Fifth gear itch: Criterion “always wanted to go beyond cars”

Criterion at E3: basejumpy.

Criterion are in a weird place right now. They shed the vast majority of their staff during the development of Need for Speed Rivals, their founders soon after, and at last count numbered less than 20.

But that’s put them in a position where they can take their time on something new – a vehicular something we saw a little of during EA’s pre-E3 show. Though it doesn’t have a name yet, we know Criterion’s current project is a first-person thrill-seeker inspired by deathwish Youtubers. Basically, it’s Battlefield’s best bits minus the hassle of having to shoot people.

Apparently, Criterion were never going to settle for just being the Burnout gang.

“We’ve predominantly experienced Criterion games through cars,” Criterion’s Daniel Kayser told GameTrailers. “[But] we’ve always wanted to go beyond cars and have fun in way more different vehicles – a really diverse range of different vehicles.

“And now we’re doing that. We’ve got big ideas and clearly we’ve got a lot more to show, but I think showing early and engaging early with people is the new way that videogames are going to be created.”

Some of Burnout’s DNA will remain – crashes are “mandatory”, and Criterion still like “high-action, very visceral” vehicle-to-vehicle collisions. But they’re now also turned on by the idea of idea of human-to-vehicle interactions – by which they mean players jumping out of helicopters and onto bikes.

“What’s as exciting for us now is the fact that you have a persona,” said Kayser. “There is a you in the game.”

Are you excited to be a you?