Gears of War: Judgment writers say story is unique

Tom Bissell, Rob Auten detail say cover-based shooter franchise prequel has renewed narrative focus.

The writers behind the latest installment in the Gears of War franchise say they are excited about the story they have to tell. Tom Bissell, New Yorker contributor and author of Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter, and Rob Auten, a Twentieth Century Fox consultant who worked on Avatar, spoke with Eurogamer about why they wanted to work on Gears of War: Judgment, and what they say makes it unique for the series.

Precious bro-ments.

"We really tried to make this a character-driven game," Bissell said. "We actually tried to give [main characters Cole Train and Damon Baird] more moments to actually see them relate to each other as guys that really love each other and we worked really hard on making that connection something that's actually real."

Bissell and Auten said they were attracted to work on the cover-based shooter prequel because the games appealed to their latent teenage sci-fi fan sensibilities within the context of a dark, interesting world. Bissell said simple foes like the locust afford the game more time to develop its protagonists.

These moments are part and parcel with the game itself, the writers said.

"In this game the story is literally moving through the level. The story elements we're adding and cutscenes are the testimony moments and talking to the judge," Bissell said. "We're getting all of our storytelling juice into the moments that the player's actually playing."

Gears of War: Judgment is being co-developed by Bulletstorm studio People Can Fly and Epic Games and is set for release on Xbox 360 on March 19, 2013. The game's new free-for-all multiplayer mode will be unveiled at PAX Prime this week in Seattle.

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Discussion

21 comments
Shame-usBlackley
Shame-usBlackley

The Gears storyline was trash. I don't expect this to be any different. It doesn't really matter, though, because Gears (at least up until 3) is a well-made series. I don't think this spinoff is going to be worth a squirt of piss. It's just Microsoft desperately pleading with Epic to let them have another title because they don't have franchises left. 

Black_Hand_313
Black_Hand_313

The story just isn't a strongpoint for Gears of War. That's not to say it was bad: 2 and 3 improved over the first game's, but after hearing them promise it was going to be so much better with each sequel, I take this with a grain of salt. 

ghost688
ghost688

If i am correct, judment was to make game most hard or to continue the story? or to make a new history? bloody flour, that hurts.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

Wow, the writers say its unique? Thats like an artist judging his own painting.

franzito
franzito

A "bro-mance" story focus? Wow, and I thought the best we could get from characters developing nice relationships was Persona 3 and 4...

doraemonllh1989
doraemonllh1989

"We really tried to make this a character-driven game," Bissell said. "We actually tried to give [main characters Cole Train and Damon Baird] more moments to actually see them relate to each other as guys that really LOVE EACH OTHER and we worked really hard on making that connection something that's actually real."WTH!?

steelmouth
steelmouth

"guys that really love each other" what? O_o

oKiRe
oKiRe

"[main characters Cole Train and Damon Baird] more moments to actually see them relate to each other as guys that really love each other and we worked really hard on making that connection something that's actually real." 

 

o_O?...

SolidTy
SolidTy

"Buy R Game! It's unique. New developers r gud." - Typical PR for any company. Boring. I'll check out the game when it drops, see what People's new take on Geow Is.

 

In the meantime, don't care for the PR. I never cared for the geow Story ever, but I did have hella macho fun with the game.

TrueGB
TrueGB

This just sounds like hype, but I agree with that style of storytelling. I liked Halo better when the Covenant was just some aliens you had to shoot while fighting to survive on a mysterious Forerunner ringworld. The mysteries surrounding the Forerunners and the Spartan program have pretty much driven the whole series so far. We didn't really need to know about Covenant politics (well, for an MMO we would, but that project was scrapped).

CyhortI82
CyhortI82

It's a prequel to a game trilogy that barely had a story. I'm not expecting much here.

Hurvl
Hurvl

 @doraemonllh1989 Lol, I knew people would make a fuss about that quote and (sometimes willingly) misunderstand it. I don't think he's making the story to be a Best of Gaymercon nominee or something like that, but is merely emphasizing the bromance part of the story. Guys *can* be close friends without feeling attracted to each other, you know.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

 @TrueGB Without the Covenant politics, there wouldn't have been an explanation for why the aliens are waging war against humanity. They would just be a collection of species that are hostile to us for no apparent reason.

TrueGB
TrueGB

 @CyhortI82 Actually, it has a very deep story. If you're the kind of gamer that ignores all the little informational bits hidden throughout the levels, then yes, the Gears series seems light on story. They left the main action sequences uninhibited by narrative for the meatheads.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

 @CyhortI82 Gears 1's story was pointless and forgettable, but Gears 2 and 3 were an improvement. Fairly formulaic and predictable storytelling, but still not terrible. Gears 2 and 3 each had at least one good scene with genuine emotional weight

Hurvl
Hurvl

 @Spartan_418  And that's the best reason for going to war with someone :P. I don't know enough about GoW's story to know if the Locust are simply the kill-humans-for-no-apparent-reason type, but that kind of depiction often brings a group together, which makes them bond more with each other.

CyhortI82
CyhortI82

 @TrueGB I found most of that stuff and it was still pretty unimpressive. I tried to care about 2 and 3 because 2 WAS an improvement, but there just wasn't enough there. The cutscenes (except for two emotional scenes with Dom) were mostly just setting up your next objective. No real backstory aside from the bare minimum they could get away with and no real character development. Plus I don't like to have to search through my games to find the story. That's one of the reasons I don't like BioShock as much as I should.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

 @TrueGB It has a good backstory, which is better explained in the novels and stuff. The part that's actually shown in the games doesn't really do it justice. The same could be said of the Halo series

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

 @Hurvl "Politics" isn't the reason, in and of itself. The real reasons the Covenant are killing us (which are spoilers) are related to their politics, though.

 

In Gears 1 and 2, the Locust are indeed portrayed as "kill-humans-for-no-apparent-reason". In Gears 3 though, an important part of the story is finding out why they attacked the humans on the surface.

TrueGB
TrueGB

 @Spartan_418 Oh, I totally agree the novels are where it's at. I'm just saying you can still glean a lot from the games if you pay attention. Obviously it's easier to just read the novels, but you can learn something. Same with Halo, although there tends to be more information to be found there, albeit much harder to find.