As anyone that follows me on Twitter knows, I have been playing Gears of War 3 pretty solidly for the last month. I enjoy the franchise, although from what I understand it is struggling. Although I haven’t got hold of it yet, I hear that Gears of War: Judgement was a bit of a let-down, according to the more vocal fans on the internet. It is a shame, because I want the Gears of War franchise to hit the heights that Halo and Call of Duty have. At the same time, I realise that the game needs a change of pace injected into it, otherwise we will soon tire of the franchise.
Another thing I realised when playing through the third Gears of War game. There are a lot of political undertones there. While fighting Myrrah, there is a sense that the COGs are the bad guys. We have built a weapon against the Lambent that will end up killing the Locust, technically making us a genocide-driven species. Her boss fight is technically her desperate last push to save her kingdom. It is little moments like this, where we begin to pity the Locust that Gears shines with some good storytelling. However, it is lost in the mindless violence that we mow down upon our enemies. Personally, I think the writers need to go further in that direction to truly get the point across that the Locust aren’t as bad as we make them out to be.
Therefore, my idea for the next Gears of War game is this: the player is a member of the Locust army. We completely switch sides and thrust the player into the character of a Locust marine. Like Marcus Fenix, his job is to lead a crack team of Locust (each with their own unique personalities that we cannot help but like), into several dangerous situations behind enemy lines. There is the clear problem of a language barrier, but I am sure that we could get around that. Myrrah looks and sounds like a human, so maybe these Locust are of a nearer breed to her. I am not sure I want them looking human, as that would kind of hurt the idea of playing something that isn’t human (also, players not bothered about the political subtext will want to play a RAAM look-alike), but maybe they have a similar voice.
I also think that, despite it being tempting, cameos from the other characters should be avoided. Sure, it would be cool to have a boss fight between your new hero and Marcus Fenix, but I think it would be hard to ask a player to merciless kill one of the most beloved gaming heroes out there. Sure, I want to see the Locust fight humans, but new faces, please. In fact, I think most of the action should be against the Lambent, as they are the mutual enemy here. Also, the Lambent can be inventive with their monsters, as it might get a little boring fighting human marines over and over again. They should be a side enemy, while the main villains are the Lambent organisms.
This makes the time frame a bit of a debate. Obviously the Locust are all murdered at the end of Gears of War 3, but if we want the Lambent involved in the game, we haven’t really a lot of options. Personally, I am for the gap in between Gears 2 and 3. I liked the idea that the Grubs went native, leaving their tunnels and salvaging scrap to make a base. I think it would be interesting to play the Locust during this stage of their life. That could be the main goal of the game: to rebuild the Locust kingdom. Sure, it means that we won’t be able to have cameos from RAAM or Skorge, but again, it might be interesting to have new faces instead.
Basically, I think that it would be a great way to expand on the Gears of War universe. I want the game to have exactly the same style as the others, but with new heroes. It would feel like playing Horde, but with a campaign. And besides, you could come to grips with all of the awesome Locust weaponry. Riding Bruhaks, Reavers and Gas Barges… but this time, you don’t have to steal them, completely over-riding the logic in the game play. What do you guys think? Leave a comment below.