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Gears Of War Xbox 360 Sequel Confirmed!

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Gears Of War Xbox 360 Sequel Confirmed!

Gears Of War Xbox 360 Sequel Confirmed!
Published by forahobby on Sunday, March 11, 2007
Tagged: Gaming, Xbox 360,
Lead designer chronicles a game's evolution from the first-person shooter "Unreal Warfare" to the best-selling third-person Gears of War.

SAN FRANCISCO--It was a big week for Cliff "Cliffy B" Bleszinski. The Epic Games designer took the stage several times on Wednesday night at the Game Developers Choice Awards, where his game Gears of War won four trophies, including Game of the Year. Given his reputation for letting les bon temps roulez, many wondered if Bleszinski's post-ceremony celebrations might put a damper on his 9 a.m. presentation the following morning.

But when the hour was nigh, Bleszinski looked surprisingly chipper as the jumped behind the podium. "I know a lot of you were at the bar last night, so I'll do my best to keep you awake," he joked. He went then whipped up some excitement by confirming that Epic Games does "intend to do a sequel" to Gears of War. The revelation was hardly surprisingly, though, since it was initially revealed last November when a Microsoft marketing executive said a Gears "trilogy" was planned. Also, the fact the game has sold over 3 million copies to date all but cemented a sequel.

Then, Bleszinski went out to talk about Gears' history. The title began as "Unreal Warfare," a more military-themed game inspired by Tribes and Team Fortress. "We thought, let's do something with vehicles and something that involves a lot of territory control," Bleszinski said. He also said they wanted the game be tied in with connection with Unreal Tournament 2004 and would feature an opponent race called the "Geist." However, Epic's "lead cabal" reconsidered when they: a) decided they wanted a separate, single-player-driven game, and b) realized Nintendo had copyrighted the "Geist" as the title for their ghostly GameCube game. His second choice, "The Worm," also didn't stick.

Bleszinski said the seeds of Gear of War were sown by three titles. The first was Capcom's Resident Evil 4, which made an indelible impression on Bleszinski even before its January 2005 release. "I really liked the pacing and the over-the-shoulder view," said the designer.

Cliffy B drops some knowledge on the audience.
The second game was Namco's 2004 shooter kill.switch. Though it had much less success critically or financially than RE4, Bleszinski felt "it had the best cover system at that time." He felt incorporating a similar cover system would really change the pace of Gears and set it apart from other shooters.

Another inspiration was the classic arcade game Bionic Commando. In it, players must shoot a grappling hook in order to ascend from platform to platform vertically. Bleszinski thinks Gears has the same mechanic--jumping from cover point to cover point to advance--on a horizontal axis.

Another interesting tidbit was that Gears started out as a first-person shooter. However, after seeing the impressive graphics of the first Unreal Engine 3 demo, Bleszinski and the rest of the project's lead cabal decided "it would be a crime not to see" the game's hero, who would eventually be named Marcus Fenix. Bleszinski said seeing Fenix so up close you could see him issue orders and even notice the scar on his ear would make players associate with the character more.

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Gears of War 2

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- Nov 7, 2008 (US)
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