In a move that has caused some shock and dismay amongst Gears fans and cynical nitpickers alike, future DLC for the finale title in the Gears of War franchise will have heroes Marcus, Dom, Baird and Cole sitting on the sidelines.
While the DLC is the first time in the history of the series that players won’t assume control of their favorite oversized, hulking heroes the character behind the proposed DLC seems interesting enough to warrant a story arch of his own.
Michael Barrick, a stranded character that enlisted into the COG following Operation Lifeboat and star of the graphic novel Hollow will be the primary focus of the DLC Epic produces in the wake of Gears 3’s ending.
After insinuations arose that Hollow was going to be the insular story for the latest DLC, Epic Developer Cliff Bleszinski wrote on Neogaf, “No, it won’t be the graphic novel. But it will have all new campaign content that doesn’t have Marcus, Dom, Cole and Baird in it. Expect Barrick and more…” At the same time, he also took some time and addressed accusations of poor writing in Gears of War 3.
“I’m not going to defend our story here, those who love it and get it truly adore it,” Bleszinski said. “You can find plot holes in nearly anything, from Lord of the Rings to Dark Knight. Story, like any art, can be somewhat subjective and is easy to pick on.
“The GAF crowd can be somewhat cynical. If you go to YouTube and look up many of the cutscenes deemed ‘silly’ or ‘cheesy’ on here the majority of the comments over there cite how the scenes moved them, made them misty eyed, or out and out made them cry.” He continued.
“And those of you citing Cole as some bad stereotype – guys, that’s just Lester being Lester. We introduced Jace as a more laid back character as a contrast to Cole’s enthusiasm (which, after playing his sequence, is his way of overcompensating for not being the centre of the universe and having to risk his neck for a can of beans now along with some aches and pains).”
“I believe we’re getting better at storytelling with each effort and the critical consensus is that this is the best Gears narrative yet, and we’ll keep doing better in the future. You can pick anything to shreds on the internet because you’ve got the time and balls afforded to you by a keyboard and monitor. ;)”
“And no, we’re not going to answer everything. Creatives often leave certain questions unanswered so they can answer them later or let the hive mind of the internet to figure it out. The Gearspedia has already solved a lot of these questions.” Bleszinski concluded.
So, while Gears of War 3 may not have been the story of epic, pun intended, proportions that many were hoping for, it seemed that many have been overall satisfied with what Bleszinski and his team offered up to, supposedly, close out the story of Marcus, Dom, Baird and Cole. And despite any misgivings many may have about focusing on an entirely new character for the DLC, it seems worth mentioning that there was a time when players had no clue who Marcus Fenix was and have since then, grown a bit attached to him.
Frankly, it’s laudable that Epic is moving away from characters many have come to know and love for a chance to explore new facets of the Gears Universe – be it locales, characters or events that haven’t been overtly detailed in the last three titles in the series. After all, you can only have grilled cheese so many times before you want a change and if this is Epic’s idea of change, I for one take little issue with that.