An interview with various members of developer The Coalition reveals that Gears of War 4 will be the start of a brand new trilogy with more humble beginnings.

According to the interview, Gears of War 4‘s story is being explicitly crafted by developer The Coalition to expand the franchise’s game universe, and the upcoming installment will also jump start a new trilogy built to capitalize on this extended universe. Rod Fergusson, the studio head behind the project, said that the team considered many different options before settling on the narrative they chose for Gears of War 4. During the interview, Fergusson elaborated, stating:

“We talked about things like alternate planets and things like that [but] we wanted to stay on Sera because we wanted to have the opportunity to revisit old places and use specific weapons, to have these touchstones to the past.”

As it turns out, The Coalition has already started crafting a brand new trilogy based around the spiffy narrative, as was confirmed by Chuck Osieja, creative director for Gears 4, during the same interview.

“For us it was ok, moving forward, how do we setup a foundation for not just a trilogy, but for a much larger universe.”

Fergusson, who also worked on the previous Gears of War trilogy that was developed by Epic Games, stated that the beginning of Gears of War 4 will be a little bit smaller in scale than the epic battle players were thrust into during the series’ first game. Instead, Gears of War 4 will begin with JD Fenix, son of the famous Marcus Fenix from the first trilogy, operating outside of the military hierarchy after abandoning their mission in pursuit of something they feel is more important.

Exactly why JD and teammates Kate Diaz and Del Walker have decided to go AWOL hasn’t been revealed yet, but Fergusson describes them as “a sort of splinter faction for people who didn’t want to live under the oppression of the new COG.” Interestingly enough, whatever adventures JD and company end up embroiled in will only last a span of one night, as the game will start during an afternoon and end the morning after. The Coalition wants to return Gears of War 4 to the survival-horror elements that enriched the original game’s narrative so much, and it’s a safe bet that things will start to get much more tense as night falls within the campaign.

gears of war 4 cutscene kate diaz

While Gears of War 4‘s release date is still unconfirmed, those eager for a taste of what the newest game will be like won’t have to wait much longer. The Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta begins in April and will extend all the way through to May 1, and will also feature JD, Kate, and Del as playable characters during this period. The multiplayer will also feature three different factions, allowing players to battle as the Outsiders, COG soldiers, or the terrifying monsters of the Swarm, the spiritual successors to the Locust threat from the first Gears of War trilogy.

It’s clear that The Coalition isn’t underestimating how important narrative can be to a game’s success, but the studio also isn’t trying to break the mold of what made Gears of War so popular in the first place. Fergusson said that they aren’t trying to create “the greatest story ever told,” but rather a blend of “compelling characters, [an interesting] world, and doing cool [stuff].” That means additions like the Gears of War 4 split-screen co-op option both online and locally, an inclusion that has become increasingly rare in the digital age of video gaming.

What do you think about the guarantee there will be at least two more Gears of War games after Gears of War 4? How much does the world-building and narrative mean to you in a series like this? Let us know in the comments below.

Gears of War 4 will be available later this year, exclusively for Xbox One.

Source: Game Informer (via GameSpot)