We're but months away from Gears of War 3 now, with the bloody finale to the Marcus Fenix saga set to hit in September. With a fantastic beta in the can and the crowds suitably wowed at E3, expectation is sky-high at Microsoft and Epic Games, with the game already shattering pre-order figures and destined to pummel a record or two. And according to design director Cliff 'Cliffy B' Bleszinski, a Gears of War 4 is simply "business 101".
"I mean, we’re business people," Bleszinski told Ripten, "Gears 1 and 2 sold about 6 million copies, so if this game comes out and, God willing, sells 8 or 10 million it would be completely dumb to not do another one, right?" Gears 3 has already shot past its predecessors in pre-order figures in North America alone, so it's likely Bleszinski's hopes will come to fruition. "It's just business 101," he added.
Bleszinski wasn't willing to say more - probably because he'd swiftly find himself unemployed - but he was more than happy to discuss the upcoming Gears 3. "Basically it gets back to crunchy combat bowls," he explains, in regards to Gears' famous sieges where you fend of waves of Locust from an entrenched position. "Gears works when it’s the fountain fight in Gears 1, or the East Barricade Academy first fight where you go in and ‘ok what’s my strategy? I’m gonna go to the right. I found a Long Shot. I’m going to try sniping. Okay, that didn’t work. I died. Respawn, go to the left. Oh, I found a Torque Bow in the closet and I’m going to use that… and then I killed the Boomer and I got his Boomshot for the next wave of enemies. It’s kind of a free-form crunchy combat bowl and we’re going to get back to that a lot."
He went on to explain that Gears 3's updated roster - which includes devilish new weaponry like the Digger and Retro Lancer - was an effort to buff up players' choices in how to engage the enemy. Bleszinski admits the Digger, which fires an underground organic missile which tunnels towards its target before popping up and exploding, isn't the first of its kind, but the implementation is so good it's worth it. The Retro Lancer, sporting a deadly bayonet attachment and fearsome recoil, compliments the existing Lancer with increased power at the expense of accuracy and range.
Finally, Bleszinski confirmed Gears 3 featured an underwater level - which you can momentarily glimpse in the War Pigs trailer - and that environmental variety will be improved. All in all, we can't wait. Come on, September; hurry up and get here! [Ripten]