Extra Punctuation: Manly Vs. Macho in Gears

Zhukov

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Dec 29, 2009
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That reminds me, why exactly were the Locusts in Gears deemed evil?

Sure, they didn't exactly treat their pets nicely, but beyond that, what gave them the "bad guy" label apart from being slightly uglier than the average human soldier?
 

hermes

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Zhukov said:
That reminds me, why exactly were the Locusts in Gears evil?
Sure, they didn't exactly treat their pets nicely, but beyond that, what gave them the "bad guy" label apart from being slightly uglier than the average human soldier?
They are the ones shooting at you. Therefore, they are evil...

On Resistance 3, I feel like the entire game was kind of rushed, like there are entire chapters in the middle were simply removed... Glad to see I am not the only one that noticed it.
 

Iron Lightning

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Oct 19, 2009
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So is it more of a shame that Resistance 3 failed to fully rip off Half-Life 2 by having a character who talks sometimes or that Resistance 3 then failed to fully develop that character?
 

Frostbite3789

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hermes200 said:
They are the ones shooting at you. Therefore, they are evil...
And this is where I feel like Beast Mode fell short. Sure it's fun and all, but it could've been so much more than just 'fun distraction'. It could've been, "These bastards screwed us!" and had some story to it. Instead it was merely inverse horde mode.
 

hansari

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How have so many people failed to realize that Gears of War is a comedy???
 

Pyramid Head

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Wait... wait... he lures an entire swarm of Locusts to a town and causes a massacre? I'm sorry, but isn't Fenix supposed to be a professional? HE NEVER LEARNED TO CHECK HIS FUCKING TAIL?! NO ONE ELSE ON THE TEAM KNEW TO MAKE SURE THEY WEREN'T BEING FOLLOWED?!
Suddenly i'm very glad i didn't bother with Gears 3 and am holding out for the new Batman and Saint's Row titles to review. But still, sometimes you look at this bullshit and are tempted to try and make a game yourself only to realize you don't have the money or resources to do so. Then you get real depressed, and then your neighbors go missing and you've got a two day gap in your memory.
 

Versuvius

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Ratchet and Clank had the billion guns/silent gameplay/voiced cutscenes before Half Life >.> just saying.

(Also a better game series)
 

Sixcess

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Pyramid Head said:
Wait... wait... he lures an entire swarm of Locusts to a town and causes a massacre? I'm sorry, but isn't Fenix supposed to be a professional? HE NEVER LEARNED TO CHECK HIS FUCKING TAIL?! NO ONE ELSE ON THE TEAM KNEW TO MAKE SURE THEY WEREN'T BEING FOLLOWED?!
It's not his fault. With that neck looking over his shoulder would be very difficult, I guess.
 

Drake666

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Sixcess said:
Pyramid Head said:
Wait... wait... he lures an entire swarm of Locusts to a town and causes a massacre? I'm sorry, but isn't Fenix supposed to be a professional? HE NEVER LEARNED TO CHECK HIS FUCKING TAIL?! NO ONE ELSE ON THE TEAM KNEW TO MAKE SURE THEY WEREN'T BEING FOLLOWED?!
It's not his fault. With that neck looking over his shoulder would be very difficult, I guess.
Ok, that worth a lots of Internets!!! *gives wrapped Internets*
 

