Gears of War gets movie deal

Ed’s got a new post about Gears of War‘s recent movie deal.

I wrote a pretty long response, so I thought I’d copy it here.


I don’t make any bones about my preference for Halo over GoW, so I agree that Bungie’s universe offers a richer opportunity for cinematic quality. Bungie made their name in the 1990s with the Marathon trilogy of games, which was not only the Mac alternative to Doom but also the alternative for those who wanted a little story with their shooting. As complicated as Halo 2‘s storyline is, it doesn’t even come close to the criss-crossing timelines of Marathon: Infinity.

As I said in a comment on Sean’s blog, Epic sacrificed a lot of the story elements to make room for graphics and gameplay. And Epic isn’t exactly known for its storytelling (their former most-popular product, Unreal Tournament, doesn’t even have a campaign mode). Bungie, on the other hand, made their name with story.

I’m not saying GoW’s story isn’t interesting. It’s just a bit too derivative (really, what major sf franchise doesn’t it poach from?) and, as I’ve written several times, somehow manages to be both convoluted and thin. What bothered me most, though, was how little I cared about the characters, particularly Marcus—despite the fact he was voiced by Bender. The only characters I liked were Dom (“‘Sup bitches!”) and Cole (“The Train’s at home on the rails!”).

Somehow Bungie made me care more about a faceless guy in armor and an AI construct.

  1. Baby Carrot left a comment on March 23, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    I can see your argument and even agree with the storyline premise. I too prefer Halo and can’t wait for Halo Wars or Halo 3. But there is something about Gears of War that makes it a little more “real”. I’m talking from a cinematic sense. I mean, a movie about the Master Chief would be awesome, but there’s still a large element of the fiction to it. He is a cyborg leading humans against outer-space aliens. Whereas GoW is actual humans, against semi-monsters, but they’re still creatures that inhabit the earth. It has a futuristic/armageddon semi-real feel to it. I know that sounds ridiculous and I’m probably describing it horribly. Plus it could just be the graphics from the game that are skewing my opinions. I just think that GoW might lend itself a little better to becoming a movie, (from a realism standpoint like a horror/conceptualization standpoint).

    Well, at least until they’ve mastered being able to give me robotic arms and legs…

  2. Actually, I agree, BC—GoW has a more “realistic” feel and would probably be easier to film. Halo has an epic, star-spanning scope that would require massive special effects. GoW is gritty, down-to-earth, and could probably be filmed on a leftover war film set with a few guys in latex monster outfits.

  3. I agree with U above all….

    But I need to say that there was no other game like Halo, when it comes to story with SiFi action.

    they did a smart move by reping the Halo Novel!

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