Did you play the original Joe Danger? We gave the racing puzzle platformer a 9 out of 10 when it was first released on PlayStation Network, and then later a perfect 10 when it arrived on Xbox Live Arcade. Great scores, right? Well for Sean Murray, creator of Joe Danger and founder of Hello Games, he can't even stand looking at the original game anymore.
"I'm very critical of the original," Sean told me back at gamescom. "I can't look at it now, I can't play it, like genuinely. It's like a terrible game in my eyes. People liked it, that's fine, I get that, but there's so much that we wanted to fix and kind of expand on [with Joe Danger: The Movie]."
It was rather shocking for me to hear this from Sean, but the more I talked with him the more I realized that he and the team have a very insatiable attitude towards their creation. "I want people to look at the game when it comes out, people that have played it before to just think 'That's how you do a sequel.' 'Cause the fact is we're not going to do another Joe Danger after this. I want to go out on a high, you know what I mean? I would hate to just be trying to milk something.
It was really freeing for us to -- day one I said that to everyone -- 'Let's never do another one' and instantly everyone was like well this has to be fucking good."
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Sean fears that the perception people have with Joe Danger: The Movie is that it's just the first Joe Danger with more vehicles. "It's so much more than that," Sean tells me. "We set out in the original to make a really Nintendo-y game. A game that Nintendo would be proud of, and I think we fell way short of that. That's what we're trying to set right this time around. We're trying to make a genuine, kind of love letter to the games that we grew up with."
Sean stressed to me that every level in the new game offers something different that will keep players hooked. Part of how Hello Games is making that happen is through the career mode. The game is broken up into acts with Joe Danger making a movie throughout the campaign. You'll be going on Indiana Jones and James Bond-style adventures, traveling back in time to fight dinosaurs, and even going into the future to fly around with a jetpack. Each chapter is an act for the film, and completing sections will earn you a trailer of everything you've done after each act.
"What I'd love to get across is that every single level that you're playing through in that whole career is offering you something new, something different, to the last one that you've seen. My ideal is for you to see a level and think 'Wow.' For me, one of the big things is just a sense of variety and playfulness in the game. Joe Danger 1 was just the next level is the same as the last but it's like a little bit harder. We really want to kind of get across the huge variety that's in the game. That's what I want, kind of a Nintendo-y thing to me.
I think the other thing is that we've got career mode which is really varied and much more entertaining than the first one. I think if you've never played Joe Danger before and you come to this it's going to fucking blow your mind. If you have played it before than I hope that it's really what you wanted from the original."
Later Sean told me that the fastest they've seen anyone outside of Hello Games beat the game is about 18 hours, with an average of 25 hours to 100% all the levels in the game. The Movie's career mode should take just about as long, if not a little bit longer than the original Joe Danger to complete.
There's another section called "Deleted Scenes" which is just as long as the career mode, plus you also have the revamped level-creation tool that will see fans easily sinking in lots of time. Joe Danger: The Movie is aiming for a September release for Xbox Live Arcade.