Sledgehammer Games isn’t talking about its possible involvement with a follow-up to the monstrous Call of Duty franchise. But one of its front men has been talking with me about the new studio, telling me what its all about.
My views as a member of the enthusiast press has been molded by powerful experiences with Final Fantasy VI, the asinine Day Dreamin’ Davey, Super Mario Bros., and Halo. Michael’s influences, too, are all over the place.
Visceral’s Dead Space also has a place lower on my influential game list. Its unique brand of punchy horror, the feelings it conjures of hopelessness of situation and captivity and dread put it far above intellectual-types like Silent Hill and Alone in the Dark or action games like Resident Evil or Doom II.
Michael notes that working with mega-publisher EA isn’t as bad as we in the media tell our readers. He’s right, but our tune has changed since Riccitiello took the daddy chair, charging after new IP like a blind bull with a mescaline issue.
“The second lesson is a little more personal to me but it relates to the first,” Michael continues. “I found that I worked just as hard and put in just as many hours on some of the less successful games as I did on Dead Space, but the feeling at the end of Dead Space was enormously different. Not only had we created a title that was well received, but we had built a cohesive team that persevered through teamwork and a shared passion for the game.
“There are a couple of core beliefs that are pivotal to the culture here at Sledgehammer,” Michael tells me. “First and foremost, we want a culture that empowers people to do their best work.
Part of the excitement of being a founder of a new studio, to Michael, is infusing the Bay-area building with his tie-dye, bellbottomed feeling.
I can’t get Michael to comment directly to the rumors, but I try to ask a question that works around the issue: will this game have real weapons or laser pistols?
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