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"Sure, the IP can be a billion dollar one, but when you're Rule 34'd is when you've truly arrived as a fictional universe."
Cliff Bleszinski

Gears of War is an award winning, bestselling science fiction video game franchise, created by Epic Games, currently developed by The Coalition, owned and published by Xbox Game Studios (previously known as Microsoft Game Studios). The trilogy, prequel and two sequels that currently make up the series take place on the planet Sera and focus on a war between humans and creatures known as the Locust Horde. In Gears of War, the protagonist Marcus Fenix, a soldier or "Gear" in the Coalition of Ordered Governments, leads his squad on a mission to deploy the Lightmass Bomb and destroy the Locust Horde in their underground strongholds. The sequel Gears of War 2 takes place six months after the events of the first game, and follows Delta Squad and the COG Army as it launches an assault directly against the Hollow in an effort to end the war. The second sequel Gears of War 3 takes places 2 years after the second game, when Marcus and his team have to combat the growing threat of the Lambent and rescue his father Adam Fenix from the Locust Horde. The prequel Gears of War: Judgment takes the players back before events of the original trilogy to the immediate aftermath of Emergence Day. Following Kilo Squad, led by Damon Baird and Augustus Cole, as they fight to save the city of Halvo Bay from an unstoppable enemy. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is a remastered version of the original Gears of War, repackaged with brand new content. The third sequel Gears of War 4 takes place 25 years after the end of the Locust War and follows JD Fenix - the son of Marcus Fenix and Anya Stroud - as he and his friends investigate a new mysterious threat responsible for disappearances of entire populations of multiple human settlements. The fourth sequel Gears 5 follows Kait Diaz, an ex-Outsider, who after joining the COG Army tries to uncover the origins of the Locust Horde and her connection to the enemy as a new war begins. Microsoft also announced 2 spin-offs of the series - Gears Pop! and Gears Tactics. Numerous comics and novels expand on the events, characters and backstory of the Gears universe.

SettingEdit

The Gears franchise takes place on the planet Sera. The planet Sera has a history of conflict that took the planet to the brink of destruction. This shocked the people into a rejection of their destructive ways, leading to a golden age. Although most conflict was solved peacefully, civil liberties and crime remained troublesome social issues. A golden age of culture, science, and the arts.[1] Yet one problem stood prominent above the rest: energy. Sera's sources of petroleum and nuclear fuel were not sufficient to meet the global demand. Imulsion - with its promise of near limitless energy - was thought to be the solution to mankind's great need.[2]

Humans discovered the liquid Imulsion that flows underground that became a key power source. The value of Imulsion led to a seventy nine-year war over the substance, fought between the Coalition of Ordered Governments and the Union of Independent Republics, until the COG won the war. Shortly after peace settled, however, humans were attacked across the planet from the Locust, a race of beings that dug their way out from underground. Much of humanity was wiped out on the first Locust attack, otherwise known as Emergence Day, and the remaining humans gathered their numbers on Jacinto Plateau, a mass of hard rock the Locust could not burrow through; the humans that could not make it became known as the Stranded, and took shelter among the ruins. COG then employed a "scorched earth" policy by turning orbital lasers across the surface of the planet to deny the Locust any spoils of war. The COG forces and the Locust continue to battle, each side desiring the complete destruction of the other.

The campaign mode of the series has focused on the character of Marcus Fenix, a COG soldier formally imprisoned for abandoning his duty post during the early Locust attacks to save his father, Adam Fenix, a key scientist studying the Locust. At the start of the first game, Marcus is rescued from the abandoned prison facility by his best friend, Dominic "Dom" Santiago, who had lost his wife Maria during the Locust attacks and has been looking for her since. Marcus, after his rescue, is readmitted to the COG force and promoted to lead Delta Squad. They are later joined by Augustus Cole, a star "thrashball" player before Emergence Day, and Damon Baird, the squad's mechanic.

