Cliff Bleszinski has revealed his unused concepts for the Locusts in Gears of War 4, including winged and underwater versions.

Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski left franchise developer Epic Games after launching Gears of War 3 in 2011, but before his departure, he started working on the series’s future. Recently, Bleszinski took to Twitter to share his ideas for what he had in mind for the Locust for Gears of War 4, who nearly grew wings and gills to take to the sky and water.

Judging by shared images, the enemy evolution would have seen the Locust taking on more terrifying looks than ever before. Underwater Boomers, for example, could have sprouted tentacles and almost crab-like claws, with even explosive enemies like Tickers getting water variations. You can see some of the Locust designs below.

It’s worth noting that Bleszinski does not explicitly say whether these images are official concept art or generated by one of the AI art programs that have come into vogue. Regardless, the Gears of War creator said he “always wanted the Locust to take to water and the sky as opposed to being ground based.” So this is a fascinating look into what the Locust and Gears of War 4 could have looked like if the franchise stayed with Bleszinski and Epic Games.

Beyond antagonists looking more terrifying in general, this batch of concept art is a peek behind the curtain at a version of Gears of War 4 that never was. It’s possible that fans could have seen these designs come to life if not for Microsoft’s purchase of the franchise IP in 2014. Since then, the series has been handled by The Coalition, a studio dedicated to handling Gears of War games. Its latest entry was Gears 5 in 2019, which received a Hivebusters expansion in 2020.

The Gears of War series is alive and well in more ways than one. While more games are surely on the way, Microsoft recently revealed that Netflix is getting a live-action movie and an animated series. So, while we may never see the Locust take to the sky, there will still be plenty of Gears in the future.

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