MI6 chatted to Jon-Paul Dumont, Lead Multiplayer
Designer on "From Russia With Love", about
going retro with James Bond...
Jon-Paul Dumont Interview (1)
14th August 2005
The co-op mode in EoN was well-received by fans. What was
the reasoning behind the decision to not include one in FRWL?
We’re all huge fans of Co-op modes and really enjoyed
EoN’s version. That said, there are a couple reasons that
it didn’t make a return appearance. First, Bond is known
for working alone, except in extreme circumstances, so we can’t
just add a second character to the main game and create instant
co-op, like many other games. This means, for a Bond game to have
co-op, it needs to be a unique story and experience with new characters,
which doesn’t make sense for a classic film like From Russia
With Love. Second, we really wanted to get back to the classic
deathmatch romp that the franchise is known for.
Above: 4 way split screen
Everything or Nothing received criticism
due to its lack of focus on arena multiplayer. How have
you gone about getting the balance right this time around?
Arena mode in EoN was meant to be a small bonus for
players who unlocked it. The fact that it aroused such strong
feelings and expectations showed us that we needed to put
some time into figuring out third-person deathmatch.
We’re concentrating solely on the player vs. player
game this time around, so I guess you could say the balance
has shifted completely away from co-op.
How customisable are the multiplayer modes? Will players be
able to tweak any game type or map settings to suit their gameplay
Yes, players have lots of options for each gametype. You can
change the weapon set you play with, change how the radar works,
Traditionally Bond games are respected for their first person
multiplayer – What are the advantages and disadvantages
of multiplayer in the third person?
We knew at the beginning of the project that making a third
person, auto-lock deathmatch was going to be a huge challenge.
There really are not many examples of this out there, so the chance
to innovate was really exciting. The biggest issue we had to tackle
was how to preserve the sense of skill that FPS games have and
to keep the game from devolving into a “first one to get
auto-lock wins” situation. Our solution for both of these
problems was to shift the skill test from action to reaction.
When a player is targeted, they get a big cursor on their character.
If they perform a dive roll, or duck behind cover, they break
that target lock. The game tests how quickly can you react to
another player’s aggression. It also creates a real sense
of panic and surprise when you get targeted. The best players
in our sessions are the ones that know how and when to break a
lock and how to use the environment to their advantage.
We also wanted it to be instinctive for
players to know who is shooting them and from where. So
we created a radar system inspired by flight simulators.
Each player has a color-coded icon on the edge of the screen
that shows you where to turn to find them. The icon color
matches the color of the target lock indicator you get.
So if you are targeted by the blue player, you just have
to spot the blue icon on the radar, and turn towards that
character. It gives you a chance to react to things like
getting shot in the back, that otherwise would not be very
Everyone is shown on the radar, so finding players is intuitive.
For the stealth-minded players, crouching and standing in
wall cover will hide your radar icon, so there is a strategy
to when you reveal yourself.
Above: 4 way split screen
"We do have the ability
to RPG your character during the Survival Royale mode..."
And last, we found that third person actually helps make the
splitscreen viewport feel larger. I know when I play FPS splitscreen
games, I always feel like I have no peripheral vision. Once we
started playing From Russia With Love, it became apparent that
the third person angle lets you see more of the level and the
characters and the viewports didn’t feel small at all.
Above: Rosa Klebb and Red Grant
What was your first ever Bond experience?
I grew up watching Bond marathons on television. It’s
hard not to get hooked on how cool Bond is, especially when
you are a young kid.
Can we expect multiplayer characters from the movie
and other movies in the Connery era? Will there be any incentive
to unlock characters through the single player campaign?
The game will start with eight characters available
to play. Some are villains from the movie, such as Red Grant
and Morezny, some are classic villains like Dr. No and we
are excited to debut three completely original Bond Girls
that are playable only in multiplayer.
Keep your eyes peeled for the official list, which we haven’t
released yet. As you play the game you will be able to purchase
and unlock up to 19 more characters that make appearances
in the single player game.
What is your favourite Bond moment from the series?
You would think it would be a big, explosive moment or a slow,
sexy moment, but my favourite is a small moment in “From
Russia With Love”. When Red Grant orders Red Wine on the
train, tipping Bond off, it shows that sophistication is just
as helpful as a good aim. That’s still my favourite part
of all the movies, just beating out the fake alligator from Octopussy.
Which is your favourite Bond game?
Everything or Nothing is my favourite game, and it’s
not just because I’ve joined the team that made it. I liked
being in third person and I loved the auto lock targeting, because
it allowed me to concentrate more on being “Bond”
than on aiming my gun. But From Russia With Love should surpass
Player customisation is something that has been highlighted
in the single player – did you consider any such feature
We tossed around a lot of ideas for how to let players customize
their characters and in the end decided it was too much fun to
play as classic villains. We do have the ability to RPG your character
during the Survival Royale mode. In this game mode players can
set up a kind of tournament that lets them play up to 16 games
in a row, competing to win the most games. In between rounds,
players can upgrade their characters by purchasing new abilities,
such as always having a Shotgun, unlimited ammo, better aim, or
"From Russia With Love"
Russia With Love" Movie Coverage
Many thanks to Jon-Paul Dumont and EA.