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“In hindsight it was very cool” - Cliff Bleszinski regrets vetoing playable woman from Gears of War

Gears of War dudes

During development, the producer of the original Gears of War suggested they should let co-op players have the option of playing as a woman. Unfortunately, the idea was laughed off at the time by lead designer Cliff Bleszinski. 

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“When I first joined Epic, one of my first ideas I had for Cliff [Bleszinksi] was, ‘Hey, how about we get to pick the gender of your co-op player,'” producer Rod Fergussontold IGN. “So there’s Dominic and Dominique and you get to pick whether you want to play as male or female. Cliff laughed at me and we never did it.”

Fergusson then went on to qualify this remark, explaining that there would be extra cost involved, what with them having to record new dialogue from a voice actress.

“We basically would have [had] to create two stories,” he explained. “Gears 1 was a trial by fire, and so to create one more scope by saying let’s double the amount of dialogue we need to have… it’s not a free choice.”

We’ve all done things we regretted in our younger days, and everyone’s world views alter as you move through life. We reached out to Bleszinski for comment on the whole thing and he sees it in a different light these days, saying “In hindsight [the idea] was very cool”.

Regardless, that idea is coming to fruition with Gears of War 4 but, rather than having a gender-swapped character, this time there’s a different mcharacter for both genders.

The addition of Kait Diaz, voiced by Laura Bailey, meant the script had to be around 30% bigger, but it arguably adds a lot for a large portion of its player-base.

“What we decided to do, now that Cliff’s not here to veto me, let’s still look at having that ability for the co-op player to have that choice, whether they want to play as male or female,” Fergusson said. “But, instead of having it be different sexes of the same character, just have it be from two different perspectives. So, Dell or Kate. And so, I like that idea of being like, you decide who you want to be as you’re going along on JD’s journey.”

Gears of War 4 launches on October 11 and is part of Microsoft’s Play Anywhere promotion, allowing you to buy it on one platform and get it for both, carrying your save between PC and Xbox One.