Gears of War Judgment is a prequel of sorts that follows Bears roughly 30 days after E day. This will be one if not the best game of 2013 with a lot of great features. Gears of war is set to ship in Feb. 2013 for the Xbox 360. Not a lot of information has been released on the campaign but so far so good. I had a chance to sit down with The Executive Producer of Gears of War Chris Kimmel here’s the man in his own words…
BBM: What’s your name and title with the company?
My name is Chris Kimmel and I’m an executive producer at Microsoft for the Gears of War franchise.
BBM: Tell us about the upcoming Gears of War game?
This is Gears of War judgment is a story set before gears one in some ways it a little bit of a prequel it mainly focuses on Bear. We’ve looked at over the gears games that we’ve done Gears Nation players. We’ve gone through the story of the Marcus’s, Dom and his wife, we even hit a little bit on what happen with Cole before all the war started. We really haven’t talked about Bear and he’s actually one of the most popular characters we have. So we thought hey lets go back and tell a story about Bear and what happen before everything started going on. The campaign is mainly about Bear were not talking about much more than that right now. So far to date we’ve really been showing off our multiplayer mode. One we are showing off today is Overrun which is horde vs. beast basically and then free for all which we just announced this week.
BBM: What would you say has changed from the general gears formula? Would you say some of the weapons are more primitive since were taking the story back?
So a couple things first of all we wanted to the experience more intense. We are really making this game for Gears Nations the people who have been with us all along. We want to make sure they have a great time so intensity is something we talk a lot about and that’s going to be in campaign as well as multi-player. Free for all is a good example of this you’re not on a team anymore. Nobody has your back so it’s really intense you’re always looking left and right trying to figure out what’s going on. At the same time we want to make sure it’s fun over all else. Sometimes we run the conflict because of the story that’s going on. Well say you know what fun rules over being exact things like if you really follow what’s going on in the Gears universe. The time frame of this is game is roughly 30 days after E day in theory there are no Lancers at that point. Lancers are so much fun to chainsaw something so we decided to keep them. That’s where fun rules over being exact. That’s a little bit intensity and making sure the game is super fun.
BBM: Is their new enemy or character classes?
We talk about character classes with Over Run like I said its horde vs. beast. It was the most requested play list going out of Gears 3 and when we first put it together again it was the humans vs. the hoard and that was not fun. So Epic went in and added classes for the humans. We got the humans defending the generator and the locust trying to attack it. The locust play a lot like what beast was before you get these different points and unlock different things in the beastie area. On the human side using defense we made character classes so we have right now which things may change were 6 months from being done. Right now we have the soldier, sniper, medic, and mechanic. Medics are healers; mechanics repair barriers and drop down sentry weapons. Snipers can climb up a nest in sentry perches were other people can’t go also a beacon they can see what’s coming kind of like radar, and the soldier carry heavy class weapons.
BBM: What’s your preferred class?
Wow that’s a good question uh…. I like you know it kind of rotates and I know this is a cheap answer but I like playing as all classes. It’s really the epitome of a great team so if you can find a team that figures out how to work together. Like Bear who represents the mechanic class going up and repairing a barrier. That’s means he’s on the front lines taking a lot of shots. Then we have the medic whose throws a stem grenade and its puts out an area effect of healing that character is Sophia right now. Then you have the soldier Cole with the Boom Shot that triad of three characters is a powerful team.
BBM: Sounds like a powerful formula you don’t work together nothing gets done.
That’s right each side has its own capability’s and you figure out what works well together and that’s fun.
BBM: What has always impressed me are the unique weapons of the game. There are so many different weapons that you won’t see in any other game. Is there a lot of pressure for this game you’re taking a huge franchise that’s known worldwide.
Yeah its tuff when making a game like this. It’s the 4th game of Gears. Its tuff how do you keep the good stuff in but keep it fresh you know not stale. Where constantly with that so far we’ve only talked about one new weapon in free for all. You can try it here today the breach rifle it’s a medium range rifle. It doesn’t shoot as far as the long shot but its farther then the assault rifle. It’s not as powerful as the assault rifle but more than the long shot. It reloads faster than the long shot so it’s really balanced. You have to find out as a player if that fits your style. Some people it’s all about the lancer fire from afar and then get up close and chainsaw.
BBM: What’s your weapon style?
Lancers and gnasher the boom shot. I like the grenade tag but I can never get close enough. Someone either chainsaws me and I’m like AHH! I’m not good enough to identify what there carrying. A great thing that we make really well is a lot of weapon that all feel different you really find what yours game style.
