Kapzer's Realm

Gears of War 3: Ashes To Ashes Trailer

This is a repost of a previously published article.

It was recently discovered that the lead writer for Gears of War 3 is none other than Karen Traviss, the very person that was pinned to write the Gears of War novels. This, I assume, means that the story should make perfect sense to those that have read said books.

Considering I’ve read the books myself, the trailer first seen during Cliff Bleszinski‘s appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon does indeed make a lot of sense to me.  To those that have not read the books, but played Gears of War 2 the trailer might seem a little confusing, but alas I am here to fill you in.  Just know that I am not going in chronological order, but in order of what seemed most significant to me.

The most obvious thing that occurred to me, and probably to ninety nine percent of everybody else that has seen the video is the appearance of female Gears.  However, women have been Gears since before the first Gears of War exemplified by a character from the novels called Bernie Mataki.  An old Gear that retired, she returned to fight for humankind’s survival when the locust rose on Emergence Day.  Although the lore of the universe suggests that a woman’s primary role was to have children and continue the human race by creating the next generation.

The female in the video does look and has been confirmed to be Anya Stroud, who by the end of Jacinto’s Remnant was accompanying Delta Squad on their missions.  At that point she was willingly wanting field experience, so it is quite logical to see Anya fighting as a Gear eighteen months later.  With the COG’s (Coalition of Ordered Governments) size diminishing rapidly, Anya’s talents were better put to use in the field rather than being stuck behind a desk.

It was revealed that the game is set eighteen months after the events of Gears of War 2.  Since then, as seen in Jacinto’s Remnant, the COG have moved to an island that was untouched by the Hammer of Dawn, hinting at a location for the more green and jungle environments that Epic Games demonstrated for their new version of Unreal Engine 3.  The grey, ash laden cities are the places that were incinerated by the Hammer of Dawn, which were all of the major cities on the mainland.  Reminiscent of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the citizens were immortalised in their last moments.  The locust cannot dig deep enough to emerge onto that island so it has become the COG’s new base of operations.  The city locations, I predict, are featured during missions that have Gears venturing back onto the mainland for supplies and retaking Sera.

As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures.   It would make sense of the more rugged Deltas, for example Marcus with less armour and Dom’s grey beard.  Also, being set a long time later, the the characters are accurately portrayed by looking more aged, whether it be from their experiences or literal age.

The COG were really struggling by the end of Jacinto’s Remnant.  Supplies were short and so people had to get by with what they could, even in a new habitat.  The new book, Anvil Gate should give a little more information in the direction of the COG’s future.  The island they landed on had an old COG base on it already, so the Coalition must still exist, albeit only compromising of a single island now.

The Gears can almost be seen as a new version of Stranded, as they must scrounge for whatever arsenal they can get their hands on, which can be seen in the trailer.  The weapon Marcus is holding is possibly a shotgun obtained from hostile Stranded, and the rifle that Anya hands to Dom is a generation one lancer.  During the assault on Aspho Point (described in the Aspho Fields novel) the Gears were using lancers with regular bladed bayonets.  The chainsaw bayonets were utilised when the locust emerged because they had tougher skin which needed a more extreme measure to cut through.

Another reason for the aged gears, in particular Dominic Santiago, was that he really let himself go after Gears of War 2 when he finally found his wife.  The beard could be a combination of age and a lack of motivation to look after himself any more.  There is a moment in the trailer where he looks at the remnants of a woman clutching a child  reminding him of his own family.  When the Locust drone bursts through the ash, it symbolises who was responsible for their deaths. Dom lies back down because he is prepared to die and be with his family.  This can be seen as a microcosm for the tragedy that all human families have suffered, with the ash figures representing the lost, and the drone representing the cause of it.

Since the fall of Jacinto the regular Locust were only attacking the COG in small incursions.  It seems that they are dying out due to the flooding of the Hollow, and by being hunted by the Lambent.  This new enemy were first seen when Delta squad were in the Locust Nexus, and are seen in the trailer as the enemy that even the Locust fear.

Therefore, it seems that the Lambent are the primary enemy now.  This raises the question: could there possibly be an alliance between the Locust and the COG in the next iteration in the series?  It would explain why Adam Fenix’s recordings were found in the Nexus in Gears of War 2.

The expanded universe novels aren’t over yet.  The next one, Anvil Gate, is due out in August.  Currently, women are still serving as Gears, and the Lambent are not a significant enemy.  Therefore, logic dictates that the next novel will contain activities of the growing threat of the Lambent.  With the new novel will come more information that should answer more questions one would have about the contents of the trailer.

Look forward to more information about the gun toting antics of Delta squad and the supposed conclusive chapter in the Gears of War trilogy.  Gears of War 3 will be coming to the Xbox 360 on April 8th, 2011.

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