I’ve been playing the multiplayer beta for the upcoming latest title in the Gears of War series developed by Epic Games. Nothing much has really changed from Gears of War 2 to Gears 3, it’s still a third person cover-based shooter. The good old reliable Lancer is back with its chainsaw attachment that can be used to literally tear opponents to pieces. There are three game types available to play in the beta and they are; Team Deathmatch, where opposing teams kill each other until one team runs out of lives, Capture The Leader, where teams must protect their leader while trying to capture their opponent’s leader, and King of The Hill, where teams capture and hold objectives to score enough points to win.
Gameplay is still pretty much exactly the same from the previous games. The A button sprints, dives and gets into cover and I also still always seem to dive into enemy fire which is my fault but some things will never. Weapons are placed around the maps in the same places so once people memorize where their favorite weapons are a lot of early engagements will be fought over a Torque Bow or Boomer Shot. A new feature in Gears 3 that is really nice is the ability to mark an enemy by aiming at them with the left trigger and then clicking the left analog stick and it will put a red circle above them letting your team know exactly where they are. There are still executions that can be performed on downed enemies and they are as brutal as ever. My personal favorite execution was when I saw my teammate turn over a downed enemy, stand over them and punch them in the face repeatedly for about 10 seconds, such a great way to end a round.
Multiplayer gives a little more customizability this time around. Players can choose which assault rifle and shotgun they start out with in a match and also put on alternative skins they unlocked for their weapons. There are three assault rifles to choose from, The Lancer, which is a well balanced fully automatic assault with an under barrel chainsaw attachment for dismembering opponents at close range, The Hammerburst, which is a single shot semi automatic assault rifle with better range, and The Retro Lancer, which is a more powerful but way less accurate version of the Lancer that has a bayonet under the barrel for taking care of close quarter enemy encounters. The shotguns you can choose from are the Sawed-Off shotgun which only has one shot and takes a long time to reload but will kill a nearby enemy in that one shot and the Gnasher a slightly weaker shotgun but it hold quite a bit more shells before needing to be reloaded. Players can also choose their default characters for the both teams and choose a medal for multiplayer.
So far from what I can tell from the beta is that Gears of War 3 is more of the good things from the previous games but with some slight improvements. For some people that may sound like a bad thing but from my perspective it is actually a huge plus because the past games were great. Why fix what isn’t broken? Also one big thing I’ve noticed so far is that I haven’t come across any bugs or glitches which I remember so vividly from the previous games. All in all Gears 3 is turning out to be another great game in the series and if you get a chance definitely check it out.
Bulletstorm Epic edition players will be able to join the beta on April 18th, GameStop pre-orders will be able to play on April 25th. The beta ends on May 15th.