Point of View's videogame adaptation of TV show The Shield is bringing maniac cop action to PS2 and PC next month, and we've put the squeeze on the developer to extract information.
Developed in co-operation with those involved with the TV show for authenticity's sake, the game brings to the polygon world the gritty police action and Detective Vic Mackey and his strike team. You'll get to immerse yourselves in a new storyline based off events from the series, getting involved shootouts and punch-ups with the criminal element and dabbling in the dodgier side of the job, issuing bribes, planting incriminating evidence and using brute force while avoiding being busted by Internal Affairs.
Producer and lead designer at Point of View, Kraig Horigan, tells us more...
So how does the game's storyline tie in with the TV show?
Kraig Horigan: It is an original story titled "Gunshy" based off events from the series. The game takes place between seasons three and four, following the Money Train heist.
The Strike Team is splitting up, and Vic is trying to keep them together for one last chance at recouping their "retirement fund" after their pile of stolen money was burned by Lem. The Strike Team is put on notice and needs a high profile bust to impress the brass to prevent being disbanded. Vic and the Strike Team become tangled in the middle of a gang war between the Biz-Lats and the One-Niners.
What's it like working with the creators of an established TV series?
Kraig Horigan: Shawn Ryan, the creator of The Shield, was involved very early on in the development of the game design document. The developers at Point of View met with him at the Prospect Studios office in the winter of 2003 to discuss high concept. He was extremely approachable and packed with great ideas.
The greatest value he provided to the design process was laying down the law of what he did not want to see. He instated early on that he did not want to see Vic in a game randomly killing people with no consequences. He reviewed key milestones and played the demo at E3. All of his feedback was extremely positive.
Executive Producer and writer Scott Rosenbaum was also a blessing to the game production. As one of the original writers of the series, Scott was a tremendous resource and completely understood the challenges that Point of View faced translating The Shield into a videogame.
He co-wrote the game's script with the Point of View designers and spent many days at their Irvine office. Although only obligated for a few hours of consultation, Scott gracious provided ten times that amount of time and effort editing the script and providing gameplay suggestions. He oversaw every line of dialogue in order to be sure the game characters remained consistent with the motivation and personality of the TV characters.
How are you handling the shows grittier, violent side?
Kraig Horigan: The game is not more controversial than the television show and, hopefully, not less. During every stage of development we wanted to honour the spirit of The Shield television programme. Part of that legacy is pushing the boundaries of allowable mature content. Hopefully players and critics will see that we designed the adult content not to be simply gratuitous or over the top but as a tribute to the nature of the show and consistent with the world of Vic Mackey.
Is there incidental crime or subplots/mission players can tackle, or is the structure very linear and they purely follow the main story?