Gears of War 3 designer Cliffy B is no stranger to cool ideas. From placing a chainsaw on the end of a machine gun to letting gamers play as the enemy, Epic Games has always delivered new and interesting content with each Gears title — even going so far as attempting to include a cross-game cameo.
In a recent interview, Cliff was very open about one such cameo that gamers have been clamoring for since the day both Gears and Halo achieved their tier-1 status as Xbox 360 exclusives; a cameo that was unfortunately vetoed by Microsoft.
When asked if gamers might see the appearance of Master Chief, main protagonist from the Halo franchise, in Gears of War 3 Blezinski’s response hinted that although there was some interest on the part of Epic, Microsoft wasn’t interested in tarnishing their brand. Not to say that Gears isn’t a brand that Microsoft is satisfied with, just that the two have a very different aim — especially in the ESRB rating category.
Is there any chance we could see Master Chief or Commander Shepard join Marcus Fenix fighting Locust in a Heroes Pack DLC?
I’ll let you in on a secret. I actually approached Microsoft on getting Master Chief into the game, but those guys are kind of squeamish. One of Halo’s successes is that it’s a soft M [rating]. Gears pushes it further. I’m creatively comfortable with that, though it can limit what you do. If you had to break it down, I’d say that Gears is like Mortal Kombat and Halo is like Street Fighter. [Laughs.]
But if we were to get Master Chief, we’d get his model, put him in a COG suit, make it blow up, and do some test animation work. We’d have to see what his head looks like being blown to smithereens or how his arm would look getting sawed off. Then we’d package up the test footage, put it on YouTube, and let the fans get a kick out of it because everything is meta these days. That’s why Gears is packed with Easter eggs. That’s the kind of metagame we have to think about in a post-Red Dead Redemption world.
Blezinski’s statements on the “soft M” that Halo goes for might also be an indicator as to why gamers had no chance of seeing Master Chief as playable in the recently released Mortal Kombat. Master Chief was, of course, the prime candidate for a console exclusive, but like with Gears, his gentler persona was holding him back.
While seeing Master Chief, and perhaps Commander Shepard, fight off a Locust horde with Marcus Fenix would have been a real treat for Gears of War fans, it just wasn’t in the cards. However, as promised by Blezinski, Gears of War 3 will be “packed deep” with Easter Eggs that will make this trilogy-ending entry the densest yet.
After a delay pushed Gears into Fall of 2011, many gamers feared that the wait would be nigh unbearable. Having to wait an extra 6+ months just so Microsoft could have a Holiday exclusive made sense, but it didn’t ease the pain tons of gamers felt.
Then, like a knight in shining armor, Blezinski announced that Gears of War 3 would be receiving a multiplayer beta — one that would be accessible via various avenues. Now, having experienced the game, in one form or another, gamers have forgiven what was once thought of as a significant blow to Gears’ fans self esteem.
It might not have Master Chief or Commander Shepard Easter Eggs in it, but Gears of War 3 is on its way, and it’s bringing a ton of satisfying content with it.
Do you think we will ever see the day when Marcus Fenix and Master Chief team up in a video game? What other Xbox 360 characters would you like to have seen in Gears of War 3?
Gears of War 3 releases September 20, 2011 for the Xbox 360.