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Cliff Bleszinski on Making a Classic Game

For a long time, cut scenes were the principal way to advance the plot in a video game. & For some reason, game creators more or less took you out of the game and into a movie when they wanted to tell you what was going on. & Bioshock wasn't the first to use "discoverables" to tell the story -- an old letter, and audio recording, a newspaper -- but they certainly showed us all how much more powerful (and fun to play) a story could be when most of the story is advanced in the game itself. & And Bioshock inspired Cliff for the sequel to Gears . & "In Gears Two, we are leveraging this idea of discoverables, which could be anything from a newspaper to a letter home from a soldier... we also take advantage of PA systems in the environment... it's & more powerful, more resonating story as a result."

The infected hand of Resident Evil 4 also influenced Gears of War .

The game topped Cliff's favorites list not only for "nearly perfecting the over-the-shoulder view," but also for "continually providing the character something interesting around the corner." & According to Cliff, "every five minutes, there will be a water cooler moment" in Gears of War 2 , ranging from the collapse of a building, to discovering a new creature, a plot point, or a new weapon.

Cliff also hopes that, after getting over the initial satisfaction of tearing to shreds a cornucopia of enemies in new and creative ways, you'll start to think about some of the more serious issues addressed in the game. & Deep philosophical and moral issues are, by no means, front and center, but, when I asked Cliff about the prospect of serious issues being addressed in video games, he assured me that Gears of War 2 would touch on them.

"I think that video games can approach and deal with serious subjects.... But I'm a big believer in having that kind of be kind of secondary." & Again, he took inspiration from everyone's favorite underwater-utopia-gone-bad game, which dealt with the philosophies of Ayn Rand. & During the game, "the player is beating the splicers to death... all the sudden when he finishes the game, he's thinking wait a minute... that was an interesting point there about you know being a slave versus being a man," he says. & " Gears has a lot of those interesting things in the background... then you start thinking about the war that was started... what's going on in the world," says Cliff. & "Maybe players will start thinking more about the world around them."

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