Bleszinski on Dark Corners SP and Natal

Locust homeworld? Also: Gears film update.

Gears of War 2 designer Cliff Bleszinski has shed some light on the single-player/co-op campaign element of the upcoming Dark Corners expansion, revealing that it's a 90-minute section that sees Marcus and Dom play dress-up.

"It's a 90-minute section that was actually snipped out of Gears of War 2, where Marcus and Dom are actually going to the Locust homeworld and they're basically suited up in Locust armour and have a choice - because they knocked out a couple of Therons - they can go in guns-blazing as they always do, Rambo-style, or they can go with a more stealth approach, so it's a little bit of stealth in the Gears universe," Bleszinski told Major Nelson's podcast.

"You get Achievements for playing the mode either way and it kind of plugs right into the main game. It's actually the first time we've done any sort of single-player DLC. It's kind of a test to see whether people dig it."

Bleszinski said that doing single-player DLC - as opposed to the traditional multiplayer map bundles, although Dark Corners also includes seven multiplayer maps - was "a lot more work", and spoke about having to bring in story writer Josh Ortega to help fill in the gaps.

Dark Corners is due out alongside All Fronts Collection (a higher-priced bundle including Dark Corners and three previous premium map packs) on 28th July for 1200 Microsoft Points (GBP 10.20 / EUR 14.40).

Bleszinski also clarified his recent comments on Project Natal, in which he suggested Epic would stick with traditional controls but might consider merging the two interfaces if something compelling game to mind.

"If there's any future Gears products [coughs elaborately], it's not the kind of thing you tag onto a game like that, right?" he noted on Major Nelson's podcast.

"Microsoft is very smart to go after this kind of Wii Fit type market. My mum this Christmas asked for a Wii and a Wii Fit and she doesn't play games at all, and I'm like, 'Damn you Nintendo!', but that's cool, right, that she's playing games she wouldn't have normally played.

"So what you have is the 360 which has captured a lot of the video viewing audience [with] movies and Netflix, it's captured a lot of the online gaming, it's captured a lot of the hardcore games, and you know segue that in, so now you have your yoga programme, now you have your dodgeball thing, you have the creepy kid Milo who wants to drown you in the pond - you can do all of it.

"And I'm a fan of... the whole system works amazingly well, they brought it out a few weeks before E3 to give us a peek at it. The driving, you just put your hands forward and steer, and it's... I don't feel any lag with it, it's incredibly crisp and accurate.

"Will it replace traditional gaming? No, but it's another amazing way that we can expand the gaming experience to a wider audience and enhance what's already there."

Elsewhere, Bleszinski trailed his appearance at the San Diego Comic-Con this week, where he will be on three panels, including one with Gears 2 executive producer Rod Fergusson and Gears of War film director Len Wiseman.

"I just got a new draft of the [film] script the other day, and they're budgeting and storyboarding it right now," he said.

"I don't want to say too much - I can't, I want to save a little bit of information for Comic-Con - but it's a wild ride, dude, start to finish, and they're really doing a good job of actually really digging in and kind of enhancing the characters beyond Marcus being kind of a gruff, stoic guy, and so you get to know him a little bit better and the interplay between him and Dom and things like that.

"They're doing a bang-up job on it so far and my fingers are crossed that we're going to hopefully make the first damn good videogame film."

We shall see. Look out for our review of Gears of War 2: Dark Corners next week.

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