Gears of War follows the exploits of Marcus Fenix as he tries to save mankind from the Locust Horde. Marcus was once a decorated war hero, but after leaving his guard post during emergence day to warn his father, he was imprisoned for treason. Gears 2 follows the squad as they continue to push the fight to the Locust. Gears of War 3 wraps up the story arc.
- Your health is represented by a symbol called the "Crimson Omen" which emanates from the center of the screen.
- The Gears of War franchise has been expanded into novels, graphic novels, and plans for a feature film have been circulating for years.
- Gears of War was released November 2006. The game quickly became the fastest selling game for the Xbox 360. Gears of War 2 has enjoyed similar success, selling approximately 3 million copies in the first month of its release. Gears Of War 3 was announced before the official scheduled announcement, an interview on the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show with Cliff Bleszinski, on the Xbox Live Dashboard on the 14th of April, 2010. Gears of War 3 topped 1 million pre-orders.
After abandoning his post to save his father (and failing to do so), Marcus was sent to prison for life. However, after Emergence Day his good friend Dominic Santiago busted him out of jail to rejoin the war.
Dom is a good friend of Marcus and "bails" him out of jail at the beginning of the first game. Dom is unique in that he has a personal goal for fighting the war: locating his lost wife, Maria.
"The Coal Train" is a former thrashball player who joins the war to kick some Locust ass. He often thinks of the war as a game but is certainly capable of expressing fear when he feels it.
Baird is without a doubt the smartest member of Delta Squad (the squad that Marcus Fenix leads). He is capable of fixing vehicles and building a giant bomb. However, Baird was very upset when Fenix was promoted to squad leader and he wasn't.
The only person above Hoffman is the Chairman. Hoffman is capable of fighting on the front lines if things turn from bad to worse. He gives orders to Marcus' squad throughout both games.
Delta Squad would not have gotten very far without Anya. She provides vital intel to the squad and updates as their mission progresses. In Gears Of War 3, Anya joins the fight with Marcus and the others and she is also a playable character in multiplayer.
Jack is a flying robot capable of turning itself invisible so it doesn't get shot during fights. Whenever Delta Squad needs to open a door that they can't kick open, they call on Jack for assistance. In Gears 2, Jack was outfitted with a small screen that Anya could use to talk to Delta.
Gears Of War
Original Release Date: November 7, 2006
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC
Main Article: Gears Of War
The first game in the series helped to popularize third person cover-based gameplay. The story begins just 14 days after Emergence Day, in which the Locust horde began pouring onto the surface from underground. Marcus Fenix, along with Delta Squad, must deploy a Lightmass bomb underground in an attempt to destroy the Locust forces.
The game also had a host-based online competitive multiplayer component.
Gears Of War 2
Original Release Date: November 7, 2008
Platforms: Xbox 360
Main Article: Gears Of War 2
Giant Bomb Review: (Jeff Gerstmann)
The second game in the series continues to emphasis cover-based shooting. After the Lightmass bomb in the first game failed to complete destroy the Locust, one of the last remaining safe havens for humanity, Jacinto, is under threat by the Locust who have begun sinking cities one by one. Marcus, the squad, and the entire COG army go on a massive counter-offensive to stop the horde from destroying Jacinto.
Gears of War 2 retains the online multiplayer from the first game and also introduces a new cooperative game mode called in Horde. In Horde, a team of five players battle waves of Locust on any of the game's multiplayer maps. The waves get harder and harder, and the health, accuracy, and damage done by the Locust increases every 10 waves.
Gears Of War 3
Original Release Date: September 20, 2011
Platforms: Xbox 360
Main Article: Gears Of War 3
Giant Bomb Review: (Jeff Gerstmann)
The third game in the series is the last in the trilogy and decides humanity's fate, as the dissolved Coalition of Ordered Governments struggle to survive against not only the Locust but also the spreading Lambent threat. The story is about Marcus' attempt to find his father, who reveals himself to be a alive in a recorded message. His father, Adam Fenix, claims to have developed a weapon that will completely eradicate the Lambent threat and possibly save the dying planet. The campaign can be played cooperatively and an Arcade mode has been added that allows players to play through the entire campaign with scoring.
