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Last Updated: Friday, 17 March 2006, 08:19 GMT
Game aims to recreate 24 TV drama
By Alfred Hermida
Technology editor, BBC News website

Screenshot of 24: The Game
Explosions come cheap in the virtual world
The hallmark of a Hollywood action movie tends to be how many explosions can be packed into 90 minutes of celluloid action.

But those big bangs cost big bucks, so scriptwriters often have to scale back their ambitions.

However, explosions come cheap in the virtual world, as Duppy Demetrius found out when writing the story for the game of the hit US drama, 24.

As a writer on the TV show, he always had to think about the budget. But in a virtual world, he could ignore this.

"The biggest difference is how much I'm able to blow up," Mr Demetrius told the BBC News website.

"In the game we even go so far as to cause tremors that drop parts of Los Angeles to the ground.

"This would never be possible in the show due to strict budget constraints."

Back story

24 has enjoyed phenomenal success since the real-time thriller about the war on terror hit the small screen five years ago.

Duppy Demetrius
The biggest challenge, however, was to basically come up with the equivalent of an entire season of 24 at one time
Duppy Demetrius
The TV franchise is about to leap into the world of video games, with the release of 24: The Game for the PlayStation 2 on Friday.

The video game aims to recreate the intense, race against time, world of Jack Bauer for a generation of gamers.

The voices and likenesses of stars of the TV show, Kiefer Sutherland and Elisha Cuthbert among others, lend an air of authenticity to the game.

Firmly aimed at fans of the series, the adventure is set between seasons two and three.

It aims to fill in gaps in the story such as how did Ms Cuthbert's character, Kim Bauer, start working at the Counter-Terrorism Unit.

"When we were coming up with the concept of the game I thought it might be fun to answer some of these questions," said Mr Demetrius.

"I came in with a wish-list of the most prominent questions and, as the story was being figured out, tried to incorporate as many answers as possible."

Gaming credentials

Mr Demetrius became involved in the project three years ago, when Sony approached 24 makers Fox with the idea of making a game based on the show.

Screenshot of 24: The Game
The game reflects the style of the TV drama
The gaming experience of the show's executive producer was limited to Space Invaders and Pac Man. So instead the responsibility for the script fell on Mr Demetrius, who describes himself as "somewhat of a gamer".

"When I tackled the script for 24: The Game, I really had no game in mind to influence me," he said.

"The biggest challenge, however, was to basically come up with the equivalent of an entire season of 24 at one time.

"While writing the show, we worry about only five or six episodes at a time, but with the game we needed to know what was going to happen for the entire game, all 24 hours of it."

The game has been praised for its high production values that capture the essence of the TV show, down to the trademark digital clock countdown and multi-panel scenes.

But reviewers have been less complimentary about the gameplay aspects of the title, which was made by Sony's studio in Cambridge, UK.


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