With so little information being provided we are at a loss as to the direction Black Tusk is headed in and when we might finally get a release date.
Rod Fergusson was recently interviewed by Jon Hicks (Mr Jonty) at this year’s Game Developers Conference and had a couple of things to say that really got me thinking about what we can expect.
Jon Hicks: “I guess because it’s a new studio they’ve got something to prove as well. This first thing has to put them on the map.”
Rod Fergusson: “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.”
When Microsoft acquired the IP for Gears of War the entire Gears fan base rejoiced. This was a massive win for the franchise and for Xbox. The only concern we had was when the reins were handed to Black Tusk, we did not want to see a repeat of what happened with Gears of War Judgement. Many people still enjoyed Judgement but the true hardcore Gears fans were very disappointed and refuse to even acknowledge it as a part of the franchise.
Knowing that Black Tusk has a strong focus on ensuring that they will deliver a true Gears experience in this next installment is very reassuring.
Gamers are extremely demanding, we want something that is new, innovative and ground breaking but at the same time we also want the core fundamental mechanics of the previous game to remain intact. If it’s too different – we complain, if it’s too alike – we complain. Black Tusk really does have their hands full with trying to meet the expectations of the Gears community while at the same time bringing us something that will captivate our imaginations and reinvigorate our love for the franchise.
Rod: “It’s a great model. I would be lying if we didn’t say that was an interesting model to look at, and I feel, as a fan of the Halo series, that they were successful with Halo 4.”
As we know, Halo 4 was set 4 years after the ending for Halo 3. The Master Chief returns to battle an ancient evil and ends up shipwrecked on a strange and unknown planet. As Halo 3 wrapped up the previous story line this was a brilliant way of continuing the Halo franchise, keeping the core mechanics as the focus, but also bringing a new element to the game and continuing the legacy of the Master Chief.
Is this where Gears is headed? Well I have a theory on that. I am probably wrong but it makes sense for many reasons. I will go into that below after we review the other statement from Rod.
Rod: “It’s the same thing with all sequels. This isn’t a great way of phrasing it but I always talk about shipping a sequel to customers as ‘managing betrayal’. They want something new but they don’t want something so new that it doesn’t feel like what they want. But if you put out something that’s very familiar and is the same as the game they just had, then it’s like ‘I’ve already had this. This isn’t new enough.
You actually have to betray them enough to give them something new and surprising but not so much that they disconnect, and I think that is a big thing that we have to focus on. It’s how we can innovate and bring something new to the franchise while at the same time really proving that we understand Gears – that this is the franchise that you know and love.
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.”
Sequel……. well that says a lot in its self. There has been a lot of speculation about if we are looking at a sequel or a prequel. So looks like sequel it is. However, this does not necessarily mean we are looking at an entirely new theme, similar to what 343 did with Halo 4.
As I mentioned above I have some theories about this to share with you….
(Possible spoiler alert for anyone that has not completed Gears 3 campaign)
For the real hardcore fans of Gears you will know that the ‘Kantus’ make up the religious sect of the Horde. The Kantus were presumably sent into extinction with the rest of the Locust Horde in Gears 3.
When the Delta Squad made their way into the Hollow they encountered the Kantus Priest.
A Priest by rights is an ordained minister of a Church that is authorized to perform certain rights and administer sacraments.
Who are they praying to?? Why do the Locust have Priests?
My theory, which may be totally so far off the mark it’s not funny but it’s a theory none the less, is that the Locust are praying to their ancestors.
We know little about where they came from and how they came to be. They had to come from somewhere and I must say I feel a little like watching a Gears of War version of Prometheus when I say this but I believe that they were created by their ancestors – and they are pissed! The entire Locust race was wiped out, the humans are to blame, and I believe – they are coming for revenge!
Gears – bringing the past into the future? Could we be in for the most epic battle that Gears has ever seen? If we thought the Locust were hard to kill off then just wait until we face the ancestors!
We may also be in for a mainstream version where they find a new race of evil that wants to take over the human race etc etc, but I don’t think Black Tusk would be lacking that much creativity that they would do that. The developers at Black Tusk have proven themselves to be leaders in innovation and a very solid studio, especially since they now have Rod Fergusson on board. I believe they have really taken a good hard look into the history of Gears and know that there are many unanswered questions, such as just where the Locust even came from?
What happened in the 14 years from E-Day up until Marcus was released from prison and kicked off the Gears of War 1 campaign?
How did the Queen come to be? Why would a human take their side? Was she abandoned? Was she an outcast for committing an unforgivable act? And why does Marcus’ father Adam and Myrrah know so much about each other??
So many questions that need answering, they can’t go forward into another chapter without shedding some light on how this all came to be.
Adam and Myrrah…………… perhaps lovers at one stage? We know barely anything about Marcus’ mother……. could she…………… maybe…………… just possibly………….. be Marcus’ older sister??
The mind literally boggles when you look right back through the history of Gears and the little bread crumbs that are left along the way. We have so many questions we need answered to fill all the voids left along the way throughout the Gears franchise.
Maybe I’m just over thinking it and we have a totally new theme headed our way, but I hope, and I am sure the rest of the Gears community hopes, that we will see these questions answered and perhaps learn once and for all where this battle really began, where the Locust come from and FINALLY put an end to this entire blood lines relentless attack on humanity.
Interview Source: Mr Jonty