hermes

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Frostbite3789 said:
hermes200 said:
They are the ones shooting at you. Therefore, they are evil...
And this is where I feel like Beast Mode fell short. Sure it's fun and all, but it could've been so much more than just 'fun distraction'. It could've been, "These bastards screwed us!" and had some story to it. Instead it was merely inverse horde mode.
I have the utmost respect for Epic as game designers, but storytellers its not their strong suit.
Sexy Devil said:
hermes200 said:
On Resistance 3, I feel like the entire game was kind of rushed, like there are entire chapters in the middle were simply removed... Glad to see I am not the only one that noticed it.
It's more that they treated gameplay and story as completely separate entities; all they expect you to do while playing is blow stuff up and they leave any story and characterisation to cut scenes. While it is immensely fun, I don't think Insomniac has ever quite grasped that their writing could be a hell of a lot better if they just made use of that time for something other than explosions. As such they never bothered with development which would make some of the more perplexing cut scenes like the spoiler Yahtzee mentioned make a lot more sense.
I get your point and I agree with you (although I think R&C is slightly better in that regard), but that was not my point.
My point is, the game feels like a lot of the content was left on the editing floor... I had the feeling that entire maps (with their introductory cutscenes) were cut clean and lots of things were left unanswered (or even worst, untouched). I get that many times developers have to cut stuff to make to deadlines, but for the sake of storytelling some things should be left uncut (or, at least, moved somewhere else). One moment we are running for our dear life and the next we are at the heart of the Chimeran invasion, with nothing in between. Maybe some of the things Yatzhee mentions in the article,
like a proper character growth for Capelli and a motivation to give a damn about Malikov's death, other than the initial nag from his wife. Or the fact that she is Hale's sister (I guess suitable men and women are not so common in this distopian world, but to marry your brother's killer? That would have been an uncomfortable first date)
were to be expanded on the lost levels, but we may never know... If anything, we have to take the character at face value.
 

GonzoGamer

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hansari said:
How have so many people failed to realize that Gears of War is a comedy???
They should've stuck with their original idea of having a laugh-track like on a sitcom.

I've been playing games too long to expect a good story out of a game. Back in the day, games didn't have a story; at least not one that required more than a paragraph at the beginning of the manual. In fact (besides the old RPGs) the fact that most games actually have a story is still pretty novel to me.
That said, most game stories (even the ones that people rave about like Heavy Rain & Mass Effect) are really pedestrian as if they're plagiarizing fan-fiction. Like R*, every time I get the feeling that they want me to get weepy over a plot point, it usually just makes me laugh.
What I'm saying is, of all the things to put resources into for a game, the story doesn't really need much of a priority. Besides, when it is given the priority, it doesn't ever seem to be worth it.
In fact I'm surprised the devs haven't made it a contest or something: get the fans to write in their ideas for the story. It can't turn out much worse. Besides, it's a less important than beta testing which is given away as a prize now.
 

Darkong

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Zhukov said:
That reminds me, why exactly were the Locusts in Gears deemed evil?

Sure, they didn't exactly treat their pets nicely, but beyond that, what gave them the "bad guy" label apart from being slightly uglier than the average human soldier?
They were the non-human party, because as well all know, humans are always the bastions of good and righteousness.
 

mjc0961

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Nov 30, 2009
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Pyramid Head said:
Wait... wait... he lures an entire swarm of Locusts to a town and causes a massacre? I'm sorry, but isn't Fenix supposed to be a professional? HE NEVER LEARNED TO CHECK HIS FUCKING TAIL?! NO ONE ELSE ON THE TEAM KNEW TO MAKE SURE THEY WEREN'T BEING FOLLOWED?!
Lures isn't exactly accurate. It's not like he purposely says "Hmm, I'm going to bring these locust here to this settlement." and they weren't right on his tail when he goes to that settlement either. Furthermore, the leader of the settlement isn't completely blameless either,
seeing as he kidnaps Dizzy and threatens to kill him if Marcus and his squad don't go and do some chores for him. And it's when Marcus is gone doing said chores that the locust show up to ruin everyone's day, leaving the settlement pretty much defenseless.

Zhukov said:
That reminds me, why exactly were the Locusts in Gears deemed evil?

Sure, they didn't exactly treat their pets nicely, but beyond that, what gave them the "bad guy" label apart from being slightly uglier than the average human soldier?
You know, actually playing the games would really help with clearing that up.
 

Therumancer

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Nov 28, 2007
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Sometimes it bugs me how often Yahtzee can give biting insights, and other times he can miss a huge amount of the point almost entirely. Sometimes I thing he's just sounding off for the sake of sounding off.

I'm not a huge "Gears Of War" fan, but understand that we're dealing with characters who are career military, and a protaganist who is a hardened veteran before the game even starts, and has also done a fairly notable stint in a military prison.