The events of Gears of War 4 take place 25 years after the end of the wars with the Locust and Lambent. The Coalition of Ordered Governments turned into an authoritarian dictatorship and finds itself at odds with Outsiders - Independent groups of people who want to live free lives outside the COG jurisdiction. To protect the recovering populationthe, the COG now uses autonomous bots known as "DeeBees" to perform dangerous task and builds automated, walled cities known as "Settlements" in order to protect its people from windflares - Extreme weather phenomena that started appearing on Sera after the use of the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon. After the war ended, indestructible crystals covered the Locust bodies, forcing the COG to seal them in various underground locations scattered all over Sera. As the COG and the Outsiders fight each other, entire populations of multiple human settlements start disappearing...

GameplayEdit

Gears of War is a third person shooter game, with its core concepts being derived from Resident Evil 4's "over the shoulder" perspective, kill.switch's cover system, and Bionic Commando's swinging action akin to moving between points of cover.[3] The series focuses on using cover to tactically engage the enemy in battle to avoid taking damage. While behind cover, the player can fire blindly and inaccurately at their opponent, or can look around the cover and aim carefully, though exposing himself to enemy fire; the player can also sidle along cover, move between nearby cover, or vault over cover to race to a new point of cover. While “roadie-running” if a player hits a piece of cover, they will automatically slam into cover against it. As the player takes damage, the "Crimson Omen" appears on the HUD, becoming more defined as the player nears low health levels. The player can regenerate their health by staying out of harm’s way for a short bit. Should the player take too much damage, they will become incapacitated unless revived by a teammate; depending on game mode, the player may be able to recover from this state on their own, or may die after a short amount of time if not revived. When a combatant is down, a member of the other side may also attempt to execute the downed player via a "curb stomp" or other brutal method. Some types of damage will immediately kill the player with no chance of revival, such as explosive damage or a headshot.

Players in Gears can only carry four different weapons: one pistol-type weapon, up to four grenades of a specific type, and two other weapons which include assault rifles, sniper rifles, a shotgun, and rocket launchers. Players can either obtain ammo or swap out their current weapons with any weapon dropped by a downed foe or from those scattered around the various maps. Most weapons feature the "Active Reload" ability: either after a weapon has run out of an ammo clip or when the player starts a manual reload, a meter is shown on screen, and the player can attempt to stop the meter in a certain marked area. If the player stops the meter in the marked area, their reload will be completed faster than if they didn't attempt an Active Reload, and if the player can stop the meter at a specific section of the marked area, they will gain a slight damage boost with each reloaded shot. If the player stops the meter outside this area, their gun will become temporarily jammed and slow down the reload time. While most of the weapons are based on standard shooter archetypes, Gears' signature weapon is the Lancer, an assault rifle that has a mounted chainsaw bayonet which can be used in close quarters combat to instantly kill a foe. The chainsaw bayonet, however, will lower itself if the player is taking damage. Most other weapons also can be used to bash opponents in melee, or in the case of grenades, can be stuck to a foe, exploding a few seconds later.

Both Gears games feature a single player mode that can be played co-operatively with one other player. The two players take the roles of two COG soldiers, Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago, respectively, as they fight the Locust. At various times, the campaign will offer a choice of paths the first player can select; if the second player is present, they will forced to take the other path. In these areas, both players generally have to work together to get them both through the section, such as by one player providing covering fire while the second player opens a switch that allows the first player to then proceed. The campaign mode features several levels of difficulties.

The competitive multiplayer mode in both games feature up to ten players split between COG and Locust forces in a number of gameplay types. Modes include "Warzone" and "Execution", both similar to a typical deathmatch, and "Annex" and "King of the Hill" where teams have to control a marked zone on the map.

