There was no shortage of platformers during the 16-bit generation, but very few were any good and even less hold up when played nowadays. That's why a game such as Flashback immediately made an impact in the gaming scene when it was released in 1992. Not only did the game feature detailed graphics and intelligent platform gameplay, it even featured rotoscoped motion cut scenes that told a gripping science fiction story. The Amiga game was an instant hit and soon found itself on just about every platform available at the time, with the Sega Mega Drive and Super Nintendo versions being some of the more popular editions. Flashback's legacy has only grown over time, and now Ubisoft will be releasing an updated HD version of title for the current generation of consoles.
PC World went hands-on with the new Flashback at Ubisoft Digital Days 2013, where VectorCell creative director, Paul Cuisset, talked about bringing back the game for today's audience.
For those who might not know Flashback yet, can you tell the original vision behind the game?
VectorCell creative director, Paul Cuisset (PC): Flashback is a platform game that takes place in a futuristic setting. It was one of the precursors of what we call today "gameplay narrative." Flashback tells the story of a young man fighting to prevent an invasion of Earth by extraterrestrials capable of changing appearance and who are controlled by a single immense brain. This is a vibrant example of the sci-fi genre in the 90's.
What drove you to create a new and revamped version of Flashback?
PC: We wanted to do something for its 20th anniversary. It's been that long since Flashback came out in 1992, and we thought we could both honour our fans who have been asking us for the return of Conrad for a long time, as well as allow a younger audience to discover the universe of Flashback.
Is it the same story?
PC: The story is true to the original scenario, and all the characters and their enemies from the first game are all back. It has been beefed up and modernised though. Some characters that were sort of in the background in the first version were developed and have taken on more importance. We also went back and took a longer look at some of the blurry spots in the first Flashback and the fans will hopefully discover certain aspects of the world that might have been overlooked.
What are the improvements brought to the original game?
PC: Our first objective was to remain faithful to the spirit of the original game, but to also take full advantage of the computing power of today's machines. Quite a few points were considered to bring the game up to standards. The first was obviously in the graphics department. We also gave a facelift to the gameplay by making it more reactive and dynamic, the reactivity and instinctive control of Conrad being two points that we really take to heart. We also integrated an experience progression system for the character and his equipment, with upgrades that can be found throughout the various levels.
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