I'm in a small minority of gamers who were actually moved by Gears of War's story. Maybe it's my background growing up in a military family, but I found a lot to identify with in the game's cast, and having military sci-fi favorite Karen Traviss writing Gears of War 3 really helped. However, most gamers just weren't able to connect with Marcus Fenix and company, finding the writing trite at best, and completely idiotic at worst.
Series design director and Epic Games frontman Cliff Blezinski (otherwise known as CliffyB) commented on Gears' writing in an interview on IGN's Up at Noon, and the decisions that led to the now-iconic look and feel of Gears of War.
"I didn't always make these dude-bro games at Epic. The intent was to make Gears of War a lot more [like] Band of Brothers and take it a lot more serious."
Blezinski explained that Epic hadn't done story-based games in quite some time, and loved the super-sized character designs, which stayed in the final product.
"If we get around to ever doing more Gears games, I hope we can continue to drift back more towards a Christopher Nolan type dialogue as opposed to a Tim Burton or Joel Schumacher Batman. But that's way down the line."
Those are some high hopes--although a more story-heavy game set in Gears' surprisingly in-depth world would be great. Gamers recently got to play a spot-on shooter with solid RPG-level writing and character development in Mass Effect 3, so it's not quite as far-fetched as it sounds.
What do you think? Would focusing on the story and characters over high-octane action work better for Epic's games, and shooters in general?