Main CastEdit

Character Game
Gears of War Gears of War 2 Gears of War 3 RAAM's Shadow Gears of War: Judgment Gears of War 4 Gears 5
Marcus Fenix John DiMaggio John DiMaggio
Dominic Santiago Carlos Ferro Carlos Ferro
Augustus Cole Lester Speight Lester Speight
Damon Baird Fred Tatasciore Fred Tatasciore
James Dominic Fenix Liam McIntyre
Delmont Walker Eugene Byrd
Kait Diaz Laura Bailey
Michael Barrick Rick Wasserman
Alicia Valera Laura Bailey
Sofia Hendrik Ali Hillis
Garron Paduk Chris Cox Chris Cox
Victor Hoffman Jamie Alcroft Jamie Alcroft
Anya Stroud Nan McNamara Nan McNamara
Queen Myrrah Carolyn Seymour Carolyn Seymour
Adam Fenix Charles Cioffi Peter Renaday
Jace Stratton Nolan North Michael B. Jordan Justin Shaw
Samantha Byrne Claudia Black Claudia Black
Minh Young Kim Robin Atkin Downes Robin Atkin Downes Robin Atkin Downes
Anthony Carmine Michael Gough
RAAM Dee Bradley Baker
Benjamin Carmine Michael Gough
Tai Kaliso Fred Tatasciore Fred Tatasciore
Dizzy Wallin Peter Jason
Skorge Dee Bradley Baker
Richard Prescott Charles Cioffi Dwight Schultz
Maria Santiago Courtney Ford
Niles Samson Robin Atkin Downes Robin Atkin Downes
Bernadette Mataki Tess Masters Tess Masters
Clayton Carmine Michael Gough Michael Gough Michael Gough
Aaron Griffin Ice-T
Ezra Pound Loomis Bruce Thomas
Reyna Diaz Justina Machado
Oscar Diaz Jimmy Smits Al Rodrigo
Mina Jinn Angel Desai
Speaker Fred Tatasciore
Fahz Chutani Rahul Kohli
Elizabeth Carmine Sarah Elmaleh
IRIS Trisha Miller

Games and ExpansionsEdit

Gears of WarEdit

Main article: Gears of War

Gears of War is a tactical third-person shooter video game developed by Epic Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It was initially released as an exclusive title for the Xbox 360 on November 7, 2006 in North America, and on November 17, 2006 in Europe.[4] Gears of War follows Delta Squad's efforts to help deploy a Lightmass bomb deep in the Locust tunnels to wipe out the Locust threat. The game is playable on the Xbox One through backwards compatibility and is a part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription.

Gears of War 2Edit

Main article: Gears of War 2

Gears of War 2 is a tactical third-person shooter video game developed by Epic Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios.[5] It is the sequel to Gears of War, and was announced by lead designer Cliff Bleszinski during the February 20, 2008 Game Developers Conference. The game uses a heavily upgraded version of the Unreal Engine 3.[6] Gears of War 2 takes place after the first game, where the Locust are now attempting sink Jacinto Plateau, and the COG forces have decided to launch a counter-offensive to stop them before they can complete their attempt. The game is playable on the Xbox One through backwards compatibility and is a part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription.

Gears of War 3Edit

Main article: Gears of War 3

Gears of War 3 is a tactical third-person shooter video game developed by Epic Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios and is the conclusion to the Gears of War Trilogy. Gears of War 3 takes places 2 years after the second game, Marcus and his team have to combat the growing threat of the Lambent and rescue his father Adam Fenix from the Locust Horde. Gears of War 3 was released on September 20th, 2011. The game is playable on the Xbox One through backwards compatibility and is a part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription.

RAAM's ShadowEdit

Main article: RAAM's Shadow

RAAM's Shadow is a singleplayer DLC for Gears of War 3 released on December 13, 2011. In RAAM's Shadow, the players follow an ex-Stranded, Michael Barrick, his team, Zeta-Six and General RAAM during the Evacuation of Ilima in 9 A.E. The expansion includes chapters that allow the players to control RAAM, making it the first Gears of War campaign with a Locust being a playable character. It also added all four members of Zeta-Six - Barrick, Alicia Valera, Tai Kaliso and Minh Young Kim - as well as RAAM and the Theron Elite as playable characters in the online modes.

