If you have played the previous entries in the Gears of War franchise, then you probably know that the Carmine family is a poor, doomed bunch of SOBs. Both previous entries featured a member of the Carmine brood, and both died horrible, but not entirely unsurprising deaths. In the first game, young recruit Anthony Carmine proved that reloading is important, and that enemy snipers do not make good friends. When Gears of War 2 was released, Ben Carmine, a plucky young rookie that might as well been a red-shirt-wearing extra on the original Star Trek series, made his debut. He lasted just slightly longer than his brother before dying horribly. The third and final Carmine brother, Clayton, is next up, but whether he becomes a hard-boiled, Locust-and-Lambent-killing angel of death, or a ticking time bomb with a life span roughly the same as a fly, remains to be seen thanks to a recent vote on Xbox Live.
Fans of the series were asked to shell out a few bucks for an avatar t-shirt that would be counted as a vote. One shirt read “Save Carmine,” while the other read “Carmine must die.” The shirt that was downloaded more often would seal the fate of Clayton, while the money would go towards the charity Child’s Play — a game industry charity founded to help brings toys and games to children in hospitals. Voting ended on Sept. 1, and developer Epic Games revealed at last weekend’s Penny Arcade Expo that the crew managed to raise $150,000 for the charity.
So will Clayton live to defend the Carmine honor, perhaps going on to sire a new litter of adorable, but expendable Carmines of his own, or is the icy hand of death looking to complete the Carmine set? We will have to wait until Gears of War 3 is released as an Xbox 360 exclusive on April 5.