Should Gears of War 3 Wait Until The Next Generation?

By Adam Ma on April 8, 2010, 11:32AM EDT
X360

In many ways the Gears of War series is quite unique to the console-shooter genre. Slower paced gameplay, loads of gore, and characters that look like they could rip a tank in half "“ it really sets Gears apart from the rest of the crowd. In a generation where games are trying to look as realistic as possible, it's kind of refreshing to see Marcus and Dom chainsaw their way through an entire race. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure what's left to look forward to in Gears of War 3. After all, Gears 2 was really more of the same, only with some better graphics and a few revamped weapons. Would it be better to wait for the next generation of consoles so they could really wow their audience?

This isn't to say I enjoy waiting for a game series that I personally loved; it's more a question of where Epic can take this series next. They've already stated that the Xbox 360's graphical ability was completely tapped out in the second game, although perhaps that means they can just spend more time working on gameplay and amazing set pieces. It's also a strong enough IP that it would really be a strong foot forward on any next-gen platform, should Microsoft decide to wait. Epic did initially state that this is what they wanted, but quickly retracted the statement.

It also raises other questions, specifically about the AI in the game. Gears is a series that boasts a reasonably fluid duck-and-cover system, but is almost hampered by its artificial intelligence. Horde mode would be a cakewalk if not for the constant stat increases each round, and Gears 2's campaign mode wasn't exactly the most difficult. If Epic Games was able to fully stretch the resources of the Xbox 360 after only a couple years, imagine what they could do with an entirely new (and notably more powerful) console, especially if they've got Unreal Engine 4 off the ground by then.

Either way, a Gears announcement is likely to be just around the corner, and with any luck the game will feature a lot more improvements (and a lot more chainsawing) than the last. With even more luck the next game won't feature Razorhail, Kryll, or any driving/flying portions, but that may be asking for a little too much.

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