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New Gears of War is getting back to basics

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What is Microsoft planning for the next Gears of War game, currently in development with Black Tusk?

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has been offering up some clues, suggesting that he wants the game to get back to the tone of the early titles in the combat series, which dates back to 2006.

"The thing that was great about the early Gears of War games, to me, was just the epic scale of the settings that I was in," he said in a podcast interview with IGN, transcribed by GameSpot. "The story, the setting was a lot more what I would call soulful and maybe even a little dark. I think the game over time became almost more of a parody of itself; not for any kind of horrible reasons. It's hard to continue to manage the IP."

Earlier this year Microsoft bought Gears of War from Epic and handed development over to its subsidiary Black Tusk, also hiring former Epic man Rod Fergusson to oversee the project. The most recent release was 2013's Gears of War: Judgment, developed by People Can Fly, which received a lukewarm critical welcome.

"I know Judgment didn't hit everybody's needs and desires in terms of what they wanted," said Spencer. "But we have a new team, [Fergusson] is there to really help with the continuity. I think we can make sure that we're investing in this thing for the next decade, which is how I want to think about it."