28th June 2009 - The original Gears of War was a huge success for Epic and Microsoft. It was “THE” game that showed the potential of the Xbox 360 and launched us into the next generation of gaming.
The area that Gears of War succeeded the most was in Multiplayer. From the moment it released everyone was hooked on the multiplayer mode. Even today it is still played by many and it is still one of the best multiplayer experiences around.
When Epic released Gears of War 2 it was without a doubt a success in terms of sales, but a lot of people were disappointed in the multiplayer mode. The disappointments included things such as the slower paced player movement in multiplayer mode, the poor shotgun effectiveness, the increased power of the chainsaw/lancer and the whole matchmaking system. Epic’s decision to adopt matchmaking for Gears 2 is probably its biggest downfall, especially for those outside America. As we all know, lag is a big issue facing online games and as a result of the matchmaking system if you are outside America, Gears 2 becomes almost unplayable. Unfortunately, even after a few title updates, Gears of War 2’s multiplayer mode remains a disappointment when compared to Gears of War 1.
The peer to peer system in Gears of War 1 was not perfect but it gave those outside of America a chance to have mostly lag free games and the ability to host ranked matches, known as public matches in Gears 2. This along with the brilliant and refined game play is what made Gears of War 1 such a blast to play.
Now that Gears of War 1 is almost a few years old and still arguably better than Gears 2 in terms of multiplayer, Epic could cash in even further from the series by re-releasing Gears of War 1 as a stand alone multiplayer game with updated graphics (using the refined Unreal Engine) and a bunch of new maps. Although Epic may think that they should concentrate on Gears 2, unless they are going to cut the matchmaking system in Gears 2 and revert back to the peer to peer system, the fans of Gears of War will still revert to the original for the best multiplayer experience out of the two games in the series. By re-releasing a revamped Gears 1 multiplayer stand alone game, Epic could not only show how improved their Unreal Engine is since the release of Gears of War 1, but give disheartened fans of Gears of War a chance to jump at ability to play a refreshed version of the game they know and love.
There is also a strong possibility that if Epic re-released a stand alone multiplayer version of Gears of War 1 that it would quickly climb the Xbox Live charts in a matter of days. It could also repair some of the damage that Gears 2 has done to the series and lift expectations of the third game in the series which is something that would not only please Epic, but Microsoft as well.
Article by Craig Cirillo