BBM: That’s what I like one shotgun doesn’t feel the same as another shotgun type. Great attention to detail its beautiful. You care about what you do and it comes out in the gameplay
We have a balance design that’s kinda like rock, paper, and scissors. It’s always “oh this thing has got that” but something else will defeat this way. Like the sawed off shotgun its great close ranger. If someone has a hammer burst someone going to rip your head off before you pull that double barrel off.
BBM: What’s one of your favorite aspects in the game that you can talk about?
Free for all. Were showing that today I talked earlier about this idea something old something new something blue kind of idea. I’ve been fortunate to work on Gears for 3 ½ years when gears 2 came out. One of the mantras was you work with epic where a co-op game. Whether its co-op campaign or horde where it’s better to play together. It’s always been important to Gears. Free for all kinda defies the base of that. We are cool with that idea right now we still have all these co-op modes but we wanted to do something different. Every man for himself it keeps it fresh and its intense. This is one of our big goals for Judgment an intense experience. I love free for all right now we have the GameStop managers here last night. About 5,000 of them a lot of diehard fans. Today 2-3000 fans here today. All of them have been liking free for all I think where on to something.
BBM: Tell us a little about you what games have to you worked on in the past?
Oh boy I’ve been working in the industry for 12 years mostly Xbox console games. Pc games here and there worked on Munch’s Odyssey for the launch of xbox. I had an opportunity to work with Rare for 5 years. I was executive producer on Too Human with silicon knights. I ran the zoo tycoon franchise for a year. Kinda all across the board.
What was your first major experience with gaming and how did you know it was for you?
So IM a little older then most gamers. My first video game was pong which was kinda the first game that was out there by Atari. I was 5 years old was 1972 I played in a bar my dad was playing football on the weekends and afterwards we would go to the pizza bar. I was always geeking out from the beginning playing old school games. We had a Fair Child console that was before Atari’s came out. Grew up playing in arcades a lot so I was always a gamer growing up. About 12 years ago I was working for Microsoft they were hiring some new people to launch the Xbox and so I get in and never looked back. I’m just a big kid I love playing games coolest job ever.
BBM: What are some words of wisdom out would give a youth wanting to be involved in the gaming industry?
I talked to a lot of kids in high school about it. First of all things to kind of think about it you want to go in program game design you want a degree in programing. Game design gets super technical and so it really helps to get the skills down and know how programmers think. Even though you may not program as a game designer for an artist is about going to video arts. Drawing specially it where you get your start. You draw 2-d into 3-d something else to think about is something I call garage games. It used to be back in the day people would get a computer science degree and work in games. Now there’s so many colleges and other places you can learn how to make games. You have people coming in who already have made game called garages games. People who work on it with there friends and make a mod of some game on the PC. Or trying out Ios games and making something simple. If you have that experience and have kinda like a portfolio and come to the interview. Say hey I have a program degree and I’ve made these games and then you have the conversation around heres what I did good. Say I did this good but I totally messed up the animation system or this is difficult balance. Have that experience is super important.
BBM: What are some games coming out your excited for?
So many crazy games coming out not just this holiday but next spring which gears some out in March its just crazy. Halo 4 I love Halo that’s more on my radar then call out duty. They always make great stuff but Im more into Halo. I love the story in Halo More then Call of Duty. Master chief is iconic. I get into super man in a space suit. GTA is going to come sometime in the future who knows I love open worlds games. I’m still playing Skyrim I got a family and kids I have to squeeze them in when I can. Of course Gears Judgment and there’s so many I want to see how they do when they come out. Hear the buzz MMO’s are the death of me. I’m still playing Diablo 3 I haven’t maxed them out. I’m at this weird stage where I get hooked by the grind but I don’t have time to see it through till the end.
BBM: Any funny stories you care to share?
This blows my mind the passion of fans. Last night the Gamestop managers where giving away these jackets that I have. We only brought 5 and we had to set the bar high. Ok anyone who has a Gears tattoo will let them have it. 4 People last night had a tattoo and then today we saw at least 10 today. One guy has an entire sleeve of images from 1, 2, and 3 and he trying to figure out where to put the judgment.
I think that deserves a jacket
It did! but we didn’t have anymore. Its always awesome to find out fans stories we met a couple in their 30’s and they played horde with their wife’s parents who are in there 50’s and they do it every week. I’m 45 and on the edge of crazy gamers its an awesome thing.
BBM: Any last words and thing you want to add on?
We made this new game for the fans and intense all across the board so come and check it out.
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