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Cliff Bleszinski talks Gears' competition, future and deeper narrative

No intro needed here. You know who Cliff Bleszinski is and you're here to read what he has to say. So let's get on with it. And when you're done, be sure to read our hands-on reports with Gears of War 2's first act and the brilliant new Horde five-man co-op mode.

GamesRadar: There's a lot of back-story to the original Gears of War that never came through in the game. There seems to be a lot more of it being pushed to the front in Gears 2...

Cliff Bleszinski: You mean like how we have an opening cut-scene this time around?

GR: Yeah. There's a lot of the texture and history of the Pendulum Wars in there now. Why did you want to bring all of that into the game this time?

CB: Maybe it was a mistake to not have that in the first one. You know, maybe we were a little too subtle with some of the story elements. That's not to say the pendulum's going to swing now and that we're going to be beating people down with story every two seconds.

There's a little bit of grey area there. Maybe Gears' story was a little bit too simple and now we can leverage something a bit better out of the game. Because I think narrative, I think fiction, I think context are incredibly important for what we're doing.

GR: There was a feature we did the other week, looking at some of the grey areas in the story...

CB: Oh were you guys the ones who were claiming that humanity are the bad guys?

GR: That was us. Did you have any opinion on that?

CB: I can't really say a lot about it, man. You know, you're tapping into really deep franchise sh*t here. But I really applaud your efforts at exploring a lot of the angles of the universe that not a lot of people generally tend to pick up on. Because all of it's in there. There's a lot of little subtle things in the game that we deliberately put in there that make certain statements about humanity, about the war, about the real world, things like that. And that people have finally started picking up on a little bit of it I think is pretty compelling.

GR: Have you found exploring that a more enriching experience with having a new writer this time? Has that had an effect on things?

CB: Well Josh Ortega's a trip, man. He's an incredibly enthusiastic, charismatic, smart writer. And there's not a lot of people out there that can do what videogame writers do right now. There's only a handful of them. Just for having a lot of patience with the amount of script cycling that we do. But from there on out, we wanted to flesh out the story a bit more. You know, we established the universe in the first one and we wanted to just take the ball and run with it now. Not only with what humanity's going through but also with what Dom's going through.

GR: You mentioned earlier on, and it's no secret, that since Gears of War made the big cover-shooting innovation everyone's jumped on the idea. Has the market saturation of the genre given you any extra pressure while developing Gears 2? Did you feel you had to make a point with it?

CB: I believe that it's easy to say that you're going to make a cover system. It's incredibly difficult to make it work. In the development of the game we've had a lot of behind the scenes tweaks that we've put in, in regards to enemy accuracy when the player's in cover versus out of cover... How much the player has to pull back on the stick, what the threshhold is before he'll come off the cover... So much goes into it to make it just perfect, and I think we're pretty close to hitting that threshhold right now.

At the same time, you know I think there are other games that are doing cool stuff with cover. I saw the Wanted videogame, which allows you to curve your bullets and reach across cover and stab people and stuff. And I'm like "Cool!", you know. "Bring it!"

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15 comments

  • HotSht95 - November 12, 2008 8:07 p.m.

    yeah no shit defguru
  • likedamaster - October 2, 2008 7:18 a.m.

    With that said, Gears of War 2 will get got 1st day! ;)
  • Pyro240 - October 1, 2008 4:29 p.m.

    If I could meet anyone in thee world, it'd be Cliffy B, man. You know. And I loled at Zoltar.
  • gilligan2021 - September 30, 2008 6:06 p.m.

    But no matter how long the franchise lasts, The horde mode looks superb and I could play that for forever.
  • lewis42025 - September 30, 2008 6:04 p.m.

    absolutely awesome interview, and that's awesome that he read u guys' story on if the humans are the bad guys, i found that really interesting
  • Slapdog - September 30, 2008 4:41 p.m.

    I really hope this just ends the story here. I know it's not the best business move, but I don't want to wait until I'm old to finish a story I started in my twenties. I can read a book and enjoy a good (if not better due to the standards of the masses) story in a couple days. This one looks good and I want to know the end. If they make a trilogy at the same rate of 1 game every two years, it means six years apart from beginning to end. It seems wasteful. Ok I'm done.
  • thel3g3ndkillr - October 30, 2008 3:48 a.m.

    Finally, even the Lead Designer agrees with me, people are making the game more that it is, and i didn't really like this interview, it was to left-wing liberal from gameradar's side
  • bloodstainedwolf - October 13, 2008 10:33 p.m.

    Thanks for the interview Cliffy B bro. I understand what you mean on making a shooter grow into something much more better. Shooter's will always be around forever. But the one's who have the mind to know how to make it better is what counts.
  • CandiedJester - October 7, 2008 12:02 a.m.

    Cliff is a hottie.
  • TheGreatHobbe - October 5, 2008 7:55 a.m.

    wow he seemed shocked that GR thought that the humans were the bad guys. lol
  • likedamaster - October 2, 2008 7:16 a.m.

    I still don't see where Gears 1 "failed" storywise! It was perfect, not too much info but just enough. Not too vague and not too detailed to bore you, and full of action! WTF? I hate when people complain so much that they change the game and it no longer plays the same. Gears 1 will go down in the hall of fame for one of the best and complete games ever!
  • ELpork - October 1, 2008 11:20 a.m.

    Zoltar FTW
  • Rattlehead - October 1, 2008 2:53 a.m.

    Cliff seems really cool
  • Defguru7777 - September 30, 2008 11 p.m.

    Gears 2 is going to be the 360's best game this year.
  • timp123 - September 30, 2008 3:11 p.m.

    cool interview, man. You know.

Showing 1-15 of 15 comments

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