Video Q&A: Gears 2 golden, Epic console-focused

Cliff Bleszinski discusses the <i>Gears</i> film, why the factory-bound sequel will <i>never</i> come to the PC, and his belief that Dead Space will be the year's sleeper hit.

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This morning, the inevitable happened: Gears of War 2 went gold. The M-for-Mature-rated sequel to GameSpot's 2006 Game of the Year will ship worldwide on November 7. In the US, the Xbox 360 exclusive will be available in a $59.99 standard and $69.99 limited edition, with Amazon offering a $139.99 preorder bundle featuring a replica of the game's lancer rifle.

Unsurprisingly, Cliff Bleszinski is psyched. "Now that Gears of War [2] is done, the internal vibe from Epic is cautiously optimistic," the game's design director told GameSpot. "There's a lot of expectations to match up to from the first game, as it had a 94 percent average review score and over 5 million copies sold."

Now that the game is gold, Bleszinski's work as the design lead for Gears 2 is, for the moment, done. However, his task as promoter-in-chief is just beginning. At a recent Gears 2 gameplay event in San Francisco, the artist formerly known as CliffyB sat in a darkened room waiting for interview after interview.

"Now the hype train is in full effect for the second one, and there's just a tremendous amount of anticipation to live up to," he reflected. However, Bleszinski never seemed overly bored, wandering around a room with more than two dozen reviewers blazing their way through marathon Gears 2 sessions. He attentively gauged their reactions, like a film director sneaking into a movie premiere or a master chef watching diners sample a new dish.

"If you look at Gears 1, it was kind of Resident Evil meets KillSwitch type of game with, of course, a little Band of Brothers/Medal of Honor thing in there too," he said while watching the onscreen charnel house. "But now that we've established the characters, the gameplay, the universe, now's the time to have fun with it." He went on to explain that Gears 2 will take the best gameplay elements of the original, polish its cover system, and add new multiplayer modes, as outlined in a recent preview.

Given the talk of a trilogy, some gamers have worried that Gears 2 might have an ending like Halo 2's much-derided cliffhanger. Don't worry, Bleszinski assured. "Narrative-wise, each game needs to be a satisfying entity in and of its own space. And I can guarantee that Gears 2 does answer a lot of questions for the universe, but at the same time, it does raise a few questions."

Oh, and that trilogy talk is just that--talk. "I'm somehow quoted as saying Gears would be a trilogy, but I never actually said that," the designer complained. "There was somebody at Microsoft who made some sort of comment like that, but it's not the case. We're taking it at a very much game-by-game basis. If Gears 2 comes out and sells like hotcakes and has great reviews, then we'll consider doing another one."

Another one for the 360, that is. Bleszinski underlined the fact that, though Epic ported the original Gears to the PC, its sequel will never grace the platform. "Gears of War 2 is not coming to the PC. Ever," he said, flatly. "Honestly, at this point, from our business standpoint, it doesn't make a lot of sense right now to put in the amount of effort into doing a PC version."

According to Bleszinski, Epic Games is drifting away from the PC roots laid by its Unreal and Unreal Tournament games in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. "It's pretty safe to say that Epic is a console-focused company that does still support the PC in other ways, such as Unreal Tournament III coming out on the PC and whatnot," he said. "But Gears of War will remain a console franchise... It's one of those situations where the PC market is so scattered between the different hardware configurations and things like that [that] we'd rather continue to have a console focus as a company."

The designer also discussed the Gears of War film, which is being developed by Dark Knight and 300 production company Legendary Films. As part of the deal, Bleszinski, a 17-year veteran of the game industry, came on board as executive producer of the movie, which is tentatively due for a 2010 release.

"Movies are a very interesting business," he said diplomatically. "Acting as executive producer on a game adaption has been a learning process because Hollywood usually starts off with a hell of a lot of phone calls. From there on out, we start working on and cycling a script."

So how far along is the Gears film? "Right now, the script is just being worked on, and that's the stage we're in," said Bleszinski. "There's not a lot more to say right now other than I have a lot of confidence in the talent that's attached to this project. I think [Wanted screenwriter] Chris [Morgan] is an excellent writer, he's a very smart guy who gets the franchise, and [Live Free or Die Hard's] Len [Wiseman] is a visionary director who also happens to be a hell of a guy."

