Gears of War Violence More Slapstick Than Gratuitous, Says Cliffy B

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Gears of War Violence More Slapstick Than Gratuitous, Says Cliffy B

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Epic doesn't include violence for the sake of it, says design director Cliff Bleszinski.

Bleszinski has stuck up for violence in videogames, or at least in the Gears of War videogames anyway, saying that it's too over-the-top to be offensive. Speaking to the BBC's World Service, Bleszinski said that Epic included the violence to make the experience better, not because it got thrills at the sight of blood.

Bleszinski said that the sort of violence that you might find in the Gears games was on a par with the slapstick, humorous violence of the old Looney Tunes cartoons, and not something that anyone should be taking seriously. He thought that most people's reactions when they saw a "muscular space marine beating down a lizard man," would be to "smile and giggle," rather than get offended.

He said that Epic kept a tight watch on how far it went in its games, to make sure that it never crossed the line. Epic didn't include the violence for its own sake, he explained, it was included to make it very clear to players when they were successfully hitting their targets. That kind of feedback was vital to making an interactive experience, he added. "We're not depicting a guy in Downtown Los Angeles pulling a truck driver out of his car and hitting him over the head with a brick," he said. "That's not who we are."

It's certainly true that Epic has steered clear of realistic depictions of violence in Gears of War; it's got a heck of a lot more in common with horror movies than it does real life. Similarly, Bleszinski's suggestion that it provides feedback to the player makes a lot of sense. It seems unlikely however, that that distinction is going to matter those opposed to violent games; the question of why you're dicing aliens up with a chainsaw will probably be less important than the fact you're doing it in the first place.

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You had a freaking chainsaw on the end of a gun... and a grossly overpowered shotgun that blew enemies to bits.

Did anyone genuinely think the violence wasn't slapstick?

So essentially, Egoraptor's parody of the game was precisely what Epic Games intended to present in Gears? That's kind of awesome.

Well, I'm glad that he KNOWS just how goofy his games are. Giant Worm, anyone?

Logan Westbrook:
the question of why you're dicing aliens up with a chainsaw will probably be less important than the fact you're doing it in the first place.

Well considering the quality of writing in the Gears of War games, I'm not surprised someone made a fuss over it. Figuring out why you do things in those games is like trying to figure out which end of the Chocolate Coronet you're supposed to eat it from.

Frozen Donkey Wheel2:
Well, I'm glad that he KNOWS just how goofy his games are. Giant Worm, anyone?

This. Any man who will put what is essentially a giant, burrowing penis in his game isn't trying to be serious. XD

GamesB2:
You had a freaking chainsaw on the end of a gun... and a grossly overpowered shotgun that blew enemies to bits.

Did anyone genuinely think the violence wasn't slapstick?

Along with the Torque Bow that gave you just enough time to go "Oh Shi-" before you explode.

I love every word that comes out of this guy's face-hole (or Twitter account). He's the perfect combination of philosopher and jester (like Don Cherry or John Stewart). And I mean no disrespect when I say that; I truly admire the guy.

I have always said this. As soon as my mother, a person completely against heavy gore in games, sat and watched me play through the entire worm level, scoffed, and said, "You play the stupidest games", I knew that nothing in-game should be taken seriously at all.

He right. I fondly remember that episode of the three stooges where Curly cut that guy in half with a chainsaw.

GamesB2:
You had a freaking chainsaw on the end of a gun... and a grossly overpowered shotgun that blew enemies to bits.

Did anyone genuinely think the violence wasn't slapstick?

Never underestimate religious people or mothers.... or humans! hell we live in a world where truth can be considered offensive!

on topic i love GoW and the violence is a lot of the fun.

I'd agree with that assessment, I mean if you have a game where you can chainsaw your opponant in the dick it's hard to classify it as anything BUT slapstick.

When I saw Gears of War for the first time, I thought it was dead serious, but until I played it and some random Locust blew me to bits, leaving only one of my legs standing, then I bursted out laughing and I begun to see the series as a semi serious, semi light hearted shooter.

C'mon, getting out of the Rift Worm, chainsawing out of it completely covered in blood... I don't think it has more in comon with Looney Tunes, I think it has a lot more in common with Itchy & Scratchy and Happy Tree Friends.

Well duh, I figured that out the first time I shot someone with a shotgun in that game. He exploded into giblets instead of anything that was even remotely anatomically correct.

It becomes even more obvious that it's pure slapstick when you play it while listening to:


and

And it also becomes a ton more hilarious.

Not that it wasn't without, with giblets flying everywhere. It's not like arms are severed on an anatomically correct way or anything.

GamesB2:
You had a freaking chainsaw on the end of a gun... and a grossly overpowered shotgun that blew enemies to bits.

Did anyone genuinely think the violence wasn't slapstick?

Idk....I feel like being blown to smithereens is a more realistic depiction of the effects of a shotgun than CoD or Halo features...especially considering the weapon is supposed to be futuristic. The sniper headshot too seems entirely believable...I'm no expert on the subject, but I don't think the skull commonly remains intact when pierced by a high caliber rifle bullet.