Military training by it's very nature is supposed to strip away most signs of emotion and individuality, the idea being to replace everything you are with something better... well better in the context of killing people and breaking things in pursuit of a goal someone else decides on. Soldiers who recognize the enemy as having valid points of view, or being regular people with lives and families are kind of useless in reality. All arguements about politics and morality, when your fighting to win soldiers who pause to contemplate the inhumanity of war and what they are doing to their enemy in the midst of a battle can't do the job. The last thing you need is for the guy standing there protecting you to pause and go "OMG, I can't kill this poor unfortunate" while that guy proceeds to kill him and then turns around and massacres you and your entire civilization.

We could sit here and argue about the morality of this entire thing, and the nessecity of it, but I doubt I could do a better job of explaining it and WHY it's needed anymore than say Heinlan's "Starship Troopers".

When looking at a game featuring the military, especially characters who are supposed to be experienced veterans... yes, they are going to be fairly uniform. That's actually good writing since this is what the system produces. Take one of those guys, toss him into a military prison where emotion is a weakness (prison can be very dehumanizing on people who want to survive it, especially military prison), and then toss him back out into an apocolyptic war... and yeah... Marcus Fenix is pretty much what your going to get. If he was any other way it would actually have been bad writing given the backround which ties into the entire thing.... and this is a defense being made by someone who doesn't paticularly like the game in question.

Simply put the whole "Macho" attitude we see here, is kind of realistic for the kinds of characters we tend to deal with. In general people have differant mechanisms for turning out that way. Joking about everything and becoming a sort of macabre clown who takes nothing seriously while doing their job with lethal precisian, or becoming the aloof "Marcus Fenix" type are both very typical ways of dealing with this kind of life.


As far as cutting down bad guys who have legitimate points of view and/or justifications for what they are doing, that's pretty much reality. In general nobody wakes up and decides "we're going to be really evil today just for the heck of it" everything happens for a reason. Of course the Locust/Chimera/Muslims/Whatever have legitimate reasons for doing what they are doing from their own perspective, some of which might even seem fairly reasonable to the other side, if they didn't there wouldn't be a massive scale war. This is incidently exactly WHY you dehumanize your soldiers and strip away a lot of their empathy. In the end pretty much all wars come down to "us or them", "my side, and their side", the bad guy and the good guy are all matters of point of view, and when it's come down to a war only one side is going to be left functioning, and that's the side that gets to record history.

A situation where a bad guy goes off about how legitimate their cause is and then gets cut down by some grunting soldier who might have a personal vendetta is pretty much a summary of war in a nutshell. In the end the point of view of the loser doesn't matter, it's all about who wins.... and in "Gears Of War" it is very much an "us or them" type situation no matter who might have the overall moral high ground when you scrape all the muck away.

Honestly from what I know of the series "Gears Of War" set out to make a sort of commentary on the nature of war, and really from the plot points I've seen it's done a fairly good job of making the points it set out to do. Marcus Fenix might be stereotypical to some extent, but I suspect that's kind of the point, as is the simple point that once a war breaks out
the reasons behind it no longer matter, with it being the job of a soldier to end the war favorably for their side or die trying.

But then again, the realities of war have never really sat well with the left wing regardless of what name it uses in a given country.
 

Dalek Caan

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Feb 12, 2011
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Zhukov said:
That reminds me, why exactly were the Locusts in Gears deemed evil?

Sure, they didn't exactly treat their pets nicely, but beyond that, what gave them the "bad guy" label apart from being slightly uglier than the average human soldier?
On E-Day they appeared out of their little holes and slaughtered every man, women and child. Pretty darn evil if I say so myself.

OT: I blame the imulsion for everything that happens in the game. I liked it when Marcus shouted at Griffin anyway, that guy was a asshole and a half if there ever was one.
 

Yahtzee Croshaw

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Versuvius said:
Ratchet and Clank had the billion guns/silent gameplay/voiced cutscenes before Half Life >.> just saying.

