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Coming to PSN This Week: Kick-Ass for PS3

Ben Geisler's Avatar + Posted by Ben Geisler on Apr 26, 2010 // President, Frozen Codebase

Greetings and salutations, PlayStation readers! My name is Ben Geisler, and I’m the studio head of Frozen Codebase. We’re an independent developer and we primarily enjoy playing and creating action games. We’ve got a bunch of veterans here from places like Raven, Treyarch, and Naughty Dog.

We like our action games. We like fighters, action RPGs, and anything else that lets you vent. And I’ve gotta say, what better platform on which to focus than the PS3? Personally, I think the PlayStation controller has never been surpassed in form factor, especially for games requiring lots of punching, hitting and general havoc.

Today, I bring to you a new trailer for our Kick-Ass game. But first just let me say that if you enjoyed the movie, you’ll enjoy the game!

For those of you living under a rock, Kick-Ass is an amazing movie by director Mathew Vaughn. Most of us at Frozen Codebase have seen it at least three times and it’s only been out for three days; just a totally amazing film. It’s based on the superhero brainchild of writer Mark Millar and artist John Romita Jr, and features a unique take on superheroes. You’ve gotta see it, and you’ve gotta play our game when it hits the PlayStation Store on April 29th!

Never ones to take the path of least resistance, Frozen Codebase opted to not simply replicate the movie into a video game format. Instead, we worked the middle ground between the comic and the film. The game is a fine blend of the most action-packed parts of both facets of this incredible story. You can play the role of Kick-Ass, a dorky high school kid who is sick of seeing people around him doing nothing to stop crimes. You can also play as Hit Girl, a 90-pound powderkeg of badness. Hit Girl has been trained by her father (Big Daddy — also playable) to be a ruthlessly effective mercenary and assassin.

Kick-Ass PS3

Kick-Ass PS3 Kick-Ass PS3

Let me back up for a second and tell a story. The day is September 29th, 2009. My art director (Andrew Gilmour, originally of Naughty Dog) and myself are in Santa Monica, about to attend a secret preview of this Kick-Ass movie. While the movie played, we sat there in the theatre laughing, on the edge of our seats. So while the credits rolled, I turned to Andrew Gilmour and asked him a simple question: “you think?” He had this big grin on his face, and simply said “hell yes.”

“Hell yes” is right. This movie is about the best setup you could ask for as a game developer. Action all over the place, but unique action. Hit Girl can run up walls while shooting down at drug dealers. Big Daddy can pump reload his shotgun while barreling down at foes. We came out of the theater that day and went to a private party meant to host Hollywood types. I remember sitting there with Randall Batinkhoff (an actor in the film and producer on the video game) and Andrew Gilmour. Andrew and I were looking pretty straggly from just finishing our work on Metalocalypse: Dethgame. I think I had a Guns ‘N’ Roses hat on, hadn’t shaved in days; Gilmour had his standard ridiculous beard. We must have looked massively out of place while these costumed Hit Girl waitresses gave us drinks overlooking some fancy venue, but the important part is that none of this mattered. Our eyes were glossed over with anticipation, talking to Randall about the possibilities of the video game.

From this moment, we knew we didn’t have much time. The game hadn’t yet begun to be created and we needed to get moving quickly. Suffice it to say that the short timeline was both a blessing and a curse, forcing us to become uber-focused. Time limits work on the same principle as what some developers have called “design constraints”– forcing creativity by requiring developers to choose only the most important features for inclusion.

Luckily, we had multiple ex-Raven personnel (myself included) who had worked on projects like X-Men Legends and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. It was clear that, given three superheroes, it would be cool to play as any of them at any given time. Furthermore, it would be cool to play together with your buddy. And last, but not least, it would be cool to get better and better as a superhero, because, after all, that’s what the story is about.

