After a very long wait, Kate Walker is close to making her glorious comeback with Syberia 3, launching on PC and consoles on April 25th. To celebrate the game's impending release, we spoke with Elliot Grassiano - VP game production at Microïds, who revealed some interesting details on the game, Switch exclusive features and more.
It's been over 10 years since the release of Syberia 2, and a lot has changed in the gaming industry for point and click adventures. What made you decide to bring back Kate Walker for another adventure after so much time?
The first installment of the Syberia saga, released in 2002, was hailed as an international success. The second chapter, also became critically acclaimed globally when it was released two years later. After a wait of over a decade, we still constantly received messages from the community of fans from all over the world, asking us a sequel. After several years of discussions, Benoit Sokal and publisher Microïds have joined forces again to offer players a brand-new Kate Walker adventure.
Syberia 3 is a completely new story for Kate Walker and we offer a new gameplay to players. It’s not a classical point & click anymore. Now, we have complete puzzles in full 3D for example. The challenge for us was to bring something new to Syberia while keeping the DNA of the saga.
Last October, Syberia 3 has been delayed so to add more content to the game. During Gamescom 2016, we noticed the game was in a rather unpolished state, especially the animations which looked very stiff. How much has the game changed in this regard after the delay has been confirmed?
The version we showed at Gamescom was a work in progress version but we really want to show to journalists the universe of the game and its atmosphere. Today the game is completely polished and characters are better animated of course!
From what we have seen so far, Syberia 3 will be the quintessential point and click adventure, but did you use the additional development time to add some new mechanics that have yet to be shown?
Syberia 3 is not a classical point and click game anymore, we keep the DNA of the game but we have integrated several new features. To solve puzzles for instance, players have to reproduce a natural gesture to use tools or open a drawer. To use a screwdriver for example, they have to use all 360 degrees of control stick motion to turn it. We really want to offer the best immersion to players. For this reason, Syberia 3 is optimized to be played with a controller. Obviously, you can still play with a keyboard and a mouse but for us, the controller is better to enjoy Syberia’s experience.
We delayed the game because we decided to bring even more depth to Kate Walker’s new adventure, thanks to new cinematics and more background story through optional gameplay. We are aware that fans around the world are eager to embody their favorite heroin again, but we needed additional time to provide them with an adventure that can live up to their expectations.
Earlier this year, it's been confirmed that Syberia 3 is also releasing on Nintendo Switch. How's working with Nintendo and what do you think of the console so far?
The Nintendo Switch perfectly integrates into Nintendo’s DNA, to which innovation and gameplay were always preferred to console’s performances. Nintendo Switch is finally the console players were waiting for: it is a good mix between mobility and home consoles. We share the same vision of video games than Nintendo, we want to develop games that are capable of seducing as much casual as hardcore gamers, so it was natural for us to develop our main titles on this new platform.
In the past, we already worked with Nintendo by developing games on Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS. So, we already know Nintendo’s processes. As you might have noticed, during Nintendo’s announcement last January about Nintendo Switch, third parties’ publishers strongly support this new console by developing their main titles such as FIFA or Skyrim on it. There is also a huge desire from Nintendo to support third parties’ publishers – whether they are worldwide famous or not – by providing them all required resources.
Will there be Switch exclusive features, like HD Rumble support? Did you have to substantially lower graphics settings and resolution for this version of the game?
We are working on a faithful port of Syberia 3, it was important for us to offer mobility to players, to allow them to embody Kate Walker wherever they want. We are thinking about a specific development on Nintendo Switch with new features, including HD Rumble support. We will use the best of this console to offer an unforgettable experience for players.
With the game also releasing on consoles, are there plans for substantial PlayStation 4 Pro and Scorpio enhancements?
We are already working on future enhancements and additional contents that will use these new functionalities
How long do you figure it will take to complete the game on average?
The game should be completed in 15/20hours. It really depends on players, some of them want to do all the optional dialogues and some of them prefer to rush. Contemplation is an important part of Syberia 3, players can spend a lot of time enjoying landscapes or the living moments of the game.
Syberia 3 will obviously tell a full story, but are there plans for additional content, maybe focused on side characters to expand the story?
We didn’t announce anything so far but we will have some good news for players very soon. I can’t tell you more for the moment.
Thank you for your time.