History of Gears of War Series
Gears of War was originally released on November 7, 2006 exclusively for the Xbox 360. It was the first game to really showcase what kind of next-gen graphics are capable using the very friendly Unreal Engine 3. This was the start of true next-gen graphics on consoles. Not to mention on November 21, 2006 Jeff Bell, Microsoft Corporate VP of Global Marketing and Interactive Entertainment Business, confirmed that Gears of War was the first in a trilogy. With the 3rd and final game of the trilogy coming out this fall, I thought it would be nice to brush up on a little bit of Gears of War history.
Gears of War takes place on the planet Sera. A radioactive liquid called Imulsion, was discovered by a scientist who then learned that it could be used as a great power source. The power was wanted by many which led to several wars between nations. The Coalition of Ordered Governments (C.O.G.) originally existed as an obscure world-government philosophy, but it evolved into a political party during the 79-year long Pendulum Wars. After “Emergence Day,” when the Locust began their attack on humanity, the C.O.G. were the ones who took the necessary steps to ensure the survival of human civilization. Fourteen years later, the COG is the only human government left on Sera.
The game’s plot begins fourteen years after Emergence Day. Marcus Fenix, a former C.O.G. soldier, is reinstated into the military after spending four years in prison for abandoning his military post in order to make an attempt to save his father, Adam Fenix. Dominic Santiago helps Marcus escape from jail, and takes him to meet the Delta Squad. The group seeks to obtain the “resonator”. It is a device that will map “The Hollow”, the underground caverns which the Locust inhabit. The plan is to set off the “Lightmass Bomb”, which will destroy the heart of the Locust forces. After recovering the device, Marcus leads his remaining soldiers into the planet’s depths in order to detonate the “resonator” and reveal the Locust’s network of tunnels underground.
Gears of War 2 was released on November 7, 2008. Exactly two years later after the first one. It brought about an updated Unreal Engine 3 boasting some high-end graphics and new gameplay features and weapons. Such as the flamethrower, chain gun, mortar canon, “Gorgon” pistol and Ink Grenade. Not to mention the multiplayer mode changes from 4 on 4 to 5 on 5 making the matches that much more chaotic.
Gears of War 2 begins six months after the Lightmass bombing. The Locust has survived and has renewed their war on humanity. Through unknown means entire Human cities were being sunk by the Locusts. The COG decide to plan a counter-attack against the Locust by sending troops in Grindlifts to reach the Hollow. As they prepare to use the lifts to enter the Hollow they are driven back by a counter attack led by the Locust armies’ new leader Skorge . Marcus Fenix, Dom Santiago and Benjamin Carmine, continues to search the Hollow and discovers that the Locust are using a giant Riftworm to sink the human occupied cities. They learn that the Locust plan to use the riftworm to eat away at the rock structures at the outskirts of Jacinto in hopes of sinking it into the ground.
Exploring the sink hole, Delta Squad is ambushed by Locust and rescued by Cole. As they search for Baird the squad discovers that the Locust have begun taking prisoners and taking them deeper into the hollow, with unknown intentions, after a quick search they find and free Baird. As the squad tries to be extracted by a King Raven Gunship, they are swallowed by the Riftworm. While inside the worm Carmine is killed but the squad destroys the heart only to learn that there are three hearts in total. They locate and destroy the remaining two, effectively killing the worm.
Gears of War 3 will be released on September 20, 2011. Some things to note is that the multiplayer will feature an all new mode called Beast mode. This lets the player take controls of various locust classes and fight against the COG, essentially being the bad guy for fun. We have seen some gameplay at E3 and it is shaping up nicely.
The story takes place eighteen months after Gears of War 2. The Gears have moved to the island of Vectes and are living aboard a converted aircraft carrier called the Raven’s Nest. The COG have since disbanded and the imulsion that powered Sera’s cities has infected and mutated members of the Locust. The infected locust end up becoming Lambent. The Lambent are evolving into a new enemy that threatens both the Locust and humanity. The Stranded also live on the island along with other survivors from E-Day.
At this point not much else is known about the story of Gears of War 3 other than there will be another Carmine added to the mix. The catch is this time around the XBL users are going to decide his fate. In the past two Gears of War, the characters of Carmine have been killed. It’s nice to see the developer giving the community the chance to help “write” the story. Check out the launch trailer below and be sure to keep an eye on this game as it is a strong contender for Game of the year.
*NOTE: Lots of story elements are left out in order to try and not give away too many spoilers as well as to keep the article a decent length. In truth, the stories of Gears 1 and 2 could be a full page each if one was to try and explain every last minor detail. Just play the games, you won’t be disappointed.