Gears of War feels stereotypical due to copycats, says Epic’s Chris Perna

Monday, 25th February 2013 13:48 GMT By Dave Cook

Gears of War has had to endure being called stereotypical, thanks to other copycat franchises nicking its look and ideas. That’s the claim of Epic Games art director Chris Perna, the same chap who said the series is a hit with ladies due to its lack of stereotypical, sexy women.

Speaking with OXM, Perna said of these Gears copycats, “I think a lot of that stereotyping was done by copycats.

“When Gears came out it was fresh, it was dark. That’s what it’s meant to be, right? No apologies there. It was a brutal game – it was meant to be. Then everybody copied us and copied our look, and the market was flooded with Gears clones, which hurts the original.”

Anyone who has played or seen the Tecmo-published shooter Quantum Theory will likely agree with Perna on this one. It looks like a blatant attempt to ride the Gears gravy train all the way to nest-egg town, but by comparison if felt stale and unoriginal.

Perna added that Epic had to evolve the series from the first game to avoid further pigeon-holing, “We evolved the colour palette, and the engine and the lighting and the technology and stuff through Gears 2 and then on to Gears 3″, which he said, “was so colourful because we upgraded the renderer and global illumination lighting, which just worked better with more colour, brighter lights and things like that.”

He said that Epic and People Can Fly are going even further in Gears of War: Judgment, “With Judgment we’ve evolved even further. We’ve enhanced the bloom in the renderer so fires will bloom better and won’t be a blown out, ghostly type of thing where it looks like Vaseline is smeared on the lens. I think it’s really, really soft looking.

“We’ve evolved the colour palette even more, to make a lot more colour yet still keep a more sombre tone. We’ve done things with post-processing to really enhance the visuals and our cinematics, too. I think visually, it’s the best looking Gears so far.”

Does Gears of War: Judgment look lovely? You be the judge by watching Epic’s latest multiplayer trailer.



  1. woe

    I noticed more games adding Horde mode to their multiplayer.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 Yeah spot on. Far too many games are doing this, and doing it poorly.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. SplatteredHouse

    @2 Which should lead people to acknowledge/celebrate the superiority of the original, to extol its virtues over the replicant, no? If that didn’t happen, what does it mean – oversaturation of Gears titles is an explanation, and that would be on Epic and MGS to be at fault. It’s plain as day to see MS scrambling at the last, to try to bring some level of relevancy and importance to Judgment, but in this case, I really don’t feel they ought to have been granted the attention.

    In considering Quantum Theory to be a copycat, you’ve missed some points about the situation under which QT came to market. It was positioned primarily as a PS3 release. That was how it was marketed. The game also happened to be available on 360. (iirc, wasn’t it the case too, that the 360 game had performance issues equivalent to a port?)

    Also, it was made by Tecmo-Koei, at around the peak in fortunes of Japan’s western “inspiration” phase. Gears may well have been the inspiration – but, Gears grew to become seen as “Unreal Engine 3 Template game”, basically, that if a UE3 game were created, typically it would share a likeness with Epic’s bug-hunter.

    Does the existance of Urban Trial Freestyle
    diminish the effect of Trials HD?
    I think not. It simply serves to bring that style of content to a new audience interested in playing it, that was omitted by its inspiration.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. mkotechno

    “Doom feels stereotypical due to copycats”
    Said by no one ever.

    Maybe feels stereotypical because is stereotypical.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. vOL

    @4 Another spot on.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Arkorvo

    Being in the games industry I would have thought he knew that games involve through slow iteration.

    Gears of War had colour?
    I’m glad to see they found the post-process desaturation slider regarding the colour grading. 150 shades of brown makes for some good colour contrast. :P

    Bloom is the last thing that helps games look good, it’s a lighting phenomena that like everything else in games is overblown and overused.

    Funny he mentions copycats because I recently played Rogue Trooper and Gears seems to have done quite the cloning process on this title.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. YoungZer0

    Yeah, I think it’s fair to say that the overall art-direction has lost a lot of it’s original appeal thanks to games like Quantum Theory. But still, the characters were pretty stereotypical, the Loud-Mouthed One-Liner Throwing Black Dude and that Cowboy guy for example.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. xino


    What a douche!
    sorry but only EPic games has those meaty beefy looking characters!

    wtf? how can you even compare Quantum Theory to GEARS?
    That man is trying to exalt himself and EPic.
    Quantum Theory was a complete failure the game did not even sold well except for Japan.
    It is not even worthy calling a Gears of War clone!

    but I would say that many games did copy the Horde Mode…BUT Horde mode was ALREADY present in 6th gen games…many games did it.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. YoungZer0

    Oh and it definitely didn’t help that games like Unreal Tournament 3 basically had the same art-direction.

    #9 2 years ago

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