Also known as the ‘Fate of Carmine’ campaign, which up until recently had been reported to lean towards saving Carmine. Via sales of avatar items and real shirts, Gears fans managed to raise a six figure check for the charity. And, because of that, Dude Huge would like to thank you:
Now, the question is: will Carmine live? Or will he die? We’ll have to wait until the release of Gears 3, it seems, to find out!
“Headshots are ruining games. Think about the arsenal they give you in Splinter Cell. Think about the remote camera, the sticky mines, the grenades, and EMPs, and all this other stuff, shotguns and assault rifles…and you went through the entire game using the default pistol and then the upgraded version of the default pistol, ’cause it’s silenced and you can shoot guys in the head with it really well…all of the spots where you are not being seen by anyone the right answer every single time is shoot that guy in the head…it is ruining games.” – Jeff Gerstmann
I have a confession. I have a confession, and I’m not sure I can explain it, but here it is: I have an addiction to crunch. That visceral feeling, a shot of adrenaline, that rush of blood. I can’t get enough of it. The rasp of your feet when Limbo’s protagonist slides over a mound of earth, Nathan Drake jumping over an impossible abyss only to land in a perfect grapple…there’s a thousand small moments that exist so vividly in my mind, that I can feel in my bones, that I can swear last a lifetime. None of these moments, however, can match the perfection of a single moment: and that’s getting a headshot in Gears.
It’s not a crunch like any other, because it exists on every possible plane. You see it, the skull pops off in this perfect arc: gruesome, but poetic, in this macabre sort of way. You feel it, that perfect surge of rumble, of feedback. And the soundbite! It should be a requirement for any game with a headshot to implement the same soundbite: there’s nothing else out there that gives you the same satisfaction as hearing a Gears 2 headshot.
And the thing is, it’s not like popping bubblewrap or smashing a watermelon with a baseball bat: you’ve got to earn the high. You’ve got to fight for it. In all the FPS games I’ve played, Gears has to be the hardest game to land a headshot in if only because of craptastic connections, and Marcus’ pin-size head doesn’t help the fact that the hitbox for the headshot is questionable. Couple this with the competition of multiplayer and a Gears player’s penchant for masochism, and you’ve got yourself a reward of the highest order.
Of course, this can be said of any game: try searching for Modern Warfare or Battlefield footage on YouTube, and try to find a video that’s not a montage of headshots. Truth is, nearly everyone who plays FPS games are addicted to headshots. Sure, it’s an efficient way of taking an opponent out: most shots to the head do more damage than bodyshots. I’m convinced it has less to do with a player’s desire to get rid of enemies as fast as possible as it does with a semblance of the headshot high.
Think about it. Sure, you can kill a guy. You can do this in a variety of ways, pinpointing a wide array of locations on the body. But there’s a tinge of humiliation that occurs when you best your opponent via headshot. You’re not just killing them, depriving them of bodily function: you’re taking them out completely, their mind is yours to claim as well. You’re turning off the lights, laying claim to body and soul. You have absolute power over them, and all because you managed to dispatch one or two well-placed shots. Power negotiations between players of opposite teams are never more apparent than that search for the infamous BOOM HEADSHOT.
In this way, I can see Jeff’s criticisms clearly: players can become obsessed with the headshot, but it’s because it’s efficient and it feels great, a testament of prowess. No one wants to just “win” when they’re playing against other people (or enemy AI), they want to prove they’re better, they’re faster, they’re stronger. The headshot embodies all those things simply and as elegantly as designers have managed to implement so far. The fact that some games, like Battlefield, give you bonus points for achieving a headshot, isn’t helping, either.
So then the question would be, can you replace the headshot? Is there a way to one-up it, as it were?
No? Shit, son, you’re gonna have to learn on your feet then, because Labor Day weekend’s Gears 2 XP event is incidentally torque bow tag day, too. Proving to us that he’s mentally insane via a 25x XP event isn’t enough for Rod Fergusson, executive producer of the Gears franchise. Nope. “Labor Day Horde = Torque Bow Tag. All Drone and Grenadier weapons replaced with Torque Bows. Chaos ensues… :)” he recently stated on his twitter account.
For reference on that:
It doesn’t stop there, though. Gears players will also have temporary access to golden lancer and hammerburst weapons during the event, according to Rod’s twitter: meaning you can two-piece or chainsaw in gloriously douchy style. Well, if you’re two-piecing you’re really killing in a hilariously dickish style and you will probably never hear the end of it post-match. But it’s okay baby, you’ve got bling and you’re having fun and that’s all that matters. Just don’t try to buy life insurance if you’re going to partake on the festivities on Labor Day weekend as the blue power ranger, okay?
If not, you may want to get on that–Rod Fergusson, Gears of War executive producer, is teasing some sort of prize in Gears 3 for players who have attained the 100th level on Gears 2 multiplayer. “Trust me. Having your wings in Gears 2 will mean something to you in Gears 3. Nuff said,” notes Fergusson. What that prize could be is still a mystery, but golden weapons are always a nice touch.
