Feature – Extend Interactive and A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda

Recent entrant to the Dream.Build.Play. competition, A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda is coming to XBLA. Following on from our recent preview of the title we got the opportunity to ask Extend Interactive about working on the game and what we can expect from the finished title.

Tell us about ARES Extinction Agenda.

A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda is the first chapter in a full featured,  action-packed side-scroller, in the traditions of retro classics. You play as Ares, a combat robot sent on a mission to rescue task force members who were trapped while conducting an investigation to find out the extent of damage sustained by the space station. The players will annihilate countless robots, recycle their parts to make incredible items, including weapon upgrades, and take on gigantic bosses in 3D environment side-scroller.

The game has a distinct retro feel about it. What were the main sources of inspiration behind the game?

Most of our favourite games like Megaman, Metroid, Contra, IJI and Cave Story were our main sources of inspiration. We want to capture those retro feeling that you cannot find nowadays with AAA Blockbusters.

The music in ARES has a very Bionic Commando Rearmed techo-element to it; how important is this to creating the right atmosphere for your game?

Music is one of the most important things in our game. We need the quality to be as high as possible, while trying to make it feel retro and techno at the same time. Thanks to Hyperduck Team, their music really fulfills our A.R.E.S.’s world.

The game started off being called Trash Man – aside from the fact that ARES: Extinction Agenda sounds a lot cooler, what prompted the change?

We changed the title to A.R.E.S. because the name “Trashman” has already been used by another game very long time ago and some people were confused about it. We also added many improvements to the game; especially the art and main character design.

Will the finished title provide plenty of scope for exploration similar to the 2D Metroid and Castlevania games or are you going for a more action orientated approach?

The game will be straightforward and focus on the action orientated approach. Exploration is an extra challenge and will be rewarded by either extra item or strengthening the character.

The demo for a game gave a taste of the weapons and special attacks in the game; how many are in the final version?

There are many types of character advancement in the full version. Believe me, you’d be better finding out the answer for yourself.

The game will be episodic – why did you decide to go down this (often controversial) route in developing the title?

We want to develop our title and we think that it will be more interesting for players to make our game into the series. This way, players can enjoy thinking about what’s going to happen in the next episode.

Do you plan any DLC for the title?

Yes. Our plan is to release the Xbox version of A.R.E.S. in the next few months. And after that, we will make more downloadable content which players can download for free. The next episode is also in our plan.

When can we expect the finished version of the ARES: Extinction Agenda to arrive?

The PC version was released on 14th December.

Are there any plans to bring ARES to any other platforms like PSN?

For now, there is no actual plan for other platforms, but we are looking forward to port the game to other platforms as much as possible.

Thanks to Extend Interactive for taking the time to answer our questions. A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda is out now for PC and will be coming to XBLA some time in the new year.