Rod Fergusson and his return to Gears of War for next gen on Xbox One!
Let me just start by saying that the first thing I played on my Xbox 360 was Gears of War. I adore this series and continually expect great things from it. Now that Gears of War 4 is in the making let's take a look at some things that may be taking place in the first game I play for Xbox One.
Rod Fergusson's absence from [Gears of War](movie:671276): Judgement was as peculiar as the removal of Marcus as the lead character (personally, I have no idea why they picked the most dislikable character in the franchise to lead a game. Though I heard that the reception of Baird as a character is far different in the US compared to Europe. Comments?) but now he has announced his return for Gears of War 4.
Following his move to Irrational Games in order to help them with Bioshock: Infinite (I wonder how much of an influence he was in the game's overall stunning outcome), Microsoft acquired the rights to Gears and have tempted him back to the universe with a new position as head of the new studio Black Tusk.
It's now just a waiting game for the studio's debut release of Gears of War 4 for Xbox One. But the question remains, will it be Gears of War 4 or will it be another installment like Judgement? Let's take a look at everything we know!
Where will Gears of War 4 take us?
There’s lots of stuff, backstory from the E Day, Pendulum Wars all the way to Gears 3, there’s a lot of room in there [...] But I don’t know if that’s the place to go. I think there’s lots of other places to go as well. - Fergusson
Previous rumors regarding a 2015 release date and pre-alpha game state with tests already being conducted were all fake! All of them have been discredited by the team at Black Tusk. To be honest, it seems that Fergusson has acknowledged the reception of Judgement and wants to stay clear of that kind of story that many were a little disappointed with.
Therefore, perhaps an expanse into the far corners of the Gears of War universe would be something that everyone would be happy with. Perhaps something resurfaces after Marcus delivers the final blow on another side of the planet? This could lend us a new setting, and a new set of characters. What do you make of this picture?
Aside from being a complete tease what can you make out from this image? If it is a joke it is quite a cruel one but to me it seems like this could be quite a lush landscape with a city in the background. Perhaps a part of the world that is as of yet untouched by the war? What do you think?
Everything we know Gears of War 4 is trying to accomplish!
When asked about how the company will prove itself worthy of Gears of War, this was Fergusson's response:
Yes, and that's going to be our big focus - doing right by the fans and the community to show that Black Tusk understands Gears. You have to do it right before you do it differently.
With Unreal Engine 4 powering the latest installment I wonder what exactly the game has in store, particularly after the massive critical and designing success that was Gears of War 3. Fergusson also comments on why the game was so great:
I mean, one of the things I think we were guilty of when we were making Gears of War 3 was trying to put everything in. We felt like it was going to be our opus - like, this is the end of this franchise - so we probably could have been a little bit more diligent in terms of scope management. So there's no unrequited feature that I always wish I could have done.
Now, this particular sentence leaves me slightly worried in terms of features for Gears of War 4. While he maintains that he wants to create a great Gears of War game while not changing too many things around, it seems that the company is going to have to branch out in order to come up with ideas that won't feel forced.
Does this mean that the team we know so well won't feature as the protagonists of Gears of War 4? Perhaps it will be something like the new team of 4 we saw in RAAM's Shadow, though hopefully not. The chemistry and characters just couldn't match what we saw in the original trilogy.
Gears of War 4 is going to be an exercise in 'managing betrayal'!
Fergusson claims that any addition to a franchise is a case of 'managing betrayal'. Therefore, there must be elements that introduce something new, but not too much so that you lose the quality of the original games. This balance is something that he has mastered in previous games and is keen to transfer this mastery to his new team:
So I've already given multiple speeches to the team like 'here are the core tenets of Gears, here are the things that won't be changing, and here are opportunities for us to innovate that we think we can knock out of the park.'
It seems at least that he's trying his best to live up to not only the reputation of the franchise but of his own name too now that he has returned to the Gears universe. We have an exciting time ahead of us!