Comic-Con 2011: Gears of War 3′s Story is Personal to Cliffy B, Rod Fergusson
The Gears of War 3 panel at Comic-Con was setting to an interesting turn of events. Design Director Cliff Bleszinski and Executive Producer Rod Fergusson gave one lucky attendee a new Gears of War-branded Xbox 360 with a 250-gig hard drive. Paul Jr. of the Discovery Channel show “American Choppers” showed up to present the Gears team with its own custom-made Gears of War 3 chopper. Cliffy B and Rod announced that graffiti artist O.G. Slick provided in-game art in the form of graffiti tags to make the world feel more real. Oh, and Isaiah Mustafa, better known as the Old Spice Guy, was announced as a member of the Gears 3 voice cast.
But in between announcements about a Casual Mode for multiplayer newbs and talk about the changes that have been made to Horde mode, Bleszinski and Fergusson let the conversation linger on Gears 3′s single-player campaign and the pains that went into making the game. Coming up on the end of the trilogy and the story arc contained within (although not necessarily the Gears series), the pair discussed the ways that the Gears 3 story is actually more personal and deeper than it ever has been before.
In the behind-the-scenes video below, which was played at the panel during the discussion, Bleszinski discusses how one major aspect of the story hit home for both the devs — the plot line concerning Marcus Fenix and his father, Adam. The specter of Adam Fenix has lingered around the story of Gears of War since its beginnings, and that specter has thrown a shadow over the character of Marcus. But all the real ins and outs of that relationship haven’t necessarily been readily apparent to players, and especially not to players who weren’t paying attention. In Gears 3, Adam Fenix plays some kind of pivotal role in the overall story, which has a big effect on the character of Marcus.
In fact, as is mentioned in the video, most of the characters have some real growth and struggles in this story — from Dom, dealing with the death of his wife, to Cole, who feels the pain of the loss of his former life as a celebrity athlete.
“Gears 1 is a battle, Gears 2 is a war and Gears 3 is much more personal,” Fergusson said during the panel. “If a bomb went off today, what would you do? You’d turn to the people you trust. It’s about a band of friends; a band of brothers, we call it.”
Bleszinski said during the panel that the game’s campaign is longer than any other Epic has yet produced, and it seems that much of that length will go to the stories of the supporting characters as well as that of Marcus. The game also supports a four-player cooperative mode, which Bleszinski said was hard to realize and took a lot of testing, but allows multiple players to take on the various characters’ roles, potentially causing the story to be experienced in a different light. For example, while Players 1 and 2 — who traditionally take on the roles of Marcus and Dom, respectively — won’t be switching around to the other characters’ viewpoints much, Players 3 and 4 will embody several different characters.
“You know when Cole and Baird go down in the sewers in Gears 1 — we wanted to show you that,” Bleszinski said. “Players 3 and 4 will actually flip around a lot. It’s four characters and their unique perspectives on the story.”
And when the game ends, it will be a satisfying conclusion to the story arc, the devs said.
“We wanted it to be not a cliffhanger ending,” said Fergusson. “We wanted it to be satisfying. There will be a lot more answers through the campaign.”
But can there ever be peace between the COG and the Locust? One fan asked that of the developers during the question and answer portion of the panel.
“Oh yeah,” Cliffy B deadpanned in response. “The game actually ends with them all holding hands around a campfire, singing ‘Kumbayah.’ All we’re saying is, give peace a chance.”