On the “Breaking into the Industry” interview series on Electronic Arts’ website, Chuck Beaver, story producer for the Dead Space franchise claims Gears of War has “literally the worst writing in games.”
Beaver denounced the series’ narrative but pointed out that fans still largely enjoy the games, despite the quality of the story.
“Story can only ruin a game for those people who care about story, so it’s a conditional answer,” Beaver said. “For instance, Gears of War. It contains atrocious, offensive violations of story basics. Yet it doesn’t seem to ruin it for many, many people. It’s literally the worst writing in games, but seems to have no ill effects.”
Appropriately, Beaver also confessed that Dead Space could use some improvement.
“We knew so little about story [when making Dead Space], and overruled our writers a lot. Dead Space was just a simple haunted house story that we later pasted a personal aspect on top of.”
Beaver added, “Dead Space 2 was a huge challenge. All these elements from the original game that were poorly thought through … had to move coherently into the next narrative. The first story had a wreck of unrelated events and broken structure, so we cut our teeth getting that into shape, and didn’t fully make it.”
However, the interview wasn’t all about bashing titles, and Beaver relayed general design theory in the article:
“Games are games first, and need to engage on that level. Story is a giant competitive edge to add your offering, but pure story can’t rescue craptastic game design.”
Beaver’s critique of Gears of War is perhaps hyperbolic, but this and his criticism of his own work reveal that quality stories are gaining importance to video game developers, and these developers may be learning to create better stories for future games. According to an interview with IGN, even Cliff Bleszinski is not entirely satisfied with the story behind the Gears of War franchise.
At the time of this article’s publication, the original interview with Beaver is not present on EA’s site.