This month, Gears of War 4 is finally getting some light shed on it after a short glimpse at E3 this past summer. The game jumps ahead two and a half decades after the last game and focuses on Marcus Fenix’s son, JD, along with his two buddies Del and Kait. Right now, these three, along with Kait’s mom and uncle, are the only members of the main cast revealed so far.
It’s more than likely we’ll get to see older versions of Marcus, Anya, Baird, and anyone else who didn’t die in the past 25 years (no way Cole bit the dust). That’s all well and good, but above all else, there’s one character who absolutely needs to make a return to the series. One who in some ways, defines the series almost to the degree that Marcus Fenix and the other members of Delta Squad did during the original trilogy’s 5-year run. That’s right, I speak of none other than….Carmine.
If you haven’t played the original trilogy, or you did but have forgotten some characters, here’s the deal: Carmine is, without a doubt, the unluckiest SOB in the entire Gears of War universe. No really, that’s his entire hook; he’s a guy of decent build who wears a helmet that has the sole misfortune of sharing screentime with Marcus and the rest of Delta Squad and dies for it. You ever see South Park? He’s Kenny, but taller and with a Stormtrooper helmet. And he speaks sometimes.
In Gears One, Anthony Carmine got sniped pretty early on while asking about his jammed rifle, soon to be replaced by Cole. Gears 2 gave us Ben Carmine, who had considerably more luck than his brother…until he got swallowed by a giant underground worm, where he survived until the parasites inside the worm’s body tore him to pieces (Yes, this happened, don’t bother questioning it.). Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for the Carmine family, Epic took things to a new level by letting players decide Clayton Carmine’s fate for Gears 3. All that was needed was to buy an Xbox Avatar shirt that either said “Carmine Lives” or “Carmine Dies”, and whichever shirt sold more would be the deciding factor.
Epic kept quiet on his fate until the release of the game, and the only thing they really seemed to offer was just a picture of Clayton himself. Right from the image of him surrounded by dead Locust and holding one by the throat, fans were ready to snark about how he’d die even more horribly than his brothers did, that his muscles and tattoos were just an act and he’d be the stakes-raising death for Act 2 or 3. Turns out, those fans and anyone who bought the “Carmine Dies” shirt would be denied their blood. The cold scythe of death was able to escape Clay’s head, though that didn’t stop Epic from poking the bear.
Granted, right now, The Coalition hasn’t said anything about the cast of characters beyond who we’ve already mentioned above. That said, if there isn’t a Carmine in Gears 4 featured in any prominent way, that’s going to be a disappointment. This isn’t to say that JD, Kait, and Del need to be pinned down by the Swarm and the newest Carmine needs to single handedly wipe them all out without breaking a sweat–though that would be pretty great–but the newest member of the family should be featured in some capacity. That this family had even worse bad luck compared to everyone else added some dark humor to the grim proceedings, and even if you did vote for Clay to perish and keep up the tradition, there’s no denying some satisfaction in seeing him at the end of Gears 3 dust off his helmet and put it back on. What’s to say that right now, we aren’t in the middle of the alphabet as far as the Carmine family is concerned? Shouldn’t we know how Kevin or Lara Carmine are doing in this new world? Are they badasses in their own right, or have they inherited the family’s bad luck because such a thing skips every couple of letters?
Gears of War 4 hits the Xbox One this fall.