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Gears of War: multiplayer risked being cut, preliminary version was a disaster

30.05.2022 155

How Gears Of War Almost Didn't Have Multiplayer | War Stories | Ars Technica

In a video published by Ars Technica, Lee Perry, gameplay and level designer of the first Gears of War, recounted the difficulties the development team encountered in making the multiplayer compartment and how it was almost about to be cut, since the preliminary version turned out to be "a disaster."

Perry explains that from the very beginning of work on the first Gears of War, the goal was to integrate a multiplayer component, but that nevertheless it was quite an undertaking since at the time the Epic Games team was small and the fear was that they would not be able to compete with giants in the genre, such as Halo.


The biggest hurdle for the developers was to integrate the slow pace of Gears of War's confrontations into the multiplayer, making it enjoyable and fun to play. Initially, maps similar to those in Counter-Strike and Unreal Tournament were created, but the team realized that preliminary versions of the maps "were a disaster" because "those games functioned completely differently" from Gears of War, as they rely entirely on mobility as opposed to Gears.

"We were at the beginning of the summer and the game was going to be released in the fall, there was a very specific moment when we asked ourselves, "Do we just cut it?" says Perry.

Fortunately, instead of getting discouraged and launching Gears of War without multiplayer, the team worked hard to repurpose the maps based on singleplayer gameplay, adding walls and other obstacles to be used as cover and bottlenecks to "force enemies out of one location" and avoid the frustration of being killed by a player out of nowhere.

"Just like in the single player campaign, the point was that you had the opportunity to see what those people were doing," Perry explains.

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