After Microsoft’s purchase of the Gears of War franchise it’s understandable a lot of people would be worried about its stagnation. For some reason I’m more optimistic.
Gears of War Judgment was indeed a bit of a cash-in after the main story had run its course as of the end of Gears of War 3. I’m not saying more games are absolutely going to be great, but I think potential is there if the right studio tries hard enough.
Maybe part of it is that I want to see what Gears looks like running on the Xbox One (or modern PCs possibly). Every successful franchise brings that anticipation of what it might be like running on more powerful hardware. I think that’s the main reason game franchises get so many sequels over the years, like continual updates to standard software.
Maybe I’m not as tired of Gears as some people because I played almost the whole series at once. I immediately noticed the additions and improvements that each iteration brought to the table. I even feel like Gears is unique among the third person shooters it inspired, likely because I first played it after having played many of those other games.
I guess the future of that quality depends on Black Tusk Studios — an unproven developer. Epic was able to keep Gears fresh with continually good level design, interesting enemies, and inventive weapons. People Can Fly couldn’t bring quite the same pedigree to Judgment. Who knows what Black Tustk will do.
To people worried the storyline has nowhere to go since Gears 3 ended the human-locust conflict pretty decisively, I don’t really think so. I remember Epic’s Cliff Blezinski saying Gears is about humans fighting locusts with chainsaw rifles, so you have to have that at least. What a lot of people seem to overlook though is the story of the main Gears trilogy takes place at the tail end of a 15-year global war. There are 14 other years of warfare and an almost infinite number of other characters and places for Black Tusk to cover. Why not the stranded, or other Gears, or whatever? They don’t have to make up some kind of stupid “after the war” storyline here. They’ll probably have to let go of Marcus Fenix though. For instance, just what were Dom, Baird, Kim, and Cole doing while Marcus was locked up? Judgment covered a fraction of that.
For the most part that’s just talking about the campaign and maybe multiplayer though. To be honest all I really care about at this point is horde mode. Maybe I enjoyed horde in Gears 3 more than most people, but I found it to be a really well-crafted, balanced mode that should live on. It was more or less the last reason I kept paying for Live Gold.
That would be the main reason I’d even think about playing Gears in the future and I still don’t understand why Judgment didn’t have it. I’d be perfectly fine if Microsoft just released horde mode as a standalone game or something, even if it was free-to-play (assuming the microtransactions aren’t stupid).
- Anybody else prefer playing Spelunky with the Street Fighter FightPad?