Bleszinski: Gears Became a Negative Stereotype

The Wooster

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Jul 15, 2008
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Bleszinski: Gears Became a Negative Stereotype


Cliff Bleszinski reckons a little bit of Gears of War's heart got lost in the design process, something he hopes to avoid in the future.

Gears of War, for those of you who live under rocks, is a game about gargantuan hunchbacks shooting aliens, pausing only to shout angrily at each other and grimace. As far as modern video game narratives go, it really doesn't get more clichéd than that. According to Gears designer, Cliff Bleszinski, some of the game's more intellectual themes got lost during the design process.

"Gears was always meant to be a lot more Band of Brothers than Predator, and that's one of the things that, in hindsight, if I could go back and change I would," he told Penny Arcade. "The characters didn't need to be huge, although it turned out to be an iconic thing. I never stood in front of the company and said I wanted to see the biggest, most macho motherfuckers you could ever see, that never happened. [The character design] happened completely organically."

"[Gears] became a negative stereotype in this generation. I want to be smarter about that in the future," he continued.

While some of you may have set your scoff beams to maximum in response to the idea that Gears was ever supposed to be anything other than a violent, machismo-drenched, teenager-appeasing romp, the series does occasionally hint at a more philosophical underpinning. From the subdued but effective ad-spots, to the way the games themselves juxtapose juvenile violence against architecturally beautiful environments, it's clear that Gears had something to say, it was just mostly drowned out by the constant gunfire.

"If I were to pass Gears off to another studio, and they came back with a pitch of having a double-edged chainsaw, and the characters are more buff, and now you can pull off someone's head and shit down their neck, and they had a character that makes Cole look tame... I would look at them and say no, you're going in the exact wrong direction," he said. "Gears is always some of that, but I would want to further evolve it in more of a Christopher Nolan way."

The first person to not post the obvious "we have to go deeper" reference wins my respect.

Source: Penny Arcade [http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/cliff-bleszinski-explains-how-gears-of-war-is-more-personal-than-you-think]


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Nouw

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Mar 18, 2009
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I would definitely play any sort of Band of Brothers style videogame done right. Cliffy B, you have my money!
 

Lost In The Void

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Aug 27, 2008
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I kind of do wish it went in that direction. I loved gears regardless but it would have been interesting to see the ideas of a destroyed world with more emotion than just anger or sadistic glee. On another note cue the cliffy b hate because he's totally a manchild and all that jazz
 

ResonanceSD

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Could have reversed direction for gears 2, decided to MAKE ALL THE MONEY instead.
 

Sniper Team 4

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Hm...I got that from the books. They were trying to do something more than the video games were. And I don't care what you say, that scene in Gears 2 is heartbreaking. That struck a cord with me, so there were moments in the series where I saw deeper emotions.
Unfortunately, reading the books ruined the final game for me. There were so many plotlines that were left hanging in the last book that should have been answered in Gears 3, but weren't. They were even still raising questions MINUTES before the final battle. That's not right, not for a game that's supposed to be a conclusion.
Knowing that this is how Cliff Bleszinski wanted to run the series, I'm forced to wonder if his original version tried to force it's way back into the games and ended up making them lose focus.
 

80Maxwell08

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So basically not even Cliffy B likes the Gears characters. Wow I wish I still knew that fanboy from high school so I could slap him in the face with that little bit of info. Well whatever he likes Gears I don't.
 

Doclector

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You're waiting for a giant worm. You don't know where it'll take you, but you know it will be okay because we'll be GRAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!

I actually did see this at points. It's not as if the characters aren't likeable, they're just cliched, it's kinda hard as an average person to relate to someone with arms like construction girders.

Sometimes it worked well, and sometimes, not so much. For example, dom's wife missing-Annoying.
Dom's final sacrifice-heartbreaking
.

Cliffy B going artsy on us though? I dunno...it could go well, but considering epic's past games, I wonder whether he should just stick to popcorn action.
 

Rednog

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Wait CliffyB wants his games to be taken seriously...and yet he follows up with a game like BulletStorm.
This guy is a walking embodiment of a frat guy.
You want to be taken seriously but when people criticize your game your first reaction is basically akin to "you're all haters!"
Sorry Cliffy but when you conduct yourself as a Dbag and piss all over the PC market don't expect people to take you seriously and look at your with adoring eyes.
 

Monkeyman O'Brien

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Meh, I have no trouble believing that. Of course I am one of the 7 people in the world who bothered to read the Gears books which is where most of the series heart is located. So I have a vastly different outlook on the series than most. But unfortunately shit just don't work that way. You can't expect everyone to read the accompanying books/comics/whatevers. So maybe he should have focused a little more on turning even just some of the book content into episodic content to be released between the games. If he were to do that and release all 3 games with episodic content in one big pack then it would portray the entire series in a whole new light.
Too bad Cliffy B is a moronic wanker and is all talk.
 

TsunamiWombat

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Rednog said:
Wait CliffyB wants his games to be taken seriously...and yet he follows up with a game like BulletStorm.
This guy is a walking embodiment of a frat guy.
You want to be taken seriously but when people criticize your game your first reaction is basically akin to "you're all haters!"
Sorry Cliffy but when you conduct yourself as a Dbag and piss all over the PC market don't expect people to take you seriously and look at your with adoring eyes.
People Can Fly made Bulletstorm - which was effing awesome, by the way - Blezinski's company just published it, then swiftly buried the IP when it didn't meet sales expectations.
 

OldDirtyCrusty

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I liked Gears 1, when they weren`t even trying to set up deeper characters and emotions.
Gears 2 big emotional scene just made me shaking my head in disbelief and then burst out in laughter.

minor Spoiler:

I mean i use the same gun for gushy locust head explosions. Besides there are better ways to get the same result. The way Epic handled it felt stupid. They took the "horse with a broken leg"routine.
 

Jekken6

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In regards to a Band of Brothers style game, the Brothers In Arms series has come the closest in getting a similar feeling, while the gameplay still being fun and a bit realistic.
 

Treblaine

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Jul 25, 2008
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"Gears was always meant to be a lot more Band of Brothers than Predator"

Shame it ended up like neither, almost as if caught between the two.

Predator was a great movie because it embraced what it was, cheesy, melodramatic and awesome rather than sombre, deep and profound. Gears floundered because it wanted to have both but got neither.

Still a good game even if meh narrative/characterisation.
 

mightybozz

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Aug 20, 2009
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He thinks that " a Christopher Nolan way" would make things more sensitive and thoughtful?

[insert sarcastic laughter]
 

LazyAza

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I always thought their was more to Gears than its general image showcased. I certainly felt something when Dom died. It would have been nice if its narrative and writing was closer to that of Uncharted's complexity but eh I enjoyed playing the 3 games enough I didn't think the series suffered immensely for it. Will be cool if Epics next franchise is more mature in the traditional sense.