Gears of War 3 had a stirring finish, didn't it? Marcus looking out bleakly over the ocean, Anya sitting next to him, that moment of mild horror when you think she's rammed a hand down the front of his shorts - beautiful stuff, Epic. Hare-brained, but beautiful. And then there are those auspicious closing lines, delivered just in time to stop the big man breaking down into phat testosto-tears. "Tomorrow, Marcus. We've finally got a tomorrow!"
Gears of War all but certainly has a tomorrow, though Marcus and Anya probably don't. We picked Cliff Bleszinski's brains about the franchise's future not long after Gears of War 3's release, and while he wasn't prepared to say much, he did call time on Delta squad. It's a simple question of diminishing returns. "You're not going to see a Gears 4 where Marcus is back, the Locust are back and the Queen is back," Bleszinski insisted. "Because if I were to come out at a press event and do that, everybody's eyes would roll into the back of their heads. You could probably hear the sound of their eyes creaking as they rolled back." Quite.
Gears 3 was (spoiler alert) a palette cleanser, scouring the world of Grubs, Brumak, Dom, the Lambent, Fenix Senior and the Locust Queen. It's the kind of wholesale assault on dead wood every long-running narrative needs, past a certain point, though as with Mass Effect 3, clingier fans may have a hard time saying goodbye. The future's wide open. What could Epic do with Gears of War 4? What couldn't Epic do with Gears of War 4? Here are a few thoughts/demands from our end.