is a transcript of the interview between GameFan's Knightmare and the
good folks at Lobotomy. Towards the end, I threw in some of my thoughts
as this was originally a usenet thread)
is currently underway for the sequel to Lobotomy's hugely underrated corridor
masterpiece: Powerslave. Knightmare recently took a trip to Lobotomy's
new HQ near Seattle to get the scoop.
Powerslave 2 in Development:
GF: Tell us about the story for Powerslave 2?
LOB: The game is set in ancient Egypt, thousands of years before
the first Powerslave. At the start of the game, Ra(the sun God) disappears,
causing a permanent solar eclipse on the land. It turns out that he has
been abducted by one of his arch rivals, and it's your job to rescue him
and return light to the world. As a young Egyptian warrior you must seek
out the various Egyptian Gods and attempt to gain their supernatural powers,
in order to ultimately challenge and defeat Ra's rival.
GF: You've stated that Powerslave 2 will be a 3rd person
adventure, like Tomb Raider. How much will a 3rd person perspective alter
the gameplay? Will it play more like Tomb Raider?
LOB: No, it's much more action oriented that Tomb Raider.
There's more involvement with each enemy, more hand to hand combat. There
will be some enemies that you can crush quickly, like the spiders in Powerslave,
but for the most part, combat will be a little bit more complex. We want
to give the creatures more believable A.I. So they can run and hide and
come back out on
the other side of you and attack.
GF: Will the combat be like Powerslave?
LOB: It will still be weapon based, but this time there's
a lot of hand to hand combat. The hand to hand will be a simplified version
of a one on one fighter, like Tekken. As you close in on an enemy the
camera pulls out to the side so you get a better view of the action.
GF: Will the camera system be similar to other 3rd person
adventures, like Tomb Raider?
LOB: There will be all sorts of cameras, but for the
most part it will follow you around and stay behind you so you can see
the action clearly. In certain areas there might not be room for the camera
so we'll put in a more dramatic camera. As you walk into the room you
might want to have a side view so you can see a God or a big enemy approaching.
We're going to have very dynamic camera use.
GF: Will you still have the world map screen for accessing
LOB: No, There's a map you'll see for reference but you
won't be able to use it to change levels. You'll actually have to physically
travel from place to place. It's kind of like Tobal 2's Quest Mode, where
you go from area to are, and it loads another area quickly. But you'll
need a special ability to reach the Afterlife.
GF: What's the Afterlife?
LOB: Instead of just having regular 3D play like in Powerslave,
we are actually going to include a 4th dimension - The Afterlife. The
Afterlife will be a whole 'nother supernatural work, mapped over the world
you are already on. Once you gain the ability to cross over you can travel
between the two worlds at will. By doing certain things in one world,
you can alter the physical appearance of the other.
GF: So you're going to design two interlocking version
of every level!?
LOB: Pretty much. They're going to be pretty involved.
GF: How do you reach the Afterlife?
LOB: It's an ability you acquire about 3 levels into
the game, the first time you die. We'll use if for puzzles and shortcuts,
and for reaching areas that you couldn't previously get to without the
ability. The Afterlife is basically a continuation of the non linear game
structure we had in the first Powerslave. In fact, Powerslave 2 will be
even less linear than Powerslave. In Powerslave 2 you can actually skip
some of the Gods and not get all the weapons, or abilities. You don't
need everything to complete the game.
GF: Will the main character have superhuman powers like
LOB: Kind of. He's a little bit more super human than
most characters. But he won't be crazy like he was in Powerslave, where
you could fly around for an unlimited amount of time or jump up higher
than your height. But it will be close to that. You'll be able to get
powers from different Gods.
GF: How much will the level design differ from the first
LOB: We want the environments to be lusher than Poweslave.
Not as much sandstone. Larger scale. More decorative. One of the important
things we want to try and accomplish, what we didn't do in Powerslave,
is the distinction between natural terrain and man made terrain. They
kind of blended together in Powerslave. Hopefully we can create more natural
looking terrain and more interesting man made structures. You know, rolling
hills and rounded surfaces, instead of having everything squared off.
GF: Are you using the same graphics engine?
LOB: No, it's a new engine. I mean, we're using the same
tools we used to build the other engine, but it has a bunch of different
techniques depending on whether you're indoors or outdoors. I'd definitely
call it new.
GF: Will Powerslave 2 be multiplayer?
LOB: The PC version definitely will be. As for the Playstation
version, I think we probably do a link cable mode.
GF: Is there any connection between Powerslave and Powerslave
2, besides the Egyptian theme?
LOB: A few of the characters are back, some of the weapons,
some of the Gods. The Cobra Staff if in there, but it comes in two forms.
And it's not a staff anymore. Plus we're throwing in a weapon similar
to the controllable missiles in Death Tank.
GF: Will there be Team Dolls?
LOB: Wait and see...
(here is where the interview stopped and my comments on
Now, let me straighten something out here people: We had what was going
to be a game with an environment on a more grand scale than Tomb Raider,
action like Duke Nukem: Time to Kill, character models BETTER than anything
seen on the PSX, more complex traveling than Soul Reaver's dimension warping
and a multiplayer mode that utilized the link cable....and I AM THE ONLY
Doesn't that have anyone else salivating!? My God, I about died when I
heard it got cancelled and Crave pretty much bought Lobotomy, split them
up and put them to work on other projects. The character design was so
smooth too, Paul Lange said that they had a demo up and running to show
off the new 3D world and characters models but still didn't get to many
bites for publishers. Now that's what really gets me, crap developers
are churning out the same old shit every single day...and yet quality
companies like Lobotomy, with amazing software and true innovation are
left out in the cold....
BTW, Lobotomy also said that because the PSX version got shipped before
they could put in DeathTank or any extras, that people who had finished
the game with all the dolls could use that save to begin with a more powered
up character in part 2.
> the music in Exhumed is amazing btw
Yes it is, and mostly because Scott Branston is a genius. Unfortunately
I didn't get to meet him while I was there. With Dominick's level design,
Scott's sound direction and Ezra's amazing ability to program anything
you give to him Powerslave 2 could have been a gift from the Gods themselves.
Look at what they did with Duke on Saturn, but moreso Quake! I mean, come
on, NO developer would have had the balls to say "We can make it
work"...but they said it...and more importantly did it.
Bel, who misses the greatest game developer of all time: Lobotomy