Chuck Beaver talks about story’s potential to ruin a game.
EA’s Chuck Beaver, story producer for sci-fi horror shooter Dead Space, claims that Gears of War currently reigns supreme as the epitome of terrible storytelling, referring to the game as having, what he calls, “literally the worst writing in games.” And what has Gears of War done to earn such an acrimonious title? According to Beaver, the series “contains atrocious, offensive violations of story basics.”
The remarks stemmed from a simple question: “Can story ruin a game?” Beaver, who’s worked as a story developer for over five years, replied that “Story can only ruin a game for those people who care about story, so it’s a conditional answer.” To him, Gears of War was the prime example of something with “atrocious” writing, still able to garner a significant fan-base. Still, his feelings about Gears aren’t born of superiority. Beaver considers even his own work on the story of Dead Space to be lacking.
“The first story we had was a wreck of unrelated events and broken structure, so we cut our teeth getting that into shape, and didn’t fully make it,” Beaver said of the experience. “Plus, we got lost a bit in complicated lore and plot elements that didn’t come through. And don’t even get me started on the final boss sequence that they put in without me in the meeting! That was fun.”
Though Beaver’s remarks may not be the kindest, this isn’t the first time Epic Games has taken criticism for Gears. During a recent interview last month, design director Cliff Bleszinksi said, “I didn’t always make these dude-bro games at Epic. The intent was to make [Gears of War] a lot more Band of Brothers and take it a lot more serious.”
Still … the worst writing in game history? Surely, fellow Escapistites, we can think of at least a few titles more deserving of that honor.
Update: Chuck Beaver has asked to clarify his position on Gears of War and his previous comments with the following statement: “I just wanted to jump in and clarify some of my comments that were taken out of context about Gears of War. First, let me say that I’m a huge fan. It is an epic franchise that has trail-blazed more than a few industry-leading player experiences and mechanics. It is deservedly recognized as a top-tier title. Its success as a property is evidenced by its giant sales and rabid fan base. The industry is far better for Epic’s contributions, and we all owe a great deal of inspiration to their work.”