If you’ve been out of the loop for the last hour, then you probably don’t know that the gaming industry has lost one of its finest minds; Cliff Bleszinski. Before you start crying, no, he’s not dead, just taking a break from the gaming industry for personal things. That’s something we can all respect right? While it’s sad to see such a great person leave the industry, we at AnalogHype hope that he has a good time, and when he does come back, he’s full of creative ideas to further advance the industry.
Cliffy B’s been a big part of almost every gamers’ lives. From making Gears, to pioneering various projects in Epic Games, his reach has been seen and experienced by many, it’s for that reason that some of us at AnalogHype have decided to write a few words commemorating him and his works.
It started in 1998, my family and I had just purchased our first computer, an ancient device it was, but it got the job done. Being so young, I had never really gotten the chance to experience a video game before – I was only five years old at the time – I was incredibly excited when I found two classics pre-installed on the computer; Tyrian and Jazz Jackrabbit.
A side-scrolling platformer about a rabbit named Jazz whose goal was to save his girlfriend from a turtle, Jazz Jackrabbit was my favorite among the two. This game took everything that was fun about ’90s-era videogames and molded them into one massive project. It had the speed of a Sonic game, the platforming of Mario games, and the shooting action of Contra games, all rolled up into one beautiful side-scroller, and this was just a demo. This demo only showcased the first two levels of the game, but judging by how many times I played it, you’d think I had the full product. I would play this game alone or with my cousins for hours on end, it was just that fun! Sadly, I never had the opportunity to purchase the full game, or check out the sequels – I should probably do that soon – so I can’t comment on the rest of the series, but I do know that from what I played, the first game was a masterpiece with tons of potential.
It wasn’t until a few months ago that I downloaded Epic Games’ 20th Anniversary Soundtrack that I found out they – and most important Cliffy B – were involved in the project. Thank you Cliffy B for giving me my first gaming memory.
Cliff B was and is the perfect example of a nerd rockstar. He creates awesome games with boobs and explosions and probably enjoys boobs and massive explosions on a regular basis. I guess when you have too much one of something you need to step away from it and as any rockstar would do, he didn’t step away from the boobs. Enjoy this time Cliffy. No eyestrain, no fanboys screaming at you or that reoccuring sound of active reloads that just won’t get out of our heads.
Cliffy B was the first (in my eyes) to perfect the cover system in 3rd person shooters, and really polarize, the already, growing genre. He was what you’d call a geek that has evolved, like Charmander to Charmeleon. What this means is he slightly became cool and every nerd aspired to be like him. I have him on facebook and I’m sure I won’t miss him much. In fact, I wont. I only ever really played one of his games and it was alright. I’m just sad for all the fans out there that might cry at this (OtherZinc). What I do know though is that he made the right choice is taking a break. His recent games have been less than pleasant.
I’ve always appreciated everything that Cliff Bleszinski brought to the table. I never really got into Unreal Tournament or any of the Gears Of War games, but it certainly wasn’t because I thought they were bad games. I think the game that really opened my eyes to the world of Cliffy B was one that was less than successful for him, and that was Bulletstorm. I was actually really surprised the game didn’t get better reception, because I thought the story was great, the visuals were spectacular and the characters were really interesting and hilarious. If anything, my time with Bulletstorm is what made me want to go back and invest more time in the Gears Of War franchise and I am glad that I did. I know he is a gamer through and through, and his passion for the industry will surely be missed.
What are some of your fondest memories of Cliffy B and Epic Games’ projects? Let us know in the comments below!