The Gears of War series has plenty of female fans, and while Epic’s Cliff Bleszinski doesn’t really “know why” it does, he and the rest of the development team felt the fairer gender needed representation in the final act of the trilogy.
While a series such as Gears having a rather large female fan-base could be construed as a surprising phenomenon, it’s not really. Granted, it centers around bulky men and the bromance which blossoms between them as they try to erase the even bulkier scourge of Locust invaders, but whether this premise is a consideration as to whether or not to purchase the game is neither here nor there: women like it because it is fun, and you get to blow shit to pieces. At least, that is this woman’s personal take on the matter.
Cliff Bleszinski may have mentioned to Gamasutra that he was a bit unsure as to why the series appeals to women, but there are enough who do, and this acknowledgment from the female fan-base was paid back in spades to us in Gears 3.
“I initially wanted to [female characters] it in Gears 1, but we didn’t have the time to properly model them and everything like that,” Bleszinski explained. “And by the time we got to the third game, the way the fiction was panning out was that now the women aren’t even birthing anymore. They have to grab their guns and get into the mix as well, right?
“The evolution of Anya from being just kind of the dispatcher who’s your voice in your ear to someone who’s stomping on Locust heads next to you — it’s an interesting character evolution. And quite frankly, the franchise seems to have a lot of female fans. I don’t know why, but I’ll take it. And the fact that we’re the go-to game, and girls come up to me at Comic Con and show me the Crimson Omen tattoos on their neck, is pretty crazy.”
While commendable in and of itself, the inclusion of an equally adept female fighting alongside Dom and Marcus has been made even more laudable by the fact females in the game are not designed to draw attention to their physical characteristics as a sexual object.
While still physically appealing to look at, Anya for example, is a lovely gal but you are drawn not to her body, but instead to her abilities as a warrior. Having perfect hair that never gets mussed up when destroying Locust scum is just icing on the proverbial cake.
“We felt the need to properly represent [women] in the game, and make sure that they have characters that they like,” said Bleszinski. “That are confident. That, again, don’t look like prostitutes.
“Because the traditional video game methodology used to be that. But if you look at the new Tomb Raider, she actually looks great. She doesn’t look like the traditional Lara Croft with the big boobs anymore, she looks more like a Hilary Swank who’s been fighting for her life in the jungle and I think that’s the maturity of the industry growing up a little bit.”
Bleszinski admits that not all women like the Gears of War games, and they may not be drawn to Gears 3 even with the inclusion of female characters, but it doesn’t mean women can’t like it regardless.
“I don’t know if it’s the third person nature, or the fact that you can kind of hang out behind cover and pop up, and the fact that Gears fans generally tend to be more cooperative, as opposed to adversarial,” he mused. “It might be a combination of all those factors, but it’s a good problem to have, for us.”
Gears of War 3 was released earlier this week on Xbox 360 to fantastic reviews.