Monday, July 27, 2009

Info : Gears of War

It wouldn't be a Gears of War panel without design director of Epic Games, Cliff Bleszinski, who also happens to be the executive producer of the upcoming Gears movie. Other panelists include Joshua Ortega, Gears of War comic book author and scriptwriter for Gears of War 2; Len Wiseman, director of the upcoming Gears of War and Chris Morgan, screenwriter for the Gears of War movie.

What did they talk about: Cliffy B. and Rod Fergusson were the first to be introduced by moderator Adam Sessler. They started talking about Dark Corners, which comes out next week on July 28. For our impressions of the downloadable content, please see Kevin's post in the reviews blog. Available for 1200 Microsoft Points, Bleszinski and Fergusson talked about the deleted scene, "Road to Ruin" which they had initially wanted to put in the game, but pulled it out because it would have disrupted the pacing. In the add-on, stealth is required but Bleszinski wanted to assure fans that there was little stealth and emphasized that it is a very forgiving element.

Fergusson also mentioned that next week on July 31, developers will be playing with members of the community so here's your chance to take out any frustrations. Also, if you play Dark Corners the first week that it's released, you'll also earn double experience points.

The next question moved away from games and into literature. For those who read the Gears of War novels a new book is coming out by Karen Traviss titled, "Jacinto's Remnant," which picks up the story immediately after the last game ends. The conversation went on to talk about collectibles and what's being sold at Comic-Con. The giant screens in the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton (next to the convention center) also displayed screenshots and artwork throughout the presentation. When a model of a ticker appeared, Bleszinki made a point to call it an "explosive death beaver."

What fans went wild over was the introduction of GOW themed avatar outfits. Two versions were displayed: the COG armor and the Locust armor. We have to admit that they both looked pretty cool, but we are favoring the COG outfit with the helmet though, the locust helmet looks like you're wearing a giant chest plate on your head.

Joshua Ortega came out afterwards to talk about Gears art and the comic books. After displaying several works of art, he showed one of a red-haired female COG, drawn by artist Jim Lee. It looks like it's not just going to be a boys club anymore.

Len Wiseman and Chris Morgan came out next to talk about the movie, which we know very little of. Unfortunately, they didn't reveal anything either and kept reiterating the fact that it's still in the very early stages and they are doing the best they can to bring the spectacle of Gears to the big screen while keeping the drama that holds the story together. Wiseman isn't much of a gamer, but he bought an Xbox 360 to play Gears of War. He found that he'd rather watch it than play it, but was amazed at the detail and knew that it would be a great movie.

Len and Chris talked about the challenges of picking the most important aspects, like the war and the drama and condensing it to 110 pages. The hardest thing to do is to leave cool stuff out, because aspects of a good video game do not always translate into a good movie. Since Bleszinski is playing a large role in the project, he has been bouncing ideas off of Len and vice versa. They agreed that it was important to have a bond as well as trust. Fergusson added later that it's all about making the best movie possible by letting certain things go, instead of trying to make the game into a movie. He said he only had a short list of things not to do, and that included not killing Marcus.

In regards to what kind of focus the movie will take, Wiseman said that "The spectacle is going to be there, it's a huge focus but it's not the first priority. It starts with the story and the characters, you have a character you root for and care about in the end you don't just go wow that's cool, but you want him to survive." Morgan added that, "You don't follow the events in the movie, you follow the characters."

Len dismissed rumors about choosing a pro wrestler for the main roles, and said that he is looking for the best actor for the role and that their build is not the focus. Not much about the movie was revealed during this panel, except that the audience was assured that Emergence Day will be in the movie.

Best audience question: "Will a girl COG be in the movie?" While Bleszinski said it's too early to talk about that, Len did say he was a supporter and would love to see it happen.

Worst audience question: Several people asked about casting. Suggestions included Kate Beckinsdale as Maria, The Cole Train as himself, and John Travolta as Marcus, (please no) but Len said that it was too early to make any decisions. The voice actor of Cole however, was in the audience and stood up to give a "WOOHOO!" to please the crowd.

Random Fact: Carmine means red, and we learned from the panel that anyone that has anything to do with red, whether it be red shirts from Star Trek, or last names, they never survive.

The Takeaway: It sounds like the movie is going to mirror the game, in the sense that beneath the visual splendor, there will be a sappy story to tell as well. We're looking forward to the movie, but we were disappointed that nothing substantial was revealed (we know, early stages) and nothing about future projects were mentioned. Sadly, the most exciting thing that came from this panel was the clothing. You might want to keep an eye out for the Xbox Live avatar outfits, but then again, do you really want to have your avatar look like everyone else for the next few months until something better comes out?



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Michelle Pendlelton said...

Cool! About the casting, I've always thought either Dwayne Johnson or Ron Perlman would be perfect for this movie. I feel that they may be able to carry this movie well, and they have that certain appeal that is uncommon among Hollywood actors. Truly a must-see film!

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