Eyes-on / Joe Danger: The Movie

There’s not much changed with the basics behind Joe Danger: The Movie. The daredevil is still causing havoc, the game is still extremely good looking and colorful, and developer Hello Games is still full of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet. Yet, all that aside, I had a sense something devious bubbled underneath that friendly looking game, a sense I got to check out at PAX Prime this year and I was proved right – sort of.

Joe Danger: The Movie isn’t exactly what the name implies. Yes, the setting and feel of the game are taken from the world of cinema, complete with a director telling Joe what he has to do to accomplish certain missions to progress through the game. But the game is chopped into small, bite sized chunks of gameplay goodness, with Joe acting out certain scenes as the movie’s stuntman, leading each level into one another but having a distinct flavor of gameplay.

Speaking with Sean Murray, the studio’s founder and self proclaimed company tea maker, the deviousness of Joe Danger: The Movie is soon evident. One of the first things which calls attention to this fact is when I questioned the gameplay similarities between the numerous amount of new vehicles players would be driving. On screen, Joe was a police officer and had to collect donuts instead of coins from the previous game, so I asked if ‘jetpack Joe’ would have to collect birds or clouds or something similarly associated with flight. Murray said the game being shown was really early but it wouldn’t be as “simple as that,” instead the game “actually changes as you go through, like in what you’re trying to do in terms of gameplay.” He then showed me a completely different level and Murray was spot on, gameplay changed totally.

This time around, Joe was in a minecart, cruising the rails, collecting coins, doing wheelies, and scoring points – just like that Indiana Jones fellow. Murray then took me on a police chase where donuts were the collecting object, but the point of the level was to stop the bad guys by catching up to them and knocking them off their brightly colored bikes. Skiing was next, with baddies on ski-doos, hurling grenades while Joe tried to stop a missile launch by landing on the warheads, after which, Joe gots his own ski-doo and had to make the finish line before getting blown up.

Police bikes, skis, ski-doos, mine carts, jet packs; all vehicles in popular movies and all play huge roles within Joe Danger: The Movie. Oh, and the devious part? Murray admits they have no idea what platform Joe Danger: The Movie will be coming out on, but would like to see it release early 2012.

How dare they.