By James Hawkins in Rumor Column
Monday, November 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm
It is no secret that there are going to be more Gears of War games. Probably many more. Epic's hottest-ever franchise has garnered three consecutive multiple-million seller iterations, with no drop-off in quality between the entries and a massive fan base willing to stand in the cool pre-Autumn air of a midnight release party for the next hit as it graces store shelves. That's a recipe for a "keeper," and I contend that Epic Games and Microsoft Games Studios are savvy enough to know they've got a chicken that lays golden eggs full of money.
But I don't expect they'll push forward with the story as it left in Gears of War 3 -- because, well, SPOILER ALERT, they tied it all together rather nicely. Well, they hashed together three 6-hour segments into a relatively cohesive narrative and ended it on a nice sentimental note that everyone can feel good about. I, personally, loved it. I bought into the over-the-top story and straight up GoW-mold storytelling and gameplay. Gears of War 3 is the best major game of the last half of 2011 for me. And no, I haven't played Zelda or Skyrim yet.
Anyway, besides all that, there have been some stirrings concerning the next game. Gears of War IV, we'll call it for now. According to Official Xbox Magazine, via CVG, it looks like we're going to be exploring pre-Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago story. Click on for more.
It is all speculation up to this point, but signs are pointing to a full three-part (ahem, trilogy) prequel series that will lead up to the events detailed in the first Gears of War title. Also, the developers that created Gears 1-3 won't likely be working on the next trilogy. Instead, Epic looks to People Can Fly to handle the task. You might recognize them from Epic's raunchy arcade shooter Bulletstorm a little ways back.
While the news of a fresh direction is great for the gaming masses, I am a little apprehensive for a dev swap. Part of my love for Gears of War is that distinct Gears of War feel that comes with every passing moment of the game. I understand many are bored with it, so I can get behind a change up, but there's always opportunity for a change-for-worse.
We'll keep you posted as news comes forth, however an upcoming piece of downloadable content for Gears of War 3 will give you a taste of prequel -- it is called RAAM's Shadow and it drops players into an immediately post-Emergence day scenario. You may remember RAAM from the first title. Well, he and his crew are back, and you have to shoot them and be buff. The DLC is due December 13, 2011.