While the announcement of Gears of War: Judgement, the fourth game in the series, at this years E3 came as little surprise to gamers, the fact that it would be set several months after Emergence Day did raise a few eyebrows. Since the announcement there has been plenty of fans wondering why the game isn’t set around E-Day itself or even the Pendulum Wars, a 79-year long conflict between that raged across Sera, eventually resulting in the COG’s victory. After all, either of these settings would seem perfect for a Gears game, with the Pendulum Wars setting even allowing Epic to have some special appearances by a certain Fenix, while E-Day would have been awesome for obvious reasons, what with monsters popping out of the ground and everything.
So, what’s with the strange choice of timeframe? Well, mister Cliff “Don’t Call Me Cliffy B” Bleszinski had the answer, and it all comes down to chainsaws and scary-ass monsters. He told Joystiq that, “”The time came, we finished Gears 3 and obviously it’s done well for us, and a prequel seemed like the next logical step. So we started looking at the timeframes and what we could do. I looked at E-Day and was like, ‘Yeah, there’s no chainsaw on E-Day.’ It took the COG a little bit to figure out that the Locust have thick skin and their bayonets are breaking, things like that.” Being able to chainsaw scary monster men is essential to anything donning the Gears of War title, you see.”
Hold the phone, Cliffy B, wouldn’t the fact that it’s based on Sera with Locust exploding out of the ground, Baird and Cole being all awesome, the COG organizing defenses, the massively huge Gear armor and the super-slick cover system all have been more than enough to mark it as a Gears of War game? No? Bloody hell.
So what about the Pendulum Wars? Well, Bleszinski said that the Pendulum Wars wouldn’t work, either, because then you’ve got no chainsaws and you’ve got no scary monsters, and so it wouldn’t be Gears of War. “So we looked at the timeframe, looked at the timeline, and figured that there’s a window there of several months after Emergence Day, where humanity got hit and quickly got their shit back together and figured out, hey, put a chainsaw on the end of the gun – that’ll help. So that’s the timeframe for the game,” said Bleszinski.
While the chainsaw bayonet and the Locust are indeed iconic, it’s hard not to feel that such a thing isn’t really a whole lot of justification for choosing the setting. Not that I’m complaining about Judgement’s setting, because at the end of the day I can’t wait to chainsaw some more Locust.
So, what do you think? Would you have rather seen a Pendulum War setting?