Gears of War: JudgmentEdit

Main article: Gears of War: Judgment

Gears of War: Judgment is a tactical third-person shooter video game developed by Epic Games and People Can Fly and published by Microsoft Game Studios. Gears of War: Judgment is the fourth game in the Gears of War franchise. The Campaign is a prequel to the first game, it takes you back to the immediate aftermath of Emergence Day and revolves around the trial of Kilo Squad, including Lt. Damon Baird and Pvt. Augustus Cole, as they are accused of treason after a battle against the Locust in Halvo Bay. The game is playable on the Xbox One through backwards compatibility and is a part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription.

Gears of War: Ultimate EditionEdit

Main article: Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is a tactical third-person shooter video game developed by The Coalition and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The game is a remastered version of the original Gears of War that offers improved graphics, redone campaign cinematics, new chapters previously available only in the PC version of the original, new multiplayer modes, all multiplayer maps from the original, multiplayer characters from Gears of War 2 and Gears of War 3, unlockable comics and more. The game runs at 1080p in 30 frames per second in campaign and 1080p in 60 frames per second in multiplayer. Ultimate Edition was released on August 25th, 2015 on the Xbox One and March 1st, 2016 on PC (Windows 10). The game is a part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription.

Gears of War 4Edit

Main article: Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4 is a tactical third-person shooter video game developed by The Coalition and Splash Damage and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The game is a sequel to Gears of War 3, taking place 25 years after the end of the Locust War and Lambent Pandemic and follows JD, the son of Marcus and Anya, and his friend as they try to investigate a mysterious force that attacked their village and kidnapped it's population. It is the first game in the series that abandoned Unreal Engine 3 in favor of it's newer version, Unreal Engine 4. The game runs at 1080p in 30 frames per second in campaign and horde (native 4k 30FPS or 1080p 60FPS on the Xbox One X) and 1080p in 60 frames per second in multiplayer (native 4k on the Xbox One X). Gears of War 4 was released through early access on October 7th, 2016 (Ultimate Edition) and officially released on October 11th, 2016 (Standard Edition) on the Xbox One and PC (Windows 10). The game is a part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription and Xbox Play Anywhere program.

Gears 5Edit

Main article: Gears 5

Gears 5 is a tactical third-person shooter video game developed by The Coalition and Splash Damage and published by Xbox Game Studios. The game is a sequel to Gears of War 4 and follows a former outsider Kait Diaz, who - with a new conflict looming on the horizon - joins the COG forces together with the rest of her friends and goes on a journey to discover her connection to the Swarm and the origins of the Locust Horde. The game was released through early access on September 6th, 2019 (Ultimate Edition and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) and officially on September 10th, 2019 (Standard Edition and Xbox Game Pass) on the Xbox One and PC. The PC version was one of the first Xbox Game Studios titles available on Steam. Gears 5 is a part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription and Xbox Play Anywhere program.

Gears Pop!Edit

Main article: Gears Pop!

Gears Pop! is a tactical game developed by The Coalition in collaboration with Funko, released on August 22, 2019, on mobile devices and Windows 10.

Gears TacticsEdit

Main article: Gears Tactics

Gears Tactics is a tactical RTS game developed by Splash Damage in collaboration with The Coalition. The game is going to launch on PC first, before making its way to the Xbox consoles.

MusicEdit

Main article: Gears of War Soundtrack

The video game music for Gears of War was composed by Kevin Riepl, who has previously worked with Epic Games on soundtracks for Unreal Tournament 2003 and Unreal Championship.[7]

Main article: Gears of War 2 Soundtrack

In Gears of War 2, the music was composed by Steve Jablonsky.[8].

Main article: Gears of War 3 Soundtrack

The music for Gears of War 3 was - just like in Gears of War 2 - was composed by Steve Jablonsky.[9]

Main article: Gears of War: Judgment Soundtrack

In Gears of War: Judgment, Steve Jablonsky - the composer of the music in the two previous entries - once again came back to compose the music for the game.

Main article: Gears of War 4 Soundtrack

The soundtrack for Gears of War 4 was composed by Ramin Djawadi, known mostly for his work on HBO's Game of Thrones.[10]

Main article: Gears 5 Soundtrack

The soundtrack for Gears 5 was composed by Ramin Djawadi, who also composed the score of Gears of War 4.

