Published on May 15th, 2011 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Gears of War 3 Multiplayer Beta Wrap-Up
Developer: Epic Games
Platform: Xbox 360
Release: September 20, 2011
Along with millions of other Xbox 360 owners that came to love the Gears of War series over the years, I’m sure many will agree with me that the Gears of War 3 multiplayer is the best that the series has had. Through the course of the month, we had the opportunity to play the Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, and Capture the Leader game modes. Each of the game modes offer different ways of playing and strategy has become a strong value we had to learn to adapt for GoW 3.
We had the luxury of playing four different maps such as ‘Thrash Ball,’ ‘Old Town’, ‘Trenches,’ and ‘Checkout.’ Each map is diffent in scale and weapon layout is part of the strategy we had to learn to adapt through the course of the beta. Personally I chose a sawed-off shotgun / retro lancer load out on Checkout and Old Town, hammer burst / gnasher for Trenches, and retro lancer / gnasher for Thrashball.
Through the course of the beta we unlocked several ribbons, medals, characters and executions that will transfer to the actual retail release. Thrashball Cole was an unlockable character along with Anya, Baird and Cole Train on the COG side and Grenadier, Theron Guard and Sniper Drone on the Locust side. We also unlocked different weapon skins for all the loadout weapons throughout the month. From urban camo to the flaming weapons there is a lot of variations to be had here. We can only assume with the games full retail release that the variants will be much, much greater. I remember noticing a pink-colored lancer in early video footage from press playthroughs.
We all know that the executions for each of the weapons have made a strong return and with the ability to unlock different ways to perform executions with those weapons adds an intensity and ways of playing with weapons you may not play with a majority of the time. If you want to earn every execution, you have to have hands on with each weapon for at least ten kills. The scorcher is by far one of the coolest that I have seen.
Along with some very cool, and powerful new weapons there are a couple of new moves that prove out right deadly. You can now jump over cover with an enemy on the other side and knock him back for an easy shotgun kill. You can also take an enemy that you are holding as a meat shield and tag them with a grenade and kick them into a crowd of his peers. This proves very useful in the King of the Hill game mode.
There are a couple of tweaks that I would like to see changed in the full retail release. The spawn system needs to be tweaked, due to the fact that countless times I would spawn and an enemy would spawn right next to me at the same time. They should implement the idea from Gears of War 2 where spawned characters have a invincibility time limit when they spawn. Some of the assault rifles needs to be tweaked, for example the lancer needs a smaller clip, and hammer burst needs to be taken down a notch in power. I heard many complaints on the sawed off shotgun and gnashed being to powerful but honestly I feel they are the best-balanced weapons. Gnasher is better at farther distances, where as a sawed-off only effective up close. The sniper rifle also is a head popping machine without thhe ability to zoom due to the enchanted reticle. Some may complain about this but I like the change.
Gears of War 3 is shaping up to be the multiplayer experience that will rule the space this year. Yes, Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 will release a couple months after Gears does, but Gears has longevity. The beta alone had me stuck night after night, and I had several releases in my library that i have yet to touch due to the beta. Sorry, Portal 2 and Mortal Kombat, but Gears is looking to be the 2011 game of the year, and we have yet to touch any of the story mode or hoard / beast modes.