kids. Do you like the
pretty pictures? How about
bloodthirsty, creepy warrior fiend thingies?
Do you like the idea of grabbing a very big gun, and proceeding
to mercilessly blast the aforementioned fiends back to
where they came from? If
you said yes to these questions, then Cliff Bleszinski and his band of
merry developers over at Epic Games have a little something for you in
the form of Gears of War for the Xbox 360, due out some time in 2006.
As a third person action shooter with a survival horror flair, Gears of War will thrust players into the role of Marcus Fenix, a disgraced war hero who must lead his troops against an invading force of fiends called the Locust Horde. The game takes place on a planet called Sera, where a human colony had been established for some time. It was here that a new,
and very powerful energy source called imulsion was
discovered, which resulted in war erupting as
different groups vied for this new energy source. With time the imulsion awakened the Locust Horde who quickly
made a beeline for the human soldiers, more than a little miffed about
being woken up.
What anyone who takes a gander at the images for Gears of War will quickly notice, though, is that the game is very, very easy on the eyes, acting both as a showcase of what the Xbox 360 will be able to do, as well as Epic’s new game engine, the Unreal Engine 3. The detail on all of the characters, monsters, environments, and so
forth is really something, and yet
being done in real-time. Looking
at a game like this it’s easy to start understanding what game
publishers were talking about when they said next generation titles will
cost a fortune to make.
game itself is planned to lean more towards a single-player experience,
as gamers make their way through the story Gears of War is trying to
tell. There will be some
exclusively multi-player options in the game, but they’ll still be
playing second fiddle to the single-player game.
Interestingly, a buddy can grab a second controller and join in
the single-player game, or hop onboard via Xbox Live and do the same, so
there will be the option to play with friends, but in a cooperative
manner instead of head-to-head. Even
if a friend doesn’t join in, the rest of a player's unit of men will still
accompany players, as they make their way through the levels.
it’s tempting to assume that the game will be a mindless orgy of
gunfire, Gears of War will have a different sort of pacing to it. Players will enter an area where they will be attacked,
forcing them to take cover, and find a way to punch a hole in the
enemy’s onslaught so that they can move on.
With this sort of pacing, it’s easy to see how the survival
horror elements of the game will come into play, as there is plenty of
opportunity for players to enter a new installation or whatever and
notice that things are pretty quiet…almost too quiet.
no doubt that Gears of War is easy on the eyes, and that the way the
game’s pacing is going for a strange juxtaposition of intensity and
stop-and-go movement could prove interesting.
As such, it is looking increasingly likely that the title will be
one that many early adopters of the Xbox 360 will be keeping a very close eye
on. Hopefully Gears of War
will live up to expectations.
(May 23, 2005)