The lights are on
Gears of War is making one more round on current-generation hardware, and Epic's art director Chris Perna is once again in charge of the look of the series. While no drastic changes have been made to the overall look of the franchise since it began in 2006, Perna and the team at Epic have been making subtle tweaks as the series has evolved. He talked about this as well as the process of designing a prequel in our interview below.
Game Informer: What was your approach when designing Gears of War: Judgment’s visual theme, and how does it compares with what the series has done in the past?
Chris Perna: I think one of the things that we want to get across is a lot more brutality of the Locust, a lot more fear. I think visually, it’s probably a darker theme than the other games as far as the Locust being scary again. We kind of got away from that a little bit over the course of the series. We’re trying to bring some of that back...some of the intensity, some of the fear. You know when we really concepted these things, they were stealers of children in the night. They were these ghostly figures. It was almost a survival horror game at one point. We kind of wanted to get back to the roots of the Locust and emergence day and show them as more vicious and fearsome.
What kinds of tweaks went into making the creatures scarier?
I’m not sure it’s so much an exact visual thing as an overall, encompassing thing with darker levels and scarier behaviors. More dark AI, things like that...they all come together to make them a bit more fearsome and brutal.
Tell us a little about designing the look of Halvo Bay.
I guess the overarching theme of Halvo Bay is sort of a San Francisco-type area. It was an older city that was built on armaments from the Pendulum War days and it gets destroyed. We wanted it to have that destroyed beauty look and carry that theme over, yet with a slightly darker tinge to it because emergence day recently happened.
We’re four games into the series now, and it features a wide range of enemies. How do you go about making a new enemy instantly identifiable when there are so many existing types with drastically different behaviors and looks?
Part of that is the dinosaur chart. We constantly refer to that. We got a bunch of little guys, now we need medium sized guys, and a giant guy. It just adds this palette to the scene when you see these big lumbering guys and fast moving guys. They all orchestrate together to create a really cool combat experience, and we try to think of those things when we design characters. In the past, we developed the Lambent to break cover. They had a specific purpose and that purpose was to break cover and break that game mechanic. They had tentacles and they could reach over cover and grow tall, that kind of stuff. Whether or not we really needed that or whether it was successful or not is debatable, but that is kind of the genesis of those ideas. Moving forward with Judgment, we tried to make the Locust feel scary again and give them a little bit more brutality...give them a little bit more aggressive AI behaviors and teamwork. Things that might surprise some people.
looks the same with better graphics. nothing wrong with that but it's not a new look
Always loved the Gears campaigns, never could fully enjoy the last two games online components though. Needs more cowbell.
Looking forward tto it
It will look fine.
I feel like, why does this interview even exist? It's the fourth game in the series - as an art director, just make it look like the other ones. Ask Epic's art director about the look for something new, like....what's that game called? The zombie one? That's really stylized? I don't remember what it's called...
FORTNITE! I remembered :)
sounds great!cant wait to hear more about the game!
It doesn't look to new,just the graphics are improved.But it till looks like a good gears game.
Not a series fan, but I love the art direction
Yeah....no, Halos aliens are weak, Locust rip your arm of cut your head off (Ramms Shadow) rip you to shreds, ever heard of the Berzerker? Yeah for you to compare Halos, talking,clumsy "demon" screaming..bird aliens (don't they have beaks and feathers) to a beefed out slobbering reptiline monster... Is really non-comparable. How could you fault either (Epic & Bungie) for wanting to make them scarier? That's like saying. " we want our team to be better" no, we said the exact thing, we said we wanted to be better befor you, it's not cool and it makes you sound like a Halo fanboy, you said your self "TheOuroboros on Monday 6/18/2012 @11:07am" that your not a Gears fan. Both games are awesome, but the Locust are brutal, and the Covenant are ...like Sesame Street meets Star Wars....scary for ages 5-9 LOL