Steven Spielberg isn't the only person who wants to make gamers cry.
Now David Jaffe, creator of one of this year's most acclaimed original games, the PS2 action epic "God of War," says he wants in on that action as well — and will do so with the inventor of the "Twisted Metal" franchise.
In an interview with MTV News during which he suggested who he would like to see star in the "God of War" movie, the 34-year-old game designer said his next project will hopefully make gamers weep.
That's the same goal Electronic Arts executive Neil Young said Spielberg has in mind when Young described his company's partnership with the famed director last week (see "Steven Spielberg Confesses Games Addiction, Announces Next-Gen Projects").
Jaffe said he couldn't divulge specifics on the game, which is being designed for the PSP, for at least a couple of months. But he did establish its themes. "One of them is to be the most emotional video game ever made," he said. "The end goal is that players at the end of the game are actually choked up — if not crying — because we've done our job so well."
But he isn't only interested in making gamers cry. He would also like them to think, and to think specifically, about what's going on in the world right now. "We want to be somewhat political. We want to make a game that deals with what's happening in the country, what's happening with America and the military, [but] not to be critical about it. It's certainly not a leftist or conservative view, but it's just more about, 'Can a video game address political views and still be fun and still be commercial and compelling?' "
That game is Jaffe's main focus, though he acknowledged a sequel to "God of War" is still a possibility. He said he has plenty of stories left to tell with the game's tortured hero, Kratos. "It's definitely something that's in our heads, but we're going to wait and see what the fans want us to do and go ahead."
Jaffe said he has also been working as a consultant for the "God of War" movie, an informal process that's keeping him focused on games but just a phone call away to advise the creative team on the project. "I'm not sort of there making the movie," he said. "I'm more making sure the property keeps its integrity and sort of a big fanboy on the sidelines excited to see it and hoping it turns out great. They ask me questions like, 'Does this fit in the 'God of War' universe? Is this something Kratos would do?' "
Even the basic details of who is working on the movie are still under wraps, but Jaffe was willing to share his thoughts on who should fill the role of the game's bald, brutish, blade-swinging warrior hero.
"I think it's pretty clear to everybody that's played 'God of War' that Kurt Loder would be, probably, the best Kratos. So that's what we're shooting for. I don't know if we'll get him. I hear he's very expensive and a pain to work with. But we'll see," Jaffe joked.
But seriously? He said many people have suggested Vin Diesel, an actor who first leapt into Jaffe's mind as well. But he's cooled to that notion and is now leaning toward someone "a little less obvious who might not necessarily look like Kratos but can really bring that really brooding [attitude] and [the] inner demons struggling to get out of this guy. I think someone like that would be really cool." Who fits that description? "People have talked about Billy Zane, and I think that's an interesting choice. I saw somebody say Mel Gibson; I think he's great, but he's a little old."
Jaffe says he's happy to leave most of these decisions to the movie people. He acknowledges that as a game designer he might not be the ideal one to pick a cast. "The idea of an actor stepping into the role and becoming Kratos is such a foreign idea to me, being so intimately involved with the game," he said.
So Jaffe is keeping his focus on the field he knows best and is content to focus on that PSP title, political tear-jerker that it may be. "I don't know if it's going to work," he said. "But we need to push the medium and try new things."