Legacy Interview

Sunday, June 29, 2003.
Pirates of the Caribbean Box artPirates of the Caribbean Interview

We interview Bethesda on the title "Pirates of the Caribbean"

Q: Ahoy mate! First off thanks for taking the time to talk with us. We'll start with the obvious question of who are you and what is your role in making POTC?

A: I’m Pete Hines, and I’m the director of marketing and public relations for Bethesda. In addition to marketing/pr things, I dabble in other areas like writing the manual and such.

Q: Being a game based on one of the most anticipated movies of the summer, Pirates of the Caribbean has a lot to live up to. What kind of gameplay will we be able to expect?

A: Well, the goal with Pirates was always to create a really fun Pirate game, first and foremost. That’s actually a bonus in that Akella didn’t have to worry about having the game mirror the film exactly. Instead we focused making a game that captured the action from the movie…all the sword fighting and ship battles and so forth.

Q: Will there be any customizations as to how your player appears?

A: His appearance doesn’t change. All of the customization is in the way of skills, abilities, and items.

Q: When people think of pirates, they usually think of swords, pistols, and cannons in heated battles. Will there be any more weapons available for use in the game than the standard textbook pirate weapons?

A: On land you’ll use swords and pistols and will be able to obtain different types during the game. You can also fit your ship with different types of cannons. Beyond that, there aren’t any other types of weapons.

Q: How will the combat system work in POTC? Will characters be able to pull off some melee moves with their swords and pistols?

A: Combat in Pirates is more of a strategic thing. It’s not like playing DOA3. You character will perform a variety of attacks and can block, as well as use his pistol.

Q: We've read that POTC will have realistic wind and weather effects, are these events scripted or are they dynamic and how will they affect the gameplay experience?

A: Weather is dynamic and the sea conditions will change as you sail around the world. Sometimes it’ll be a beautiful, calm sunset. Other times you’ll be stuck in deep fog and in the middle of a terrible storm that is damaging your hull and sails and you’ll just have to hang on and try to survive.

Q: What will be the mixture ratio of game play on land as opposed to sea?

A: That’s entirely up to the player. You can spend 99% of your time on land, or at sea, depending on what kind of gameplay experience you’re looking for. I think most people will look for a healthy mix of both.

Q: What are some of the environments we will be exploring while on land?

A: You can explore all over an island. In addition to the places you go in a town, you can find caves and pirate hideouts and other locations.

Q: So we're on the ocean challenging other pirates for their crew and bounty, will there be any famous pirates we may run across or are they fictitious pirates?

A: You’ll find some worthy and infamous adversaries, but there are no NPCs in the game based on actual people or characters in the movie.

Q: Can you describe how we will be managing our crews?

A: You don’t really manage your crews, other than hiring more when you need them and paying them. However, you do manage your officers and can decide which ones will accompany you whenever you go on land. The officers you assign your party will also improve your skills and will gain experience, just like you do. When they level up, you get to decide how to spend their additional skill points. Plus, you can have additional officers on your ship as passengers, and you can assign them to take over as captain of an enemy ship if you capture one in boarding (assuming he/she has the skill to do so and you can spare some men for a crew).

Q: How will today’s couch pirates (gamers) go about gaining experience points and in what categories do these fall under? (Example: receiving points for fighting skills or management skills)

A: You gain experience through completing quests and killing off enemies. In Pirates, experience is a relative thing so you’ll actually get more experience the smaller your ship is. The logic being that if you have a big battleship, you should be able to sink just about anything. But if you have a little sloop, we should reward you more because you’re doing more with less.

Q: Since you can choose your career in POTC by the way you play the game, what rewards will be given to the player for being a peaceful merchant as opposed to a fun cut throat pirate?

A: Well, the reward of being a peaceful merchant is that the whole world (or most of it anyway) isn’t out to get you at any given time. That may not sound like much, but when you’re going from point A to point B and there are 10 ships in between that want you dead…it’ll start looking like a BIG benefit.

Q: From the movie whose voice or likeness will be in the game?

A: Keira Knightley, who plays Elizabeth Swann in the movie, provides narration for the game. No characters from the film appear in the game though.

Q: Are there any tie-ins between the game and the movie story wise?

A: The story in the game takes place just prior to the events of the film. You’ll run across some familiar things from the movie and the end of the game’s main story. I’ll let you play the game and experience it for yourself to see what awaits you.

Q: How has working with Disney on the title been?

A: It’s been great. They’ve been very supportive in providing whatever info we needed.

Q: Have they influenced the direction of the game any?

A: Not really. From the beginning they told us they wanted Akella and Bethesda to make the game we wanted to make. So that’s what we did. Both Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films have been great to work with.

Q: What is the expected ESRB rating for Pirates of the Caribbean?

A: Pirates is rated Teen for Violence, Use of Alcohol, and Gambling.

Q: A common promotional trend lately has been giving away free tickets to anyone who buys a game based on a movie. Is this strategy going to be used when Pirates of the Caribbean hits stores?

A: Yup, anyone who gets a copy of Pirates at launch will get a free ticket to go see the movie (up to a $10.50 value). This only applies to a limited number of copies, so be sure to get yours early before they run out.

Thanks for taking the time out to answer a few of our questions on such a short notice. We're all looking forward to sailing the high seas in search of blood and bounty in Pirates of the Caribbean!

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