April 23, 2012 at 2:41 PM ET
It's rare whenever a representative of a major video game franchise slams another high-profile series, especially someone who is part of the creative crew. But that is exactly what happened when Chuck Beaver, story producer of "Dead Space," claimed "Gears of War" has "literally the worst writing in games."
The comment comes from an interview conducted by EA that Eurogamer recently highlighted. The conversation has Beaver offering his thoughts to those interested in breaking into the video game industry, as well as addressing his own body of work.
When asked if a story can ruin a good game, he said:
Story can only ruin a game for those people who care about story, so it's a conditional answer … For instance, Gears of War. It contains atrocious, offensive violations of story basics. Yet it doesn't seem to ruin it for many, many people. It's literally the worst writing in games, but seems to have no ill effects.
So, according to Beaver, "Gears of War" has horrible writing, but says it ultimately does not matter to many players, specifically its fans. And in the same conversation, he also admits that the writing in his games, "Dead Space" and "Dead Space 2" were not perfect by any means, either.
When asked to reflect on the narratives for those two titles, the spoiler-filled response is:
We knew so little about story back then, and overruled our writers on a lot. Dead Space was just a simple haunted house story that we later pasted a personal aspect on top of -- a lost girlfriend who is really dead.
Dead Space 2 was a huge challenge. All these elements from the original game that were poorly thought through, like the Marker Lore, Necro ecology, etc., had to move coherently forward into the next narrative. The first story we had was a wreck of unrelated events and broken structure, so we cut our teeth getting that into shape, and didn't fully make it.
Beaver also explains how the lore in the sequel was a bit too complicated for its own good, causing plot elements to become lost in the process. As for the ending: “And don't even get me started on the final boss sequence that they put in without me in the meeting! That was fun."
Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.