Joystiq Interview: Resistance Retribution's Sam Villanueva

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Resistance Retribution was a surprise hit last month at E3, and we had another chance to play it at last week's Penny Arcade Expo. With more playtime, however, come burning questions that need to be answered. Thankfully, Sam Villanueva, Senior Designer at Bend Studio, was at hand to answer our queries and make sure we could sleep soundly again.

Will you be optimizing Resistance Retribution for the PSP Brite?

That's a good question. We'll be evaluating this. We're pretty deep in development right now. We'd like to optimize, but that could potentially mess with launch time. If we can do it without affecting the date our game comes out, we will.

How does the game fit into the series?

Retribution fits nicely between Resistance 1 and Resistance 2. It's a continuation of the European campaign, whereas Resistance 2 is the start of the American campaign. You are James Grayson and you're going in to destroy another Chimeran tower. We wanted the story to deal with some pretty deep, dark stuff. Lots of drama and mystery. The game starts with your brother being infected and you're forced to kill him, for example.

Is there a multiplayer mode?

Absolutely. We've got lots of cool multiplayer stuff which we'll be announcing soon.

Will there be integration with

Yes. The game will be integrating with More details will be coming when we announce more about our multiplayer features.

Is Nathan Hale in Resistance Retribution?

No, not at all. Hale is busy in America at this point. We do have some returning characters from the original, though. Such as Cartwright and Parker. The European campaign runs parallel to the American one, so we've got two separate (but related) stories running concurrently.

Is there interest to develop Retribution into a series itself, so that the Resistance universe has two stories running throughout?

That's an exciting prospect. We'd definitely love to do that, Resistance is a great franchise. Obviously stuff like that depends on the feedback we get from the fans.

How did Bend get its hands on the license? Who approached who?

I'm not sure who exactly approached who. It might have been a simultaneous thing. Sony loves the Syphon Filter franchise, which is what we're most well known for. So when they were looking for someone to bring Resistance to the PSP, we were an obvious choice. We've had a tremendous amount of support from both Sony and Insomniac. There's been a real show of confidence. We've been allowed to do what we want with the story, within reason. We can also ask and answer our own questions about the Resistance Universe. The Cloven, for example. We delve into them a little bit in Retribution. They were mentioned in Resistance 1, but never seen.

How closely are you working with Insomniac?

We work very closely with Insomniac. We talk regularly, but it's not like they're checking up on us. As I said, they're very confident in our abilities. We do have scheduled meetings to talk through what's going on every so often. At the beginning of the project we had story meetings, to lay out a list of "DOs" and "DO NOTs," with regards to the story. We didn't want there to be any clashes with Resistance 2.

Are any of the new Resistance 2 aliens in Resistance Retribution?

Yes. Certain versions of some Resistance 2 aliens will be present. I can't really go into too much detail at the moment, but there will be a large variety of enemies in Retribution.

Insomniac's games are well known for having weird and wonderful weapons. Is Retribution going to follow suit?

Yeah, Insomniac's games are definitely famous for that and we wanted to keep that up with Retribution. We've created some exclusive weapons for our game, all of which have been vetted by Insomniac from the idea-stage down. The weapons are easily the most fluid and fun part of the development process.

Will we be seeing Resistance Retribution weapons in Resistance 2, or vice versa?

Possibly. I can't really say for sure, right now.