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Xbox One Gears of War Not a Reboot, But Aims to Return to Franchise's Dark Roots

"We've got to get back to that," Phil Spencer says.

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The upcoming Gears of War game in development at Black Tusk Studios for Xbox One is not a reboot, according to Phil Spencer, who heads up all of Xbox. In a new interview, Spencer said it is imperative that the new Gears of War game recaptures the essence of earlier titles, including their dark tone.

"I wouldn't call it a reboot because I don't think the franchise necessarily needs that," Spencer told IGN as part of a wide-ranging podcast interview.

Gears of War: Judgment was not the franchise's finest hour, Spencer says
Gears of War: Judgment was not the franchise's finest hour, Spencer says

The franchise, which Microsoft acquired from Epic Games earlier this year, does not need to be rebooted in part because the series still has legions of dedicated fans, despite an underwhelming game in Judgment, Spencer said.

"I know Judgement didn't hit everybody's needs and desires in terms of what they wanted. But I think we can continue, but we can also--we have a new team, [original Gears of War trilogy producer Rod Fergusson is] there to really help with the continuity. I think we can make sure that we're investing in this thing for the next decade, which is how I want to think about it."

Also in the interview, Spencer said that while the Gears of War series started out strong and confident in what it was aiming to be, subsequent titles felt like parodies of earlier games.

"The thing that was great about the early Gears of War games, to me, [was] just the epic scale of the settings that I was in," he said. "The story, the setting was a lot more what I would call soulful and maybe even a little dark. And [Rod Fergusson] and I have talked about this; I think the game over time became almost more of a parody of itself; not for any kind of horrible reasons. It's hard to continue to manage the IP."

"And Gears 2 did well, Gears 3 did well. So I thought the franchise continued to grow. But we've talked about getting back to something … I think the story and the setting and what they're going through ... in a Gears of War--the name of the game, it really meant something to what that game was about. We've got to get back to that. The feeling of those individuals."

The new and untitled Gears of War game for Xbox One is in the very early stages of development, and all we've seen so far from it is a blurry piece of concept art.

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