If you woke up in the morning and realized that you didn't stay up until 4:00 am busting the chops of some boss or having your chops busted by some boss, but instead quickly defeated said boss with a few quick button presses, a mid-life QTE segment, and a conveniently placed turret gun, you may have developed HCGAS...Hardcore Gamer Awareness Syndrome.
You see, most of the games coming out that claim to be core, that claim to be fun, that claim to be different, usually aren't. They're all typical by-the-books, duck-and-cover, whack-a-mole shooters. Well, Cliffy B., the lead designer on Gears of War at Epic Games, is speaking out against this casual era of gaming...he also took time to plug the upcoming Gears of War: Judgment.
In an interview with 360 Achievements, Cliff Bleszinski stated that...
“It feels like in this current console generation that we’ve taken a lot of steps to grow the audience and what I think’s happened is that the games have become more linear and easier, so it feels like a lot of quick-time-events,”... “The more I play games like that the more I turned off to them and just want to get back to systems interacting with systems, and get back to a game that, you know, when was the last time a game really challenged you and asked something of you, right? There’s a reason why Demon Souls and Dark Souls have taken off lately. It’s because they really require you actually try.”
Well, Demon Souls and Dark Souls have sleeper-hit numbers. They aren't Call of Duty sellers and they aren't mainstream sellers. That's fine. The thing is, both those games were designed with a core audience in mind...gamers who revel in a challenge and take pride in dying only to alter their strategy and try again. We don't really get that in most other games.
Majority of the strategy in mainstream shooters boils down to how fast you can quick-scope and knock off a headshot on those guys coming out of the spawn point. Strategy? Nah, leave that to StarCraft players.
We reported two weeks ago that Gears of War: Judgment would have a smart spawn system, so the game adapts and changes dynamically based on the way you're playing or sometimes at random. Cliffy B., reiterates what he told Joystiq, saying...
“Casual mode will still be casual, whatever, if you just want to see graphics and you don’t want to die,” ... “But every other mode will be hard in this game and you will die."
He goes on to give examples of how each player's experience will be unique to them and that gamers will finally be able to tell "stories" again about their gaming exploits. It's funny because this gen all those "stories" have become the same...as awesome as Uncharted is as a series, you're always going to be telling the same story when you play it. It's completely linear. It's the same with Call of Duty, Gears of War and Medal of Honor. It's all the same.
If what Cliffy B., isn't just some PR spiel to help move copies (and in today's industry that's not unheard of) then at least core gamers can look forward to Gears of War: Judgment and talk about the great exploits spawned from dying over and over again.
You can check out the rest of the interview over at Xbox360Achievements.