NHK recently featured the Disaster Report series on one of their television shows. The lengthy report includes a look at Irem’s development studio, Disaster Report 4, and Weekly Famitsu Editor In Chief Hideki Osada’s take on the game.
The clip constantly brings up Disaster Report 4‘s “realistic graphics,” both by the developers and the reporters. Clearly, they’re exaggerating; we’ve all seen what Disaster Report 4 looks like and it’s not the most lifelike game in the world.
“Using the realistic graphics of the PS3, we wanted to portray earthquake destruction so intensely that users would almost want to stop playing,” game director Kazuma Kujo told the channel.
The 19-minute NHK clip.
“We have finally been able to make a realistic game featuring an earthquake disaster for this fourth installment. The whole city is made in 3D so everything should look and feel realistic.”
Moving onto a play test, Kujo said, “You must try it in 3D. The whole city is made in 3D so everything should look and feel realistic.”
As the female reporter sat down at Irem’s studio to play the game in 3D, she was startled when a random earthquake struck.
“The timing of the earthquakes in the game is totally random,” said Kujo. “Not even the developers know when one will strike.”
Just moments later, a building collapsed on the character and the female reported was greeted with a “Game Over” screen.
Osada said earlier in the clip, “from the shaking to the soaring and dust, the earthquakes in the game were very scary and suspenseful, like in real ones.”
Later on, Kujo talks about difficult decisions the player must face. “As you proceed through the game, you need to make some very tough decisions. This includes things like having to betray someone who has kindly helped you in order to survive yourself. Under these extreme situations, players might realize that one’s own safety can never be compromised in order to survive.
“I want players to know that there is no model answer. The best way to play this game is to be true to your feelings.
“There is no need to be a hero. The point of this game is to see a reflection of yourself through the game.”
The team had met with top disaster experts whilst researching creation of the game. Osada explains that “according to them, the biggest issue during disasters is the problem of going to the bathroom. When there are no toilets or they are broken and there is no water, what can you do? The same problem also exists within the game. When you don’t do you thing in the toilet, the parameter for shame goes up and some of your water level goes down. It’s not trying to be gruesome, but the raw aspects of disasters are definitely woven into the game.
He adds: “Even though we know what needs to be done in these desperate situations, many of us hesitate in the game. By playing this game, players are able to discover things about themselves that they might have never known about. That’s the aspect I’m looking forward to the most.”
Disaster Report 4 is out exclusively for PlayStation 3 this month in Japan.