In closing, Bleszinski laid out what he thinks is the essential difference between games and film. "If you have a great video game and a crappy narrative, you still have a great video game," he explained. "If you have a movie that has a bad narrative, you just have a bad movie. But in a video game, if you can tie a great narrative and a great gameplay mechanic together, you have an all-time classic."

And, other than Gears of War 2, what 2008 game does Bleszinski think will come closest to fulfilling that promise? "I'm really looking forward to playing through Dead Space," he said, beaming at the prospect of some time off. "It looks fantastic. Mark my words--It's going to be the sleeper hit of the year."

Discussion

303 comments
ericstifer
ericstifer

he was SOOOO right about dead space! cliffy b....youre the f'in S***!

ZeRo2545
ZeRo2545

Gears of war is a decent action game, but, Mass Effect has the best 3rd person FPS story ever played and it will only get better when the sequels come out.

Gwarpup
Gwarpup

Ok couple of things here to note why PC gaming is Dieing, Its not Piracy. Which XBOX has tons of that as well, its even easier since nobody needs to even crack Xbox games, they just download them and they work, even online. Just the mod chip is the only barrier and thats easy to get. Anyway it really all comes down to money and profits. Game Developers are realizing that Console Games are a clossed platform that they can milk money from constant mods that people are used to getting for free on PC. They also sell at higher prices which again PC gamers wouldnt go for suddenly having their game prices jackup $10-20. The playerbase of gamers is huge among consoles now, therefore even with piracy they sell tons of product. While PC gamers are a much smaller minority these days. The console gamers will keep throwing out dollars for addon packs, achievements, and even silly things like Sack Boy costumes, which would be free on a PC. Its the new pricing model of the 20th century. Money my friends. Its also killing PC sales and making PCs dirt cheap since their arent as many games now, but things will shift again when people get tired of paying for every little addon map pack, Guitar Hero song, and downloadable content. PreOrdering is another terrible trap gamers have fallen into. It encourages developers to overhype their games and release them with tons of bugs or incomplete. Why do people Preorder? Gamers need to stock acting like Crack Addicts.

Tidal-Spiral
Tidal-Spiral

Pandabear 86: "PC gaming smashes console gaming. My Geforce 9800GX2 graphics card can produce better graphics than all consoles combined." Too bad the gameplay and story elements rarely match up to the graphics, ol' chum! ZING! *runs out of room laughing, trips on staircase and rolls to death*

WeAreGodzilla
WeAreGodzilla

"Narrative-wise, each game needs to be a satisfying entity in and of its own space." I'm sorry, what? When Gears just stopped 5 hours in, I couldn't believe it. If I wanted to see half a crap action story, I could just walk out on a Michael Bay movie.

Sabotage
Sabotage

Kfoss, could you not put "..." every sentence. Seriously it's painful to read.

Kfoss
Kfoss

i guess..it sounds to me like there's going to be another blistering short single player campaign followed up by multi-player..and of course never mind the fact that there PC version of GOW was a complete disaster..didn't even play out of the box..for most..until games for windows live worked..and even then..the damn thing still crashes..and looses saves..cause there not on your HD!..why? ask the cloud that is "windows live"..oui..but even with gow2..im still for the pc..it wont be until konami wises up and puts MGS4 on the x360..that i shall finally crack...

Barcode711
Barcode711

WANING PC SUPPORT? Don't become another Bungie, Cliff. Don't let Epic get sucked into that black-sh*t-hole that is Microsoft Game Studios.

malxmusician212
malxmusician212

dude, gears movie, it could be incredible but they're gonna mess it up

chaos20
chaos20

unfortunately, it looks like more developers are giving up on the pc (crytek no longer making pc exclusives for example) We'll Probably just get a Jazz Jackrabbit remake of epic the way they are going lol

EverteMax
EverteMax

the news may hurt us like 10 years back...but in a time today...hardcore gamers who KNOWS the existence of a game like gears of war...will own more than just a PC or x360...(I have friends who have no freaking idea what gears of war is...) so most people who want to play the game will play the game...

PandaBear86
PandaBear86

PC gaming smashes console gaming. My Geforce 9800GX2 graphics card can produce better graphics than all consoles combined.

