5 (unlikely) games influenced by Gears Of War
Plenty of Japanese developers have looked to bridge the gap between East and West with their games. Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi did it by creating a traditional JRPG, hiring a talented novelist to pen the story and making use of the Unreal Engine 3. And what game proved the immense power and graphical quality of that engine? Gears Of War, of course. The result remains one of the best-looking titles on the Xbox 360, taking a little of the tone of Gears through that Unreal engine, but managing to turn it into something completely unique.
Gears haters will often point to a lack of originality in this series. They can point to countless games that did X or Y before Epic did. That’s fine, but again and again Gears was the tipping point where something was tried and the world took notice and mimicked the idea. Case in point is the Horde mode from Gears Of War 2 and the subsequent horde mode added to Halo 3: ODST. Survival modes weren’t all that new. Co-op survival wasn’t either, but even Bungie took notice when Epic introduced it. And would there be zombies and aliens in COD without it?
Seeing a little Gears in FIFA wasn’t something we could have expected, but there it was in Be A Pro Mode. With the introduction of a third-person camera angle for playing as a single player in FIFA, the patented Road Run of Gears Of War also made an appearance whenever you sprinted with the ball, bearing down on goal. The Roadie Run is about the camera pulling in a little tighter, shaking and implying a little extra tension and urgency. In Gears it was about moving fast and not getting shot. In FIFA it was about the pressure to take your chance on goal.
A popular feature of Gears that didn’t actually see a lot of application outside Epic’s series was Active Reload. If you’re not familiar with it, the mechanic gave you the chance to reload your weapon faster by hitting your button just as it hit the right point in the reload meter. Messing it up would slow you down. It was a smart idea that found some application in EA’s Syndicate reboot and its Breach mechanic. In this instance it was all about creating a Breach Spike by releasing LB at the right moment. Doing this would replenish your breach abilities a little.
Cover systems were not a new idea, but for us, GOW cemented them as pretty much essential for any third-person game involving gunplay. And then GTA IV added in a cover hugging system for the first time in the game’s console history. That also introduced things like blind fire, another popular feature of Gears. We think there’s a direct line between what Gears Of War was doing and how Rockstar looked to evolve and improve its combat mechanics and when you’re influencing the biggest game on the planet, that speaks volumes about your impact to us.