The Gears of War series is renowned for its sleek, cinematic presentation, its thrilling action, and nuanced third-person shooter gameplay. But perhaps less-appreciated is the rich history and the imaginative premise of its lore.
This is particularly the case with the militant system of government which serves as the focal point of the series. The Coalition of Ordered Governments, or “COG,” is a driving force in the narrative and a key element in the turbulent, war-stricken setting of Sera. It’s also the military organization of major Gears figures, including Baird, Dom, and the stocky Sergeant himself, Marcus Fenix.
As one might expect with a grand, cinematic shooter, there are a number of interesting details surrounding this multi-layered regime; many of which even diehard fans may not have known.
10 A Hybrid Of Authoritarian Governments
Much like other art and entertainment mediums, games like Gears of War draw inspiration from real life – and this extends to the prominent system of government in this series. The COG is largely inspired by real authoritarian governments of the past.
It’s primarily modeled off fascist systems, with its heavily militaristic, totalitarian bent that demands loyalty to the state and its fighting forces. Yet, it also draws from some elements of communism, with its rhetoric and policies of the Octus Canon championing collectivism and valuing the many over the few.
This system of force would be amplified following the COG’s response to the devastating Emergence Day, or “E-Day.”
9 Took Part In A Bloody 79-Year Battle
War and bloodshed have largely defined the history and general traits of the COG. This is really exemplified by the Pendulum Wars. This was a gruesome, bloody clashing of the two then-superpowers of Sera: the COG and the lesser-known Union of Independent Republics. This war was massive in scope, killing millions over the years, and it lasted nearly eight decades.
Of course, it was the COG that emerged victorious, after breaking the stalemate with their perilous raid on Aspho Fields; an old drain swamp that had been converted into a UIR military base.
This dominance and prosperity for the COG would be short-lived, however, as the Locust would emerge from their underground colonies to attack a mere six weeks after the Pendulum Wars.
8 Deeply-Rooted History With The Carmine Family
The COG certainly has a long and rich history, and this extends to some of the soldiers themselves. Everyone knows of the lead protagonist for most of the series, Marcus Fenix, as well as his father and former Gear, Adam.
But despite falling somewhat under the radar, the Carmine Family also has a storied history with the COG, as it consists of several members that have enlisted as Gears over the decades. This includes soldiers Anthony, Benjamin, Clayton, Will, as well as Clayton’s niece Elizabeth, who served in the Engineering Corps as a Minotaur driver.
7 Militant System Of Education Becomes A Shell Of Its Former Self
Many aspects of Seran society and the COG had drastically changed after E-Day. This is indicated by the fictional timeline, which marks an event as being before or after “Emergence.”
This cataclysmic shift can be seen in the COG’s education system, which started as a sort of conformist program featuring a curriculum largely related to government. This included COG history, Socialistic principles, and knowledge of the Octus Canon, their founding document. Students even had to wear uniforms to drive home the point of unification and conformity.
After the Locust invasion of E-Day, however, this essentially broke down. Schooling then became little more than a means to keep kids from falling under the influence of street gangs.
6 Hidden Meaning In The Name Of Their Home Planet
Warfare is an iconic representation of the COG, and this culture trickles all the way down to the name of their home planet. Sera, which was largely dominated by the COG before E-Day, actually has a hidden meaning in its name.
Sera is “Ares” spelled backward, and Ares just happens to be the Greek god of warfare.
5 Stole The Hammer Of Dawn Tech
Many Gears fans know of the Hammer of Dawn as an ultra-powerful weapon to blast foes and enemy bosses into oblivion. Yet it’s also a significant piece of COG history. This beast of a satellite laser’s development actually began under the Union of Independent Republics (UIR).
But following the aforementioned Aspho Fields raid, the COG stole the Hammer technology plans, giving them a major upper-hand in the Pendulum Wars and turning the tide in their favor.
Unfortunately for the UIR, it was their own blueprint that helped spur their demise, as professor Adam Fenix would use the plans as a tool of destruction against them.
4 The Locust War Brings Martial Law
While the COG spent much of their history ruling with an iron fist in some fashion, it was the destructive Locust War that solidified their totalitarian rule. A year after E-Day, all of Sera was placed under martial law by way of the Fortification Act.
This strengthened defenses against the Locust, though it also stripped citizens of their various rights and civil liberties, while rationing food supplies and implementing a military draft.
3 Their War-Centric Holidays
The COG’s own holidays further demonstrates their warlike culture and society. First, there’s “Allfathers Day;” a sort of COG equivalent of US Independence Day, complete with fireworks.
But the really telling days of celebration are Victory Day and Day of the Fallen, both of which commemorate soldiers and battles. Specifically, Victory Day celebrates the human triumph over the Locust; an event referred to as V-Day.
2 A Diverse Culture
Despite the seemingly uniform nature of the COG, the culture is actually quite diverse, as the government’s arm extends across a plethora of countries and tribes throughout Sera.
Examples range from the militarized Tyran people to Northerner immigrants and South Islander tribes. One key group is the Kashkuri, a society of silver workers who were able to enrich themselves with coveted Imulsion.
1 Significance Of The Logo
Most have likely picked up on the significance of the COG’s logo, which fittingly displays a cogwheel. Of course, this is meant to be a literal symbol of the acronym that makes up the Coalition’s title. It also represents the “Gears,” which is the term for soldiers of the COG.
Still, there’s more to this logo on a symbolic level. It’s partly meant to tie in with the title of the series itself, as a cog is quite literally a “gear of war.” Beyond this, it also symbolizes the military might and philosophies of this institution.
After all, this is a government that emphasizes its military machine and desires humanity working together as sort of “cogs in the machine” for the system.