We spent time on gameplay, gameplay and more gameplay. The time we had didn’t allow us to focus on cinematics, so the answer had to be gameplay. The end product has a huge focus on the most important things of any action beat-em-up with light RPG elements: Balance. Our designers painstakingly went through balancing enemies, fire rates, upgrades. I’m proud of the end result and I still have problems putting down the controller when I’m demoing the game.

Kick-Ass PS3

The game tells a story which closely follows the movie and comic book, but we also go into considerably more depth on the drug trade. Kick-Ass begins to chase after thugs you only briefly see in the movie (such as Tre Fernandez and Cheadle). We also added an Arena mode because it felt fun to fight enemy after enemy in a seemingly never-ending manner. All of this will be available on the PSN store for $14.99 on April 29th.

But we’re not done! Stay tuned, — we’ll be adding multiplayer as a downloadable content update! Thanks to Wha Entertainment and Howard Horowitz for being a Kick-Ass publisher. Thanks to our fans and thanks to everyone on PlayStation.Blog for their support. It’s been quite a ride and I’m looking forward to hearing what people think of the action.

//Add Your Own

77 Comments

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51

+ ndw4 on April 26th, 2010 at 8:26 pm said:

Oh yeah, he is totally lying. Like people from Raven, Treyarch, and Naughty Dog(especially) actually worked on this $#!*.


52

+ lanis01 on April 26th, 2010 at 8:32 pm said:

There are several reasons why I don’t feel this game is going to sell well despite the fact that I am a Kick-Ass fan:

1) The graphics really don’t look good enough for $15. Now granted, a lot of games on the PSN don’t have superior graphics, but they make up for that in terms of content, unlockables, easy trophies, etc.

2) About that first issue…I was going to buy the comics for my PSP, now I’m wondering if it’s worth it now. Can I read the first issue comic on my PS3 or is this a code to download the comic for my PSP? Please clear this up.

3) A poster above me asked if this will unlock Home items as well. I know there are Kick-Ass and Hit Girl outfits for Playstation Home avatars – any connection?

4) Hit Girl has a speaking part in that clip you posted, and at first I wasn’t sure it was her speaking, but it brought up a concerning point – what’s the rating on this game? Is Hit Girl going to have a bunch of cheesy lines or is she going to say things I can’t post on this board without getting banned?

5) Why are the avatars for Hit Girl and Big Daddy taken from the comic when character designs for the game come from the movie? Can we unlock different costumes for the characters?


53

+ ardeesonic on April 26th, 2010 at 9:11 pm said:

A movie tie-in game based on an awesome movie, huh?

Pass.


54

+ x9248 on April 26th, 2010 at 9:45 pm said:

I’m gonna laugh at you all if this game turns out to kick ass… pun intended :P

Oh, and don’t judge the graphics based on a streaming flash video. Come on people…


55

+ FiremanLouvier21 on April 26th, 2010 at 10:04 pm said:

Well thank you for destroying the movie that I love. My faith in you has been lowered.


56

+ BPatches701 on April 26th, 2010 at 10:23 pm said:

I’m sorry but this game looks like a 3rd party developer EARLY PS2 game. I honestly hope it doesn’t do well because it’s obvious there was a big lack of development in this.


57

+ BPatches701 on April 26th, 2010 at 10:24 pm said:

@53 fanboy much? It doesn’t take a flash video to see these graphics Suck-ass (in reference to kick-ass)


58

+ x9248 on April 26th, 2010 at 11:44 pm said:

Fanboy to what? A game I’ve never played?

So when you saw, say, a trailer for God of War 3 on this blog you crapped your pants and “OMG OMG the graphics are so uberz!”? Of course not. And if you did then you’re delusional.

Let’s save all the baseless complaints till the game is actually released yeah?


59

+ ynp7 on April 27th, 2010 at 1:10 am said:

So what are the chances of a demo on another sketchy looking PSN beat ‘em up? A game could overcome such underwhelming graphics if it were fun to play, but not with a $15 price tag, no demo, and no way to get a refund if it sucks.


