Published on November 4th, 2010 | by Kyle LeDuch2
Gears of War 3 – Preview
Accompanied in a dark room with a giant glowing red skull behind the room, I knew I was in for a surprise, when I arrived at my meeting with Epic and Gears of War 3. We have been treated with a live demo of the most important part of the campaign and the exciting new Beast mode being played by the developers themselves. First, the team wanted to emphasize that the four-player co-op is not a walk in the park. From start to finish, the whole game will be played of up to four players. This does not mean that players 3 and 4 are driven roles nameless grunts; they will play an important role in the story.
The guys at Epic have stated publicly, saying they want to capture more of the essence of the original game, offering more replayable combat scenarios that really concentrate on the core tenets of the shooting gameplay. And we see that here in the demo which contains our heroes on a mission to Anvil Gate, one of the last strong fortresses remained standing. The skirmish begins with a party of Locust, and the team showoff some new moves. Now you can attack while jumping from a cover tactics landing on top of your enemies and throwing him off guard. There is also a large number of tactics to choose from. If you thought the first two Gears of War were violent, Gears of War 3 raises the bar to new heights. The game is absolutely brutal.
Apart from mining arm of a pilgrim and beat him to death with it, we saw Marcus strap a grenade to a Locust and kick him back into a crowd of enemies, and we watched with delight as enemies panicked when they realized a little bit too late. After the match ended, they showed other new features like the ability to trade arms and ammunition on the fly.
Shortly after that match, the party encounters resistance in the form of Lambent, a new breed that is friend to neither humans nor Locust. The new creatures are very intimidating and introduce new types of challenges. Teamwork is still very important; the Lambent has a nasty habit of mutating in the middle of the battle. You’ll need your teammates to watch each other’s back when your enemies sprout new limbs or scatter and try to flank.
The mutated Berserker, an enemy who was blind in previous games, is back and can now see. It is much harder to kill and the team is forced to use hit and run tactics. The gate is closed, and it seems like the walls cannot be opened by force… until the Berserker jumps over the wall, as the demo ends.
Epic has received many feedback from the players want to play the game as an enemy, and the developers have taken that idea and ran with it, creating the Beast mode. This is a popular kind of reverse Horde mode, where offense is the goal instead of defense. Humans have made a fortress, and your group of Locusts is to eliminate all resistance. The humans are no slouches, and have turrets, traps, and the new Silverback armored suits to make your mission no cake walk.
At start beasts selection are limited to priests and Kantus Tickers be some of the options. As you progress through the waves and score more points, you get access to some really badass characters, like the Berserkers. But since the Berserker is blind, you have to work with a black screen and use motion feedback to find your enemies.
Just kidding! The developers had us going for a minute with that. In fact, your vision is rather limited. It’s a bit like being very nearsighted. But as the developers also commented, it’s generally a good idea to head in the direction of the bullets, upon where you will smash your hapless foes into tiny pieces like the Hulk.
A good handful of beasts were shown to us. Hardcore fans of the series should recognize many from previous games, while others are new for Gears of War 3. Each creature has their own unique weapons and abilities, so chances are you’ll find someone to suit your style. You can always change your beast after dying too, which gives you the opportunity to find the right fit for your play style or form a well organized group of Locust to shoot down the pesky humans.
One new addition this year is Beast mode, a Horde variant that sees you play as the Locust
Visually, it took another step forward. The Unreal Engine 3 is now an absolute beast that can produce some of the chunkiest, meatiest graphics out there, and when you have the guys who built the engine in the first place pulling the levers, you know you’re going to get something very special.
The game is still in development, so many questions that still could not be answered just yet, since many things have not been finalized. Gears of War 3 will be making waves in April 2011.