Do any of us really KNOW what's realistic and what's over the top when it comes to lethal weapons? (and futuristic ones at that) I always thought the game simply didn't hold back...I still think it's pretty realistic. I guess my point proves that it's all meaningless and open for interpretation. The public perception of reality matters more than reality itself.

Electrogecko:
Idk....I feel like being blown to smithereens is a more realistic depiction of the effects of a shotgun than CoD or Halo features...especially considering the weapon is supposed to be futuristic. The sniper headshot too seems entirely believable...I'm no expert on the subject, but I don't think the skull commonly remains intact when pierced by a high caliber rifle bullet.

Do any of us really KNOW what's realistic and what's over the top when it comes to lethal weapons? (and futuristic ones at that) I always thought the game simply didn't hold back...I still think it's pretty realistic. I guess my point proves that it's all meaningless and open for interpretation. The public perception of reality matters more than reality itself.

Depending on your interpretation on how realistic COD and Halo are weapons wise then I too would agree that Gears of War is more realistic in the way bullets and weapons shred the body.

But it is taken too far, it hits realism then skips right over it laughing like a madman.

And that, Gears... is why we love you.

Cliffy B., you are awesome, and you speak the truth.

Though this has been apparent to me, ever since Marcus uttered the line "A giant fucking worm?"

Lets be fair, you chainsawed your way through the insides of a giant worm. If thats not an indication of slapstick, nothing is.

Slapstick according to Charles Manson, maybe.

The Great JT:
Slapstick according to Charles Manson, maybe.

Video games at best kill time. Charles Manson had a direct hand in the actual murder of people. Slapstick to Charlie was killing people and trying to frame black people as to start a race war in America.

Hyperbole should be an automatic disqualification for having a dumb assed opinion.

Sadly, you dumb ass, it's not.

eh, it's not any worse than in movies so...screw it

Well, duh.

Hell, I play it with the gore switched OFF sometimes.

Then it's full of hilarious rag-dolling.

I like the way they did the sniper headshot, lalala walking along BOOM... Shit i'm dead... That's totally AWESOME!

Compared to the Halo sniper for example it goes from "lalala dead" to Gear's "lalala having no face" and with a little voice in the distance going "lobotosmised!" Pure awesome

I've only played the second game, but I think Cliffy B is mixing up slap stick and over the top. Slap stick is, like he said, Looney Toons or Three Stooges. Gears seems more like over the top and its so violent that you just can't take it seriously.

Holy crap. This reminded me of all the overblown violence children used to (and still do) get with no backlash. Tom and Jerry, Loony Toons, etc. Kids still watch that Coyote get himself blown up multiple times in one short and nobody bats an eye at it. Hell, even modern cartoons like Spongebob have more objectionable content than some games that are consistently slandered for under the banner of "THINK OF THE CHILDREN!" Remember that episode of Spongebob where he's got his face pressed up against the Krusty Krab's doors, and the more Squidward pulls him off, the worse the result? The last time his entire face gets ripped off of his body, revealing his skeleton and other such insides. The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy has so much of that kind of stuff, I'm surprised it lasted on air as long as it did.

But God forbid video games that are rated M for mature audiences (or the regional equivalent) have a bit of bloodshed.

Gears of War is a classic in my eyes, but I feel like it's tame compared to some of the grotesque imagery in films nowadays. Honestly, these anti-video game crusaders have been mentally-absent for nearly a half-century if think Grand Theft Auto is any worse than horror films that kids have been sneaking into for ages.

And besides, how can you get made when it's a gun with a freaking chainsaw at the end of it?!?

Damn....please ignore this post. (go down 2)

I beg to differ, it's far more violent than other Shooters out there and it really is bloody. Although at times it can be slapstick, chainsaws blowing up people for example.

GamesB2:
You had a freaking chainsaw on the end of a gun... and a grossly overpowered shotgun that blew enemies to bits.

Did anyone genuinely think the violence wasn't slapstick?

Ah yes but chainsaws in general aren't slapstick right? Right?

GamesB2:

Electrogecko:
Idk....I feel like being blown to smithereens is a more realistic depiction of the effects of a shotgun than CoD or Halo features...especially considering the weapon is supposed to be futuristic. The sniper headshot too seems entirely believable...I'm no expert on the subject, but I don't think the skull commonly remains intact when pierced by a high caliber rifle bullet.

Do any of us really KNOW what's realistic and what's over the top when it comes to lethal weapons? (and futuristic ones at that) I always thought the game simply didn't hold back...I still think it's pretty realistic. I guess my point proves that it's all meaningless and open for interpretation. The public perception of reality matters more than reality itself.

Depending on your interpretation on how realistic COD and Halo are weapons wise then I too would agree that Gears of War is more realistic in the way bullets and weapons shred the body.

But it is taken too far, it hits realism then skips right over it laughing like a madman.

And that, Gears... is why we love you.

