Interview with Cliffy B

Mr. Gears of War fields our onslaught of questions

Coming off of that, is there any genre other than shooters that you're itching to explore?

Cliffy B: I think there's a lot of room for something that's contemporary and urban without stepping on Grand Theft Auto, something crime-driven. I've always been excited by that Michael Mann-type movie feel like Heat or Collateral, things like that. There's a lot of room in that area.

I've been working in sci-fi worlds for so long with Unreal being so fantastic and Gears being still fantastic but a little bit more tangible. I want to do something completely tangible that feels like New York or LA - that would be very exciting.

Jeff Morris recently joked that the Gears team was left "probably making Gears for the rest of their lives." Is there any sign of fatigue inside Epic?

Cliffy B: That was a silly quote. Considering the fact that the game has sold over three million copies and has had such great reviews, if there were to be another Gears I don't think we'd see anybody being upset about it. It remains to be seen - we've been doing Unreal for years and Gears has been a tremendous success. I'm OK with having that problem.

Is Xbox Live Arcade something that interests you? Could we see Jazz Jackrabbit turn up at some point perhaps?

Cliffy B: I made a comment in my lecture today actually that if anybody out there has any spare cycles and wants to port Jazz to Live Arcade or PlayStation Network contact me. I was actually chatting with Arjan Brussee who's the original programmer on Jazz and we were kicking around if we could find somebody to do it we'd totally be down for it. Who knows man, we don't have a lot of spare cycles these days - we're very busy people. So maybe. Big, fat maybe.

Does it frustrate you at all that a lot of developers consider UE3 a first-person shooter engine only?

Cliffy B: Yeah, it frustrates the shit out of me man. It's possible to do anything with this technology; it's very flexible technology. Because of the fact that we at Epic happen to love shooters and happen to be very good at shooters those are the games we make. But if you look at the system of Marcus taking cover in Gears and how that pans out he's climbing all over the environment, it's parkour with cover - free running and all that.

You can do some amazing things with it. Developers need to get their heads together and figure out what kind of interesting things you can do with it.

How bored are you of people asking if Gears is coming out on PC?

Cliffy B: Very bored. In fact if you ask me that I'm going to stab you in the eyeball with a pencil.

We recommend