Thursday, February 3

Cliff B chats about Gears's inspiration and women...

Gears of War 3 is coming this fall (so that means spring for  those who live below the equator) and it’s promisng to be the ultimate game in the trilogy. Cliff Bleszinski has been the mouth piece for the game’s reign in the charts and the forthcoming release means the comm chatter has stepped up a notch.

But first, some context and background about wear GOW3 is headed. It is set eighteen months after the fall of Jacinto witnessed at the end of Gears 2. The Gears including our heroes Marcus and Dom as well as what’s left of The Stranded are living aboard a converted hovercraft on the island of Vectes but with the emulsion infected Lambent on the rise, it is only a matter of time before both the Gears and the Locust are threatened by this new enemy.

While Gears of War can be described  as a work of science fiction, horror has been just as important in shaping its design aesthetics.  Cliff Bleszinski has cited two sci-fi horror films as having a particularly big impact on the look, feel, and evolution of the series: John McTiernan's Predator (1987) and John Carpenter's The Thing (1982).

Mr Carpenter's movie about a shape-shifting alien slaughtering scientists in the Antarctic inspired Gears of War 3's new Lambent breeds, which are Locusts that mutated due to prolonged exposure to Imulsion. 

"What we're doing in Gears 3 with the rapidly mutating Lambent's safe to say that we're all fans of Carpenter's The Thing." I love that spider thing that eats the dog myself!

There are also a host of  new playable female protagonists in Gears 3 which are based on people from Bleszinski's own life: "Samantha 'Sam' Byrne is named after a Sri Lankan girl that I know, and Anya is based on someone I used to know."

In addition to Anya and Sam, another important relationship the upcoming sequel explores was influenced by one of the most painful things in life: the death of a parent. "Several of the leads-myself included-lost their fathers at early ages," Bleszinski says, "which is why Adam Fenix, Marcus' father, is seemingly back from the dead in Gears of War 3."

I personally think the 'back from the dead' line is a bit of a stretch given anyone who watched the end credits of G2 will know Adam Fenix is alive.

Sam and Anya Stroud joining the ranks of Delta Squad is a significant shift from the male dominate point of view the previous games. Cliff Bleszinski explains that the new female recruits are just as battle-ready as the rest of Delta Squad. We're seeing women on the battlefield now in Gears because of a greater demand for more soldiers regardless of sex and a society where gender lines are less relevant. "In the fiction of Gears of War, the gloves are now off, and everyone needs to grab a gun," Bleszinski says. "Previously, any female capable of breeding was tasked with procreating. But we're past that point now. The women of Sera need to curbstomp with the rest of 'em."

Cliff says that Gears of War 3 will answer a majority of the questions raised over the course of the series, particularly about the history of the world.

Resolution will be reached, but Bleszinski says bringing closure to everything that's happened since the original Gears of War is impossible. "We're not answering everything mysterious about the world," he says, "just many important, outstanding questions. We have more exposition in Gears of War 3-so we've had to be very careful with piecing together the story while balancing it with the action. But I think we're hitting a sweet spot of action-filled crunchy shooter gameplay with exposition this time.”

So it sounds like Cliff and the boys are making a huge effort to up the ante for Gears of War 3 to make sure the series goes out with a band.

This is not necessarily the end for the Gears franchise however as eagle eyed fans have spotted that Gears of War: Exile has been trade marked. This could be a possible spin off and also may take advantage of the new Xbox Kinect technology. 

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