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Upgraded In how many ways can THQ's Space Marine Gears of War break down?
When I watched THQ's Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine videogame, I thought I'd seen it before. It may be part of the legendary Warhammer world, but the gameplay and styles look so much like Gears of War that it's awkward. Sure, I get that this kind of tribute keeps appearing in movie theater.
Gears of War's Grunzer (on the right, the third episode of which will be released in the fall) are US Marine derivates that were reinvented in a science fiction world. THQ's play is really just a copy of Microsoft's Gears of War play (from Epic Games), which copies something from the story of the MARIN.
It' s times like these that make me wonder about the lack of creative ideas in videogames, especially for big publishing houses who have the feeling that they have to be in line with someone else' s success in order to benefit from the winnings. However, the resemblances between THQ's third-person shooting gameplay, created by his Relic Entertainment Studios, and Microsoft's Gears of War third-person shooting shooters created by Epic Gaming, pile up by only a doze.
Begin with the oversized tank and bodybuilders figures of the Navy. If you are aiming a weapon in Space Marine, the aiming reticles are enormous, just like the aiming reticles in Gears of War. These cannons are enormous and have a chain saw ring with which you can halve your enemy, similar to the "chain saw bayonet" of the Gears-soldier.
Likewise, the cannons fire and the Space Marines swing a big monster sledgehammer, similar to the blast breakers not of Gears of War, but of Microsoft's other sci-fi fancies, Halo. As I asked the THQ people about it, they immediately pointed out that this pack is playing in the Warhammer world, which has its own wealthy and inventive story.
Indeed, this pre-war world of Gears of War, so one could reason that Gears of War copied Warhammer 40,000. There' s also not much stress on coverage in Space Marine. In Gears, the fight is very much about taking shelter because you get killed if you don't.
More importance is attached to hand-to-hand or hand-to-hand fighting, so that the fighting area with opponents is usually wider than in Gears of War. Evil boys are the verdant orc foes from the Warhammer universe, and they have no similarity to the foes in Gears of War, except that they grunt loudly.
THQ people also pointed out that their close combat system, which contains the chain saw rifle, works much better than Gears of War's. When you copy someone else's games, you don't want to copy the pieces. I do not, however, want to be too casually playing with speech and making the false point.
So I went into a room, watched a match and said what I thought about it. All I wanted was to go into this room and see if this was a good match and if it was inventive and new. So I went into the room and thought: "Hey, this one looks like something I've already made.
Visual, the artistic look and the gameplay reminds me of the actions and appearance of Gears of War. One of the most unforgettable moments of Gears of War are when you shoot guns into the foes you squeal at. It' s a very similar story in Space Marine.
They have the big marks in big armour, which takes a while to penetrate the antagonists. This is a third-person, sci-fi, naval versus bogey-shooter and chainsaw series. What happened in the author's mind? When I said that Space Marine was copying Gears of War, some folks thought I was very serious.
This was a derivation where I proposed that the Space Marine character was not very inventive because they were similar to the Gears of War Grunt, which resembles the US Marine. The Warhammer 40,000 cosmos itself is a derivate. To be honest, I know very little about the history of Warhammer.
Over the years I've seen several Warhammer 40K titles I've never liked. I watched them and set myself through demonstrations, but never took them seriously enough to teach the tradition. Looks like I'm saying that the world is a shitty place and folks are spending their fucking times toying with it, and it's just copying Tolkien's things and putting them in space.
Indeed, I find it marvelous that humans are so committed to this world that they have been following it for years. Well, I didn't mean to say you're dumb if you're a big Warhammer 40Ker. Several commentators twist my words and say that I piss on Warhammer.
I apologized if it looked like I was taking a 40K piss on Warhammer. As an example, some folks might say that Halo was the kind of games that kick-started the first-person shooters category, while others would say it was actually half-life. Towards the end of the Space Marine demonstration I asked the moderator about the resemblance with Gears of War.
I have reacted to the THQ developers by blaming them for the bad intention of simply making a great score for someone else. It was THQ that was looking for ways to get the public excited about Warhammer 40K. It was a great success and showed how to win million of supporters for a sci-fi third-person shooting series.
Although the Warhammer 40K Doctrine existed much longer, Gears of War did well to make a funny one. The Warhammer 40K Space Marine is released now, and it looks similar. So I figured they were looking at Gears of War, getting envious of their crowd, wondering how to copy that hit, looking at the Warhammer world and deciding it would go well with a Gears Knock-Off.
You could very well be the most committed administrators of the Warhammer deductible in today's business and you could just expand the deductible in a consequential orbit. I suggest that I pretend to be appalled that one copy of a single pack has been made, even though it is indeed a long videogame heritage and everyone does so.
When Space Marine is a knock-off of Gears of War, it cannot be that something is going on. When it' s a good knock-off and enhancement over Gears of War, the players should profit from it and the business should thrive. An imitator who is really well done can steer the gaming industries in a good sense.
And I don't think I've seen the proof of that with this one. When Space Marine doesn't work well, it will be like another Hollywood pursuit, and not like the famous Steve McQueen Bullit sequence that has been canonised as a pursuit of all pursuits. Farm Town was founded by a competing gaming firm on Facebook.
FarmVille was invented by Zygna, a mimicry. They added some new features that made the gameplay far more common than it ever was far away from Town. And, if you think about it, in China Farmer Town was preceeded by internet farming puzzles, which Harvest Moon played on the Nintendo DS - a puzzle that made its debut in 2005.
So, when I say that a match is an imitation of something else, I don't think it should trigger a big riot. Particularly when the match is good. We will explore the most challenging gaming technology and businesses at our third GamesBeat 2011 event from July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.
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