Hey there, action hero! We’re back and excited to tell you about our latest update, 2089, and what makes it special. This cinematic campaign is not only our very first for Pistol Whip, but it’s also the result of many other firsts for the game. From animated cutscenes to cutscenes to synthwave exclusives, let’s take a look at some of the new storytelling and creative tools we’ve used during the development of this epic expansion.
Explore the heart of Pistol Whip
Pistol Whip has always been about putting the gun first in unstoppable action and making you feel like your favorite badass. Historically, each scene has been its own shortened story, similar to an action movie trailer, with its own identity and theme. We talked about the inspiration behind some scenes and how some of our other design and development choices aim to achieve this in our launch blog if you w ant to learn more.
With 2089, we wanted to take that core of epic action movie immersion further, combining an arched narrative experience through multiple scenes – played back to back – meant to embody and explore a specific genre of film and music. That meant it would be longer than a movie trailer, but we also didn’t want to stray too far from our arcade shooting roots. The result? Our very first film campaign, with an original sci-fi story told in five linked scenes, all set to a sweet synthwave soundtrack. Fun fact: The entire campaign lasts just under thirty minutes, which is a few minutes longer than the first Time Crisis.
The future is full of firsts
Once the length and pace of the story was determined, the team began to try to figure out how best to tell it in Pistol Whip, which we had never done before. Plot delivery had to happen quickly – we wanted the downtime between scenes to be just long enough for you to catch your breath, while still being immersive.
The answer? Comics. In another first for Pistol Whip, we’ve teamed up with comic book creator and artist Fico Ossio, who has helped bring some of our favorite heroes to life, from Transformers to GI Joe. Fico went to work on an original character who would act as our proficient pistol-proficient protagonist, with full-color cutscene artwork. These illustrations would be animated and used in the helmet alongside the voiceover (another first for Pistol Whip) provided by Richard Trapp to deliver the story you live in 2089.
If arcade games and action movies are at the heart of Pistol Whip, then music is the lifeblood that runs through it all. This makes finding the perfect lead one of the most difficult development tasks for Pistol Whip, and in the case of the final encounter, exact timing requirements made that nearly impossible. It would take a miracle to find something that meets all of our specific needs, or maybe a little bit of magic.
Create the perfect song with Magic Sword
First, queue the following: If the perfect track didn’t exist, we would create it. When we heard Magic Sword’s Sword of Truth, we knew the epic electronic sound was just what we wanted to accompany the brutal final battle you face in 2089. We set up a kind of space mix. booked off the track, marking where in-game action would take place, and sent it to the trio with a very rough video of the meeting, not knowing what to expect.
“You made it easy for us,” said The Keeper, a self-proclaimed PlayStation fanatic, when we interviewed Magic Sword about creating this exclusive mix. “It’s quite different [from our normal process] not stylistically …[with the exclusive] we have rules… time constraints and queue points that we have to reach, and in a way that is binding, but that also removes any confusion in the water. It’s like it has to go here, and it has to happen at this point because that’s where this enemy comes in.
The last piece we received exceeded all of our expectations. The exact timing really elevates the final scene to new, action-fueled heights that we can’t wait for you all to experience.
The future beyond 2089
2089 could be the result of several firsts for Pistol Whip; However, you can expect the core of the heart pumping action to be the same you’ve always known. 2089 is also packed with tons of new content, from a new mechanical threat to futuristic new mechanics and sci-fi-inspired cosmetics. You can check out everything we’ve added with this update in the “Info” section which added this update as part of the newly revamped user interface.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on 2089 and all of its additions in the comments below, and because we know you’re going to ask: yes, the whole of 2089, including the scenes and mechanics, will be available in Arcade mode with our next massive update, Concierge. Stay tuned here or on our social media to stay up to date on this and everything we have planned for the future of Pistol Whip.