Getting to level 100, of course, is no easy feat: take this from someone who has invested months’ worth of time (no joke) into the Gears multiplayer and barely has an upper 60th level. Fortunately for you, not only is Gears 3 still a ways away, but there’s also an upcoming XP event on Labor Day. The XP multiplayer is not set in stone yet, since Rod is taking all the Gears of War Facebook fans and dividing by 1k to dictate what the XP multiplier will be–right now there are 21,544 fans, so that means we’re sitting on x21 XP. The counter stops at midnight tonight, so if you’re interested in getting your wings come this Labor Day weekend, make sure to “like” the Gears Facebook page–the more people who like it, the more ridiculous the XP multiplier can be.
Wonder when you’re going to get to play Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Donkey Kong Country Returns? So did I. As recently as last night, in fact, when I was trying to pick out which games I would deign to spend my money on this holiday season.
Well, wonder no more, gentle reader! Kirby’s Epic Yarn is officially dated for October 17th, and Donkey Kong Country Returns is set for release November 21st. Fun times all around. And if you’re looking for another interesting title, Final Fantasy: 4 Warriors of Light comes out October 5th, and both Super Meat Boy and BIT.TRIP.FATE. are confirmed for this holiday season. Don’t know what the last one is? It’s the newest offering from Gaijin Games, who have made many similarly titled, awesome games. Well, BIT.TRIP.BEAT was awesome. I played that one, don’t’cha know?
Stay tuned in the next few weeks for some sort of comprehensive list of games being released this fall. A useful public service, is what we call it.
This is a year of epics. Epic Mickey, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Scott Pilgrim: An Epic of Epic Epicness, there’s been a lot of epics. Here we have the epic introduction to Epic Mickey. And I don’t know about what you think, but I think it’s pretty fucking epic.
Epic epic epic.
Yeah, it looks cool. Not oh my god, I have to buy this right now cool, but when it’s 30$, definite buy cool. Hey, that’s like most Wii games!
To pad out these comments, here’s an interesting piece on RPS about how Warren Spector thinks games should be games, not movies. Bask in the irony, for we have posted a movie of his game. MWHAHAHA! Suck on this, Spector!
Normally, footage gamers see is not reflective of what we actually get to play: we’re plagued with an abundance of misleading CGI animation. There are, of course, some exceptions to this rule: Gears 3 is an example of a game that looks nearly as good in-play as it does in CGI. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at these four animated gifs depicting the multiplayer portion of the game in action.
Look at this badass. Look at this fucking badass. That is NOT a guy you want to kill. That’s a guy you want on your team, a guy you’d probably stop to watch every time he decides to curbstomp someone. He carries a grinder with a single hand and he’s taking a chokeslam to an entirely different level with the other hand.
And, the internet agrees with me, so clearly I am right. Y’see, the ‘Save Carmine’ shirts are currently outselling the ‘Kill Carmine’ shirts. I, for one, did my part in purchasing a digital version of the shirts–though I intend on purchasing the physical threads online, too. Yes. Carmine will be saved, and the blue power ranger will deliver us against all evil.
Of course, those sales don’t account for the shirts that were sold at Comic-Con or online. In fact, including those votes might paint a different picture altogether–but I will have faith that the magic of the blue power ranger will prevail. It will be divine intervention by the COG gods.
I had sworn to keep away from Gears after playing Battlefield, but the 20x experience event this weekend sucked me back in. Gears has a handful of map-packs, and some of my friends hadn’t gotten the respective achievements for them–the insane experience gain this weekend rekindled interest in attaining them. With the Horde overload from this weekend in mind, I present to you this Horde Mode guide, whose purpose is to help you get to level 50 on any map.
– ALWAYS get a five man team. I realize this may be difficult, but if you’re serious about getting through the levels, then a five man team is a must. Only with a five man team can you attempt to take horde mode on anything above casual. Communication and teamwork will be key, and so playing with people you know is always better than playing with randoms. This is especially true when you consider that having the most points/kills means nothing in a particular round, because scores for maps will be the same for everyone–most randoms do not know this, and tend to play selfishly.
– Don’t overdo the difficulty setting. A dozen or two waves into casual, things may start getting too hard to handle. Playing on insane may be a blood rush, but don’t count on getting too many levels done in only one sitting. Plus, when the waves start adding extra health and accuracy, you may find yourself doing great…until all of a sudden, you get sniped from across the map by a bot that spawned a second ago. Gears loves aimbots, after all. Alternatively, and perhaps more likely, is that you’ll use up an entire clip of something just to kill a normal enemy.
Those of you that will be casting your vote to decide Carmine’s fate, good news: you don’t have to buy your avatar fake clothes anymore, because the Comic-Con shirts have appeared online, and you can buy them here. If you’re going to buy one, I’d get on this fast because there are probably very limited numbers of this shirt. They come in sizes small to extra large, and they cost 20 bucks each. Remember, right now the ‘Save Carmine’ shirts are outselling the ‘Kill Carmine’ shirts on XBL!
Those of you interested in purchasing the digital threads for your avatar, you should be able to buy them via the XBL marketplace starting on July 29th.