Gears of War 2 Getting Meat Shields, But Does it Need Romance Too?

Last night Microsoft hosted a dinner with Shane Kim and Kudo Tsunoda for myself and four other game journalists after the Electronic Arts gathering. For most of the dinner our group huddled around the table talking games and eating Hawaiian fusion food.

Tsunoda, who was unfortunate enough to be sitting right next to me, spent much of the evening trying not to answer questions about Gears of War 2 and his new role as the game's general manager. He said he felt fortunate to be working at Microsoft Game Studio and in particular to be working with Cliff Bleszinski and the folks at Epic Games.

MTV's Stephen Totilo and I tried to pin Tsunoda down on how the game would fit into the Gears universe. Was it, Totilo asked, part of a trilogy. We haven't decided yet, Tsunoda responded and then tried to change the topic, saying that the game has plenty of things to do in the way of improving on the original title.

Multiplayer, for instance, has a lot of potential, though he can't talk about it quite yet. Cover will be destructible this time around, he added. And by cover he doesn't just mean the rock walls and building remnants, he's also talking about grabbing bad guys and hiding behind them, something Tsunoda referred to as "meat shields". And yes, it seems that these meat shields will be "destructible" too.

What are they doing for the ladies this time around, Totilo wanted to know. Are they going to make it more accessible or interesting to women somehow.

Tsunoda sort of ducked the answer, but when I asked him if they were considering perhaps adding a romantic interest to the plot, he said yes, there would be a love interest this time around.

Given the tone of the dinner, it was hard to tell if he was serious or joking, but either way it raises an interesting point: Should the Gears of War sequel have more interpersonal relationships, should there be a love interest in the game?

I think that one of the things that hurt the original title was its story, in particular its ending , so building in a relationship, one that could be used to make the game more emotion certainly couldn't hurt. At least that's my take. What's yours?

Check out Totilo's take on the dinner as well.

[Pic from MTV Multiplayer]