AdaptationsEdit

BooksEdit

Main article: Books

Epic Games and Del Ray announced on July 21, 2008, that a book series based on Gears of War would be published. The first three books were published by Del Ray, while the fourth and fifth were published by Gallery Books. The first five books - Aspho Fields, Jacinto's Remnant, Anvil Gate, Coalition's End and The Slab - were written by Karen Traviss[11]. On March 12, 2019, The Coalition announced the sixth novel taking place between Gears of War 4 and Gears 5 titled Gears of War: Ascendace. The book was written by Jason M. Hough and published by Titan Books.[12] Ascendance was released on July 30, 2019. In August, 2019, Jason Hough informed that he is working on the second novel.[13]

ComicsEdit

Main article: Comic Series

Epic Games and DC Comics announced on April 18, 2008, that a comic book based on Gears of War would be published. The comic is published under DC's Wildstorm imprint and is written by Joshua Ortega (Issues #1 - #14) and Karen Traviss (Issue #15 onwards), with art by Liam Sharp (Issues #1 - #13) and Leonardo Manco (Issue #14 onwards)[14][15][16]. In 2017, The Coalition announced they were working on a new comic series in collaboration with IDW Publishing titled Gears of War: The Rise of RAAM - A four-issue series written by Kurtis J. Wiebe and illustrated by Max Dunbar explores the rise of RAAM in the Locust hierarchy during the events leading up to Emergence Day[17]. On December 20, 2018, another series titled Gears of War: Hivebusters was announced. The five-issue series written by Kurtis J. Wiebe and illustrated by Alan Quah will focus on Team Scorpio, a group of Hivebusters active during the Swarm War[18].

FilmEdit

Main article: Gears of War (film)

On March 20, 2007, it was announced that New Line Cinema had purchased the rights to make a Gears of War film, with Stuart Beattie writing the script along with Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, who will be producing it.[19] Producer Wyck Godfrey said of the film adaptation, "I'm not a gamer, but what blew me away about Gears was how it captures the mythology of a war mission and how high the stakes are."[20] On August 3, 2007, AICN.com reported that Len Wiseman was to direct the movie adaptation of Gears of War.[21] though on March 30, 2007, Godfrey stated that they have "a director we're about to attach" in order to film the movie during 2009 and release in 2010.

Wiseman was officially signed on in June 2008 with Chris Morgan performing script rewrites.[22] Morgan hinted on G4's televised coverage of Comic Con 2008 that the film would be a prequel to the first game, "it could explain how Marcus (Fenix) got his scar."[23] According to Morgan, Wiseman "wants to make it as realistic as possible, and to blur those lines where your mind says, 'Oh, it's a big CGI film.[24]

Production started to get complicated in 2010 when the budget was cut down and Les Wiseman left prodcution.[25]

On October 5, 2016, the studio head of The Coalition, Rod Fergusson announced that Microsoft is working with Universal Studios on the Gears of War movie.[26] In June 2019, Fergusson stated the movie will not be a part of the Gears of War canon.[27]

MerchandiseEdit

Main article: Gears of War Merchandise

TriForce Sales has obtained a license from Epic Games to create full-scale replicas of the armor and weapons from the game, with assistance of sculptor Sid Garrand of Nightmare Armor Studios. The units will be available for advanced order in July 2008.[28]

In July 2007,[29] NECA announced they would be producing Gears of War merchandise, including action figures. The first series, available in the second quarter of 2008, included Augustus Cole, a Locust Drone, a Locust Sniper and Marcus Fenix.[30]

