The story producer of the Dead Space franchise believes Gears of War has "literally the worst writing in games".
But in the same breath he admitted that the story in Dead Space wasn't great either.
Chuck Beaver, who before Dead Space worked on James Bond games Everything or Nothing, From Russia With Love and 007: NightFire, said in an official EA interview that Gears of War fans enjoy the bombastic series despite its story.
"Story can only ruin a game for those people who care about story, so it's a conditional answer," he said when asked whether story can ruin a good game. "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."
However, in the same interview Beaver admitted that the yarn spun by Dead Space "was just a simple haunted house story".
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.
THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD.
When asked, "Do you look back at Dead Space or Dead Space 2 and think... eh?" he replied: "Oh yes! 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.
"Plus, we got lost a bit in complicated lore and plot elements that didn't come through. And don't even get me started on the final boss sequence that they put in without me in the meeting! That was fun."
The Gears of War series has often come in for criticism for its story. Epic's Cliff Bleszinski said last month that he wanted future Gears of War games to be more like the Christopher Nolan Batman films and less like the Tim Burton or Joel Schumacher ones.
"I didn't always make these dude-bro games at Epic," he said. "The intent was to make [Gears of War] a lot more Band of Brothers and take it a lot more serious."
So what game does have a good story, according to Beaver? The answer is Valve's Portal 2, which "succeeds at least as much on its writing as its masterful platformer level design".
He concluded: "Does everyone hate Transformers? Some yes, some no. Some people like brainless Michael Bay stuff, others hate it. The same thing will apply to us."