Video Game Writing: Will the Madness Stop?

Here we go again.

First Dead Space producer Chuck Beaver called it, well… terrible and Gears writer Karen Traviss stated that she didn't like reading novels.

I think even the creator Cliff Bleszinski was disappointed with the results of the game's storytelling.

Now the writer of the current installment criticizes the franchise's character development. And he's the one writing the current game!

June 29, 2012 announced that Epic Games announced that Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter author and award winner Tom Bissell would be contributing to the new game. He wrote the Gears 3 Collector's Edition art book. He also worked on two games in the Alien franchise. He is also a contributor of the New Yorker.

However Bissell initially praise the game saying:

“People knock Gears for being derivative, but in 2006 there was nothing else that looked like Gears out there. Gears looked like a heavy metal album cover meets Full Metal Jacket meets Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings. And that was really different in 2006. I mean no-one had really combined those strands of popular entertainment before, so that to me is what makes it cool.”

“What I love about Gears is that it feels like I'm 14 again. As an adult you go to a part of your imagination that you cherish so much fr

om when you were a kid and a teenager – loving sci-fi, loving Star Wars. And making this game that's way darker than that but captures some of those sci-fi loving emotions you have when you're discovering this stuff – it's a total blast.”

Bissell and other Judgment writer Auten describe Gears: Judgment as a buddy game with a more serious narrative.

However, one point, they mentioned that bothers me is that they do not intend on giving the Locusts motivations.

Maybe, Gears of War deserves a reboot. The current franchise could be boosted to writing awards comparable to that of the Palme D'or winning Apocalypse Now, which gave audiences pro-war and anti-war motivations up to their perspective as the protagonists kill countless others. The current game is given a narrative with very little motivation catering only to teenagers where they paintball Moving from Point A to Point B like a zombie movie. (Note: I got the observation from Jay Bauman in one of Red Letter Media's Half in the Bag reviews.)

Matthew Burns said Burns on his blog, Magical Wasteland about Gears of War:

“The problem is “deeply structural to the product itself, at a level where no amount of 'smart' versus 'dumb' choices can really change things.”

Bissell agrees:

“Matthew's essay really struck a chord in me because I think he's fundamentally right. If you're trying to tell a story in a shooter where you're doing shooty things, then have a cutscene in which the hero drops to his knees and agonises about finding his lost wife, that's never going to be good, ever.”

What is your opinion on the direction of the franchise? Is darker the better direction or blockbuster? Comment below.


About The Author

GuestPost represents the work of past New Gamer Nation writers. Though they may not be with us anymore physically, we know they are with us in spirit.