We’re one day away from the launch of Epic’s Gears of War 2, an event which we’re calling “Emergence Day 2: The Emergening.” Many fans will stand in line at midnight launches to get their copies, and to snag a download code for the limited edition launch exclusive in-game “Golden Hammerburst” assault rifle.
Most will go home and tear open their game, pop the disc into their 360 tray, and follow the in-game tutorial, never bothering to look at the game’s instruction manual. But if they did, they’d discover something relatively unheard of in the videogame industry — a preface by the game’s design director, Cliff Bleszinski.
“This is a story that is both epic in scale and also immensely personal,” he writes of Gears of War 2 on the second page of the game’s manual.
Author- and director-written prefaces are common practice in print, and in film when it comes to DVD releases; in fact, this is the first time I can recall seeing one by a developer in a game’s manual. (It’s unfortunate that most manuals are only a few thin black and white pages. I’m looking at you Electronic Arts.) It’s interesting to see that, as games become bigger productions, we start putting a brighter spotlight on the folks behind the games we play. We’re beginning to see bigger (badder, and more badass) personalities — Peter Molyneux, David Jaffe, and more — much how the movie industry views film directors.
Say what you will about Bleszinski, but his outspoken nature and passion for games reveals a designer who clearly puts his heart into the games he makes. And after playing through the first few hours of Gears of War 2, it’s evident.
You’ll be able to read Bleszinski’s full preface in your manual tomorrow, when Gears of War 2 goes on sale. I’d re-print it here, but I’m afraid the dude would Cliffy-Punch™ me in the forehead.