60

+ lostinplainsight on April 27th, 2010 at 1:46 am said:

first, everyone has a right to their opinion good or bad this is america deal with.
second, the man says in so many words that the games a rush job and rush jobs usually don’t turn out well.
finally, anyone whose been gaming for awhile now( myself since the nes)knows movie tie-ins are usually horrible waste of everyones time.
I’m not condemning the game in any way I haven’t played it so I can’t say one way or the other but, i understand where the negativity is coming from. putting out a demo will help ease all of this


61

+ SpiritThief on April 27th, 2010 at 8:00 am said:

not impressed. *so far

and no online play is an almost NOT BUY right there. I will keep an ear on it and hope it turns out well. I do like action rpgs.

Raven are failures after X-men Legends 2. Everything after that…[face_sick]. A good action rpg isn’t for carebears. Bring back LEGENDS!


62

+ MAGNUM-RAM on April 27th, 2010 at 8:24 am said:

I loved the Movie! It was surprisingly sick & twisted!
Beat em up games are fun & I think it’s perfect for Kick-A$$!

Yet movies games have the common knowledge that it will most likely suck hard & leave you with some regret. It’s mostly due to just bad development. I bought the punisher no mercy game on psn & it’s the worst game I own all around. It barely even works. The last okay movie game to surprise gamers was wolverine. It rocks when movie games just copy & other great games of the genre & add thier own little twist of personality. I think kick-a$$ can rock too but I would also like to see some incentives such as Home Integration & rewards.

I’m talking kick-a$$ costumes, special effects for home avatars or something that’s too cool to pass up.
I really think if you make games that unlock very special rewards for both game & the home universe, you’ll get more open minded people like me to actually pay the high price for what looks like to be a very simple beat em up that might not suck totally.

Good Luck! I hope you hear me guys. The golden ak-47 & socom confrontation in game reward system is the golden ticket!!!!!!! We want more!


63

+ taternuts on April 27th, 2010 at 8:30 am said:

Hell yea !!!


64

+ teradome on April 27th, 2010 at 9:02 am said:

I’m thinking if you really wanted to kick ass, you should have taken a page from Castle Crashers and made this as a classic 2D fighter.

Also, playing as a Kick-Ass that ACTUALLY kicks ass is completely antithetical to what we like about his character from the books/movies. Truer to form would have been a River City Ransom style game where instead of Cyndi getting kidnapped, it’s Kick-Ass, and you play as Hit-Girl and Big Daddy rescuing them. Along the way, you can plumb the friendship that buds in the movie between Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass, and once you free him, you can give him a singular moment where he saves the day (like in the story)… AND THEN make him an unlockable that gets to replay the whole game where his kicks ass (as in, cheat code-style reward).

This just appears to be a quick way to milk a license, especially when repurposing content like movie stills and an existing comic book. Sorry, but I calls it like I sees it.


65

+ ProjectInfiniti on April 27th, 2010 at 11:17 am said:

Wasn’t this game in development before the movie came out? I could’ve sworn i’ve seen this trailer before.

And lol @ those that are thinking graphics > gameplay. Some of you even sound like spoiled kids


66

+ RolexDPracer on April 27th, 2010 at 1:21 pm said:

It looks fun. I only wish it had online co-op. :(


67

+ plaztiksyke on April 27th, 2010 at 2:42 pm said:

My husband and I loved playing X-Men Legends 1 & 2, and this looks right up our alley. For $15, I’ll need to try a demo first, though. The Watchmen game’s constant splitscreen, lack of co-op combo moves, and uninteresting story didn’t lure us into playing beyond the demo. Hopefully this game is different!


68

+ daviceroy on April 27th, 2010 at 8:53 pm said:

Thanks for being honest about the game dev and how the idea came to be. Looks like an interesting game for a movie tie-in. Not sure I’ll pick it up anytime soon, but I’m sure the uber fans will which is part of the whole point anyway. Can’t please everyone all the time.

