We ponder the Gears of War developer's big upcoming announcement.
April 7, 2010 - If you're a videogame and social networking nut – and who isn't these days – there's little doubt that you've heard that Cliff Bleszinski, Design Director for Epic Games (the folks who made Gears of War 1 and 2), is appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this Thursday. It's no secret that the talk show host is a huge videogame fan, so everyone is pretty sure that Cliff is going to show the world Gears of War 3 for the very first time on national television.
But what if he doesn't? What if Cliff announces something no one sees coming? Perhaps something having to do with Tina Fey, the guest that precedes Bleszinski on Thursday's show. Or maybe Cliff is there to talk about Epic and EA's project with the new People Can Fly studio? Few know for sure, but we're going to take a stab at what Cliff's intentions are, even if that means sounding slightly psychotic in the process.
It's the most obvious thing that Cliff Bleszinski could do on the Late Show, but it's also the thing we're most excited to see. Cliff will come out, he and Jimmy will exchange pleasantries, and then the reason why we're all tuning in will be revealed. There will be no chainsaws coming out of curtains, no actors dressed up as Locust, Dom or Marcus. Instead we'll get our first look at the most anticipated game of next year. That's right, next year. The trailer that we're all going to be drooling over tomorrow night will include a release date of April 2011. Microsoft doesn't want to pit Halo and Gears – their two largest properties – against each other this holiday season, so why not bolster the first-half of next year with Epic's mega-blockbuster?
Not only will the reveal of Gears of War 3 bring a release date, it's also going to give us our first look at the gameplay engine that will drive the action. We won't see a HUD or any true in-game action, but what we will see (and we expect Cliff to clear this up after the trailer by saying, "all of that was running in realtime using Unreal Engine 3") is a lot of action between Dom and Marcus and the Locust horde. Aside from Dom and Marcus, we expect to see or hear Marcus' Dad (maybe), the Locust Queen and a few new characters, weapons and enemies that no one will anticipate.
The trailer will undoubtedly be short, maybe lasting a minute in total, but what's shown will create quite a stir on message boards. Questions will be raised and we'll have as many answers as possible for you when we dissect the Gears of War 3 trailer in our Rewind Theater on Friday.
The chances of Cliff Bleszinski not announcing Gears of War 3 are admittedly pretty slim. But, seeing as how we're all about having our bases covered here at IGN, we've come up with a few more creative options for Cliff's big night on NBC.
The guest prior to Cliff's appearance on Late Night is Tina Fey. Tina's got a new movie coming out with Steve Carell called Date Night (we're sure it's going to be a winner). If not to announce Gears of War 3, perhaps Cliff is there to unveil Epic's first movie-based videogame, called Date Night: The Movie: The Game. Tina can sit next to Cliff as he details the incredibly immersive co-op gameplay with motion captured moves and unique dialogue from Carell and Fey. The action will be broken up by witty repartee and the slight undercurrent of a love story. We're so sold on this idea that if Cliff doesn't announce it on Jimmy Fallon's show, we at IGN are going to take the reins on development. Hollywood would never be the same again…
Jazz Jackrabbit was released in 1994 on the PC and saw success over the following years. Two sequels were announced, but only one saw actual release. Being that this gem was Cliff Bleszinski's original baby, even before Gears of War was a thought in his head, it makes sense that he'd breathe new life into Jazz with a three-dimensional rendition set to launch this holiday season. Being that Unreal Engine 3 is the cream of the crop when it comes to rendering meaty guts and flowing blood, the violence in Jazz Jackrabbit 3D will go way beyond what we saw in the first games. Intestines will appear to fly off of the screen and bunny ears will be painfully mangled right in front of your eyes. Oh, and if this actually happens, we'd bet that Cliff will make the announcement wearing a blood-soaked green bunny suit.
In the spirit of being "bigger, better and more badass" Cliff's appearance on the Late Show will be to unveil the brand new, limited edition Gears of War Ferrari. Not only will this Ferrari cost an absurd amount of money (we'd guess around a billiondy), it will also feature a retractable chainsaw that protrudes from its hood, complete with an air intake on the left wheel. Cliff's personalized model comes with bags of money in the glove box, but the closest you'll get to that is an option to have diamonds embroidered on the steering wheel. Good luck affording that one. As a special bonus, those who buy the Gears of War Ferrari in the first 48 hours of its release will get a Cliff Bleszinski figurine, complete with miniature lancer.
Of course, Cliff could very well announce the super-secret People Can Fly project that we haven't heard from for quite a while. But what could it be? We're betting that People Can Fly will start out their partnership with EA and Epic with a safe bet. In other words, they're going to make a flying game. Not just a simple flying game, but a Flower-style flying game. But instead of guiding a flower through a field, you're going to guide a man that's been unwillingly strapped to a hang glider and forced to negotiate the twists and turns of the five biggest cities in the world (authentically mapped, of course). Run into a building and you'll be treated to a gory mess the likes of which only Epic's Unreal Engine 3 could create. Who said nothing good ever came out of Warsaw?
Have an idea for what Gears of War 3 should include? Think it should just follow the Halo formula for success? What do you want to see Cliff announce if not a new Gears? Sound off in the forums and let us know.