Mindzeye Studios has created foot high statues of Gears of War characters.[31]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Gears of War 2 booklet
  2. Destroyed Beauty pg 1
  3. GameSpot - GDC 07: Cliffy B disassembles Gears, mentions sequel (accessdate=2007-07-05)
  4. No Gears of War release for Germany (publisher=GamesIndustry.biz; date=2006-10-19; accessdate=2006-10-19)
  5. Gears of War 2: Epic's tactical shooter gears up for round two (publisher=GamePro; accessdate=April 2008)
  6. Gametrailers.com - Epic Games - GDC 2008: Unreal Engine Tech Demo (publisher=Gametrailers.com; accessdate=2008-11-03)
  7. Review of "Gears of War" soundtrack (publisher=Movie Music UK,by Jonathan Broxton; accessdate=2007-08-20)
  8. Gears of War 2 Soundtrack News (date=2008-10-07; accessdate=2008-11-28; publisher=IGN)
  9. http://g4tv.com/comiccon2010/panels-and-live-blogs/gears-of-war-3/77 G4: Gears Of War 3 Comic-Con 2010 Panel
  10. Gears of War 4 Adds Game of Thrones Composer
  11. http://uk.xbox360.ign.com/articles/892/892316p1.html
  12. Gears of War on Twitter: We are proud to announce Gears of War: Ascendance, a brand new Gears novel from New York Times bestselling author Jason M. Hough and @TitanBooks!
  13. https://twitter.com/JasonMHough/status/1160571730378649600?s=19
  14. Epic Games and DC Plan Gears of War Comic Book (date=2008-04-18; accessdate=2008-04-18; publisher=Shacknews; by Aaron Linde)
  15. Ortega & Sharp on Gears of War Comic, Newsarama, July 24, 2008
  16. Sharp's Exclusive Gears of War Comic News, Comicon, August 11, 2008
  17. FOG! Reveals Max Dunbar’s ‘Gears of War: The Rise of RAAM #1’ Cover!
  18. An All-New Squad of Gears Launch a Mission of Vengeance in GEARS OF WAR: HIVEBUSTERS
  19. title=Gears of War Novel Update. Movie Script Confirmed (date=2008-01-02; publisher=TeamXbox; accessdate=2008-06-01)
  20. IGN: Gears of War Gearing Up at New Line (publisher=Movies.ign.com; author=IGN Staff; accessdate=2008-10-27)
  21. Len Wiseman officially announced as "Gears of War" director (publisher=Cinema Confidential; date=2008-06-17; accessdate=2008-09-21)
  22. Wiseman suits up for 'Gears of War', June 16, 2008
  23. A Day In The Life: Chris Morgan(publisher=G4tv.com; author=Jonathan Hunt; date=July 24, 2008; accessdate=2008-09-21)
  24. 'Gears Of War' Screenwriter Aims For 'Gritty And Real' Big-Screen Version Of Video Game (date=2008-10-29; publisher=MTV; accessdate=2008-10-30)
  25. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2010/04/gears-of-war-len-wiseman-delayed.html
  26. Gears of War Movie Confirmed
  27. The Gears of War Movie Is Set in an Alternate Reality - IGN First
  28. Company to Produce Wearable Gears of War Armor, Weapon Replicas (date=2008-05-30; publisher=Shacknews)
  29. NECA signs with Epic Games
  30. Gears of War: Marcus Fenix
  31. "GI's 2008 Holiday Buying Guide," Game Informer 188 (December 2008): 40.

External linksEdit

Gears of War series
Main Games: Gears of War () • Gears of War 2 () • Gears of War 3 () • Gears of War 4 () • Gears 5 ()
Other Games: RAAM's ShadowGears of War: Judgment () • Gears of War: Ultimate EditionGears Pop!Gears Tactics
Books: Aspho FieldsJacinto's RemnantAnvil GateCoalition's EndThe SlabKilo Squad: The Survivor's LogAscendance
Comics: HollowBarrenA Pendulum Wars StoryDirty Little SecretsThe Rise of RAAMHivebustersStand-Alone Issues
Booklets and Guides: Destroyed BeautyBeneath the SurfaceThe Art of Gears of WarThe Art of Gears of War 3The Poster CollectionThe Art of Gears of War 4RetrospectiveThe Art of Gears 5Gears Tactics: The Art of the Game
Other Media: Gears of War (film)Gears of War: ExileGears of War: The Board GameGears of War: Tactics
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