t give away too many details yet, as it is in development but we want to give people a lot of flexibility in creating their character.
GI: TNA has a six-sided ring, does this change elements in the gameplay in any way?
Lane: Yeah, it speeds things up. More ropes and turnbuckles equal more angles in which to Irish-whip someone. Also, it means the ropes are much tighter so guys can walk on the ropes and do lots of cool spring moves off the ropes. The six-sided ring gives us a lot of flexibility to get exciting moves into the game.
GI: Can you talk a little about multiplayer or online?
Lane: It is pretty early but we will have both. As far as multiplayer, we will have lots of options; Tag team, fatal four way, Ultimate X, King of the Mountain and many more. We want to give lots of options so you can jump in and play against a friend or get online and test your skills against other fans."