If you thought the E3 Gears of War 4 reveal was a bit light on the action, that was by design according to the Coalition’s Rod Fergusson, who said in an interview with IGN that the trailer was meant as a “tease” to play with people’s expectations. Fergusson said that he wanted the next game in the long-running franchise to invoke something a bit darker, more intriguing…and maybe a little scary.
The Coalition is taking over the Gears series starting with this entry after Microsoft acquired the franchise from Epic Games last year.
“We’re going back to something personal, intimate, dark, and mysterious, being afraid of the boogeyman,” Fergusson told IGN this week. He hopes in this way that the series will move away from the grand war with the Locust depicted in Gears of War 3 and towards something more like the original, “that sense of mystery, things going bump in the night.”
The story also features younger, less battle-hardened protagonists in JD and Kait. Fergusson says that this allows the characters to be more impacted by the story as they are more impressionable than, say, Marcus Fenix would be. He also hinted at a lot more moral ambiguity to be coming in the Gears 4 story, saying that gamers’ expectations have changed from expecting stories to be black and white to wanting some gray peppered in, “things that are open to interpretation about what’s right and wrong.”
Fergusson said that along with the more intimate, personal story, the Coalition hopes to go back to what made things unique for the Gears series rather than just an emulation of other shooters.
“Rather than follow those games, I’d rather lead by being true to what makes Gears Gears,” he said. “That’s why we’re going back to co-op, the two of you sharing that experience.”
Gears of War 4 is expected during the 2016 holiday season. Beta access (expected to start next spring) is being included for those who preorder the upcoming Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.