Game Splicing: Popular Franchises Infused with a Random Genre
What is a Game Splicer? It's a futuristic machine (actually a spreadsheet) loaded with the names of 15 popular game franchises and 15 genres. Once a genre has been matched to a franchise at least four times out of nine, it generates a result. I'll then give some thoughts on how the combination could work and stay true to the chosen franchise.
After firing up my device for the first time, the result is:
Gears of War: The RPG
I guess I got lucky with this one. After playing Gears of War 4, I had been thinking about the history of Sera. The environments and cities have such a historical feel to them, that it would be a pleasure to explore the world when humans first settled on it. Maybe we could even help create those cities, with a crafting system similar to the one in Fallout 4, albeit much lighter.
Perhaps, the time between Gears 3 and Gears 4 would make a great setting. With the significant threat to existence gone, humanity started to rebuild; Marcus Fenix started a family, and there was relative peace. There could've been a conflict of some kind, allowing for different sides of a story to be told. Heck, I'd be happy with a mini-game involving running Marcus's farm.
The combat of the series would transfer well into the RPG genre. Sure, it might feel a bit like Mass Effect, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Gears has always had a heavy feel to it, and I think it would be interesting to see how that it translates into some RPG archetypes. Creating a ranged healer character, whose primary weapon is a custom torque bow sure sounds fun. How about a Thrashball player who refuses to drop his ball? Combat could get interesting with a Thrashball ricochet skill.
The sub-genre of RPG is also fun to consider. Could the World of Warcraft approach work on Gears of War? With such an enormous following, a Gears MMO could be successful. The planet is full of caves, manors, and other vast, raid-worthy areas. We've only glimpsed the exotic wildlife that exists in that universe -- it's just sitting there waiting to be killed and looted. The combat could also transfer to a more tactical style, such as the one used in Tom Clancy's The Division. Every time I play that game, it reminds me of Gears.
Multiplayer, as it exists today, would be different, but when you consider that your character could join a Thrashball League, the possibility of that alone becoming an eSport is there. If this article weren't about what my randomizer generated, I could easily make a case for a standalone Gears Thrashball sports game to exist. Even without that sport, Gears multiplayer could continue, nearly unaltered. The series has also done co-op well, so joining a party and continuing that would be almost seamless.
Personally, were I to design this hypothetical Gears of Wars: The RPG, the emphasis would be on the building of the cities, and settlements. That would allow for the inclusion of Horde mode, which is crucial. A primary goal throughout the game would be constructing towns, camps, and the like. Naturally, the process wouldn't go smoothly since various enemies would attack you. When the attacks happen, you enter Horde mode, just like in the Gears 4 campaign, but on a much larger scale.
What do you think of this combination? How would you convert the Gears of War franchise into an RPG? To what other genres could the series successfully crossover?