It’s neither a secret or a surprise that I love Gears of War. And as a child of war, it has often brought back memories of situations that I’ve witnessed. What often strikes me is how real and honest the story is. War games get bad rep for glorifying armed conflicts, we’ll here is a game that does the opposite. You will curse the day anyone ever picked up a weapon, and here is why. WARNING loads of spoilers!
1) Armed conflict is often started with a misunderstanding.
Although seemingly one-sided if you are to trust any main stream media, armed conflicts are the result of multiple factors, and are rarely the doing of only one side. The enemy grows into his role, and isn’t born in it. The locust only wanted the humans to stop invading their society, disrupting their peace and stealing their natural resources by drilling further in to the ground. They asked the humans to return to the surface and leave them alone, and they did so peacefully. But the ruling government refused, they hoped that the discontent felt by the locust would simply “go away”. But it didn’t, and billions of civilians and soldiers were drawn in to a conflict which simply could have been prevented.
2) Governments scarify the innocent to reach their goals in armed conflicts.
In Gears of War, the government issues the build of a weapon called the Hammer of Dawn to annihilate the enemy (the locust) by shooting a high-powered beam. In the process they realize that this will kill most of the human inhabitants of the areas the weapon would be used at, and those that manage to stay alive will have a hard time surviving as they will be deprived of all resources. Yet they choose to fire the weapon, because blind sacrifice is a part of war.
3) Soldiers aren’t welcomed with open arms by civilians they protect.
Once the bad choices have been made by the military and the government (which in Gears of War is practically the same), the soldiers, who by no means have anything to do with the choices being made, are shunned. They are ridiculed, hated and threatened by the civilians they encounter. They aren’t considered heroes, and have very hard time convincing civilians that they only want to protect them.
4) Torture and concentration camps are not a thing of the past.
They were there long before world war two, and are still being used all over the world. And soldiers are often the first ones to find them, and sometimes, find their wives and children in them.
5) War doesn’t kill soldiers, memory of war does.
One of the most powerful scenes in Gears of War is when the strongest soldier named Tai, the one everyone looks up to, the he-man of the group, dies. How does he die? After being captured and tortured, he is freed by Marcus and Dom. They find him beaten, tortured and confused. He looks them in the eyes, and moments after he is given freedom, he shoots him self. Millions of soldiers and surviving civilians can’t live with the memories of torture. It haunts them for life. To make such a powerful statement, making the strong vulnerable and showing the true consequence of war, is worth an applause.
6) Female soldiers, they have muscles enough to carry their own guns, and wits enough to hold their own.
This clip says it all.
7) Children die first.
Children are often the first to die in armed conflicts, either from war wounds or infectious diseases. Dom loses both his children in the beginning of the game, and his wife in part two. There is no happy ending in a war. War is not fair, and death due to war has no minimum age requirement.
9) The endgame of any war is loss, heaps of loss, and nothing more.