Atari is bringing an all-new re-imagining of Warlords to PSN and XBLA. The classic Atari 2600 game was all about defending your castle from an enemy’s projectiles in pong-like fashion. In this latest adaptation of Warlords, new elements are introduced. The Snoot soldier is featured in a new video released by Atari and developer Griptonite Games. Watch the “how to play” video below from Atari, which introduces the gameplay basics and the Snoot infantry.
Atari and developer Griptonite Games are preparing an all new release of Warlords, coming to the PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE Arcade this summer. So what does Warlords beef up since the Atari 2600 days (and without a paddle controller)? Brian Kirkness, Producer at Griptonite Games, answered questions from GamingBits to give you some insight on Warlords before its release. Read on below for some preview details on what were some of the challenges, special features, and what you can look forward to in this all-new take on Warlords!
GamingBits.com Q&A with Brian Kirkness:
It’s been years since the ’80s Atari 2600 release of Warlords. How would you describe the gameplay of this new take on Warlords for those that have never played it? Action tower defense? Breakout versus gameplay?
[Brian Kirkness] Warlords is a little bit of a few things, but to sum it up I would say Warlords is a fast paced arcade action game with subtle strategy elements.
Is the gameplay mechanic similar to what it was back in the day? Will players be able to hold a fireball and fling it toward an enemy fortification?
[Brian Kirkness] We tried to keep the core mechanics as true to the original as possible without letting it feel outdated. In “Classic” mode you can definitely catch and aim fireballs to inflict additional damage. In the updated modes a “Charged Shot” can be used in a couple of different tactics. Besides additional wall damage, the well aimed Charged Shot will also destroy opponents Snoots and tick off the Black Knight!
What are some of the new and unique gameplay elements in this edition of Warlords, such as the minions and dragons? Is that another game factor to consider – capture-the-flag type gameplay?
[Brian Kirkness] The three biggest additions to Warlords are the Snoots (troops), Black Knight and Control Points. The Snoots can be used in a variety of different ways including healing your walls, damaging enemy walls and capturing Control Points, which award power-ups.
The Black Knight enters game play randomly and takes over all the Control Points. He then proceeds to mercilessly beat upon the various castles, growing stronger as each Control Point fills again. While you can use your shield to block his attack, the only way to remove him from the playing field is to win back the Control Points with your Snoots. With a well aimed, and usually ricocheted, Charged Shot the Black Knight can be used against your opponents.
Control Points are where you get your power-ups, but you have to be the last one to control it when the outer circle fills up.
Since we don’t have a paddle control on the PS3 or Xbox 360, how are some of the controls used in this new Warlords game?
[Brian Kirkness] This was definitely one of the hardest re-design aspects for us. The paddle controls are so integral to Warlords and we knew we couldn’t really mimic that with the hardware available. We did our best to make the Shield, Snoot, and Charge Shot controls as intuitive and accessible as possible by using both sticks and only a couple of other buttons.
What type of power-ups can players obtain?
[Brian Kirkness] The power-ups are all passive, they work automatically once you have acquired it. There are three types of power-ups; defensive, offensive, or a little bit of both.
Some examples of defensive power-ups: one will repair all your remaining walls for a certain time, another will extend your shield by 50%, and yet another will make it so that your Snoots are invincible to the Black Knight and his troops.
On the offensive side of the power-ups you can acquire there is one that will instantly destroy a part of all your enemy’s walls, the auto-Charge Shot where every Fireball that hits your shield shoots off as a Charged Shot with no additional effort on the user’s side, or you can slow all your opponent’s shields for a brief period of time.
Only a couple of the power-ups can really benefit you on both offensive and defensive strategies. When all the Fireballs change to your color you score more points and don’t take any damage if they hit your walls. The other option is to increase your Snoot spawn rate which really tailors its usefulness to how you make use of Snoots in game.
The characters and environments were something that the original pixel Warlords couldn’t show. What types of characters and environments are in this new edition Warlords?
[Brian Kirkness] We really wanted to take advantage of the hardware and create some whimsically unique characters and worlds for Warlords. For the most part we based all the Warlords and their worlds on the elements. Fire, Nature, Ice…and Dark. Of course “Dark” isn’t really an element, but who doesn’t want to see more skulls? Each Warlord has their own world filled with lava, ice, water, space, and even a cemetery. A few of the maps even have a 2 player version.
Can players dynamically switch between a 3D view and a top-down view?
[Brian Kirkness] Yes, players can play from the classic top-down perspective or with the camera behind their Warlord. The default camera can be changed in the Options Menu, but you can also switch them on the fly using the controller. However, for gameplay purposes only the top-down view is available in Local Multiplayer.
What game modes, including online and offline, will be available in Warlords?
[Brian Kirkness] Warlords is no longer just a free-for-all game. We have added Team Mode (2 vs 2) and 1 vs 1 maps. For the most part all the game modes can be played offline single-player, offline local multiplayer, or online multiplayer. In addition to the Free For All, Team Mode (2 vs 2), and 1 vs 1 setups there is an offline single-player campaign. The campaign story follows your quest to defeat the Black Knight and become the ultimate Warlord. Once a level is completed it opens up the “Time Challenge” for that stage of the campaign.
Big thanks to Brian Kirkness, Griptonite Games, Atari and Maverick PR for making this interview possible! Keep a lookout for more details and previews on Warlords from E3 2011 next week, here on GamingBits.com.
Today Atari announced an all-new revival of their Atari 2600 retro game classic, Warlords. The original castle defense game is coming back in a new envisioning in Summer 2011 on the PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE Arcade. Griptonite Games is developing the new presentation of Warlords, along with additional gameplay features.
Features of Warlords, as noted by Atari:
Protect the stronghold! Defend your castle walls from the destruction of fast-flying fireballs with your mighty shield. Move the shield around the perimeter of your castle with precision and speed to deflect the fireballs or grab onto and charge fireballs to release even more devastating attacks back at your opponents.
Multiple local/online game modes sweeten the quest for power and allow for cooperative and competitive battles with up to 4 players. Select the faction of your choice and engage in a number of competitive variations, including co-op siege mode, 2v2 or classic free-for-all battles.
Rally your Troops and pit them against your foes. Your loyal posse brings a layer of depth and replayability to every battle, and can be sent off to capture control points, gather power-ups to immobilize your enemies or bolster your defenses. Manage your troops wisely to gain the battlefield advantage!