by Andrew Hallam
previewed on X360
Chainsaws Make Everything Better
And where would a Gears of War game be without the brutal weaponry to back it up? With only a few weapons revealed so far, it is easy to see that this may be the series most explosive instalment yet. While all of the weapons from the previous games will be featured in Gears of War 3, there are some worthy additions to any macho-man's armoury. First up: the One Shot (nicknamed 'The Boomer Buster') is pretty much a sniper rifle cannon that fires a massive bullet at immense speed and is able to pierce a Mauler's boom shield in one shot, instantly gibbing the Mauler on the other side. But with great power comes great responsibility and a long reload time to boot, so you better hope you don't miss.
Another fun addition is the Pendulum War era Lancer, which comes with your standard knife bayonet instead of a chainsaw, allowing the player to charge at an enemy and stick him with the bayonet 'Banzai charge' style. Along with these new weapons come new grenades. Examples include the Incendiary grenade, your typical Molotov cocktail, and a rather interesting addition call 'The Digger'. The Digger is a small Locust creature that burrows underground, which means that it can bypass cover, eventually jumping up out of the ground like a Bouncing Betty and exploding in a shower of deadly spikes.
More Testosterone Than A Bull Elephant
If you didn't think that Gears of War had enough going for it already, think again. Along with the now four player coop campaign, competitive multiplayer, and horde mode, Epic have seen fit to include the quite recently confirmed Beast mode. Beast mode is essentially horde mode in reverse. Four players take on the role of Locusts and are tasked with assaulting increasingly powerful COG defenders on a variety of maps. As you advance through the waves you earn tokens which can be spent in the match to play as certain Locust types ranging from the suicidal Ticker to the fearsome Berserker. While wave one pits you against a group of rag tag stranded humans, as you advance through the waves you'll eventually face off against Delta squad, minigun turrets, and mechs.
That's right, Mechs... Another new addition to the franchise is the Silverback exo-suit. The Silverback is similar to the mech suits seen in the Lost Planet series, with detachable weapons and special abilities such as a 'ground pound' area-of-effect attack. While the Silverback is only chewable by one person, it greatly increases their survivability and firepower owing to its thick armour plating and detachable miniguns and rocket launchers. It truly is a force to be reckoned with. While you may think that the Silverback would be a sort of 'God weapon', much like the Hammer of Dawn seen in previous instalments of the series, it is much more of a strategic team weapon than anything else. It is able to 'deploy' at any given time to provide cover for team mates in battle as it turns into an immobile turret.
With all these new additions as well as being the final chapter in the trilogy, it is plain to see that Gears of War 3 is shaping up to top its previous instalments with its classic cover based gameplay and brutal style. With its recent delay from April 2011 back to an unspecified date in the fall, the wait is even longer for what is for some, one of the most anticipated releases of 2011.