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E3 2015 Wishlist: What We Want From Gears Of War

by Brian Shea on Jun 10, 2015 at 11:38 AM

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With the events of Gears of War 3, players received closure to the story of Marcus and Dom. Following the prequel entry, Gears of War: Judgment, Epic Games detached itself from the series and sold the IP rights to Microsoft, who handed the franchise to a new studio full of veterans of both the series and the industry. A new Gears of War title is set to be revealed at E3, and fans are wondering what they might see when one of Xbox’s biggest franchises takes the stage.

With the Gears of War series making the leap to its new home at The Coalition (formerly Black Tusk), the next entry in the series has the potential to shake things up in a big way. Check out some of our most wanted features for the next game and let us know what you want from the new Gears of War in the comments below.

Sever Ties With Last-Gen

One of the big trends with triple-A games released early in recent console generations is to release them on both old and new platforms to maximize reach and sales. While it’s often a different studio handling the port, it can still be at the detriment of the current-generation version. The Coalition has announced the new Gears of War will be on Xbox One, and only on that console. As long as developers continue to tether themselves to old consoles, we’ll always be left wondering if the game’s full potential was reached. I want The Coalition to be able to truly go for it with the new game.

More Meaningful Storytelling

The first two Gears of War games showed a series establishing its universe, but it did so through somewhat clunky storytelling. With Gears of War 3, however, the team at Epic Games brought on Karen Traviss, writer of several Gears of War novels. While still tripping on some of the same pitfalls as its predecessors, Gears of War 3 handled delicate and emotional narrative moments such as the loss of a comrade with more finesse. I hope to see The Coalition handle some of the more pivotal moments in the story even better. If that means giving Traviss writer duties yet again, then I’d be happy with that.

A New Cast

The Marcus and Dom story arc had a bow put on it with Gears of War 3, so we’re going to need a new cast. Depending on the timeline, the game could focus on characters like Anya Stroud and Clayton Carmine, but I think it would be better to focus on a new squad completely. Give us new, compelling characters and a strong story to explore with them.

Less Focus On The Meatheads

Even if you love the lore, it’s pretty hard to deny that the games have their fair share of musclebound bros in the spotlight. I’d like to see a more varied range of emotions in the main characters. Marcus, Dom, Cole, and Baird were great for that story arc, but I want to experience a more nuanced range of emotions with everything going on. The trailers for the Gears games have always flirted with the idea of the player having a more intimate perspective into the emotions of the characters, but very rarely did those hints materialize within the games themselves.

Subtle Nods to Past Games

Subtlety hasn’t exactly been Gears of War’s calling card to this point, but if The Coalition does decide to go with a completely new cast of characters, a lot of fans would appreciate subtle nods to the stories they played through in the preceding games in the series. We don’t need to be beaten over the head with Marcus Fenix references or even a cameo, but a few Easter eggs scattered throughout are always appreciated.

Head to the next page for more things we'd love to see with the next Gears of War.

Take Things Beyond Gray And Brown

One of the chief complaints levied against the series so far is the color palette – the jokes about how much gray and brown permeate the Gears of War world have been heard by nearly every gamer on the internet. I’m not saying we need to move beyond the gritty visuals of Gears of Wars past, but giving us some variance in the environments we’re fighting in wouldn’t hurt. I don’t think a gunfight in a massive garden, or an action sequence in a vibrant forest would do much to change the tone of the game.

Expand The Arsenal

The Gears of War franchise has been known for its awesome and unique weaponry. From a bow with explosive bolts to a rifle with a freaking chainsaw attached, fans of the Gears of War series have been spoiled by the many creative ways they have to destroy their opponents. While Epic Games’ best creations undoubtedly came at the beginning of the series’ run, having a fresh team taking on the new game should mean that we can see some new ideas injected into the franchise’s gun closet.

A New Threat

Thanks to Marcus and his squad, humanity has a new lease on life. The enemies that threatened their species have been neutralized for the time being, and while the easiest thing for The Coalition to do would be to bring the locusts back, I think the series and its fans would be better served through a new, more vicious threat. Whether it’s an extraterrestrial threat, or some new, exotic threat on Sera, it would be refreshing to not have to continue blasting through hordes of the same ugly from before.

Bring Back Horde Mode

Speaking of hordes, it’s absolutely necessary for the Gears of War series to reintroduce its famous Horde mode after its absence in Judgment. The mode was one of the defining multiplayer modes of last generation, and a major draw for many fans. With the new technology of the Xbox One backing this entry, it would be awesome to see The Coalition really go for it on this mode, building on top of the outstanding improvements the mode saw in Gears 3’s Horde 2.0. Bring bigger boss battles, fiercer waves, larger environments, and more base defense options, and fans will have a hard time backing out of the mode.

Go Big With Overrun

Overrun mode in Gears of War: Judgment was a solid attempt to take the PvE Beast and Horde modes from Gears of War 3 and combine them into a strong PvP experience, but it felt like it was holding back. With enough time to reflect on the successes and failures of Overrun’s debut, The Coalition could take things to the next level. We could already play as some of the most fearsome locust classes like Corpsers, Maulers, and Serapedes, but what about adding third and fourth tiers of offensive characters like in Gears 3’s Beast mode to make it super rewarding to work together as a team? Of course, that would require a ton of balancing, but it could lead to some truly excellent moments within the mode.

New And Unique Multiplayer Modes

Deathmatch and objective-based modes should never leave Gears of War’s multiplayer, but how about some more off-the-wall modes? For example, the devs could try a mode where players are equipped with nothing more than their Lancer’s chainsaw as they hunt down one single juggernaut character that has access to ammunition. Modes like that have the potential to form cult-like sub-communities within the greater multiplayer community, giving the online offerings a longer shelf life.

Make All Multiplayer Map DLC Free

Another way we’ve seen developers attempt to give their online modes a longer lifespan is to offer multiplayer maps for free. By doing this, the teams avoid splintering the community while incentivizing those who have moved on to return whenever a new map is released. Within this plan, The Coalition can still release premium DLC, but it shouldn’t be anything that would divide the community, and it should provide those who don’t purchase that DLC with the ability to play alongside those who are using said content.