Gears 6 Devs Promise Return to Horror From the Original Games

The Coalition is taking fans back to where it all started with Gears of War: E-Day, and that means revisiting the horrors of Emergence Day and the Locust horde.

Brand Director Nicole Fawcette and Creative Director Matt Searcy opened up about the studio’s desire to focus on the “scary” aspects of Gears during an interview with IGN. Searcy says the team wants to “capture a moment in time” and “tell a very intimate story about what happened” to the people in one of Sera’s cities.

“For us, it’s like a what-if story,” he said. “What if the ground opened up and monsters came out? Yeah, it’s set on a fictional, other planet, but there are very human reactions and stories we get to tell. To do that, we need to be able to tell a story that feels like a horror story.”

Gears of War: E-Day Trailer Screenshots – Xbox Games Showcase 2024

Searcy continues, explaining that Gears of War: E-Day will still have the heart and sci-fi the series is known for, but it will also focus in on this specific moment in time by telling a story that takes place over only a few days. The decision to lean in more on horror comes from The Coalition’s desire to recapture the feeling of terror many players might remember experiencing when playing through the series.

“But when people tell you what they remember playing, the things that stood out to them, the feelings, a lot of it is about these, kind of dark, almost horror-esque, scary moments.”

“We looked back at what people felt like when they played Gears of War or any of the Gears – Gears 4 included,” he said. “But when people tell you what they remember playing, the things that stood out to them, the feelings, a lot of it is about these, kind of dark, almost horror-esque, scary moments.”

Searcy continued: “So we basically took that feeling, that vision that’s in everybody’s head, and we’re like, ‘That’s the game we’re going to build.’ We’re going to build that game with all the skills we’ve learned, with all the technology we’ve built, and sort of go hard at that. So definitely part of the story is about reintroducing the locust to Gears as scary monsters from the ground come up. And then you realize as it goes on, this is not just monsters, there’s an army here and it’s bigger than anybody thinks it is.”

Fawcette elaborated on how new technology is allowing The Coalition to present the Locusts in new, horrifying ways.

“Through Unreal Engine 5, we now can show the locust at that visual fidelity that is believable as scary creatures from the subterranean,” she said. “And so, like you saw in the trailer, we’re really kind of leaning into those horror vibes as fans remember it and as time has moved on. What was scary in 2006 is very different than 2024. There’s sort of that just doubling down on how people remember how they feel about it.”

Why E-Day?

Gears of War: E-Day is detouring away from the storylines of Gears of War 4 and Gears 5, but as The Coalition explained in an Xbox Wire post, they won’t be abandoning that era of the Gears saga forever. Searcy tells us that the studio chose to go back in time for their next Gears of War game not because they were finished with the previous storyline but because revisiting Marcus and Dom’s relationship made sense for the team itself.

“For us, there is a story here, for our studio, of how we found our way to E-Day,” he explained. “It was about, sort of, reflection, and part of it is just the energy that rolls up about, this was the story we wanted to tell at this time. So, it wasn’t really about picking between these things, it was just a snowball of the stuff that was on the table and this is the one we wanted to do right now.”

“Hell yeah. We want to make this.”

Fawcette chimed in, saying that when the idea for Gears of War: E-Day came about, it was a feeling of “Hell yeah. We want to make this.”

Searcy continued: “We love those characters, and like I said, it’s really nice to have a franchise where we can tell stories of different places. When we’re at Gears 4 and 5 we tell these stories, and Tactics, that goes at a different time, and all these sorts of things. For us, it is just the one we wanted to work on now is the one that felt right.”

The Coalition revealed Gears of War: E-Day during yesterday’s Xbox Games Showcase. We’ve not seen any gameplay yet, but this first footage promised a return to the series’ roots with a touching moment that saw the return of fan-favorite character, Dom Santiago. It’s been 13 years since fans watched Dom him sacrifice himself for his fellow COG brothers in Gears of War 3, so while Fawcette and Searcy promise a horrific prequel that explores one of humanity’s darkest days, it’s sure to be an emotional journey, too.

Gears of War: E-Day is currently without a release date. For everything else you announced at the Xbox Games Showcase, you can click here.

Michael Cripe is a freelance contributor with IGN. He started writing in the industry in 2017 and is best known for his work at outlets such as The Pitch, The Escapist, OnlySP, and Gameranx.

Be sure to give him a follow on Twitter @MikeCripe.

This post was originally published on IGN

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