By now we all know that Gears of War 2 will be "bigger, better and more badass", but what it won't have is the original game's system for issuing orders to squad-mates, according to design director Cliff Bleszinski.
If you're struggling to actually remember a system for issuing orders to squad-mates, that's kind of it, as Bleszinski explains in a video interview with Gamerscoreblog: "In Gears 1 we had kind of an orders system, and in Gears 2 we honestly decided [makes throat-cutting gesture] we gotta axe that," he said. "We really didn't feel like it was leveraged that much in Gears 1."
The emphasis instead is on you and your experience of the campaign, whether in single-player or co-op, Bleszinski said. Interestingly, he concluded his point by saying "you're basically being Marcus and you're being other squad-members throughout the campaign and it's not really kind of a Full Spectrum Warrior RTS type of experience".
The second player in Gears 1 got to play as Dom, but if the "you're being other squad-members" thing means what it sounds like, that could be opened up - and Epic has so far declined to address speculation about co-op for more than two players. Then again, he might not have meant it that way. We'll see.
Elsewhere in the interview, Bleszinski also talked about how he's inspired by other games (like kill.switch, perhaps). "We don't steal, we are inspired by - that is the correct term," he said with a smile. "Whenever the mood hits, whenever something just catches that little part of your head, and you say, 'You know, I like that idea, but we can do that with a new twist and we can do that better'. That's when we use it, that's when we leverage that."
Check out our recent Gears of War 2 preview and interview with Cliff Bleszinski and Microsoft's Kudo Tsunoda (also including video) for more on how the game's shaping up ahead of its November release on 360.