Maximum Games launch Alekhine’s Gun on February 9th 2016 for the Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC. Alekhine’s Gun is set from the end of World War II through to the 1960s and see’s players take on the role of ex-KGB assassin, Semyon Strogov AKA Agent Alekhine, as he joins forces with the CIA to unravel a deadly conspiracy. The game features classic stealth maneuvers, gameplay based around choice, wide-open levels, and a range of different weapons and disguises, adding an intriguing layer to the stealth genre by placing characters inside a historical era.
We recently had the opportunity to talk to Maximum Games producer Andrew Nguyen, to find out more about Alekhine’s Gun.
PressA2Join: Where did the idea for Alekhine’s Gun come from, was there any particular inspiration behind the game?
Andrew Nguyen: Some of the classic Hitman and Metal Gear Solid games were an inspiration. We liked the the social stealth of Hitman where you can take on disguises and walk among your enemies. We also loved the idea of covert operations and coverups during the Cold War as seen in Metal Gear Solid 3. These are some of the elements we tried to capture in Alekhine’s Gun, while going a bit deeper with an intriguing “film noir” storyline.
Semyon Strogov seems a very interesting protagonist, can you tell us a little about the story behind the game’s main character and what kind of man we should expect to take hold of when Alekhine’s Gun launches in 2016?
Andrew: Strogov, aka Agent Alekhine, is a highly-skilled WWII soldier and KGB Agent. He is honorable and loyal to his country which, ironically, leads him to go against orders and work with the CIA during the height of the Cold War. He believes he is doing what is necessary for the good of Russia and the U.S.
Alekhine’s Gun spans from World War 2 all the way to Kennedy’s assassination, can we expect a decent size story and will there be a large amount of exploration to be done within the game?
Andrew: There will be a few WWII-era missions in the game before the story jumps ahead to the 1960’s Cold War. But it is a decent sized story, nonetheless, mostly taking place during the 1960’s.
And yes, there is a lot to explore in our open levels depending on your play style. If you’re more of a quick in-and-out assassin, you may take out your targets when the first window of opportunity arises. If you’re more calculating, you may want to explore every inch of the level before you plan and execute your perfect move. It’s up to you to decide how to navigate each mission and how deep you want to go within each level.
Other than the game’s main storyline will there be any other activities for Agent Alekhine to take part in, for example, will there be any side missions?
Andrew: There are no side missions per se, but there are multiple ways to complete your objectives, especially when it comes to the assassinations. Looking for the environmental opportunities to stage an accident takes more effort but it also grants the player a better stealth ranking in the end. It’s entirely optional; you don’t have to play the game that way. But the replay value is there for anyone that wants to really test themselves to see how great of a spy you can be!
Alekhine’s Gun will most likely draw comparisons with Hitman, what sets Alekhine’s Gun aside from the infamous Agent 47?
Andrew: Our story definitely sets us apart from Hitman. The storyline in Hitman is good if you care about who Agent 47 is as a fictional character and the lore behind him. But, there is a certain realistic quality and gravitas that comes with a work of historical fiction like Alekhine’s Gun. Players will feel really immersed knowing how recently some of these events occurred. Some will have even lived through them.
As for gameplay, compared to the last Hitman game, Alekhine’s Gun has open non-linear levels for the player to explore. There is never just one path or method to completing your objectives.
As a trained assassin, one would assume that stealth would be the correct way to approach the game, what kind of skills does Strogov possess to help him blend into his surroundings and are there other ways to attack the game?
Andrew: I can’t say that any one approach is “correct” as one approach might be quicker, another easier, and yet another might be more satisfying. It’s up to the player. However, it is true that agent Alekhine is well equipped for being stealthy. The ability to don the enemies’ disguises is critical to blending in. Alekhine also has several lethal tools for quietly subduing his enemies like his trusty knife and garrote, or non-lethal tools like a bottle of chloroform. He also has a range of unlockable firearms for those who want to go guns-blazing from time to time.
What about destinations, what kind of places can we expect to see throughout the game?
Andrew: We definitely tried to make every level visually distinct. I don’t want to give away all our set pieces, but there are 11 open levels that range from a ritzy Swedish Hotel to jungle bases off the coast of Cuba.
Lately games tend to play on environmental kills, will this be a factor in the game and if so what elements can be used to takedown an enemy?
Andrew: There are definitely environmental kills, and those are some of our biggest surprises. Again, I don’t want to give too much away, but you should definitely explore the environments. Even if you’ve found an environmental kill, don’t assume that was the only one…
The game was pushed back to February 2016, can you explain a little about why you came to this decision?
Andrew: Part of it was the problem of launching on the same day as two other AAA titles. Even our fans were constantly voicing their concerns. We also realized that this game and our fans deserved a comprehensive global launch. We already had fans in Europe going through great lengths looking for ways to import the game. We wanted to take care of all our dedicated fans around the world, so this delay will allow for a proper global launch.
Lastly, is there anything else you would like to say about the game, for readers that are interested and want to know more?
Andrew: Going back to the fact that there is no “correct” way to play, it really is about your personal play style and what you’re trying to accomplish. I hope to see the community begin to attempt speedruns in the game. It will be interesting to see the difference between getting the absolute fastest times versus getting the fastest times with the highest stealth ranking. I’ll be scouring streaming sites for those videos.
If you’re excited about any of this then you can pre-order Alekhine’s Gun now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Steam!
We would like to thank Andrew Nguyen of Maximum Games for taking the time out to chat with us.
Alekhine’s Gun will launch in February 2016 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.