(Also a better game series)
Is this guy being serious? And don't say troll because I've never seen a malformed humanoid asking for money after popping out from the depths below a bridge on the internet... Or a rasta-dancing jamacian-talking tusk bearing... AUGGHHHHH

But honestly I love ratchet, but Half Life 1 was out before the PS2 was on the market. A game featuring the same mentioned keypoints, hence why HL2 kept in line on it's way of glory. Yet I'd say that Contra has em both licked time-wise.

What do you mean the cutscenes aren't voiced?
...Well try explaining that to a deaf person Kyle, you'll always be wrong!

Yahtzee great article, I understand what the point is. Yet I wonder if the lack of cutscenes would benefit development by forcing the story to be given to you in game. Recent games that would benefit greatly would be Dead Island and Deus Ex (Generally the stealth kills).

What cutscenes are in their most simple form, are just movies. Why you would chose to use another form of entertainment in order to portray the world or ideas of a completely different medium you would like to show is baffling. And as a company, I would imagine all of those programmers didn't just get done shooting and directing any movie, or a good one that help evolves the medium for the exceptions. Hence why wasting time to create pre-rendered or pre-baked cutscenes to push ahead your story can ironically be holding back some games, in tone and immersion.

This is in contrast to focusing the experience of fighting for the survival of yourself based on the rules of the world you are given. When there can be a knife cut between what happens as you play and what happens in cutscenes in regards to the game world, immersion dies instantly. Kind of like when Aries dies in FF7, the question of what really happens when you lose all of your HP comes straight to mind considering spells and items can already fix that.

But I'm off topic. I just believe alot of titles would be stronger in my mind if I stayed constantly inside of the game world, learning much more as I take everything in playing as the main protagonist, rather than being stuck watching a montage of what is supposed to be my character. Especially if they decided to make the character (or any characters around) just an all around twit. Yes again there are many exceptions include GTA and RDR, yet even those two are still giving you the story after the end of the scene at the same time you're plowing through about 20 hipsters hanging out in central par. Those two are examples of games oozing with story and love.

If you want cutscenes, please do it like that. Otherwise just give us something compelling from our own perspective, let us do the talking (or thinking) for the player and finally we would have another player to project our moral decisions and past convictions on.

Ugh Ive been writing too long but I want to add this idea.
I really enjoy the system of Lost Planet, however what if the game was based around you being alone scavaging the landslide for thermal energy to fix up a base, finding mechs and weapons on the way to bring home to the shed. Making you learn not only survival through harsh environment, but forcing a player to decide what's more important in ones own interest. Let's say one area forces you to decide on rerouting power to your home, allowing you to consume less at night in order to not freeze, or chose a beauitful mechanical chassis with better capability allowing you to explore in explored regions easier and safer. Another may be being choosing between opening up a second base to have an easier time to keep from getting stuck in the cold or choosing to help a group of people that need you to help them exist after getting marooned themselves without any knowledge of whether it may be a trap. These are simple yet difficult decisions that would push any gamer to decide roughly and quickly or lose both in some instances. Causing what I would think would be an emotionally stressing, visually explosive, white-knuckle experience that in the end would make one feel the true fear of surviving the odds. And winning.
 

Tzekelkan

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Good article, Croshaw. It always bugged me when characters are voiced in a cutscene, but mute in gameplay. Either go the full Half-Life style without any cutscenes, or GTA III style, I guess, with mute cutscenes, but if you're gonna give the character a voice, let him talk.

Unless it's for him to just sound off the same one-liner over and over... if that's the case, just throw the game away and start a new career.
 

Dogstile

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Pyramid Head said:
Wait... wait... he lures an entire swarm of Locusts to a town and causes a massacre? I'm sorry, but isn't Fenix supposed to be a professional? HE NEVER LEARNED TO CHECK HIS FUCKING TAIL?! NO ONE ELSE ON THE TEAM KNEW TO MAKE SURE THEY WEREN'T BEING FOLLOWED?!
Lure isn't really the word for it. Locust are absolutely everywhere and this settlement actually has locust polyps in containers. Its not like Marcus went "fuck it, i want to fuck these people over".

Chalk that one up to bad wording. And no, I didn't buy gears, I've just played it at a friends.