L_i_o_n
L_i_o_n

its a marketing trick, to lure ppl to buy it on consoles. later they will release it with cheaper price for pc-s. hopefuly im not wrong

kazuma334
kazuma334

@ Magusat999: Wall of Text hits you for 999999999999 damage. You die. I'm sure you could've gotten your point across in less words.

Hillsy_
Hillsy_

-Intellectual- Posted Oct 14, 2008 9:46 am GMT @ earlthecannibal Name me one 3rd person shooter on the PC that is better than Gears of War ??? hhmmmmmm ....... no answer. --> I'll say Rainbow Six Vegas 1, better Squad AI, alot better than Gears of War. I enjoyed it more than Gears. Gears had very little control, some of your squad mates would run into death, which made it more difficult for you, especially on Hardcore. 96% for the graphics, not for the gameplay. I would prefer Gears if they made it where you control where your squad mates go. Just alittle more tactical, and helps you coordinate your attacks better. Cover you sides and flanks etc.. As for gears 2. I think it is more sad for the people who supported Epic from day one on the PC. I know there are some people who will be hurt from this news. Maybe Epic will use some money to invest into another project for the PC later..

yukikaze8721
yukikaze8721

i'm screwed..gears 2 wont be coming out on PC..someones gotta die for this..

Weddum
Weddum

I find it a little odd that they don't want to port Gears2 to the PC. They have the opportunity to make it so much better, the first Gears was a better experience on PC due to enhanced graphics and much better control. Its going to take me some adjustment to play Gears2 on a 360, with control stick aiming and 30fps gameplay. But hopefully the game itself will make up for my technical disappointments. And there are still people who complain about PC gaming being expensive? Come on people, no doubt a large majority of you have a computer in your household. Your typical gaming PC is just a normal PC with a better than average graphics card. And those complaining you have to upgrade your PC every time a new game comes out obviously didn't do their research on the parts they purchased.

skate_n_game
skate_n_game

Leave it to the internets to make this a giant console/PC bashing war! Cheers!