I still think GoW is much more realistic than most people think it is. I'd go as far as to say that it has the most realistic death sequences out of any game on 360. MovieBob's vid yesterday did a lot to explain how a game like Gears, which features peoples heads popping off, (entirely feasible) can be comical when viewed from the outside. The reality is that's what guns do. A powerful shotgun from close range will tear somebody apart and explosives will send a person's limbs and organs flying in different directions if they were close enough at detonation.

I remember one time the leg of a teammate who was boomer'd a significant distance away landed right next to me as I crouched behind cover. This was not programmed into the game to amuse me or anybody else- it was simply a result of the physics engine and is incredibly rare. Don't get me wrong- it was hilarious, but this occurrence is entirely possible in a real war situation, and in a real war situation, it would be a petrifying and traumatizing experience- especially if you knew or cared about the soldier. Death can be unexpected, instantaneous, and gratuitous. If you were to experience one of these battles through the eyes of Marcus Phoenix, you would not question it's authenticity and you would not find anything about the experience remotely funny.

Nouw:
Ah yes but chainsaws in general aren't slapstick right? Right?

My general experiences with chainsaws have been in rather less than serious manners.

Electrogecko:
I still think GoW is much more realistic than most people think it is. I'd go as far as to say that it has the most realistic death sequences out of any game on 360. MovieBob's vid yesterday did a lot to explain how a game like Gears, which features peoples heads popping off, (entirely feasible) can be comical when viewed from the outside. The reality is that's what guns do. A powerful shotgun from close range will tear somebody apart and explosives will send a person's limbs and organs flying in different directions if they were close enough at detonation.

I remember one time the leg of a teammate who was boomer'd a significant distance away landed right next to me as I crouched behind cover. This was not programmed into the game to amuse me or anybody else- it was simply a result of the physics engine and is incredibly rare. Don't get me wrong- it was hilarious, but this occurrence is entirely possible in a real war situation, and in a real war situation, it would be a petrifying and traumatizing experience- especially if you knew or cared about the soldier. Death can be unexpected, instantaneous, and gratuitous. If you were to experience one of these battles through the eyes of Marcus Phoenix, you would not question it's authenticity and you would not find anything about the experience remotely funny.

Ahh the beauty of Gears of War physics... everything is taken to ridiculous extremes, but I do see the connection between real life happenings and the madness taking place on screen.

Using the Boomshot I once managed to cause three players on the enemy team to essentially 'take off'.

They were ripped to shreds and their torsos travelled rapidly in an upwards direction.

Though the force of such a weapon would almost definitely send people flying if hit by or even in close proximity to the detonation of one.

Cliffy B is awesome. Sadly, people like Hillary Clinton will probably try to criminalize this stuff all the same.

Frozen Donkey Wheel2:
Well, I'm glad that he KNOWS just how goofy his games are. Giant Worm, anyone?

Didn't his own game character even call him out on that?

GamesB2:

Nouw:
Ah yes but chainsaws in general aren't slapstick right? Right?

My general experiences with chainsaws have been in rather less than serious manners.

Electrogecko:
I still think GoW is much more realistic than most people think it is. I'd go as far as to say that it has the most realistic death sequences out of any game on 360. MovieBob's vid yesterday did a lot to explain how a game like Gears, which features peoples heads popping off, (entirely feasible) can be comical when viewed from the outside. The reality is that's what guns do. A powerful shotgun from close range will tear somebody apart and explosives will send a person's limbs and organs flying in different directions if they were close enough at detonation.

I remember one time the leg of a teammate who was boomer'd a significant distance away landed right next to me as I crouched behind cover. This was not programmed into the game to amuse me or anybody else- it was simply a result of the physics engine and is incredibly rare. Don't get me wrong- it was hilarious, but this occurrence is entirely possible in a real war situation, and in a real war situation, it would be a petrifying and traumatizing experience- especially if you knew or cared about the soldier. Death can be unexpected, instantaneous, and gratuitous. If you were to experience one of these battles through the eyes of Marcus Phoenix, you would not question it's authenticity and you would not find anything about the experience remotely funny.

Ahh the beauty of Gears of War physics... everything is taken to ridiculous extremes, but I do see the connection between real life happenings and the madness taking place on screen.

Using the Boomshot I once managed to cause three players on the enemy team to essentially 'take off'.

They were ripped to shreds and their torsos travelled rapidly in an upwards direction.

Though the force of such a weapon would almost definitely send people flying if hit by or even in close proximity to the detonation of one.

If that's Eldar Swooping Hawks then I think you should know, chainsaws in Warhammer 40,000 is serious business.

Gears is probably more realistic than most shooters out there when it comes to gore. If you shoot somebody in the legs with a big ass futuristic shotgun up close, their legs are fuckin gone. A guy getting his head popped off by a sniper bullet the size of my middle finger is also rather realistic

and funny.

And chainsaws...well that's just satisfying.

Just make sure we get Shadow Complex 2. Make it a disc game that's 5 times bigger.

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