A Pre-E3 Interview with Justice League Heroes Producer Jason Ades

The folks at Warner Bros. Interactive are looking to loosen Marvel’s hold on the comic book-based video game market with the upcoming release of Justice League Heroes. This time, DC heroes headed by Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern take center stage to breathe new life into a classic franchise.

Warner Bros. Interactive will be showing off Justice League Heroes at E3 next month. To get a better idea of what the game is all about, IGN had a chat with producer Jason Ades.

The X-Men Legends have already established themselves as “The comics RPG”. Having said that, Justice League Heroes will have a hard time breaking into that genre, but Ades believes that the game’s progressive action feel will make build a true Justice League game. The game will shun the traditional RPG “potion-chugging formula” and will instead go for a Halo-style health meter, because superheroes are supposed to need just a moment to regain their energy and get back into fighting mode.

Ades is also banking on a graphic-novel style approach to the story. The story is told quickly through cutscenes and in-game banter. No more scrolling through a bunch of text boxes over and over. It’s all about action…and art style. The game’s art style is inspired by the works of Jim Lee and Alex Ross. Snowblind, the game’s developer, has adapted a fantasy style that doesn’t lose any realism, an approach that says goodbye to traditional cel-shaded comic games.

Character customization in Justice League is about picking up boosts along the way. They add different properties to the standard power. It could add extra damage, better range, or even better luck. It’s not about picking up pieces of armor or changing weapons. This approach keeps every superhero feeling unique. Ades explained,  We didn’t want to recycle animations or recycle powers. Every single character has unique powers and every single hero is exactly what you know them as from the very start. This means that you get to make immediate improvements on the super powers they have from the beginning. If your character is supposed to fly, then he’ll fly. You don’t have to learn anything that he’s already supposed to know. Upgrading here should be about learning how to be an even more impressive superhero than you already are.

You’re probably curious as to how a player will be able to handle so many different powers onscreen at the same time.  For example, Superman can fly, but Batman can’t. How can they be in similar situations and fight together sensibly?

Ades explained, Well obviously, each power allows for some cool and unique gameplay situations. Batman has a number of gadgets and cool martial arts maneuvers that allows him to hit enemies with a critical strike, so even though he’s not as super-powered as Superman, even though he can’t pick up a car and hurl it at enemies, he can get in close and do some serious damage. Batman can also use his gadgets to aid his teammates. For example, Batman can use a flashbang and stun and enemy while Superman swoops in, picks up that enemy, and hurls him far away.

Teamwork will be an important factor in the game. So expect team-ups that may first seem a tad off, but in the end will be effective and cause a lot of damage. And speaking of team-ups, the game will have single-player and co-op modes – the latter for a maximum of two players only . The two-player limit will keep the amount of chaos on screen at a minimum, and will keep the camera close in on the action.

If you’re still unsure about Justice League Heroes, read the full interview. But I’m warning you, the more you read, the more you’ll be drawn to the game…

The folks at Warner Bros. Interactive are looking to loosen Marvel’s hold on the comic book-based video game market with the upcoming release of Justice League Heroes. This time, DC heroes headed by Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern take center stage to breathe new life into a classic franchise.

Warner Bros. Interactive will be showing off Justice League Heroes at E3 next month. To get a better idea of what the game is all about, IGN had a chat with producer Jason Ades.

The X-Men Legends have already established themselves as “The comics RPG”. Having said that, Justice League Heroes will have a hard time breaking into that genre, but Ades believes that the game’s progressive action feel will make build a true Justice League game. The game will shun the traditional RPG “potion-chugging formula” and will instead go for a Halo-style health meter, because superheroes are supposed to need just a moment to regain their energy and get back into fighting mode.

Ades is also banking on a graphic-novel style approach to the story. The story is told quickly through cutscenes and in-game banter. No more scrolling through a bunch of text boxes over and over. It’s all about action…and art style. The game’s art style is inspired by the works of Jim Lee and Alex Ross. Snowblind, the game’s developer, has adapted a fantasy style that doesn’t lose any realism, an approach that says goodbye to traditional cel-shaded comic games.

Character customization in Justice League is about picking up boosts along the way. They add different properties to the standard power. It could add extra damage, better range, or even better luck. It’s not about picking up pieces of armor or changing weapons. This approach keeps every superhero feeling unique. Ades explained,  We didn’t want to recycle animations or recycle powers. Every single character has unique powers and every single hero is exactly what you know them as from the very start. This means that you get to make immediate improvements on the super powers they have from the beginning. If your character is supposed to fly, then he’ll fly. You don’t have to learn anything that he’s already supposed to know. Upgrading here should be about learning how to be an even more impressive superhero than you already are.

You’re probably curious as to how a player will be able to handle so many different powers onscreen at the same time.  For example, Superman can fly, but Batman can’t. How can they be in similar situations and fight together sensibly?

Ades explained, Well obviously, each power allows for some cool and unique gameplay situations. Batman has a number of gadgets and cool martial arts maneuvers that allows him to hit enemies with a critical strike, so even though he’s not as super-powered as Superman, even though he can’t pick up a car and hurl it at enemies, he can get in close and do some serious damage. Batman can also use his gadgets to aid his teammates. For example, Batman can use a flashbang and stun and enemy while Superman swoops in, picks up that enemy, and hurls him far away.

Teamwork will be an important factor in the game. So expect team-ups that may first seem a tad off, but in the end will be effective and cause a lot of damage. And speaking of team-ups, the game will have single-player and co-op modes – the latter for a maximum of two players only . The two-player limit will keep the amount of chaos on screen at a minimum, and will keep the camera close in on the action.

If you’re still unsure about Justice League Heroes, read the full interview. But I’m warning you, the more you read, the more you’ll be drawn to the game…

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