2012 PlayStation 3 exclusive Starhawk is squarely aimed at the "sophisticated" gamer, Sony has said.
In a new interview Sony vowed to make a game for "shooter game players" – and promised not to dumb it down.
"We're aiming the story, and the gameplay, toward a bit more of sophisticated gamer," Harvard Bonin, Sony Santa Monica Studios' Senior Producer, told the EU PlayStation blog.
"I've been quoted as saying, 'This isn't your mom's game... it's for gamers,' and I stand behind that. While we are trying to make the fun in the game more accessible, that doesn't mean we're dumbing it down. We're making this for shooter game players. It's not going to be watered down to try and please casual gamers that don't know no-scoping from a hole in their head."
Starhawk, the follow-up to Warhawk, is being developed by LightBox Interactive, the studio set up by Dylan Jobe and other ex-members of Incognito Entertainment, and Sony Santa Monica.
Warhawk launched as a Blu-ray and digitial download. Starhawk, however, will be released as a Blu-ray retail only. Unlike Warhawk, Starhawk features a fully-fledged single-player campaign as well as the multiplayer portion the series is known for.
Players assume the role of Emmett Graves, a Rift miner turned gun for hire altered by Rift Energy, found on the outer reaches of space. The enemy faction is the Outcast, humans turned into monsters following exposure to Rift Energy.
On the subject of protagonist Graves, Bonin compared him to Metal Gear star Solid Snake and Batman. "Snake definitely has his demons and so does Emmett," he said.
"He’s not a fantastical superhero, he's just a guy who got caught up in a bad situation... we like to think he's a bit like John McClane, kind of an 'everyman'.
"Granted, the Rift energy does allow him to be a little stronger and a little faster than the other Rifters. I don't think that a cookie-cutter superhero character is what sophisticated gamers are looking for. While we want to be a popcorn blockbuster type of action game, we also think there's room for smart storytelling. Even Batman is a tortured guy, and you've seen how well that's done."