magusat999
magusat999

First of all, not everyone is a PC or console only gamer. I play on all platforms, for instance, and I know a lot of people who are the same way. But there are specific types and series that I think go better with each platform. Sports games like Madden and 2K are games I would totally understand as console only - they were born and raised on consoles. People who play them think of the gamepad movements - not keyboard and mouse movements. Certain Roleplaying games I would never consider playing on the PC - like Final Fantasy, Suikoden, the Tales series, Wild Arms, etc. But there are Roleplaying games for the PC that I would NEVER feel comfortable playing on a console; like Morrowind Oblivion, Gothic, Two Worlds, even Might and Magic. There are just certain games that are better on one or the other platform. FPS games are generally better on the PC, with a few exceptions, like Metroid series (I can't imagine playing that on the PC) or Resident Evil (even though it started on the PC - didn't know that, huh? It was pretty successful in it's PC version too). Unreal, Farcry, Bioshock, Doom, Quake, Gears and 98% of all FPS are better suited to the PC, play better (strafing and turning on the PC is much more responsive than the molasses slow consoles - even the new generation of consoles). Not only that, these games were born and raised on the PC. When a publisher builds his empire on proceeds from a certain platform, it is reasonable to expect that they will continue to make new product, as long as that [platform is still current and relevant. Well, none of you would be in here if you didn't have a PC - so how many can deny that a PC is still relevant. Just because you don't want to or can't upgrade your PC at least to a minimum configuration to play current games doesn't give you the right to come in here and bash PC gamers, using your ancient machine as if it were the "standard". By the same token, PC gamers are wrong to boast about their overbuilt, overpowered, overexpensive "monster machines" that they built just to play one game - and delude people into believing that they have to break the bank in order to play today's game. You would be surprised how low the system specs are to run a game acceptably. First of all you got to get notion out of your head that a game is "missing something" unless you run it at "Ultra Infinity High" settings. That's a bag of bull. Most games do not even perform well with the highest settings, and it isn't necessary. People who are telling you that they run spent 4-5k on their systems will try to justify it by telling you that the game has to be ran in 4000000x50000000 pixel resolution. that's simply not true. If you can accept the crappy graphics vomited out by your console, then even Low settings on an average PC game should blow your mind. It really isn't that involved as some of the PC gamers will lead you to believe. That being said, PC's are here to stay. They are sill in more housholds than game consoles. There are many fold more PC users - even at gaming age - than console fanboys. They are relevant and a current device commonly and widely used and recognized - and therefore deserve not to be a "stepping stone" down to a console. Blezinski contradicts himself by insinuating costs and loss making games for the PC, when proceeds from the PC games gave him the capital to build a sequel in the first place. Someone mentioned the Xbox360 as having available add-ons for games. You mean mods? Have you ever been to a mod site? Check out a place like the sites that carry Elder Scrolls mods and patches. You will NEVER see anything like that on a console. The open nature of PC games makes it possible to extend the fun, add things from other peoples imagination, tweak and fix things - even repair games that have broken systems and what-not, where the company has totally ignored the glitch. Look at the hundreds of GTA mods, Neverwinter Nights mods (people are making mods for NWN that are so good that Bioware has hired them). You cannot get that on a console - and one of the reasons is that you MUST have a PC in order to access the games resources. If you see a mod for a console game, it came from a PC user as well. So game extendability via community (and also FREE) without Big Brother breathing up you knickers, and an active community that support it are MIA on the console. In that vein, MS is letting you know - "All you game, belong to us"... You don't have to be a computer whiz to play PC games, if your tinker-shy, get a preconfigured computer and if it goes down it's no different than when your PS3 can't read a disk or your XBOX360 gets the RROD. It's funny how people accept one, but the other blows their mind - they are all just devices which have an equal chance of breaking down, for whatever reason. The piracy arguement is bull on two fronts. One is that people in the industry use it as a red herring to calm down rabid shareholders who want an explaination of why they should stick with a company that is losing money. Piracy is their only escape, because they cannot tell the truth and say they made a crap product that people just didn't buy into. They deceive the shareholder by showing them what a world without piracy would gain the company (knowing full well that pirates are not going to suddenly become paying customers - thus lying through their teeth to investors). And then the try to re-inforce their bull crap lies by hocking that campaign anywhere they are asked to make a public statement. they know that it wasn't piracy that killed the game - but rather the game that killed the game - but they can't admit to that because "that's their ass" if they reveal the truth. The other reason the piracy arguement is bull is that every game on every system - including the "venerable" Blu-ray disk which was supposed to provide so much security for PS3 developers... has been cracked and can be found easily - try Google. You can download an illegal, cracked XBOX360 game just as easily as a PC title. you can find them so easy it's ridiculous - and i mean EVERY GAME. so the "PC games are pirated" excuse is just that - a lame excuse. I'd like to see the real reason - and when you turn on your game for the first time, you will see it. All those flying logos tell you the truth - they are pushing someone's product - maybe even just the Xbox360 - and have been told in order to get the promotional money that they must not make a PC version. That's what's been happening over the past 4-5 years or so with games. Backroom partnerships, tie-ins and exclusive promotional deals are driving games to one platform or another - any other reason you hear is just dribble.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

"Intrakitt", "I don't get it. How is Cliffy B a sell out when he DOESN'T want to sell the game on the PC?" Because the sole motivation for this change is profit (ya know, the definition of selling out).

gusbravom
gusbravom

Damn consoles will never be better than the PC, so they can sign a will. Rules: PC for PROFESSIONALS Consoles(ALL) for NOOBS.

Cowman
Cowman

Game is shaping up to be another classic from CliffyB!

