Warhammer 40K: Space Marine game director Raphael van Lierop has told CVG that comparisons to the Gears of War franchise don't worry the studio.
Relic blazed trails in the PC real-time strategy genre with Company of Heroes and Dawn of War 2, but the THQ studio now has its eyes firmly set on the third-person action shooter space, a genre in which Epic's blockbuster franchise is a big player.
We asked Lierop what he thought about people pointing to Gears of War as the natural competition for Space Marine.
"I think we're very aware that we've stepped into the most competitive genre there is with our game," he said. "We believe we've got a very unique experience that we're offering with Space Marine.
"We've had a lot of validation from play-testing and even early press feedback that the game does truly feel like its own thing. It doesn't feel like a rip-off of another existing game, it really feels like something unique and of its own."
The Relic man went on to say comparisons to games like Gears are "flattering", and that the studio knows it has "a lot to prove" to "be competitive in this genre".
"It doesn't keep us up at night but it certainly sets a high bar for us to meet. We've never been satisfied at Relic with just doing the same thing as everyone else and taking the easy path.
"We've always wanted to continue to innovate with every game we do and push ourselves forward as well as do something unique in the genres we're working in. With Space Marine it's no different."
THQ has confirmed plans to release Warhammer 40K: Space Marine in August.