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ENI Interviews EA About 'GI Joe: The Rise Of Cobra' Video Game

Reported by Outsiders - 2009.04.13

Back in February of 2009, Electronic Arts Inc. announced that development was underway to bring Hasbro’s legendary G.I. JOE brand to all major console and handheld gaming platforms in summer 2009 to coincide with the theatrical release of the G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA live-action movie from Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment, in association with Hasbro, which opens in theaters August 7, 2009.

We recently caught up with Matt Marsala, Sr. Producer at Electronic Arts to get information on what to expect from the new G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA game?

ENI: Can you give a quick summary of the story for this game? Will one need to see the 'G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra' movie to understand what is going on?

MM: You won’t have to see the film to understand what’s going on, but since it’s predominantly an origins piece, we’re leaving it to them to tell the back-story of the main characters. We also decided pretty early on that we didn’t want to make a “play-the-movie” game, so we were able to pick and choose which elements from the film made the most sense to bring into the game world, and combine them with elements from the cartoons, comic books, and toy lines that we’ve wanted to bring to life since day one of development. I can’t to give too much away at this point, but the main narrative of the game is somewhat of a retelling of a classic G.I. JOE story arc with a modern day spin. The start of the game opens in the days following the end of the film, and the remainder of the game is spent with G.I. JOE fighting for freedom wherever there’s trouble…

ENI: Even though this game is based on the upcoming “Rise of Cobra” movie, will there be anything in this game for fans of the classic 80’s comics and cartoons? If so can you give us some details as to what those things would be?

MM: Absolutely! While the game was inspired by the film, it was heavily influenced by 45 years of G.I. JOE history. There are many nods to the cartoon, comics and toys from the 80’s that never appear in the film, but we felt it was necessary for the fans to include them in the game. You’ll see a number of classic characters with a modern day update, a classic and modern version of the iconic COBRA H.I.S.S. tank, some of the PSA’s from the cartoons, and other surprises that I can’t talk about just yet, but I can assure you that they’re pretty cool!

ENI: G.I. Joe will arrive on the Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PSP, DS, and mobile devices. Can we expect any secret characters or vehicles available on one system but not another and vice versa?

MM: For the most part, the content is the same across all platforms except for the Nintendo DS; that game was built from the ground up to take advantage of the hardware, so while it shares many elements of the story and game design, the overall experience is quite different. As for secret characters, if I were to tell you about that, it wouldn’t be much of a secret.

ENI: The 'G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra' official game site lists that 12 G.I. Joe characters will be playable and the newest trailer shows Snake Eyes, Heavy Duty, Duke. Who else can we expect to see in the game or any hints to which G.I. Joe characters will be playable?

MM: Actually, we recently announced that there are 16 playable characters in the game; after you finish the main G.I. JOE campaign, you unlock the ability to play as each of the four COBRA bosses. All I can tell you at this point is that one of those bosses is Storm Shadow; we’re going to leave the rest to your imagination. Other playable G.I. JOE characters include Shipwreck, Ripcord, Scarlett, and Gung Ho; sadly, that’s all I can tell you now.

ENI: You mentioned that 4 characters will be playable from Cobra and one of the characters will be Storm Shadow. Any hints on who the remaining characters will be?

MM: Sorry, I can’t reveal much more just yet!

ENI: When using a Cobra character, will it be part of the regular storyline for the game or will the game be set with a G.I. Joe storyline and a Cobra storyline? Sort of letting you decide if you want to be good or evil.

MM: Playing as COBRA is part of the main story line, but you can run back through the entire game with COBRA characters unlocked, and they’ll speak as if they’re confused why their fighting alongside G.I. JOE.

ENI: What kind of G.I. Joe and Cobra vehicles will we see in the game?

MM: There are a bunch of vehicles in the game, including the Snow Cat, MOBAT, classic and modern and classic versions of the H.I.S.S. tank mentioned above, and more!

ENI: How much of the environment will be incorporated and or useable for the actual game play? Will you be able to go around and destroy random things found in the backgrounds?

MM: You can pretty much go anywhere that you can see in the game. The boundaries are clearly defined, so there should be no question as to what is traversable space. As for destructible objects, we’ve got plenty! It should be quite satisfying to run around the world blowing stuff up, and we added an extra incentive to do so – point clusters are hidden throughout the world in destructible objects, so the more you find, the higher your score; and the higher your score, the faster you’ll be able to unlock all of the characters in the game!

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