Eurogamer: You mentioned the story as well. How will it be improved for Killzone 3?
Steven Ter Heide: We're doing a number of different things. What is the story to certain people? For certain people it's the stuff you do and your objectives, that they make sense and you have context on why you're doing certain things. That's fairly simple to do. That's not the overarching story. That's more understanding why you're there and what it is you need to do, and your body's giving relevant feedback on the stuff you're doing. That's something we needed to address.
Eurogamer: Can you give us an example?
Steven Ter Heide: In the level we've got on show here you need to get to the harbour, but there are oil rigs in the way with anti-aircraft guns on them. You need to take out those anti-aircraft guns in order to get to the harbour. We make it clear to you that you need to go to the harbour. Your intermediate objectives you understand because there's a big threat in the way you have to eliminate in order to get there. It's basic stuff, but all of a sudden it makes sense because you understand, yeah, I do have to take these things out because they block my progress. It's those kind of things where the set-ups are a lot more readable.
At the same time, your buddies need to point out relevant stuff. One of the comments we've read quite a few times is Rico, the buddy who was with you for most of the game, was annoying. A lot of people had strong emotions about him. Having strong emotions about a videogame character, to us, it's great. Strong emotions are good because that means you're doing something right. But it shouldn't be out of frustration. It shouldn't be about that he's useless or he always gets in my line of fire or he doesn't help me.
Those kind of things we have to fix as well. That's a lot of AI work. Rico can now heal you. Rather than him being incapacitated on the floor and you have to heal him, if the same thing happens to you, he'll heal you. It's a simple trick but all of a sudden you don't feel angry with him any more. You get shot down and all of a sudden he runs over, heals you and you're back in the game. You're like, oh, thank you. That was quite useful.
We wanted to not completely take away his personality. He can still be an arsehole at times. But we do want to make him more useful and be a better buddy for you in the game.
Eurogamer: What about the plot? Some people criticised the storytelling in Killzone 2.
Steven Ter Heide: A lot of people commented on the Helghast culture, and they want to know what their planet is like and what their life is like. So we're focusing in Killzone 3 more on the Helghast side of things. There will be cut-scenes from the Helghast perspective. We'll show you what's happening in the world, why things are happening and what their plans are. You get more insight into what makes these enemies tick. That's important.
And as the dressing for the whole thing, we've taken cues from, we think, a couple of guys who did a good job with storytelling: the guys from Naughty Dog with Uncharted 2. We said, why did people pick up on that? What makes that storytelling so good? They don't take themselves too seriously. You're allowed to have fun.
Eurogamer: Killzone 2 was a very serious game.
Steven Ter Heide: It was a very serious game. We took ourselves too seriously at times. With Killzone 3, it's not going to be a comedy. It's not going to be Uncharted light-hearted. But we will take the edge off. It won't be as serious as it was last time. It will feel lighter than before.
Eurogamer: Killzone 3 supports Move. Will core gamers always prefer DualShock over Move?
Steven Ter Heide: There needs to be a couple of experiences that are exclusive to Move, that will pull people into Move, and start them using it. I was born and raised with a DualShock, and I'll probably play Killzone 3 with a DualShock simply because that's my method of control. I know where the buttons are. I don't have to look at a controller. I get it straight away.
But at the same time, as soon as I pick up the Move I get it as well because it's easy. I do see why a lot of new people, as soon as we give them a Move, they run away with it. Whereas people who have DualShock experience struggle a little bit. They say, okay, I have to find my footing again and see what it's like.