Sad to see so many negative comments…


69

+ poncesoy on April 28th, 2010 at 2:32 am said:

i saw the movie i think it was a good movie,but my girlfriend said she didnt liked it lol,but i will be a good thing to have it on ps3


70

+ MapleStory on April 29th, 2010 at 9:15 am said:

A lot of you people need to shut up already with the “OMGGGGGGG TEH GRAFIX SUCKZ” whining. Since when do PS Store games require all releases to have next-gen visuals? Comet Crash has some of the most basic looking graphics, yet is easily amongst my top 3 best games I’ve ever purchased from the PS Store (and I own 101 PS store releases…seriously).

Don’t knock it until you try it. And $15 is chump change but I guess that small amount is just too bank-breaking for people around here.


71

+ linebeginstoblur on April 29th, 2010 at 10:41 pm said:

I don’t know if you guys keep reading the comments, but I went ahead and took a chance on this title, and the warehouse level is impossible to complete. I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time replaying this level, only to realize that no matter what I do, I can never “escape the warehouse.” There are also a couple other dead-end glitches in the level as well, making my trial of this game very frustrating.

After it tells me to escape the warehouse… well, I do. And Red Mist is standing there, doing nothing. I press L1 and it tells me that I need to be just outside of the door of the warehouse. I can walk back in or walk around the parking lot, but I can’t find out how to trigger the next scene.


72

+ LacksCleverness on April 30th, 2010 at 3:12 pm said:

@linebeginstoblur
I worked as developer QA on this title, and we have never come across this particular issue. Below are the typical playthrough steps for that part of the mission.
– After placing the last C4 charge run towards the unblocked door and enter the right double doors.
– Go straight down the hallway and enter the doorway that is slightly on the left.
– Now take a sharp left through the open double doors.
– Just go straight down the hallway. After running through the doorway you should trigger the cinematic with Red-Mist.
If you or anyone else is getting this to happen repeatedly please let us know here
http://www.frozencodebase.com/contact.php
Include what character you were using and what you remember doing before it happened.
Thanks.


73

+ bengeisler on April 30th, 2010 at 3:48 pm said:

@MAGNUM-RAM:

We’re definitely considering PS Home elements. Also we’re adding multiplayer and some extra surprises to the DLC pack. Keep the ideas coming and thanks for the comments! –Ben, Frozen Codebase


74

+ linebeginstoblur on April 30th, 2010 at 7:06 pm said:

@LacksCleverness
I don’t know if I should respond here or there. I didn’t want to restart the entire level again, because I intentionally tripped the alarms quite a few times to rack up experience, but since I could not do anything, I restarted the level, and I have not run into this problem since.

For some reason, after placing the last C4 charge on my first playthrough, though the objective told me to escape and the building was falling apart, there was no “!!! ALERT !!!” message at the top, and I didn’t have more enemies try to attack. And when I left the building, like I said, there was no cinematic and Red Mist was just standing there. If I attacked him, he pointed outward, but that was all. Weird. Another glitch I ran into in level 5 (but haven’t since) is right after the last set of four cameras. It will tell me to do the last C4 charges, but the door to that room won’t open, even after all enemies in the area are killed.

Anyway, I’m not sure how that series of glitches was triggered, but here’s hoping it doesn’t happen again. :D


75

+ Fat_kitty on May 1st, 2010 at 7:04 pm said:

@linebeginstoblur

i have had this glitch too :(. i just reported it to them though.

Also there is a trophy glitch with the hidden trophys it seems you cant get them after your first playthough if you miss them


76

+ RaidenXS on May 1st, 2010 at 7:48 pm said:

why no red mist?


77

+ DZORMAGEN on May 2nd, 2010 at 8:13 pm said:

Hey I love this game!!! Great game, with an old school feel to it!! I think people should pick up this game! It really is lots of fun, and I have been playing since I bought it on Thursday! Buy it!!


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