Epic Games Designer Cliff Bleszinksi spoke with Gamasutra recently about finishing the Gears of War trilogy with Gears 3. Throughout the course of the interview, Bleszinki’s answers showed the gradual, dynamic evolution of the franchise from a simple alien stomper to a more cultural take on the gaming industry.

And part of that conversation shifted towards the arena of women; both as fans of Gears of War and as actual characters in the franchise. Bleszinski first expressed that the fact that a lot of women love the game was a surprise to him and his team.

“…quite frankly, the franchise seems to have a lot of female fans. I don’t know why, but I’ll take it. And the fact that we’re the go-to game, and girls come up to me at Comic Con and show me the Crimson Omen tattoos on their neck, is pretty crazy.

And so we felt the need to properly represent them in the game, and make sure that they have characters that they like. That are confident. That, again, don’t look like prostitutes.”

If you’ve booted up Gears 3 already, then you likely have had a brief glimpse of what Bleszinski is talking about here. The female characters in this game don’t look like sexed-up strippers with guns. They look like hardened veterans, and they achieve a sense of purpose beyond simpleminded fan service. Bleszinksi explained the female presence in this franchise:

“I initially wanted to have it in Gears 1, but we didn’t have the time to properly model them and everything like that. And by the time we got to the third game, the way the fiction was panning out was that now the women aren’t even birthing anymore. They have to grab their guns and get into the mix as well, right?

The evolution of Anya from being just kind of the dispatcher who’s your voice in your ear to someone who’s stomping on Locust heads next to you — it’s an interesting character evolution.”

What do you think about the female characters in Gears of War 3? Do they do justice to both the gender and the medium?

[via Gamasutra]