ZippyDSMLee
ZippyDSMLee

A lulzy 3rd person shooter with with a rushed and crappy PC thats not BIoshock? Oh wait BS was not 3rd person..... Todays amrket is console and casual focused if you want a good game thats worth the asking price wait a year when ti hits 10-20$ thats when the causal POS they release by the bukkue load will be worth playing. And yes damit I am just ranting out my ass! LOL I do not care for short sighted minimally deved games that get so much money yet get such crappy PC ports and still manage to become under whelming when you play it... Halo ep 3...60$ for 8-10 hours of a gate sorry MP dose not exist for me since it is akin to self wanking in an online chat orgy, Gears of war a rather simple 3rd P shooter that sometimes makes Unreal 2 look good then we have bioshock that takes everything great about System shock piss's down the difficulty and designs tosses it into a mindless cramped sand box environment with invisible walls then wanks on it for good measure oh sure its fun to play now and then but thats only because the better games wont talk to you anymore because they know your cheap and smell... My god whatare they doing to the industry shtting out these crappy rushed games only to do it again as soon as they "reload". AS for teh gears moive rape out all teh fiction the games has and then replace it with something some witless writer hiding in LA who dosenot read books or keep up with fictional works only knows the crap Hollywood produces and basically recreates it in an image Hollywood is comfortable with like most game and comic movies...you know Cat woman and and Ghost Rider... or that 4th Batman Film with the glowing ribbed anal probe for a car......*shudders*. Oh and while I am at it I would buy another 360 if game devs new what button mapping was but since they only know 2 or 3 control layouts of which in most cases only a half of one works....no the consoles give me zero control options for rushed games that you need every bit of control over to be able to enjoy..I so hate taking a month to learn to play a game thats over in a week.... XFPS is the only adapter I know of for the 360 and its nto that good...

gow117
gow117

buy a 360 stupid!

mattwbrad
mattwbrad

Gears of War was about killing bugs, nothing more. If they believe what they made was a good story, then they are really optimistic about the game. I lost interest in Gears after playing through about half of it. I couldn't even tell you the story line (something about a resonator). You'd have 20 seconds of someone yelling something at you, then an explosion, then one of your team mates would die [roll sad music] and you were expected to feel some kind of compassion for the characters, but it just was not that. When thinking of a good example of a game that meets both great game play and narrative, Half Life 2 comes to mind. That said, Gears of War did exactly what it was suppose to do for the console. It let people kill bugs.

MythPro1
MythPro1

Not a big loss to the PC. Gears of War is def for the console crowd.

necronaux
necronaux

"Gears of War 2 is not coming to the PC. Ever," Never say 'ever'. If the cash flow slows, I'm sure they'll consider it. (Especially if the movie does well)

lol-patrol
lol-patrol

I can understand why it wont be coming out for PC, its gonna sell like crazy on 360, wheras it wont on PC

lizzardman666
lizzardman666

I've never given a damn about this game. Now I know I never will.

AceJakk
AceJakk

As far as the film goes, Chris Morgan is a formulaic hack and Len Wiseman plays things too safe. The "Gears" movie will suffer the same fate as every other movie adaptation of a game IP. I never played Gears on 360, waited for it to come out with the extra gameplay on PC, so now I think I'll just rent it to play through the single player campaign. I also disagree with his narrative comment. a visually compelling film without a narrative produces the same product as a visually compelling game without a narrative, each of them turn into the following: Rental. If you don't have a story you're nothing.

biggy887766
biggy887766

Valve succeeds because gamers respect them as a company. Basically everything they touch is gold because they take the time and effort to focus on the main idea of their game. The HL series, valve worked to make it a perfect single player experience and they did that. TF2, they focused on making a very team based shooter, and did it. Portal, they focused on making a great first person puzzle experience and did it. Now Valve is going for the best Co-Op experience with L4D and will probably succeed. All they need to do is improve the look of steam and make it more like the xbox dashboard because even the application form works great, it would be nice to add a little pizzaz to the interface.

MarioJP_
MarioJP_

The thing is jazztrumpet5 is that PC is not just a "platform" It is the driving force of what makes consoles today which results pc gaming in the "niche market" I understand not knowing whats inside of your console because console gamers are less likely to care. Little did you know but whats powering those consoles. Nvidia and Ati. This is whats upsetting that people are not going to understand the whole concept of it and following what they tell you to do.

kickyourq
kickyourq

dang, Gears of War 2 better be good.

jazztrumpet5
jazztrumpet5

I play PC games and 360 games, and it doesn't bother me in the least, the direction he sees for Epic. Gears is tailored to be played on consoles and that's cool. I don't see why people get up in arms regarding what system which game comes out on. It just is the way it is.

ShadowB86
ShadowB86

Oh, yes, because console games aren't pirated at all. There's roughly the same level of piracy in all platforms. It's been like that since consoles dropped cartridges.

cyberdac01
cyberdac01

Man this is garbage. How do you not release gear 2 for PC!! Boooooo Bleszinski you suck!

