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Getting Hard Boiled: Midway Chicago's Mike Bilder on Stranglehold
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October 31, 2020
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Getting Hard Boiled: Midway Chicago's Mike Bilder on Stranglehold

October 31, 2007 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 5 Next

So, there have been a couple of games where you could blow up EVERYTHING, but the physics weren't nearly as detailed as Stranglehold. I don't know if you've played Earth Defense Force? That's a game from D3... you can blow up basically any building with 2 rockets. You can just level the whole universe. It's kind of ridiculous.

MB: Yeah, all this destructibility, it's hugely empowering, I think. It's rewarding to be able to just waste stuff.

It's almost like user-generated content, in a way. Because it allows you as a player to make your unique mark on the universe, right?

MB: There's a number of levels as well where you kind of get a strategic advantage to blowing things up instead of just running and gunning. So it integrates itself pretty well in the gameplay, too, it's not just for the visual.

So I've seen. There are key elements you can shoot down to knock into guys, stuff like that. This whole kind of thing started, I think, with being able to write your name in Doom, in the decals on the wall. This seems like the ultimate power-fantasy extrapolation of that. I can imagine people getting very excited about this sort of thing. We'll see.

MB: Well, there's certainly a lot of buzz.

A lot of people would be interested to know if this is a property that Midway would like to see extend beyond games. Meaning into a movie or into a show, or...

MB: We're always interested in those opportunities, for obvious reasons.

Is that something that you have any inclinations toward at this time?

MB: I unfortunately can't talk about any of those kinds of relationships. What I can tell you is that we've got a really good relationship with Tiger Hill and with John Woo and we're certainly continuing to talk, especially given the promise of this title. So, there are hopefully opportunities on the horizon. How those manifest, I can't really say.

Do you think it depends on the success of the title, or is it independent of that?

MB: It's hard to say. It's like any relationship. You want an element of success in what you've done with them if you want repeat business, so I'm sure that if this goes out and does extremely well, then that will play a role in the discussions, and vice versa.

What's interesting to me is that, there have been games based on movies and movies based on games, but this is a game based on a collaboration. It's not based on an actual movie; it's based on a concept. And that strikes me as something that could be much better translated into a cinematic experience, because there's nothing tied into anything else.

MB: You don't have to follow a movie plot, right.

Right, and you don't have to follow a game plot, because what you've created here is a universe, not a specific product necessarily.

MB: I do think that this is a really good recipe for how the whole transition from games to movies and back and forth should work, and you're not the first person to point that out, and it seems like a lot of people are agreeing as well that this is one of the best realizations of how to make a movie-game that's not necessarily tied to a movie.

Yeah, it's a unique approach in that it's as though someone were to be like "hey, let's make a Quentin Tarantino, Samuel L. Jackson game". Which is a good idea, actually. Someone should pay me a lot of money for that idea right now.

MB: And I'm certain you're not the first person to think of it.

(Laughs) I'm sure I'm not. But, you know. This is the situation where I'm sure you weren't the first to think of this, either, but this actually happened. Because, you know, everyone's copied bullet time. And bullet time is basically based on a John Woo movie, ultimately.

MB: Sure. Slow-mo, cinematography, action sequence, sure. Certainly a mainstay in his movies.


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