As reported by VGC, original Gears of War lead designer Cliff Bleszinski made a recent appearance on the XboxEra podcast to talk about his long career in videogames. They touched on a wide variety of subjects, but one of the most interesting tidbits was that Bleszinski was particularly keen on making Gears of War 4 a first person shooter before he left Epic Games and the company sold the Gears franchise to Microsoft.
In response to a viewer question about Epic's initial ideas for Gears 4, Bleszinski replied: "I can tell you I wanted to actually consider going first-person with it."
"I mean, can you imagine chainsawing a Locust in first person?"
It doesn't seem like this pitch for Gears 4 progressed very far before Bleszinski left the company in 2012. In 2014, Microsoft purchased the franchise and subsequent games in the series have been developed by The Coalition.
Honestly, more than chainsawing a Locust and seeing all its chunky guts up close, I think a first-person Gears could have been a great showcase for the series' incredible environments. People always remember the great gunplay, guys who look like thumbs, and the doomed romance of Dominic and Maria Santiago, but the series' world is still so visually striking. These baroque cities that look like they were beamed in from a latter-day Final Fantasy getting absolutely annihilated by biomechanical terrors, it's great stuff.
There's an amusing irony to one of the most defining third person shooters ever going back to first person—after Resident Evil 4 really blew open the over-the-shoulder perspective, Gears ran with it and practically defined the genre. Additionally, after Bleszinski left Epic, the company went on to make Fortnite, which has to be the most financially successful third person shooter ever made at this point.
XboxEra's whole hour and a half discussion with Bleszinski is full of other interesting stories as well. The developer discusses his early career as well as post-Epic activities, and even reveals he was involved in the early stages of an Aliens videogame pitch.
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Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.