We learned earlier this month that respected developer Wayforward will be taking on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series on the Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. Tom Hulett of WayForward and Director of Danger of the Ooze has assured WPCentral that they will endeavour to retain everything that everyone loves about the beloved franchise.
WP: Danger of the Ooze is a single-player game in which players can swap between the four Turtles, not unlike the original NES game. Can you give us an example of how one Turtle’s abilities differ from another’s? And do the inactive Turtles recover life when not in use?
TH: I thought it was really important to let players use their favorite Turtle exclusively (if they want), so you’ll never encounter, say, a pit that you need Donnie to vault over. However, every Turtle has his own unique rhythm. Raph and Mikey have 3-strike combos while Leo and Donnie only have two, but the former pair has much shorter range. Each turtle also has his own specialty just to keep things interesting. Mikey can jump higher, Raph throws Shuriken faster, Donnie can block more easily, and Leo’s counterattacks are the best.
Something that always frustrated me about the NES game was that Donnie was clearly the best—it was no contest. Best range AND best damage? Come on. This might just be jealousy because Raph was clearly the worst in that game, but I didn’t want kids today to have the same experience. If I love Leo in the show, I want to love him in the game too. So we spent a lot of time trying to get it right. They all have their advantages.
Inactive Turtles don’t regenerate health, but we do have a cool mechanic for when a Turtle is defeated. When this occurs, that Turtle is Captured, and taken out of the active roster. But, if you can locate where in the city he’s been stashed and rescue him, he’ll be back on the team and ready for action again. This means you essentially have unlimited lives, but if you aren’t careful your favorite Turtle could be out of commission for a while. There’s an upgrade that allows you to hone in on captured Turtles, so players will definitely want to track that down.
WP: Danger of the Ooze will feature an “interconnected non-linear game world.” Does that mean it plays like what we think of as a Metroidvania game?
TH: That’s right, TMNT:DotO is an exploration-based action platformer. I’ve always wanted to create a game in this genre set in a modern city, so when Activision told us they were thinking about going this direction for TMNT, I felt incredibly fortunate. A great genre, in a setting I’ve wanted to explore, with a franchise I grew up with? Where do I sign? We certainly strove to do the concept justice.
We really tried to stick with the approach where most of your power-ups increase both your offensive capabilities and your navigation options. A good example of this is the Smoke Bomb. Not only will it teleport you instantly out of harm’s way and stun nearby enemies, but it can also be used to reach higher areas or bypass laser barriers.