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Rant: Gears has no innovation, says EA

Speaking at the Montreal Games Summit, EA Montreal's Alain Tascan had some fighting words for Gears of War,

"What is Gears of War? I mean Gears of War brings nothing in terms of innovation to the shooter... Like, zero."

He further laid on the smack sauce (smack sauce?) with this comment,

"I'm not talking about my tastes, I'm just saying, when you go to metacritic and you see a 96 for Gears of War, then you read the critics saying, 'Okay, storyline - there's none, gameplay is not innovative...' Then I say, why did they give this 96? They were blown away by the high quality of the graphics... Myself, I prefer something more creative,"

It's time for a rant. Read on for more.

Okay, without digging into the irony of an EA executive chiding a game for lack of innovation (hey guys, Burnout 5 is coming next year!), let's just look at his statement in a general way. Gears of War is, no doubt, a blast to play. Sure, the graphics are gorgeous -- the best out there -- the sound design is through the roof, and the game is filled with "oohs" and "ahs," but the gameplay is solid. The question is: is it innovative? I will chime in and say yes, with some caveats. There are many things that are not innovative about Gears of War. Cover is nothing new, nor is squad based gameplay. The weapons, with the exception of the chainsaw bayonet, are pretty standard -- yes, even the Hammer of Dawn isn't new. Those are the caveats, so what makes GOW innovative? The answer is simple, it makes a tactical shooter feel like it's not a tactical shooter. The game uses cover, but it never feels stale or slow like, say, Ghost Recon. I'm decidedly not a tactical shooter guy, and yet Gears snagged me. You could say that Gears is a tactical shooter for the action crowd. There are other innovative elements, too, such as the camera. Yes, it may be a graphical effect, but the "wartime reporter" camera is something that hasn't really been done before. It adds greatly to the immersive nature of Gears and it's actually something that makes the game "feel" next gen. In the end, Gears of War is a beautiful game, but claiming presentation as the only reason it has been well reviewed is asinine.

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(Page 1)

1. pot. kettle. black.

Posted at 11:51AM on Nov 10th 2006 by nick 0 stars

2. The First thing I noticed and truely loved about Gears was the gameplay. Its Next Gen in every sense of the word. The graphics are awesome as we all know too.

Posted at 11:55AM on Nov 10th 2006 by KCAndersen 0 stars

3. EA talking about innovation... oh the irony.

Posted at 11:55AM on Nov 10th 2006 by Bluestone 0 stars

4. Has no innovation. Uhhh yeah. Why is that, because their not ass raping us all with cheat codes for sale? Your games suck ass EA.

Posted at 11:58AM on Nov 10th 2006 by NotOfThisEarth 0 stars

5. Come one guys... we all know that Next Gen innovation is charging people for a preview of a tired old never innovative game like Madden... This guy has obviously never played Gears...

Posted at 12:02PM on Nov 10th 2006 by Jason 0 stars

6. I know EA isn't talking about someone else's game when all they do is update their games and re release them. madden, live, NFS, the sims? sound familiar EA?

Posted at 12:01PM on Nov 10th 2006 by Dizz 0 stars

7. Gameplay doesn't have to be "truly innovative" to be great. Sometimes, the best innovation is doing everything right, and crafting a game that meshes together so well that it just feels - FUN -

Posted at 12:09PM on Nov 10th 2006 by Pyronite 0 stars

8. it's better than all the half-ass non-inovative s**t EA puts out and will ever put out...screw EA

Posted at 12:11PM on Nov 10th 2006 by HEY 0 stars

9. amen Richard.

Posted at 12:15PM on Nov 10th 2006 by beardsly43 0 stars

10. Actually, he hasn't played it, if you read the full interview, he states that.

Personally, I was not going to buy GOW. It's not really my type of game, everyone is blasting it as the next Halo, well, I can't stand Halo, so I was going to just skip it. Then they started really hyping the game up the past few weeks. I was watching it, as I do everything video games. So I was going in to pick up THP8, and decided, what the hell, with these crazy reviews and everything, might as well. I came home, grabbed some old 360 games, and took them back, traded them in, only paid 8 dollars for the Collectors edition, and played the game, for 4 hours last night, completely hooked.

GOW is awesome. Flat out awesome. The single player is great, and online is even better.

Posted at 12:30PM on Nov 10th 2006 by Zach 0 stars

11. This guy is just living in the future, when Army of Two and Two Worlds come out. Two games that look alright. Run this story again when they release those two games, and maybe this wont be two ridiculous.


Posted at 12:29PM on Nov 10th 2006 by Tim 0 stars

12. EA is becoming a sad sad company. Bashing other products to make their own look better, instead of actually making good products themselves. You should be ashamed of yourself EA, you constantly grind out tired, old and mediocre, at best, games. And then you dare start a monkey shitfight with the companies that actually delivers some quality games. The true irony in all of this is that EA has destroyed all the big franchies it has bought in my mind. Command & Conquer anyone?

Posted at 12:30PM on Nov 10th 2006 by Mep 0 stars

13. This just shows how low EA is, by insulting another developers work. I wouldn't call making small changes to their sports games and releasing them for another game "innovative" either, or most of the work EA has done at that.

Gears of War is an extremely good game, and EA can't deny that, no matter how much crap they thrown around.

Then again, EA's been known to bias towards Sony at times so this might be part of that...

Posted at 12:57PM on Nov 10th 2006 by DA360 2 stars

14. Please tell me someone has the email address for this guy. I'd love to send him a note.

Posted at 1:24PM on Nov 10th 2006 by polkbkk 0 stars

15. WOW, such a fuss... maybe I'll try it....

Posted at 12:19PM on Nov 10th 2006 by klic 0 stars

16. Wow, did this guy just come over from Sony?

Posted at 1:27PM on Nov 10th 2006 by Jamey T 0 stars

17. I like the whole weapon reload system

Posted at 1:34PM on Nov 10th 2006 by Will 0 stars

18. Do you know how hard it is to innovate in a genre like this that's been done to death in the last 5 years? Everyone wants the moon on a stick with every new game and it clearly isn't possible. How many times has Tom Clancy basically told the same story in his books? Stephen King? Despite being formulaic they're still bestsellers.

I really don't mind a re-hash of a genre as long as the graphics are great and the gameplay is tight.

Posted at 1:40PM on Nov 10th 2006 by King Keepo 0 stars

19. This was very unprofessional- I don't think developers should promote their games by bashing others. However I do kind of agree with a couple of his points. A lot of reviews mention many problems with the game, IGN's review comes to mind, but still give the game exceptional scores. I will admit I haven't played it yet, and it looks great, but considering the content of the reviews, I just wonder if the game isn't being overrated due to it's tremendous hype. I'm not trying to flame anyone, just don't assume that this guy is completely wrong.

Posted at 1:44PM on Nov 10th 2006 by Me 0 stars

20. #7 - Hell yes. Also note, a new gun is not an innovation.

I would argue that Halo was not innovative. It was extremely solid and a landmark for the genre, creating a new standard for future FPS's.

Frankly, disliking an entire genre of games is tasteless. May he grow fat on EA crap-burgers (though, FIFA '07 does look pretty and innovative...).

Posted at 1:47PM on Nov 10th 2006 by scotius 1 star

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