Game developer subtly admits, “Our game writing was swill!”

gears_game_writingGame writing in the original Gears of War is one of my pet peeves*, and I haven’t unloaded that gem yet. However, I’d like to quote a little news nugget I found in the February EGM. In a teaser about Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360), page 59, developer Epic Games is emphasizing the writing.

The writing? What’s the world come to? This, my friends, is a tacit acknowledgement from Epic Games that the game writing in Gears was totally fubar’ed:

The follow-up to this cover-happy blockbuster will dazzle the graphic whores yet again. And apparently, developer Epic Games is putting much more of an emphasis on the sequel’s narrative (expect this story to be much darker than the original’s.

It may not look like much to you, but when half of a two-sentence teaser addresses an improvement in game writing, I guarantee you Epic Games is striving mightily to make up for past wrongs. And if you played Gears of War, you know how wrong that game writing was.

*I should also always add the disclaimer that the abysmal Gears of War game writing looks to me like a shortcoming of the development team and schedule, not the writer.


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  1. Meh. I thought the story of Gears was fine…it’s not meant to be high cinema…just something to grab the attention of the player and let him go.

    I don’t think I ever even want or will identify super writing if I do come across it…why? Because as a player I want to PLAY the game…not live a story…if I wanted that I would watch TV or read a book.

    That said, great writing can create a world that is fun to play and create my own stories…in the end for a FPS game, the story could be dropped all together and I wouldn’t care.

    Just my 5 cents (inflations)

  2. I getcha… esp the bit about inflations. :)
    And I agree that FPSes can commit more sins on the narrative side than other genres. RPGs cannot survive without story.
    Although I think Quake and Serious Sam both skimped on story at various times, and got hammered for it. Although I doubt you were complaining!
    Serious Sam was kind of freaky and disturbing, actually, simply in the bizarre and surreal nature of the wild antagonists and the historical setting.

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