Interviews// Epic's VP, Mark Rein, Part 2

Posted 11 Jul 2010 08:00 by
Mark Rein
Mark Rein
Yesterday, you got the first half of our (pardon the God-awful pun) Epic Mark Rein interview. I'm not going to introduce him again ? if you didn't get the gist of what he's about yesterday, go read the bloody first half.

Today, it's all about the games! Well, nearly all about the games. There's also a bit in there about E3 and the shifting games industry release calendar. Read on!

SPOnG: I know that you're not the designer on Gears of War 3, but it's an Epic game that's difficult to ignore. I was looking over some of the videos from E3 of the new Beast Mode...

Mark Rein: Ooooohhh... Did you play it?

SPOnG: I didn't make it to E3 this year, unfortunately...

Mark Rein: You played Horde?

SPOnG: Yes.

Mark Rein: So, Horde was waves and waves and waves of Locust and you and your squad were shooting them down - really really fun. Most popular game mode we had, played really well online and tons and tons of people played it.

Now, Beast is the reverse. So, instead of playing the COGs you're actually playing the Locust. And you get, I think there's 16 different ones, something like that. A fairly large number, let's just say. And it changes from wave to wave, and it's just fantastic. Just think how much you hated those stupid little Tickers that would run around and surprise you, and get in front of your face go 'boom!' I hated the tickers. But being a ticker is so much fun. It's just crazy fun! It is a great mode. And we'll still have Horde, of course. I think it'll be the perfect complement. I think, in the way that Horde modes have appeared in a lot of games since Gears 2, I think Beast will be the new thing people copy.

What I'm most proud about Gears 3 is it really feels like a big step up... We've developed day/night transitions and variable weather and things like that. There's actually a (multiplayer) map in Gears 2 where as the Locust side takes control of the map the weather changes and it gets dark, and you get thunder and lightening and eventually pouring rain and howling winds, and as the COG take control, you know, daylight comes back and the sun comes out and it dries up.

It's just really, really cool. It's gimmicky, but it's a great way to see the technology. And it gives a real feeling for how you're doing on the map, which sometimes you're so busy playing that you're not really focused on the score. So, it actually helps the gameplay.

But the whole game has all kinds of really cool stuff like that. We've improved the quality of our shadows, our rendering and our lighting. And our multiplayer's going to be vastly superior to what Gears 2 was. We did this title update 6 for Gears 2, and there was stuff in there that was a test for Gears 3. We're really happy, we got amazing feedback, and the people who hung in this long (who) are still playing the game overwhelmingly, by huge margin, reported it's a good experience. I just feel like the extra little time we're going to take between Gears 2 and Gears 3 is gonna have a big pay-off.
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