Gears Of War Should Be “More Gritty”
Gears of War is quintessential dude-bro game with enough machismo to make Anita Sarkeesian foam at the mouth and so much testosterone that even the female characters have 5-o’clock shadow. It’s also pretty murky, brown and dirty so far as looks go but that’s part of the aesthetic design. Nope, none of that means anything because VP of Microsoft Games Studios Phil Spencer believes any new entry in the series should be grittier. Like Christian Bale eating cement-coated corn flakes.
Spencer appeared as a guest on IGN’s Podcast Unlocked and talked at length about Gears of War: Judgment’s poorer sales and critical reception.
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With regards to the current lack of Gears on Xbox One, a key reason for that being that Epic is very busy right now chiefly with licensing Unreal Engine 4 and working on its other projects. While he thinks that Epic would be “the right team” to work on a new Gears game, he does think “finding another team to do it” would be possible, but Microsoft would have to be “very careful” in making sure the team fit Gears.
Spencer conceded that the series needed to change after Judgment because “it ran its course on 360″ and “doesn’t quite have the story arc of something like Halo”. While he was careful to avoid saying the franchise needed a reboot, he does think it’s time to “step back” and think about how to “expand the universe” of Gears. “Maybe make it more gritty.”
Pointing to relationships like the one Microsoft had with Epic, Spencer criticised the “fixation with which studios you own”, arguing that Gears of War wouldn’t have been a better game simply if Microsoft had owned Epic.
“Certain people will look at how many Microsoft-badged employees do you have versus Sony-badged employees, and when they start to weigh the different first parties and I know there are some people that want to own their own studio, be independent, drive their business, and go completely their own way, keep their own culture and I respect that – if people want to work that way, we’ll continue to work with them.”
Spencer also mentioned Rare, the developer currently working on Killer Instinct. A developer who is exclusively known for Kinect sports titles.
“I don’t force Rare to do anything. Like, forcing a studio to do something is a very short-term ambition as the head of studios because, in the end, people will vote with their feet, and they’ll just go work somewhere else. And Rare has enjoyed the creative, and, frankly, the hit success of [the] Kinect Sports series; it’s been an incredibly successful series for them, and it’s been great for the studio.”
Killer Instinct doesn’t hold much interest to me or a lot of other gamers for that matter however, the idea of a grittier Gears is interesting. Purely because how does one go about making Gears grittier? Do you tone down the machismo, add some humanity and insert some dark character moments? The game already has gritty (though awesomely gratuitous) violence down thanks to the wonderful Lancer.
Do you think Gears needs a gritty reboot, like every other franchise under the sun?