In a move that is nearly as over-the-top as the man behind the studio, Epic Games has created an online poll to decide the fate of one of the characters in the upcoming Gears of War 3.
Epic has partnered with Child’s Play, the gamer charity created by the guys at Penny Arcade, to give you a chance to decide the fate of the last son of Mrs. Carmine. Starting today, July 29th, you can go to the Xbox Marketplace and buy one of two avatar t-shirts. One of them says “Save Carmine”, and the other sports “Carmine Must Die.” Each shirt counts as a vote to either save or kill the character in game, which comes out next April. Depending on the outcome, the Carmine family will either get a third COG flag or Marcus and the rest of Delta might be able to save Private Carmine.
All of the money generated will go to Child’s Play, which is a pretty great cause. Sure, avatar gear is a somewhat questionable value, but this is a good excuse to buy something. If Epic was just doing this and pocketing the money I’d be ticked off. Since they are donating all proceeds to charity, this stunt turns into something pretty cool. Child’s Play is one of the best things that gamers have ever done, and I’m always happy to take part in the yearly giving. As far as my vote, I’m hoping the guy dies with dignity, but maybe he’ll pull through. I took a brief poll of my office this morning, and the results were actually split 50/50.
We asked the team at Child’s Play and Penny Arcade if any of them were leaning one way or the other, but I think they are just happy to see another great chance to raise money for the kids. Here’s what they had to say about the promotion: “Microsoft and Epic Games have always been some of Child’s Play’s most supportive contributors, and we’re very excited to be part of the Fate of Carmine campaign.” It’s a great opportunity for the gaming community to take an active roll in the story, and we can’t wait to find out which way the vote goes!
The seed for Gears of War 3 was actually planted very quietly in the first game. The rookie Carmine gets sniped in a very traditional way – alerting the main characters to an attack. This is such a staple of war movies throughout the ages that we all just accepted it and moved on. When the second Carmine brother arrived in Gears of War 2 and eventually met an even more grisly fate, I knew we had a trend going. There’s a brief, easily overlooked phrase in Gears of War 2 where Carmine mentions he has two brothers, one of them still alive. Cliffy B had given us all we needed to know that something bad was going to happen to the third Carmine brother. Turns out, he might make it. If you look at the screen below, you’ll see that this Carmine apparently got every speck of ass-kicking DNA that his other brothers missed. If the votes do turn south on him, his death should be epic.