Gears Of War Narrative Designer Talks About The Series' Future And Possibilities

The next Gears game, Gears Tactics, is right around the corner--but The Coalition has plenty of plans beyond not only this, but the next game in the series, too.


Gears Tactics, the next game in the Gears of War series, releases on April 28 for PC (and later on Xbox One). The tactical spin-off is set before the first Gears game, but will link up with the narrative in Gears 5, as the main character, Gabe Diaz, is the father of Kait Diaz. Now, in an interview with IGN, Gears Tactics' narrative director Bonnie Jean Mah has talked about expanding the world of Gears, and hinted at plans that will take the series beyond its current cast and family bloodlines.

Mah tells IGN that the team at The Coalition (which took over the Gears franchise after Gears of War: Judgment) is aware of the difficulties of continually upping the stakes, and believes that compelling protagonists are the answer. "For our stories to resonate with our players, we need them to be able to not identify, but feel like they can care about and get involved with the main character," she says. "I think for a lot of stories, the trouble with having giant stakes of saving the world is that: how do you top that every single time? It's about putting a spin on that giant pile of stakes that you're trying to deal with, by making it personal to the protagonist."

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At the same time, she says, "sometimes we worry everyone in our universe is related to each other." But Mah believes that it's important to keep coming back to touchpoints that connect stories, such as "sharing a history in a certain battle." Mah says that Del, another character from Gears 4 and 5, still has a story that needs to be told too, and that we could see another huge time jump (as with the 25 year gap between Gears of War 3 and 4) in the future.

"We're figuring that out next, but Tactics is a great opportunity to tell a brand new story that's going to fulfill that Gears of War itch, while we figure out and plan what's going to happen next in the main series," she told IGN. "So I just feel like we have so many opportunities for our fans and our players to still get engaged in our universe. And we're not going to stop."

Elsewhere in the interview, Mah explains that there's no definitive map of Sera, the planet the games are set on, because the team wants to make sure that it is not bound to one creatively--allowing for "white space" gives them more room for creativity. "It's fine to have local area maps, but as far as I'm concerned, we will not ever have a globe with continents on it," Mah said.

Gears 5, the most recent shooter in the Gears series, received a 7/10 in GameSpot's review. "Gears 5 might suffer from some of the same storytelling missteps as its predecessors, and it might not venture far out of the past, but the new ideas it brings to the series are all good reasons for fans to return," wrote reviewer Phil Hornshaw.

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