by Andrew Hallam
previewed on X360
Beards Of War
It is pretty obvious to any gamer that 2011 is the year of the threequel. Mass Effect 3, Diablo 3,and Killzone 3 are just a few examples. But where would we be without the eagerly anticipated final chapter in the Gears of War series? Known for its slightly larger than life portrayal of a squad of some of the most beefed up, ass kicking macho men in existence, who would make even Arnold Schwarzenegger look like a little school girl back in his heyday. Gears of War 3, produced by Epic Games; the studio behind the ludicrously fun Unreal Tournament series, is set to finally give fans some closure and satisfy their thirst for bloody carnage, fun and mayhem that only the Gears of War series can bring, in all its testosterone fuelled bromance glory.
Gears of War 3 starts out eighteen months after the fall of Jacinto which, if you had time to pay attention to the story while kicking the snot out of some poor locust bastard, was one of the humans last point of refuge from the locust horde. That was until someone had the bright idea to sink the city using the Gears' version of what is, for lack of a better example, a box of fireworks with a lit fuse. Except the fireworks were actually high explosive guided missiles.
Bros and Babes
While Jacinto has now sunk into a giant underground sea of Imulsion (which is essentially a funky glow in the dark fuel source) the main human faction known as 'The COG' has been disbanded and the few remaining human survivors have taken to living on the island of Vectes and the giant aircraft carriers which float around it. If you would imagine three modern day aircraft carriers strapped together with an oil rig in the middle, you would have got the idea for 'Raven's Nest', the main ship that houses not only a large group of survivors, but among them, our bros from Delta squad.
While the previous installments in the Gears of War trilogy revolved mainly around Marcus Fenix and the rest of Delta squad running around saving the day with macho enthusiasm and a whole ton of explosives, Gears of War 3 is much more about humanity's desperate fight for survival as the threat of the newly evolved Lambent forces move in to exterminate the remains of humanity. Gears of War 3 sees humanity on its last legs, backed up against the wall using everything they've got to survive. Evidence of this is apparent in the latest merry bunch of war hardened bad asses who are set to make an appearance in this latest installment.
For the first time in the series, we'll see women taking up arms to defend their freedom against the Locust hordes. While lead designer Cliff Bleszinski promises to give the female characters some integrity compared to the normal sex symbol demeanour that has befallen many female characters in video games throughout the ages, it remains to be seen if his promise will be kept. Not much is known about Samantha Byrne (voiced by Claudia Black who you may recognise as Morigan from Dragon Age) who seems to be more of a 'Ripley from aliens' sort of character than your typical Lara Croft ôsexy chickö, of which we see a lot in modern video games. However, the second female character is Anya who you may remember as your link to COG HQ from Gears of War and Gears of War 2. This time she appears fighting the Locust horde instead of sitting on the sidelines twiddling her thumbs. It's nice to see that Epic have chosen to move away from the macho macho aura that has made Gears of War into more of a comedy at times than a serious action story, but hopefully it won't lose that charm that the series is known for.