Role reversal, gender bending, and General Raams Indian cuisine
As we edge closer to a new chapter in Gears of War, now feels like a perfect time to burrow down to the roots of the series and see exactly how the legend began. We spoke to Jim Brown, the lead level designer at Epic Games, to find out some of the secrets behind the original Gears of War.
Baird it like Beckham
Between the original reveal trailer and the game appearing on shelves, Marcuss character model and voice actor were both changed entirely. Cole and Bairds roles were entirely reversed at one point with Bairds original sports star persona partly inspired by David Beckham. Look at the haircut, and it all makes sense. Eventually the team decided to swap the two, using Jamie Foxxs character from the film Any Given Sunday as their archetype for Cole.
Tank you very much
The original plan for Gears of War was very different. The initial concept was based on large-scale multiplayer warfare with an emphasis on vehicle combat. This was dumped in favour of the cover-based shooting style eventually seen in the final game, while the original concept eventually morphed into Unreal Tournament 3s Warfare mode.
Raam bam, thank you mam
General Raam was a last-minute addition to the game, and almost didnt make the cut. Due to production deadlines, the development team didnt have time to entirely explain how Marcus and the team ended up fighting him on the back of a train. His story has since been fleshed out and is being completely revamped for the Ultimate edition
Friends with benefits
Many of the characters in Gears are inspired by the lives of the Epic development team. Damon Baird was named after a childhood friend of Cliffy B, and The Cole Train was named after Epics level designer Phil Cole. Best of all is Raam, who was named after the owner of the teams favourite Indian restaurant. Were not sure wed have the balls to ask General Raam for a lamb bhuna, if were honest.
The third Gears game was the first to include playable female characters, but its something the team had been thinking about for a while. At one point during development, the team considered letting players choose the gender of Dom opening up the opportunity to play as Dominique Santiago.