When I heard that Epic Games had sold my most beloved franchise, Gears of War, to Microsoft, it made me think one thing: did I make a back the wrong horse? After all, I've spent the greater part of last year coming to terms with choosing the PlayStation 4 over the Xbox One. Although I'm sure I will eventually return to Xbox One in some capacity, I'm going to need a reason. Could this be why?
Although it just sits on my shelf now, collecting dust with the rest of my collection, at one point Gears of War 3 was my entire freaking life. My wife dubbed herself a "Gears Widow" as I would spend countless hours with my friends on Xbox Live grinding experience for the coveted re-up . I've said in BK's Bullet's Podcast that Gears of War 3 was my favorite game of last console's generation. Yes, my love runs deep for Marcus, Cole Train, and the rest of the Delta Squad.
Here is my wish list for the upcoming Gears of War title:
1.) The ending of Gears of War 3 was pretty epic. Keep the ride going. Let Marcus keep the helm. As much as I liked playing with Michael Barrick in the expansion, Marcus is the one I'm most interested in.
2.) While "score attack" modes were somewhat interesting in Judgement, the game play really shines in larger sandbox areas. Judgement felt so compartmentalized and so barren that the world wasn't really worth exploring (not that there was much to explore!). Open up the world, ditch the score screen every two minutes. Survival in of itself is reward enough.
3.) We need another major villain that carries through the story arc. General RAAM was one of the most beloved villains of the franchise, so much that he was brought back during later RAAM's Shadow DLC. Having a major protagonist will keep the story fresh and meaningful.
4.) Go all out on the multiplayer. Horde Mode and Beast Mode defined Gears of War 3 just as Overrun defined Gears of War Judgment. Don't make us pick and choose. Return them both, and add some other variety into the mix as well. I hate when games add something great only to take it away in the future iterations. Microsoft has a great opportunity to pack the multiplayer with tons of content.
5.) Leave the Pendulum Wars in the past. Prequels are OK but since we know how the Gears of War saga began, it will leave little room to craft a unique story. Flashbacks are OK, but Gears is based on human vs. locust, not human vs. human. Don't ruin the tradition!
I can honestly say I'm more excited about this game than Halo 5.
Please Microsoft, make me a believer...