Intrakitt
Intrakitt

I don't get it. How is Cliffy B a sell out when he DOESN'T want to sell the game on the PC?

mankeyador
mankeyador

maybe it's just me but it seems like a lot of developers want to get out of pc gaming all together. It's harder than ever to make a profit on pc games (unless you're valve). With piracy and the install limit (which everybody hates btw) to avoid piracy it's a sticky situation. But then again maybe epic should have put more of an effort with the first gears on pc. It shipped with less modes than the 360 version just it had a brumack. congrats gears 2 has dozens.

lightwarrior179
lightwarrior179

CliffyB is harshly direct in saying no Gears 2 for PC just because it isn't a profitable platform for that franchise. There is definitely truth in what he's speaking. Hope this game turns out to be awesome.

JJpenguin
JJpenguin

Ouch PC gamers...Well, I've got mine preordered, and you have Crysis

razgriz_101
razgriz_101

if they dont do a PC port wouldnt that give them more time to focus on gears 3 or add ons or other new IP's? Being a student its a hundred times harder trying to put the kind of crazy money some people here have put in their computers i still have an XP comp with an ancient athlon 3800 and a Nvidia 6200 lol if you want i only use it for school work. And i have my PS3 for my games.What it seems like is epic is focusing on capturing both the hardcore demograph and the casual one with one stone with the 360 having such a huge install base.It makes sense with all honesty to do that and end result is you usually have a better game.

cocomacoco
cocomacoco

I think CliffyB you should be less direct and don't offend PC users, I totally understand why GOW2 can't make it to this platform as it is just not profitable, specially with the Easy copyright infringements on PCs, and also Hardware configurations and a poor database that's all the time playing MMOs, very true, but market wise, too direct, be more touchy Cliffy, on the other hand, Congrats and can't wait, I'm a console gamer and couldn't be happier if GOW is a Trilogy.

Kelemhuma
Kelemhuma

Not true built back in November myself 4 k on parts. Did not skimp on anything Tiger direct has good prices. For parts. My PC smokes any new company built PC. Except maybe an Alienware ALX series new coming out now. As far as how I spend my money you like cars I like computers. I saved for a while puting money away here and there I am no means rich. I am big PC gamer always have been My other PC was about 6 years old. I was like F it im gonna put a real nice one together. Old rig was getting too slow to run a lot of newer games.

MarioJP_
MarioJP_

Look at this way. Now we smart people know where we belong, and the masses can rot if all I care. People are failing their classes because people just take the easy way out. And the one that are grads and have a career are the ones that don't have time to play games, especially on dumbed down boxes like the way consoles are. Way to go to ruin the masses cliffy B. Not only have you let us down but also putting people's IQ hit a all time lows. Good Job. And for the record the gaming industry has lost respect it is not the same as it once was. So they can rot people's minds for all i care, just as long it isn't me. And also most of you don't even know how to spell LOL. But then again thats what you would expect from a typical console gamers. Oh well everything is rotten away.

d_originaldappa
d_originaldappa

So after spending all that money you can't get a decent game to play? that sucks! BTW, pc gamers brag about their pc cause they saved alot to but it, built it from scratch(it's their baby), put thought into what should go in it. and customized it a little. What to console gamers do, buy the console and maybe a faceplate. Nothing to brag about there.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

I agree with Cliff about dead Space being sleeper of the year.

sgt-hawkins
sgt-hawkins

try 4 gs on a laptop...just kidding thats riduculus but push start just won i hate pc gamers because they think they are so superior because they pay at least 100 dallors for their supr compooters and then brag bout it but look sells i think gears of war halo 3 resistance 1 possible mgs 4 and most likly a host of other games with thier sells cut in half would out sell most new compooter games because computer game players are killing thier on industry by being jackasses to everyone

legend_of
legend_of

You dropped four G's on a PC? I dropped 2 g's on a PC a year and a half ago, and I can play Crysis on high with 30+ frames, and GOW...that's...well, let's just say, I need vertical sync, lol. The game becomes so smooth, it's annoying.

truenextgen
truenextgen

You think He kiss's Bills A. Becuase Morgan hated PC then and woudnt kizz his lol