After the emotional roller coaster that was Gears of War 3, fans could sure use a break from all of that death and destruction. While getting to see how the story of Marcus, Dom, Baird, and Cole Train (among others) came to a close was an arguably satisfying experience, the series could use a little levity to balance the mood.
As such, Epic Games has revealed that Gears of War: Judgment — the forthcoming prequel to the numbered Gears of War games — will be much lighter in tone than past series entries. There will still be plenty of Locust death and destruction, mind you, but the development teams at Epic and People Can Fly are apparently going for a more “fun” atmosphere.
Speaking with Shacknews, Epic Games Writer Rob Auten shed a little more light on this change in tone, saying:
“There are some truly dark moments, as there should be in a game about monsters exploding. But ultimately we did try to go for a tone that was fun, and you want to hang out with these characters in the sense that they’re fun to listen to interact with each other. All my favorite moments of Gears are the ones that had a little bit of lightness to the horror.”
With a game that focuses more on the series’ comic relief characters it makes sense that Gears of War: Judgment would carry scenes that feature far more levity. And who doesn’t love seeing Baird or Cole crack wise? We’d be a bit uneasy about a different developer helping out, though, but People Can Fly showed off some of those comedic sensibilities with Bulletstorm (2010), a title that likely played a part in Epic Games handing over their franchise’s reigns.
And for those who like their chainsaw battles and curb stomping, the recent Spike VGAs trailer, which shed more light on the game’s post-Emergence Day story, confirmed that despite any change in tone this will still be a recognizable Gears of War experience.
As well, Writer Tom Bissell talked about the new interpersonal dynamics being introduced — a byproduct of a game that features characters fans of the series will be meeting for the first time. Rather than a previously established troop, Judgment will feature a mixture of familiar faces and new NPCs.
“They’re getting to know each other, they poke at each other. And they’re in a totally absurd situation, and there’s a sort of comedy in that absurd situation. It’s Gears of War, it’s fun, you’re not playing this game to experience guilt and remorse…These guys are nascent soldiers, so you drop in more experienced soldiers from either side of the Serran conflict, all of a sudden you have this equation for questions and doubt and factionalism and ribbing.”
Based on Auten and Bissell’s comments it sounds like Gears of War: Judgment will be retaining much of what makes the franchise appealing, but will leverage the inherent personalities of its main characters to tell a story that doesn’t pull any punches and has its fair share of lighter moments. For a game that is coming at a time when many might be looking for the Gears series to evolve, we hope that some humorous writing isn’t the only trick People Can Fly has up their sleeve. And that the recent departures from Epic don’t impact development.
What do you think about Gears of War: Judgment featuring a lighter tone? What are you concerns about the game?
Gears of War: Judgment releases March 19, 2013 for the Xbox 360.