GamingNexus: The game
is billed as a tactical RPG, what exactly does that mean? Is it turned based game play or real time?
Mario Kroll: Hammer
& Sickle is a real-time game during normal world exploration. Once you
enter combat, your decision making becomes tactical and action is turn-based.
You, your party members and your opponents begin to take actions that consume
action points and play out in sequence based on each character’s initiative.
This allows for a faster paced game as you learn about your environment and
investigate the main conspiracy. It also slows things down and allows you to
make carefully considered tactical decisions based on the combat at hand. We
feel that’s a great balance between speeding things up when you want to get on
with the story but also allowing you to think before you get your character or
your party killed simply because you can’t click fast enough.
that you are in the spy game what is the role of the NPC’s in the game? How do you interact with them?
Mario Kroll: Interaction
with NPC’s is through a dialog system. Whenever there’s an NPC that you’re able
to talk to (not everyone is friendly or interesting enough to talk with
<grin>) there will be an icon designating such. When you walk up to them
and start talking, you’ll hear and see their comments, to which you can choose
a reply from a list. This allows you to decide what sort of attitude you’ll
take towards the NPC. If you’re a smart-Alec back to them, then they’ll
probably not be very helpful, but if you’re too much of a suck-up, they might
likewise be turned off from talking to you. It all depends on their
personality, which you’ll learn more about the more you talk to them. Lastly,
as the game progresses, some NPC’s end up joining your party to become playable
characters that can make or break you in the game.
GamingNexus: What are
the RPG elements in Hammer and Sickle?
Mario Kroll: Hammer
& Sickle allows you to customize your character’s appearance, equipment and
skills to start. So you can choose from one of six character classes – Sniper,
Scout, Soldier, Grenadier, Medic or Engineer. Each class obviously has unique
benefits associated with it, and as you play the game, you’ll earn experience
points to increase your skills. We have a fully fleshed-out skill tree, just as
in other RPG’s, so your character truly develops as you play the game. You also, of course, will be able to collect a
wide range of equipment and weapons. The other component is the interaction
with NPC’s in the game world. How you respond to them determines not only the
makeup of your team or party, but also affects who will help or hinder you in
GamingNexus: How many
missions are in the game? About how long do you think it will take to get
through the game? Can you describe how the missions are structured?
Mario Kroll: At
last count, we had over 40 potential missions. The missions are broken up by
maps, with most maps having a number of alternate paths and optional plots that
can be explored. The second map is a good example – while it’s one map, there
are eight missions within. There’s plenty to do on each map, and each “mission”
leads into the next, creating a chain of events which affects the overall
outcome of the game.
It’s hard to pin down a number of hours that the game will
take, because it’s so open-ended. Here’s an example of what I mean: on one map, “Joe” the gunrunner (I won’t give
away his real name, don’t want to spoil the game for you), asks you to kill off
his rival. If you do it, he’ll sell you any weapon he has available and pay you
a handsome sum. However, when you meet up with his rival, the rival says “Tell
you what, you let me go, and I’ll pay you the same, leave Joe alone and give
you another job to make more money.” So it’s up to you; do you take the quick
route by killing the rival? Or do you keep him alive, finish the mission he
gives you, and see what Joe has to say after all this? Or do you ignore them
both and move on to another task? Whichever you choose, it’s going to open up
more “routes” through the game and the final objective of avoiding nuclear
Page 2 of 3