Gears of War 3 Preview - E310
E3 2010: Going behind the scenes with the latest game in the action franchise
Gears of War 3 is an upcoming third-person shooter developed by Epic Games, published by Microsoft and due for release on Xbox 360 in April 2011. The first two games in the series have received both fan and critical acclaim, and thus the expectations for the third chapter in the series are quite sizable. The Gears 3 presentation during Microsoft’s press conference at E3 gave fans a taste of the game’s development progress. The game was also shown privately during the show, and we got a chance to see a short live gameplay demo hosted by Cliff Bleszinski himself.
The demo took place at the same stage as that shown at the press conference. The player’s convoy was ambushed, and we had to fight back the incoming enemy forces. For the first time in the series, the game features the ability to swap weapons with teammates; there are also tons of new takedowns and executions, grenades and weapons. There are also two female soldiers in the game (that are playable in the campaign four player coop mode). As the player fought the enemies scattered around the area, the Lambent have entered the field. These enemies are hostile to both you and Locust. The Lambent are also able to mutate in the heat of battle, and do so dynamically. Depending on where they are shot, the enemy may grow a new arm or neck, the player never really knows what will happen.
Huge tentacles then appeared out of the ground, releasing more Lambent foes. Some types of enemies released small spider-looking enemies, which are the virus carriers according to Cliff. After dispatching them, one of the most recognizable enemies in the series made an appearance – with a twist. We came face to face with a Lambent Berserker. Cliff noted that she is much harder to kill, even with the Hammer of Dawn, due to her mutated body and newly added tentacles. As our heroes realize they cannot take on this enemy, they call for the Hammer. However, the satellites have been damaged recently, and this there is no way to accurately tag the enemy. The team then calls the strike anyway, and makes a run for the gates of the human camp as the Hammer smashes its laser beam just a few meters away. After making it inside, the gates shut, but it appears the Berserker was not killed. It makes it way over the wall, and jumps into our heroes, at which point the demo ended.
In the second part of the presentation, we got to see the new Beast Mode. This mode is a fun take on competitive team multiplayer, where the players can finally become the enemies and monsters that they’ve been hunting all game, and exact some revenge on the humans. It is basically a reversal of roles from the Horde Mode in Gears of War 2. As you kill humans and earn points, you are able to upgrade your character to various more powerful forms, even working your way up to becoming a Berserker.
Cliff noted that the game is using a much improved engine, with better lighting and shadow effects. The AI has been improved to a whole new system, so the enemies no longer follow set paths, and rather adjust to the fight dynamically. To ensure a smooth experience, the game will run locked at 30fps. Maps from previous Gears games are not yet confirmed, but players could see some favorite multiplayer arenas return. The maps that do ship with the game will be very much worth the wait.
When players think of the Xbox brand, Gears of War is usually in everyone’s top 3 franchises on the system. The previous entries in the series won numerous awards, and gained a huge fanbase. Gears of War 3 looks to bring further evolution to the action franchise, and as Cliff would say, it’s simply “bigger, and more badass”. Given the series' track record, that might be all that’s needed.
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