Gears of War 3 has the largest multiplayer component in the series. The competitive multiplayer remains and has some new features, including the ability to select different starting weapons before a match and after a death as well as the ability to put custom skins on weapons. Horde mode returns and has a significant tower defense feel to it. Players now earn money from assists and kills which they can spend on fortifications like barriers, decoys, turrets, and more. All of the fortifications can be upgraded by spending money on them. The upgrades either reduce the cost of repairs or allow the player to construct better versions of the fortification. For example, the level 1 barrier is a set of caltrops but can be upgraded into razor wire or lasers. The upgrades are persistant; they carry over from game to game.
A new addition is Beast mode, which is essentially Horde in reverse. Players take control of a variety of Locust forces, including Boomers, mini Corpsers, and Tickers, and must defeat increasingly large groups of Stranded and COG forces who have barricaded themselves behind fortifications. There are 12 waves and players unlock additional tiers of Locust as they progress through the match, eventually getting the ability to play as a Berserker (although it costs over $5000 to do so).
On March 20, 2007, New Line Cinema announced that they purchased rights to a Gears of War film. New Line Cinema announced that Stuart Beattie, Marty Bowen, and Wyck Godfrey would be writing the film, while Godfrey will also be producing the film. The film was also announced for a 2009 release, though it was soon delayed to 2010 with the filming beginning in 2009. Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski announced he would be serving as the executive producer for the film. A few months later, Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman, known for "Live Free or Die Hard and "Underworld," was announced as the director of the film. The film is rumored to be a prequel to the first game.
On Dec. 17, 2010, Mike Capps revealed that Len Wiseman was no longer attached to the project but the movie was still in preproduction.
There have been two published novels and three more scheduled in the Gears of War universe. All are written by Karen Traviss, the New York Times best-selling writer of the Star Wars: Republic Commando novel series. The first three books were published by Del Rey Books. Coalition's End and the 5th untitled book are to be published by Simon & Schuster. Karen Traviss has since also gone on to become the lead writer for Gears of War 3.
- Aspho Fields: Published October 28, 2008. The book details the war altering battle at Aspho Fields during the Pendulum War, 17 years ago, and the events immediately following the end of Gears of War. When former COG Sgt. Bernadette Mataki arrives in Jacinto, old wounds are reopened for Dom and Marcus. What really happened 17 years ago on Aspho Fields that cost Dom's brother, Carlos, his life?
- Jacinto's Remnant : Published July 29, 2009. Taking place immediately after the events of Gears of War 2, the book follows the Coalition of Ordered Government and the remaining Jacinto survivors, begin their search for a safe haven while fending off the remainder of the Locust Horde. Like the previous book, Jacinto's Remnant also follows two storylines, the first being the current events of Gears of War and the second being a flashback to 13 years ago, or, 13 months post-Emergence Day.
- Anvil Gate: Published August 31, 2010. What's left of the COG army faces off against the Stranded Insurgency, before the two decide to unite against the Lambent Invasion. Following the trend the last two books in the series set, the secondary storyline found in Anvil Gate focuses on a major battle during the Pendulum Wars, the Siege of Anvil Gate; where a then Lieutenant Victor Hoffman led a group of Pesang troops and Gears in an all-out siege on the facility "Anvil Gate".
- Coalition's End: To be published August 2, 2011.
On April 18, 2008, Epic Games and DC Comics announced a Gears of War comic series written by Joshua Ortega and with art by Liam Sharp.
TriForce Sales has also announced that they would be releasing full-scale replicas of armor and weapons from Gears of War. The first, a Lancer replica, will be released November 7, 2008 alongside Gears of War 2. NECA has also announced that they will be releasing Gears of War action figures to be released in 2008. The first set will feature Augustus Cole, a Locust drone, a Locust sniper, and Marcus Fenix.
Sold to Microsoft
On January 27th, 2014 Microsoft announced that it had bought the Gears of War property from Epic Games. At the same time, it was announced that future installments of the game would be handled by Black Tusk Studios.