By Quintin Smith on January 10th, 2011 at 6:06 pm.
Telltale has told Game Informer that its upcoming episodic Jurassic Park game will be a more tense, slower-paced experience than its usual adventures games, and that the team are taking an inspiration from David Cage’s PS3-exclusive Heavy Rain. Specifically, the interview states that Telltale is “going above and beyond to develop something new for Jurassic Park: Episode 1.” The game is set partially during and partially after the first Jurassic Park film, so, mm.
Is that interesting? I thought that might be interesting. More importantly, have you guys all played Trespasser yet? Look, I’ll put a video of the beginning of the game beneath the jump. This 1997 FPS was light-years ahead of its time.
You’ve heard of Trespasser, right? It was another official Jurassic Park game, but it also had this fantastic technical innovation of an arm that you swung around with the mouse, like it was some strange extension of your own body. Pressing buttons on a keypad, taking aim with a gun, battering something with a plank, you did it all with appropriate mouse gestures. Just like the engine used by Frictional games (developers of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Penumbra) these days, come to think of it.
But the arm was just part of it. This Wikipedia page makes for a good list of Trespasser’s technical innovations.
Hidden inside Trespasser are all these great puzzles, smart storytelling techniques, and moments of great drama and tension. Or you could just play through the whole thing giggling at all the accidental hilarity that comes out of its fabled arm.
In my first five minutes playing Trespasser I located a plank of wood, which the game encourages you to use as a makeshift weapon. I took an experimental overhead swing to get a feel for it. It felt great!
Then, when I tried to bring it back up, I couldn’t. It had snagged on a rock by my feet. Instinctively, I walked forward to get past the obstacle while also tugging at the mouse to bring it back up to eye level. When it eventually came free of the rock, between my walking forward and the upward pressure I was exerting on it with the mouse it launched upwards with such incredible momentum that it hit my character square in the face and killed her. Amazing.
The other story I like to tell about Trespasser is of the mounted gun you encounter towards the end. You walk into this big clearing full of dinosaurs, and in the middle of them all is an old, rusted jeep with a working machine gun still mounted on the back. You run forward as the dinosaurs begin running towards you, and you leap onto that jeep praying you’ll be able to defend yourself…
…and then an interesting thing happens. You see, between the need to reposition your character with the WASD keys to turn the gun around, plus the need to use your mouse to use your character’s arm to angle the gun, and the gun’s own heavy weight meaning it quickly gathers enough inertia to physically spin your character around, the act of firing this gun becomes something akin to a deeply sickly fairground ride. You go spinning left and right like a ragdoll, always tugging the booming thing this was or that, until eventually after several minutes of this all the dinosaurs are dead. It left me feeling so motion sick that I had to go and have a lie down.
Fantastic game, anyway. Go investigate!