Gears of War 3 Preview

Gears of War 3, with a line that stretched for what seemed like days, was easily one of the most popular games of E3 2010. Unfortunately, it wasn’t playable on the show floor, the line was merely for a 30-minute tech demo featuring devs from Epic taking us through the game. What I saw was easily something to get very excited about, and Gears fans will have a lot to look forward to.

The demo started with Marcus, Dom, and the gang trying to fight their way into a giant fort, with the Locust popping up at every turn. We got a glimpse at the new Lambent enemies as well, which range from small, creepy-crawler pests to mutating badasses. Oh, and there was a Lambent Berserker. She jumps. High and fast. I’m sure she’ll be quite the treat to go up against.

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The meat and bones of the demo, though, was the new Beast Mode. Essentially, this is the Horde Mode backwards. Instead of being humans holed up in an area fighting wave after wave of Locust, you are now the Locust advancing on wave after wave of humans. The beauty of the mode lies in its strategy element: you can’t just pick the strongest Locust available and go right into battle, you start with the very basic Locust (Tickers and Wretches, specifically), and as you progress you’ll earn coins that can be spent on choosing more powerful Locust.

As you progress through the waves, it becomes evident that certain combinations of Locust will be most effective in destroying the humans. For example, in the fifth wave we saw, the humans had set up electric fences, and there was only one Locust that could deal with those: Berserkers. That’s right, this mode allows Gears fans to play as the bane of their existence since the first game. Although the Berserker is blind, the player will not be. Instead, their line of vision will be decreased, and the screen will indicate whenever the sound of a human is heard. This is an awesome addition to the already successful Gears of War gameplay, as I know I’ve always wondered what it would be like to play as a Boomer.

The half-hour I spent with Gears of War 3 was very assuring, both in the maintenance of quality in the tried-and-true Gears gameplay and the quality of additions being made to the third installment. I know I’ll be playing Beast Mode for a long time coming.

Gears of War 3 is set to launch April 5th, 2011. Be ready, the Locust and Lambent are coming.


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Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

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