Cliff for hire
Big news: Cliff Bleszinski has left Epic after 20 years, saying that he wants to take a break from the industry hes been involved in since he was a teenager. Though he hasnt confirmed what hes going to do after his break, we have to imagine hell return to gaming in some fashion. This got us excited at the possibilities of him going to another studio, and helping another franchise flourish just like he did with Gears of War.
Weve come up with six different series that could absolutely use the tender, loving care of the game industrys Tony Stark, Cliffy B. And yes, we know he wasnt specifically responsible for every single thing Epic ever did--but let us dream, yknow?
Why it needs help: Though we enjoyed Resident Evil 6, we definitely felt like it was the weakest in the core franchise (as we mentioned in our Resident Evil 6 review), mostly due to conflicted gameplay and poorly designed bosses.
Best-case scenario: Cliff could help the Resident Evil team with its cover system, which felt like a poor imitation of Gears of Wars to begin with. He could also fix the camera, which too often was ripped from the players hand in order to focus on something happening in the background. Gears of War, smartly, has the press a button to see something cool feature, which keeps the player in control while still showing off awesome stuff.
Worst-case scenario: The series devolves into even more of a dudebro shooter franchise, with Chris and Leon donning heavy suits of armor and deciding to travel to the Umbrella homeworld to end this thing once and for all.
Why it needs help: Metro: 2033 had a lot going for it, but ran into control issues that some couldnt get over.
Best-case scenario: Though Cliff likely wouldnt be able to help the developer add more scares, he could certainly create a better control scheme for the shooter. Say what you will about Epics games, but no one will claim that the controls arent nearly perfect.
Worst-case scenario: Cliffy decides to make the moody shooter into an arena shooter, completely killing any chance the franchise has of becoming the premier moody FPS of the generation. Funnily enough, Monster Kills simply arent scary.
Why it needs help: Red Faction: Armageddon did so poorly for THQ that the publisher essentially said that it was done with the franchise.
Best-case scenario: Red Faction is at its best when its all about destruction, and Cliffy B. has made it clear that he loves destruction. Hopefully hed double down on it, helping the developer create a Red Faction that moves the series forward without moving the gameplay back. Also: sledgehammer bayonet.
Worst-case scenario: He could also play too much of the old Red Faction games and pull the series back towards its first-person roots, turning it into more of an Unreal, and less of a Red Faction: Guerrilla.
Why it needs help: Metroid: Other M showed that Nintendo was willing to create non-first-person Metroids, but it wasnt great. Or even good, for that matter.
Best-case scenario: Cliffs history with awesome third-person games could work wonders for a Metroid game. Gears of War has always had wonderful weight to it, just as Samus armor should, and we feel like he could make a Metroid work that way. Inversely, he could also bring it back to 2D, making the Shadow Complex-style Metroid everyone wants.
Worst-case scenario: He could take the franchise in more of an action FPS direction, making Samus a foul-mouthed bounty hunter that kicks space pirates into saw blades and drops bombs in their mouths before throwing them into the air with her grappling hook. Oh God, Bulletstorm was really a Metroid game, wasnt it?
Why it needs help: Though Spyro has found its niche, Crash has been fading further and further out of the public eye ever since the PS1-era ended.
Best-case scenario: Though hes typically associated with explosive AAA shooters, Bleszinski actually got his start with the Jazz Jackrabbit franchise. Cliffy has said on multiple occasions that hed love to revisit this series, and even though working on Crash wouldnt be the same, it would likely be similar enough to get his creative juices flowing--we'd see the most energized Cliffy B. in years.
Worst-case scenario: Instead of tapping into his Jazz days, Cliff might fall back on his Unreal Tournament experience and turn Crash Bandicoot into an FPS. Actually, that would be pretty awesome--never mind, this is actually the best-case scenario now.
What do you want Cliff to touch?
Sure, some of these are exaggerated, silly, or impossible, but who cares? We still really want to see that Crash Bandicoot FPS, and youre crazy if you dont.
What game franchises do you want to see Cliffy B take over, or help? Let us know and well update this article with your suggestions in the coming days.
And if you're looking for more speculation-filled articles, check out a list of publishers that should pick up THQ's cancelled games and the top 7 most incredibly exciting games still coming out this holiday season.